It’s not the destination, it’s the journey…

Two and a half weeks after quitting my job and I am finally starting to settle down.

The pressure I put on myself to start making an income ASAP and then realizing my ideas were going to take much longer than I expected had me up to my eyeballs in anxiety, and when I could no longer keep it bottled I had a little meltdown the end of the first week. Which was a surprise to me….I’ve never had trouble finding plenty of work and usually need to turn down projects when I reach a saturation point. I also don’t usually follow  the concerned advice of others to not do something I set out to do*, and of course with 22 percent unemployment here in Spain, people think I am totally insane for quitting not only a dream job, but quitting a job, period.

Halfway through the second week I decided – enough with the stress. While it may be a scary decision, the opportunities that await me now are opportunities I would not be able to pursue if I stayed working for someone else. Things will work out, they always do. I won’t neglect the rest of my life just because I have a lot to do. So last week, I went for a few long bike rides (even sunburned my arms on one 3 hour ride-I can’t remember the last time I sunburned my arms-a sign I really did need to get out more) and made sure to meet up with others at least once a day.

And so far things are coming together. I picked up a journalism/web project for a team in the CEV (Spanish championship), I am making headway on no less than three of my own websites for various businesses of my own (I’ll link them here when I muster the courage), I met with SoloMoto got set up to test ride again for them this year, and I’ve put myself out there for instructional design contract work.

The best thing is that I am enjoying all of it – meeting with various people in the moto world, taking time to meet friends, working from home with my tailless, water obsessed cat for entertainment, but especially -and most importantly- working on my own projects,  all of which may or may not be successful, but I’m willing to take the risk to see them through.

 

*for example selling my house in 2010 despite no fewer than ten people telling me “it’s a bad time to sell right now, you should wait” and then proceeding to sell within two months of putting it on the market. Or leaving my job in Italy despite the whole of Europe saying “you are lucky to have a job, why would you quit?” 

I’ve come full circle-I’m leaving my job.

Contrary to the current lifestyle rage of quitting your blood sucking job for a life of adventure, after (and actually during) college, I pursued and accomplished all my dreams of adventure before the age of 25-I swam with wild dolphins, climbed glaciers, spent a year surfing the south pacific, show jumped horses, snowboarded all over the world, lived in three different countries, learned a foreign language (German) and supported it all by living a total minimalist lifestyle working on boats and ships, in restaurants, in youth hostels, as a SCUBA diver, as a dressage instructor or whatever worked at the time and fit into my travel schedule to support myself. I read a ton of books and never had a TV–to this day I have never seen an episode of Friends–nonetheless, after a while I felt like my brain was disintegrating.

So in a really backward move, in view of others’ dreams of chucking it all and moving to an island, I moved from the island I was living on at the time (Maui) back to my roots (California) to pursue more difficult ventures than vagabonding around the world on nearly nothing: I went to graduate school and pursued a professional life, something I had never had. I had never even worked in an office before. The usual stuff followed-I bought a house, adopted pets, had a successful career, and got married. Which were all dreams of mine (actually the marriage thing was optional), and gave me more purpose than just trying to live an easy and carefree and sometimes meaningless life.

But also during that time, and this is kind of where this long story begins, I started racing motorcycles. And this changed my life more than anything–More than home ownership or money or marriage.

Racing became the center of my and my husband John-Mark’s life. All of our goals, travel, money,
focus, effort, sweat and tears went into racing. It brought me the highest highs and lowest lows I had ever felt in my life. Even spectating was exciting I discovered- being up close to the bikes and the noise and the competition was something surprisingly moving and emotional, with an added bonus of it being something I could share with my dad. He and I attended every World Superbike and later MotoGP race at Laguna every year for ten years.

I even attribute racing to pulling me out of the fog of shock and trauma I was in for months–after racing took the life of my husband. Somehow, two months after his death, I landed a gig at the annual MotoGP round at Laguna Seca in 2008, working as a tire and fuel tester in the Fiat Yamaha garage of Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo. The bikes and the excitment and the newness of the experience pulled me out of my autopilot survival mode and into the moment. I did it again at the Indianapolis GP, in the same garages, and again – I felt totally alive.

I had already been forced to see that very, very few problems or stresses in life truly matter, and so in a move that also allowed me to escape dealing with others who would not, or more probably did not know how to, acknowledge my loss and sadness, I left the US to pursue my new dream career–to work in MotoGP.

After several false starts, flash forward to last year when I was offered a job as a journalist at the MotoGP headquaters in Barcelona, my home for the last three and a half years. It was my second try for the job, so of course I took it. And it has been exciting and interesting and also a lot of hard work with some very long days and nights in the office. But I have gotten to experience things like today–Participating in a dirttrack race with Jorge Lorenzo, fans, journalists and pro riders at the ex-Kenny Roberts track after my cameraman and I first interviewed him for a story. Awesome opportunity and great experience–which may, though I hope it won’t be, be my last like it.

interview with Jorge Lorenzo

This is my final week at Dorna. It was a tough decision and I’m quite sad about it, but I am leaving. After learning there would be almost no work at the races for me this year, and the fact that I am already burning out on office hours and a daily commute, I gave notice. (Missing the first race in ten years in 2011 because I was working in the office in Spain didn’t sway me the side of staying either. I don’t want to miss another year of being with my father and brother and friends for our annual summer ride together to and from the races in Monterey.)

I am so grateful to have had this experience, though I have now come full circle and want to leave office life, even if it means leaving the most popular, exciting and pretigious motorcycle racing organization in the world. Though I’m not leaving my dream job to laze around on beaches or travel the world-I’ve already done that. What this move means is that I can go back to being directly involved with what I love and not just writing about it from an office. And that is the thing that has turned my life around so many times-  racing.

I’m like that foreign exchange student you made fun of

Remember that kid in high school? The one whose English you laughed at, not to mention the way she dressed and wore her hair? Maybe you said a few words to her in the lunch room or if her locker was located next to yours, but you usually didn’t bother chatting with her too long because she had trouble understanding you and, let’s face it, you had nothing in common. Now take that same situation and make her a couple decades older, add  couple of degrees and 5 additional countries to her list of places once called home and make the setting not school but work, and you have me. Well, first subtract all of her charm, and then you have me.

I write intensely in English all day and then must communicate and listen in Spanish. Sometimes people speak about what is going on to me and other journalists in languages I don’t understand and sometimes they speak Spanish, but sometimes I am not listening during those Spanish language moments. But if I am, I still have difficulty understanding (*sometimes. Let’s stick with the theme).

This becomes especially troublesome when unspoken rules regarding the particular content I am working on are present. I inevitably discover many of said unspoken rules by making mistakes. In fact, it is the only way I discover many of the rules, secret or not. This method of “training” is fairly standard here in Spain. And while the new kid on the block is floundering through said training, the cool kids are sitting back and rolling their eyes as mistakes pour in.

I am not suffering the cruel tricks that you all played on the exchange student, like helping her out with responses to teacher’s requests with phrases such as “why don’t YOU sit down, woman?”  In fact, the people I work with are nice as well as talented and capable. But  European corporate culture generally has remained old school in that there are no processes defined for how work gets done. Some have emerged organically, but nothing is documented and therefore nothing exists to pass on to any newcomers.  Meaning: There is nothing to base any training on, no way to share knowledge or lessons learned nor anything to base required skills and abilities on for a job that opens up. Those jobs are largely defined around the person that previously held the job. Which means when that person goes, so does special job knowledge.

Of course, there are old school water cooler conversations for knowlege sharing that happen…but because of the subtelties of language that I am incapable of picking up on and producing, I don’t attempt to initiate casual conversations about work, that in itself is too much work. And since I’m the weird language exchange kid, I am not included anyway.

I realize this is kind of a big bitch-fest, but in a roundabout way it is also praise for the US corporate model. Not something you would generally consider when you think of the word ‘homesick’, but for me it ranks big. Like the exchange kid, my best friends, confidants and family are in my country of origen. If I have a bad day or feel lonely, I don’t have a community at work to fall back on, at least not yet anyway. (As it happens, I am feeling particularly lonely after a fantastic time with my best friends in the US.  To top it off, one of my only two good friends here is leaving in July.)

So I don’t know what the exchange student did when she felt isolated. Probably nothing. Just waited to go home. Or maybe she called her mom. Me, I am just going to keep at it, there isn’t much I can do about the corporate culture and I don’t care if they think I am a crazy American. I am unmotivated to improve my Spanish because I am too tired, I am working hard. We will see this year if the trade off is worth it. If not, this exchange kid might just be heading back to her friends and family in her country of origin. (!!)

The current rage in “lifestyle design” blogs

Is anyone else sick of the hundreds of blogs out there that are about “How I made six figures by quitting my job and doing what I love”?(Variations of this theme include: living simply, remote working, be your own boss, etc.)?  The dude who over enthusiastically proclaims his office is the beach in Brazil/Mexico/Asia/Indonesia and how YOU TOO can quit your job and build a blog and hit the road just like him and, oh yeah, make a hundred grand a year writing about nothing.

I am not talking about running an actual virtual business or remote worker – last year I worked remotely and as long as I had an internet connection, I could (and did) work from anywhere, which allowed me to live where I wanted and travel when I wanted and blah blah like all these guys blather on about. These blogs don’t actually have any business behind them-they are just selling themselves!

For example, the writers who create “Live your dream” blogs where their dream is to work for themselves, living where they like and traveling when they want, with no other aim. So essentially, they write about how to quit your job and make six figures, going on and on about how free they are and where they travel… by blogging about quitting their job and writing about it online.  It’s way too circular, and the community of people writing them, all of whom must be commenting and guest posting on each others sites to get the kind of traffic they do, won’t be able to support itself with the circular argument that most of the location independent lifestyle are spouting.

In fact, I think it might be getting harder already, as some of these blogs are resorting to annoying hard sell tactics to sign up for their newsletters about nothing, download their buzz word filled ebooks, sign up for their online or email courses, with headlines like “How to Live Anywhere & experience Ridiculously Extraordinary Freedom”, pop ups, long and detailed posts about dollars made each day/week/month through passive income they allegedly make…by describing what you are experiencing yourself on their site and how to set that up for yourself and generate the traffic to generate the “six figures” they are pulling in…

Certainly the next generation in the US, and even the current generation in the workforce over the next decade, will not be able to support themselves in this manner, because everyone will know about SEO and Adsense and link building to their blog. The workplace is changing, and while it may be a brave new world for some of us, it won’t be for those growing up in the internet age. And then this strange phenomenon of self reflected blogging about basically nothing to get ad traffic and trackback links will settling itself into the history of the beginning of this century, for us to remember fondly as a short lived way to make easy money.

This phenomenon has not yet hit Spain, and I doubt it ever will. Americans are fiercely independent and working for yourself is held in very high esteem. The culture here does not regard “working for the man” as necessarily a bad thing, especially not when you get a full month of vacation (which employers are required by law to give you), plus 14 paid holidays a year, the average working day like I talked about in this post, which changes in the summer to an abridged work schedule called horario intensivo, where employees work non-stop from around 8:00 or 9:00 until 15:00, not to mention something like a year’s full pay if you get laid off. Plus, if you work for yourself, you have to pay far more into the social security system than someone paid by an employer. AND – if you have two business entities, you have to pay the SS tax twice each month! It is kind of ridiculous actually, and also why there are not so many entrepreneurs here…and not a lot of people clamoring for ways to break free from the clutches of working for someone else.

So I kind of digressed into left field from my original rant-like post. Just for giggles, google location independent lifestyle and have a look at some of preposterous headlines and shameless self promotion that seem ever more like those of pyramid schemes.In fact, you might agree that the tactics are designed to appeal to just the kind of people who will enviously compare their cubicle life to the blog-dudes beach fren, most likely, never achieve the lifestyle dream these sites are selling.

The Vacation Endeth

I am about to start a new job next week.

My previous job ended November of last year. I worked from home, in the evenings and at night, for over a year. So I basically had my entire day free nearly every day. And I could work from anywhere, including any country I happened to be in. Including beach side cafes in the South of Spain, hotels in Tuscany, or at my brother’s house in Rhode Island. If I worked from my house in Spain, I had a couch, refrigerator, a sunny balcony and if I wanted, the whole city at my disposal.

So maybe you can understand that I was feeling a little apprehensive to be going back to an office everyday. But I needn’t worry, because the Spanish workday looks nothing like you average American workday.

The average work day here begins later, because everyone gets up later. I hear there are cafes open as early as 7am, though I have never been up that early to verify, other than to stumble off to the airport, and from what I have seen it is still dark out at that hour. No, the majority of the workers get going around 10am, meaning they are dressed and heading toward the office, usually with a stop on the way for a coffee con leche, or a coffee with a shot brandy (or two if they had a rough night). Then it’s into the office for some serious productivity. If any of the blue collar workers began work earlier, say 9am, they will take a break at 10 for that coffee or perhaps even a beer. It helps to be relaxed when operating heavy machinery.

At 2pm, it’s time for siesta. In the city centers, that means lunchtime, and it lasts anywhere from an hour and a half to three hours. Lunch in any local restaurant is a three course affair, (sometimes four) called a menu del dia, and includes beer or wine and a coffee at the end of the three courses. So naturally you’d need at least a couple of hours to ingest all those courses those restaurants insist on serving you.

Around six, it’s time to call it quits. Many people rush home at this point to have an actual siesta before they go running, biking, or hit the gym; or they’ll exercise and then have a siesta. Because everyone exercises and then everyone goes out. To bars, to cafes, for a paseo through town, maybe dinner, sometimes out until very late, but just out – to meet with friends and be with others. Then it’s to bed whatever time they collapse into it.

So I think my adjustment will go smoothly, as I am well practiced in the above workday pace. I also have a backup plan that involves snacks.

See, your brain needs fuel to function well. And I will be writing and using my brain for this new job. Therefore I will have to feed it. So I will stockpile snacks in my desk to emulate the full kitchen I have had at my disposal every working hour for the past year and a half.

Snacks are also good for building status in the office. If you offer snacks by means of a bowl that people who pass by your desk can stick their hands in, they will feel obligated to pause and chat with you out of politeness. Your awesomeness is reinforced if said snacks happen to be high quality and delicious.

My strategy is rock solid.

(By the way, this job is going to be awesome.)

Solo Moto bike test

There are a couple of moto related things I have been meaning to write about. It wasn’t so much procrastination that stopped me, but more that I already posted some pictures on Facebook, so posting them here would seem like my life is so boring that I need to post them twice. Or maybe it would seem like I don’t have anything else to write about. Based on my sporadic posts lately, that would seem to be the case.

But it isn’t!

I am just trying to decide if I should start an entirely different blog with another theme. Or maybe choose one theme for this blog and stick with it.  Because lately my blog posting goes something like this: I sit down to write with an idea in my head. I type a paragraph or two. I start to wonder how what I am writing fits in with my current blog. I realize what I am writing doesn’t fit at all, that it would seem more out of place than half the many themes already on this blog. I save the draft and get up and do something else.

But one thing that this blog always revolved around in motorcycling and, more to the point, my experiences in Spain (and the rest of Europe) in the moto world. So, without further ado, here is some moto content.

I did a comparative test between the new BMW 1000 and the new CBR 1000 for Solo Moto magazine last November. I wrote a 600 word article that was included within the 7 page article, and, much to my surprise, my photo was on the cover. Remind me next time to wear a clear visor….

We did the comparative test at Castelloli, which you may remember was where I rode supermoto for the first time. It’s about 30 minutes outside of the city of Barcelona. I showed up at the offices of the magazine at 8:30am , the designated meeting time. This being Spain, I should have known this was merely an implied suggestion that 9am would be an acceptable time to arrive. I do believe I was the first person in the building that morning.

Around 10am, I piled into a van with the photographer and a journalist to head to the track. We would meet the test ride organizer and other rider there. Around 10:15 we stop at a roadside station for…breakfast. Which is usually quite small, as it’s normal to have two breakfasts like this per day, once before you leave home, and another at work: coffee and a brioche or tiny bocadillo (bread with  jamon or cheese or egg tortilla). The breakfast break is a regular daily work break. I have had Spanish teachers ask me how long the break for breakfast is in the US. Then they usually ask me what is so funny.

We arrive at the track. As it was November, it was cold and the track was green and damp. But not to worry, the first order of the day was the cover shoot, where we followed the van as close as possible, with its back doors held open with tie downs and the photographer strapped down so as not to topple onto the pavement as he leaned out over the track.  We had to ride close enough so that the van doors blocked any view of the track. A little uncomfortable, but we were going pretty slow so not it was nothing to pucker your butt.

Then we got to ride two laps of the track, while they chose a corner for some riding shots. Then another corner, then another. I switched between the CBR and the BMW with the other rider and journalist, Albert, back and forth a few times. Then they took some photos of me standing with both bikes.

Then the main part of the test began: the anti-lock brake system (ABS) comparison. We accelerated at speeds of 60, 120 then 180k per hour up to two cones, grabbed the front brake as hard as we could (in my case, as hard as my brain would allow) until we stopped. Finally, we did a shorter distance, lower speed similar test on concrete using both brakes to get some photos of the tire marks.

The track was only rented until 2pm, so naturally, at 2:30, we were finished. I didn’t get to ride the entire track again unfortunately, but from what I was able to ride….wow.

Here are my impressions that were published (in Spanish) as an inset article. Please try to stay awake, I wouldn’t want you to hurt yourself if your face smashes into your keyboard as you fall asleep:

BMW S1000RR

The last BMW I rode must have been a GS 650 about 6 years ago, therefore climbing aboard the BMW S1000RR was a very pleasant surprise. Despite being an in line four cylinder 1000cc machine, it felt very narrow. The ridged chassis planted the bike in the corners, and while the stock fork settings were at first a bit stiff for me, after a few easy suspension adjustments I was quite comfortable on the bike. In truth, the BMW chassis geometry was so agile and quick to steer that it felt closer to a 600 than a 1000cc bike. But the engine reminded me that this was no 600 – the speed of this engine and the power at the top end of the revs was awe inspiring.

A slipper clutch enabled fifth-to-second-gear downshifts (I never did get to sixth gear) with no rear tire chatter on a cold track.

The brakes were surprisingly good, some of the best stock brakes I have felt, however, as I had never ridden an ABS-equipped motorcycle, the unique feeling of the ABS took a bit of getting used to.

Honda CBR 1000

I am far more experienced with Hondas in general and CBR’s in particular, so after a ride on the BMW, the CBR felt like a comfortable, though less exciting, old friend. Hondas are great all around bikes but I have always found them lacking in the personality department, and in comparison to the strong aggressive engine and agility of the BMW, it seemed even more mild. That is not to say that the CBR 1000 is a slow bike, because it is not, but the power delivery is so smooth and linear, its speed almost creeps up on you. In fact, everything on the Honda is delivered smoothly: the engagement of the slipper clutch, the engine braking and the power delivery. The chassis is flexible which adds to the feeling of smoothness, though it tends to feel less planted while cornering.

The Honda’s brakes provided a decent feel, but to me, lacked initial bite. This could be due to the fact that the C-ABS bikes have several more centimeters of braking lines and parts, which might cause the slightly mushy, less reactive braking sensation I felt.

Braking Comparison

Our tests consisted of a series of progressively faster approaches (60, 120, then 180kmph) to a set of cones, where I was to stop as fast and as hard as I felt my skills would allow once I passed between them. I was to let the anti-lock braking systems take over until I came to a complete stop.

Without more than a few laps to get used to not only the brakes, but new bikes and a new track, I suppose it wasn’t quite enough to fully get my brain to trust the ABS. Though I tried, I never could never quite hand over complete control to the ABS technology. I found myself automatically letting up off the brakes after the ABS kicked in, at around the point a wheel lockup would naturally occur or shortly thereafter.

Upon seeing me do this with each run through the cones, one might conclude that letting off the brakes was intentional. While I am a fairly independent person, and thus usually rely on my own abilities to get myself out of trouble, this phenomenon was entirely automatic. In fact, it was so automatic that I had a very hard time not letting off the brakes.

Part of this was due to muscle memory – with a locked wheel, any disturbance, no matter how small, can be disastrous. Most riders have learned that the correct procedure after the front wheel has locked is to release the brakes enough to get the wheels spinning again, and then re-apply them. But the other part of this was that the first hard braking with ABS is a strange sensation indeed.

After braking hard, the ABS on the BMW feels about the same as if you manually eased off the brakes and then reapplied them, only faster: The suspension unloads, bringing the front of the BMW up. Then the system is back on the brakes, compressing the suspension again and moving your weight forward, until the bike finds traction. The BMW continues this fast back and forth motion several times per second. In addition, the ABS causes the lever to pulsate back into your hand. This was distracting at first, though I can see where it could be a positive point in that it gives you direct feedback that the ABS has engaged.

The C-ABS on the Honda, when engaged, was far less obvious than the ABS system of the BMW. There was no pulsing at the lever, and it had otherwise normal feedback from both the hand brake and the foot brake. What I did notice however, was enhanced traction and handling when applying the brake in compromised traction environments. During our hard-braking trials that would have other bikes sliding back and forth, the CBR system kept the bike totally composed. With the addition of just a slight amount of rear brake, the chassis settles and it feels as though the entire bike has lowered itself 5 or 10 mm, front and rear.

For the last test, we compared how the braking systems would react when encountering a poor braking surface, such as you might find on a typical street ride. We went on to attempt to stop as quickly as possible on slippery concrete, leaving the ABS to manage the poor traction of the surface. This is where the braking systems were the most evident, and when they finally started to inspire confidence in me. And this is where the Honda’s C-ABS really shined. Instead of sliding, the Honda felt like it just sat down and slowed to a stop. While it did not stop as fast as the BMW, it felt more in control and effortlessly remained in a completely straight line when it should have been sliding all over the place.

I finished the day feeling curious as to how these brakes would function on water or gravel covered surfaces, and in fact I am looking forward to my next encounter with either of these braking systems.

********

I have a couple more moto topics to post about, though I cannot promise they will be more interesting than the above post. But they will be related to Spain, motorcycles, and my expat perspective of the whole enchilada. (I might throw in some more pictures of food too. I can’t help myself)

Yoga Pisses Me Off

Yoga is tedious.  Nearly every pose is an uncomfortable, muscle straining embarrassment that I want to be over with. And don’t even get me started on the weird, dirty hippy culture surrounding yoga in Western civilization. Yet I attend every Saturday in the Parc de la Ciudadella. The sessions are run by a lovely friend of mine from Bulgaria, whose simple Spanish is well pronounced and clear, unlike the locals who speak as if they had a mouthful of food. When I find myself squeezing my eyes shut tight, trying to force my center of gravity lower so as not to topple over, I can shift my focus outside myself and listen to the sounds of morning in the Parc – the company of little green Monk parrots chattering and squawking in the trees, people jogging, dogs trotting by. This all makes the session bearable and go by faster. But I still hate almost every second of it.

Near the end of the session, when we go into my favorite pose, the corpse pose (which is basically laying there on your back), I can look at the sky through the trees and wait my turn for my yoga teacher friend to get to me and gently touch my forehead with her thumbs and hold them there a minute. I think these last 30 seconds are the real reason I withstand an hour and half of sweating uncomfortably while not visibly exerting oneself. Something about her two thumbs pressing into my head centers and relaxes me so completely it makes my mind go completely blank for just a moment. It’s like, total tranquility and clarity, for just a second. I need this. Then all at once, a flurry of thoughts erupt in my head and the moment is over. And this is what pisses me off.

I wish I had some more moments like this, need more moments like this. My head is an absolute whirlwind of ideas and unfocused energy, now that I am not working. And it’s only been a week. And it’s not like I am doing nothing, either. I don’t want a vacation. I hate being idle. I am taking 3 hours of Spanish a day, plus another I study another 2 hours at least per day. I am going to networking meetings and events, arranging visits with friends and acquaintances old and new (mostly because I’m lonely), bicycling every day, researching business ideas, and, even though I said I wouldn’t do it for a couple of months, doing some job hunting.

I wanted this to be a break where I could study Spanish and consider some new directions in my life, maybe even write something, in a relaxed but focused manner. But I am so distracted and, I don’t know, anxious? that this post required a stack of chocolate chip cookies just to get me through. And every attempted post between the last published and this one has required some sort of chocolate flavored distraction to keep me in my chair. (Note: Cookies of the choco chip variety are not easy to find here in Spain. These particularly delicious cookies, in fact, were purchased from an international market, were made in Germany, and are aptly named “American cookies”. I must admit, while most German foods mimicking our culinary American delights are a far cry from the real McCoy, these are a pretty decent attempt.)

I hate not having a purpose, even a shitty one like contributing to a job that I don’t necessarily love. Having time and endless possibilities makes my hands sweat and heart pound and makes need sugar. I am overwhelmed with how big a life everyone has the potential to create, and I am consumed with dread that although given every opportunity, I may never achieve greatness. I am not embarrassed to want greatness, but I am scared to admit that I want it, because of the possibility I may fail to attain it.

Therefore, I will do the only thing that gives me relief from the self doubt and anxiety swimming around in my head these days, the only thing that relieves me of the noise in my head. I will flounder my way through ridiculous yoga sessions in the park. And I will hate almost every second.