We each have our own vices that we escape to. These vices either distance ourselves from the reality of the problem or empower us to keep on facing it. Some vices are better than others, depending on the person; what may work for me may not necessarily do the same for you.
Riding is one of my vices. Writing too. For others it can be things such as knitting, cooking, cleaning, smoking, alcohol, or drugs.
Riding remains the most effective for me however. Riding has been dubbed “the lazy man’s zen” for this reason, a reason that most do not understand but they gravitate to it any way. Wouldn’t it be funny to tell a die-hard Christian Harley rider that he’s actually taking part in an ancient Eastern practice? I think so. There is a certain mindfulness about the turns, the road conditions, your speed, your braking, your throttle… the list goes on. There is a point where all of these things come as second nature, but to really ride you are completely immersed in the whole experience.
Its a fun play on words to say that I enjoy riding and writing as both words sound similar when you say them. From here on I will be switching between the two words so keep up.
Writing is a means of escape as well, but for different reasons. Riding clears my thoughts while writing helps get them in order. I am still coming to terms as to whether writing empowers me more than riding. Right now it seems they both just offer me a means of escape from existing but through different means.
Why do I escape so often? Because life I live, through all of the external factors influencing it, is stressful. Western societies are some of the most stressful in the world. More, harder, faster, stronger… All for the sole reason that the persons to the left and right of us are doing the exact same thing. Its a continuous loop that the only way to break free of it is to be aware of it.
Unfortunately though, there is no completely escaping it. As great as it would be to simply drop all responsibilities and obligations in order to start fresh, the ripple effect that that decision would have would be earth-shattering. Some people have that luxury of being able to make that hard choice. For me I have too many people that depend on me. Not that is a bad thing, but I cannot let my choices impact the safety and well being of those that I care about.
No one can completely escape the stress enducing factors unless they want to go live as a monastic. Admittedly, the idea of it sounds fairly enciting. So how can we balance the stress and the escapes? Right now I really do not have a good answer. Hopefully that answer will come later on.