I've been in Philly for a year. I moved here August of last year, but I had been coming up throughout the entire month of June and July before actually moving here. It took me a year to ride a bike here. I don't know why I was so scared? It's immensely flat and fun. Scary sometimes, but exhilarating. I also didn't want to buy another bike if I wasn't staying and since I made the commitment to stay another year, I had no excuse. Darah had left her bike here and told us to keep it, ride it, sell it, do whatever, etc. After realizing it's perfectly functional, we adjusted the seat and Asher took me on my first official ride on Sunday of this week. (I did ride the bike once to Dock Street, but I don't really count that. ha) It's hybrid and I totally feel like a dork because everyone rides fixies and single speeds, but that's not entirely true. There are tons of hybrids, cruisers, road bikes, mountain bikes, commuter bikes, etc. So I guess it's all good. As long as it has two wheels, you're part of this massive community of bikers. I finally feel like I live in Philly. The bike is part of the life here. You gotta ride one to know what I'm saying.
Anyway, back to my growth. My Ashtanga Practice has grown immensely since starting a mysore practice back in October at Yoga Squared. Mysore practice is another commitment that is incredibly intense. I love it and sometimes I hate it, but mostly I love it the most. I still practice vinyasa with Jill-ji and some other's around the Philly area. Mysore practice was another fear of mine. I was like, "I can't do that, I can't wait up everyday at 5:45 to do yoga, I can't do yoga everyday, I don't have that shit memorized, etc etc etc." After wading through all that mental bullshit, I just jumped in and found some of my most inspirational teachers. (David Keil, Jill Manning, Karen Harmelin Tropea). I'm glad I have this practice. I'm learning the ebbs and flows of a daily practice. Sometimes I don't go. Sometimes I rest. Sometimes I cry. Sometimes I'm sore. Sometimes I'm angry, sometimes happy. It's all part of it. It hasn't even been a year of mysore practice and I know that in another 6 months, it will all change again.
I've learned this year to love myself. To really love myself. To let my curls go crazy. To paint my toenails hooker red and be ok with it. To wear tube socks in summer and leg warmers in winter. I'm learning that love is what you need. Loving yourself really allows you to love others. Not just in a relationship, but friends, bosses, babies, everyone needs love. It's true. But you need to really be ok with yourself before anyone else can truly receive you.
I've learned to stick to my guns and not compromise my beliefs. I've learned that you can stand up for yourself and people will ultimately respect that even if they don't agree.
I feel like I'm finally growing up. It feels good. I'm glad I'm staying here for another year. I had talked about going back to California or living in a van, both are fun, both may happen in the future, but for now I'm staying put. This year has been a year of learning and this next year I hope to really enjoy my time here. To let myself have fun as much as possible, but to ultimately keep growing and learning always.
Life is good.