All too often I hear the phrase, “This isn’t for you,” and I’m overwhelmed by a desire to prove those who think so wrong. Why can’t something be for me? Everything is for me! I’ve reinvented myself more times than I can keep track of and have hobbies and interests all across the board. I’m convinced that means I can do anything and everything.
My first time ever hiking, I hiked a brutal 14 mile beast. I line dance to country music, I swing dance to jazz, and I was once a regular at a hot yoga studio. I won a cake-eating contest simply to prove that I could, despite the universal belief that skinny girls don’t eat. I was on the math team in high school and wrote for newspapers in college. I was a girly-girl in a sorority, and I’m a punk surfing on top of crowds at rock shows. Who is the real Lindsay? Why can’t I be all these variations of me?
After a few months of being told I could never ride a motorcycle, I decided I could also be a biker chick. I got a black leather jacket and boots—with pockets!– a motorcycle helmet with bluetooth, and took a picture of myself with my future Honda Rebel to post on Facebook so my internet friends could hold me accountable. I am going to learn how to ride a motorcycle. Why can’t that be me?
It only took two weekends in one month to learn that not everything can be “my thing.”
I took a class to learn to ride and dropped the bike four times. I was discouraged, but I wasn’t giving up. There’s nothing I can’t do. So I took it again, and while I only dropped the bike once this time, the instructor took special care to tell me what I was doing wrong. I don’t have the upper body strength to push the bike enough and I have terrible balance.
I only failed the riding test by three points the second time I took it. That tells me that I have the ability to ride. I’ve proven to myself that I can do it. But is this something I even really want to do?
Taking that class for the third time sounded absolutely miserable. I don’t want to waste another weekend doing this. But if learning to ride is a waste of time, then riding would be a waste of time too. I have so many other hobbies I don’t even have time for as is, so why am I trying to add yet another, and one with an exhausting time commitment at that? Not to mention how terrified I am at the thought of riding on the highway.
Motorcycles are not for me. But that’s okay.
I’m 25 years old and finally learning that I can’t grow up to be a fairy princess. Some things just won’t work out. I’ll try anything once, but that doesn’t mean I have to be good at it, or even like it. I won’t let anyone else tell me who I am, but the most important thing I can do is accept myself for who I am, regardless of what version of myself I choose to be.