The First Pedal Strokes

"If you're not uncomfortable, you're not growing" 

Patrick told this to me the summer after my senior year of high school. I was interning (read: working without pay) for some start-up entrepreneur, and was cold calling businesses to promote some new e-commerce site. I hated cold calling. I'd feel a rush of anxiety with each ring, and as soon as the receiver picked up, my throat would seize. Calling strangers made me uncomfortable. 

My brother, of course, saw this experience as a growth potential. If I could call strangers to promote a shady e-commerce site, then I'd be able to speak to crowds about topics I'm passionate about or be able to make newcomers trust me easily. While I never did develop a knack for cold calling, I did develop an appreciation for the uncomfortable.

This ride, and everything involved in planning it, will be undeniably uncomfortable. Mapping routes and securing hosts and contacting strangers and building a website—all the small beginning endeavors I've done so far—have provoked that familiar throat seizing and anxiety. I slip into these absentminded moments where I almost call Patrick to ask him how to adjust block on a website or how to determine road quality. Then I realize I can't. The discomfort deepens.  The dynamic Patrick and Suzette due died on July 30th.  I can't call him, he can't help me here.

But then I remember: "If you're not uncomfortable, you're not growing."  

He can still help me here. 

I can remember his words.  I'm uncomfortable living in this life without Patrick, I'm uncomfortable planning this journey, I'm uncomfortable to embark on this adventure that he'd so desperately love to be on. 

So, that means I'm growing.