Something I wrote up for college and something I have never shared to anyone until now.

The motorcycle, the shadow and a sheltered life

Sitting down in front of a salesman at a motorcycle dealership in the Tacoma area, I wanted to ask myself what I was about to get myself into as soon as I got my keys to the motorcycle I have now.

Was it freedom, a journey, a reason, or a combination of the three? Every single customer in the dealership had a motorcycle, plus a story or two from their mind. To be honest, that story wasn't similar to their tales in terms of liveliness, rather, it was a story about the sadness and anger I kept up inside of me becoming the one thing it manifested itself into: a "shadow", if you will, and how my motorcycle comes into play.

To start things off, I wasn't one of those kids you would find at the neighborhood. I was a kid that lived a sheltered life in a middle-class family on the verge of falling apart. I was cooped up inside of my room twenty-four seven, staring out of my only window to the world outside. I wanted to go, but I felt chained to the building as if I locked myself up in my own prison.

I didn't have any friends, my family wasn't supportive and my only brother is deployed over to Afghanistan, living a financially set life. It was a complete 180 from the life I'm living and I knew I dug myself into this hole.

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So you can imagine my shock when I found myself buying a motorcycle at a dealership. It was a purchase that supposedly whisked me to new adventures, but that wasn't the case. My past came flying back into my life and the next thing I knew, I wanted to pull over, sit beside my bike and break down on the side of the road. Was this what anyone would call "rock bottom"?

I never found out when I rode to a local psychiatrist, who in a few weeks would promise me that she would try to turn things around. It was then that I realized I was already on a journey to re-discover myself. The first journey I ever did with my Honda was to see what was going on and there, ina small office with my counselor, did the barriers surrounding my fears, past and nightmares began to

break.

It took me a while to muster up the courage to speak, but I began to tell what, essentially, was my problem. It was back 2008 when I tagged long with a group of friends to a conference that would ultimately determine our eligibility for the Achievers scholarship. I knew I had to fight for my chance to get into the university that I wanted with that aid, but as they began to announce the results, I anticipated on hearing my name being called.

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It never came during that entire time. I later confirmed it with the specialist that I didn't make it through.

My mind cracked upon hearing those words; how did I not? I didn't think of it at the time, but I felt like everything I had done up until this point… Was effectively destroyed.

Convinced that I was a failure and that everything I lived for was a lie, I slowly began to distance myself from everyone to the point that I locked myself in my own room as a result. There are days that I wanted to cry and scream from the top of my lungs, as that day continued to play on repeat in my mindscape. Six years later, I finally had the ability to face myself.

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Instead of consciously repeating that day as I thought out, my counselor wanted me to imagine myself as I sat in a room, watching that recording of the day playing out. But instead of me being the only occupant, my friends and family that I have known over the years began to join me. And when that moment came, I knew that turning point was about to come fly at my company and me.

Sure enough, my name wasn't on the eligible list, but everyone in that room turned to look at me and did something I could not comprehend.

They smiled at me and stated that they were proud of me.

I knew it wasn't a legitimate thing, but my counselor coordinated it so perfectly that I could feel it play out in my mind. Next thing I knew, I fell onto my knees and I finally broke down, but on a much lighter note.

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With my tear-stained face, I stood up from within my dreamscape and as the cheering subsided, I finally saw the one person I kept locked up within me; my own, true self. It wasn't easy to admit it, but deep down, I knew I am unable to change the past but at the same time, I just don't want to be behind anymore. I really want to take back that happiness I kept hidden for so long and I want to be with my friends and family again.

My own double smiled, and then stood aside to reveal my bike as he stated, "Then go out there. You may find what you're looking for in the world, and you already have your friends, family and the one tool that will help you achieve it."

That dream is something I now hold dear to me every single day of my life, and even though it's far from over, I do believe in admitting failures and accepting that the past can't be changed. But I also do believe that no matter what, there are some factors that we could reach out and change with our own hands.

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Holding that dream and my will in my own hands, I knew I will face life's hardships as they charge for me, and I know I have a group of people who are willing to stand by my side, even if I have to brave the ensuing current alone.