The Other Side of Me – I’m Finally Riding Free

by Melody Jean

A few years ago my physical strength was thwarted and my world turned upside. I became sick.

I was diagnosed with autoimmune disease. I was told I needed to change and reduce stress to minimize its hold on me.

Riding my bike 30 miles, five days a week and working 60 hours/week had to become a thing of the past if I were to survive. Literally.

Letting Go of Me

But I couldn’t let it go.

I struggled; painfully resisting the changes, continuing to push my body, only to become sicker in ways I never thought imaginable.

I pressed endlessly trying to remain the same for everyone – for my boyfriend at the time, to those at work, everyone.

That is who I thought I was, and who they knew me to be.

Because I was that person.

I wanted to make myself and everyone else proud. I was a glutton for society’s ideals and expectations. I can admit it.

Impossible Excellence

I wanted to ‘hear’ good things – from you, from everyone, because, perhaps, I couldn’t tell myself.

That’s why I pushed the way that I did and lived the life of a machine for decades.

Subconsciously, I wanted to look perfect, be perfect. Have the perfect body and perform like an all-star at work.

Embody excellence.

Surrendering to Me

It wasn’t until the pain became too much that I finally, finally, just stopped the struggle.

I surrendered to something higher. I didn’t give up, you see, I surrendered. To what was before me.

In so doing, a softer, sweeter essence emerged.

Disarming Ego

The universe, God, whatever you want to call “it,” forced me to squash my ego.

Because I didn’t heed the subtle warning signs that were in my face for years, I had to learn the hard way. Everything I thought was me, was stripped away.

So by removing endless hours of endurance training and overtime at the office, new interests have emerged. While still a professional fundraiser, I’m now somewhat of a professional blogger, I learned Reiki (though I have little desire to ever officially practice; it was for me), I’m traveling and meeting people all over the world, I’m a teacher, and much more.

While I still feel run-down at times, it’s okay. I appreciate the good moments even more so, and they don’t last long. Too, the little things have become bigger, and more important.

And I understand balance. I also know that perfection is not the answer.

The Me of Today

So here I am after moderately riding my bike today.

I’m not the stick-skinny woman I was two years ago, but I accept that.

And I didn’t ride today for sport, or to prove that I am strong and powerful.

I did it for healthful, balanced exercise, and to enjoy myself.

I must have done it right because I have little pain right now, and this makes me happy.

The more I balance, the more I’m rewarded.

You see, it’s always a struggle to squash ego – for everyone.

Yet, the more I concentrate, contemplate and mitigate its allure; I become just a little more free.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Sean Michael Kelly

Fresh, honest, probing as always. I’m ever inspired by your posts! Thank you!!


Melody Jean

Thanks so much, Sean 🙂 Well, for better or worse, I promised with this blog to share the good, the bad and the ugly. Haha. This falls somewhere on that spectrum, I’m sure. Yet, I’m all the better for having endured, we all always are.


Sean Michael Kelly



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