I'm over 42 years old, and I believe this is the perfect age to pursue the things you've always wanted to do. Why wait? As we age, the challenges and risks we face increase every day. Whether it's accidents, illnesses like cancer and heart attacks, or even unexpected events like getting hit by a bus, our chances of staying healthy and alive gradually decline.
In recent years, I've made a conscious effort to fulfill some of my childhood dreams. I created a small wood and metal workshop as a personal hobby, complete with a lathe, standing drill, drill press, anvil, folding machine, and other tools. I also reignited my passion for drawing and purchased a printing press for lino and woodcut art. Additionally, I developed my own paper and pen games, started playing golf at a local club, acquired a folding bicycle, built a detailed 200 x 60 cm model train landscape, and invested time and materials into my personal Zettelkasten system, bought a monthly comic book subscription and work on some furniture projects and so on.
While these example pursuits may seem trivial, they were all part of my childhood desires that I was once afraid or unable to explore. Financial constraints continue to limit me, especially with the rising costs of daily life. However, I have no regrets about investing my hard-earned money into these seemingly "nonsense" things and projects. I now know the joy they bring, and I can proudly say, "I did it." This sense of accomplishment is essential to me because what is the purpose of existing as a tiny biological entity on this small bubble in the universe? Should we aim to launch space rockets or find a cure for cancer? Although I wish I possessed the skills and knowledge for those grand endeavors, it appears that they are not my primary vocation. Perhaps in my next life.
As we grow older, we become more aware of the dangers present in everyday life, yet we also develop a certain disregard for them. Therefore, now is the perfect time to engage in some "daring", simple adventures. Why not?
Over the past eight years, I have extensively driven my own old car, using it for commuting, weekend trips to nature, outings with friends, visits to hardware stores, and more. I cherished every moment, cruising in the car with music playing, watching the sun rise on the highway at 6 in the morning, embarking on frosty winter journeys through fog, and enjoying hot days by the lake with the windows down, reading comics and indulging in food after a bicycle tour. Owning a car has greatly enriched my life.
However, my trusty 16-year-old companion, which had served me faithfully for around a decade, eventually made its way to the junkyard and recycling center. The car had accumulated numerous costly issues over time, including serious engine troubles, a loose handbrake, a rusty and holey exhaust pipe, worn-out doors, a bent dashboard, and mixed electrical failures. Additionally, finding parking spaces in my area became increasingly challenging during the afternoons. The ongoing expenses for insurance, parts, and maintenance also added up. While a car is undeniably wonderful, it can also be (really) quite expensive.
After parting ways with my car and knowing that its components would be recycled and reused in other vehicles, I found myself searching for the keys and the car for a few days, only to realize repeatedly that it was no longer there. Losing a faithful companion like that takes time to sink in.
But on the other hand, it created an opportunity for a long-dormant desire to switch to a small motorbike. I'm not talking about a flashy or "cool beast" of a bike, but rather a new, reliable companion for my daily life. I envisioned a small, lightweight bike that would serve me well during my commute between work and home, as well as for short trips in and around town. I wasn't looking for speed, but rather a comfortable and easy-to-handle ride.
Without overthinking it and embracing my newfound mantra of "Just do it, because tomorrow may never come," I immediately returned to the driving school after many years. To my delight, I found my same driving instructor from a decade ago, and we found ourselves riding circles in scorching 35-degree heat in an industrial area, sweating profusely. It was a memorable experience.
Just two days ago, I finally purchased a brand new 125ccm bike from Yamaha. It's not a flashy racing machine but, with clear reasoning, a standard town scooter ~ cruiser. It will take another month before I can finally get the keys, which is a bit of a pity considering summer is already here. Nevertheless, I am already filled with joy and eagerly looking forward to it.
While I still respect the inherent dangers that come with riding motorcycles, and I'm aware of the high risk of severe injury or even death in a simple, everyday accident "just around the corner", I also trust in my age and life experience. During my time at the driving school, I had the opportunity to ride a racing bike, but I declined. I simply don't have any interest in that and it's good, to discover that by myself. My practicality tells me that I don't need or desire speed, power, or a coolness factor. All I need is a small, simple engine with two wheels to transport me safely from point A to point B. It should have ABS and other safety features and be compact enough to find parking spaces easily, slip through the town traffic, all while being affordable. I aim to be a responsible rider.
I have already acquired a helmet, jacket, protectors, gloves, and other safety gear because I have no desire to emulate those Italian Vespa riders with their flip-flops and exposed knees and elbows. Stupid guys. So perhaps I won't be the coolest rider in the neighborhood and might blend in with the ranks of pizza delivery guys on their worn-out bikes. Nevertheless, I am fulfilling another childhood dream by owning my own bike. I am crossing the threshold of worries and choosing to embrace happiness, at least for now. Who knows what the future holds? Maybe someday I won't need mobility anymore, because something happend or will return to driving a car or even take up horse riding? I don't know, but that's a story for another time.