A little about me, and why I'm doing this.

I do enjoy sharing the circumstances and events that occur to me on my Road Trips, but mostly...

I want to share what's inside me... my emotions, my intuitions, and my dreams...

With the hope of distracting and encouraging you to think outside the box.

We all need to be distracted and encouraged once in a while, don’t we?

If this distraction also brings enjoyment or entertainment to you… It will make me happy.

I hope you decide you want to get to know me.

I hope you decide you want to get to know me.
I would love to get to know you!
My Photo
San Francisco, California, United States
I'm a recently married, open minded, honest, fun loving guy, who loves sharing his insights, experiences, and opinions about my life... other people... And anything else that jumps to my mind when I'm at Honey's reins. Spirituality-YES... Religion-NO... Sexuality-YES... Politics-NO... Humor-ALWAYS.

THIS IS SHARON

THIS IS SHARON
My Student, My Mentor, My Soulmate.

January 18, 2015

The 12 Questions...



and

MY ATTEMPT TO ANSWER THEM

By:  Ned Opdyke

February 2013 ~ May 2014




THE QUESTIONS:
           
           1  -    Why am I here? 

           2  -   What am I here to learn?

           3  -    Why do I try so hard to make people like me?

           4  -    Why do I act like a clown sometimes?

           5  -    Why am I insecure?  

           6  -   Why do I need a soul mate in my life?

           7  -    What makes me so special ~ different from everyone else?

           8  -    What is it that ‘really’ makes me happy?

           9  -    What do I want people to remember about me when I’m gone?

        10  -    How have I changed over the last 10 years?

        11  -    Why do I feel awkward when things are going good for me?

        12  -    Why am I afraid to develop the spiritual side of me?


1  -   Why am I here?

The answers I’ve heard from people about this question range from the supremely egotistical, “Humans are the ultimate expression of God,” to the incredibly meek, “We are like ants, scratching out a life in the sand.”
Personally, I believe that both ends of the scale are valid and correct.

For most of my life I was too busy trying to enjoy my life to really put too much thought into this question.  Then it struck me… that’s it… !!
The reason I was put on this planet was to simply enjoy and appreciate my life and to help other people enjoy and appreciate their lives too.

Love, beauty, and happiness are around us at all times.  It is only our over involvement in our own close-minded and mundane thoughts, behaviors, and actions, that keep us from seeing it and letting it penetrate our awareness.

2  -   What am I here to learn?

My first wife’s father was a soft spoken and gentle man.  He didn’t really like to take center stage and preferred to sit back and watch what was going on around him.  And then… just when you thought he might have been ready to fall asleep, he would very quietly say something very profound.  That’s what I would like to learn how to do.

My default mode of passing along my (so called) wisdom, has been to shout it out to as many people as could hear me in my vicinity, even if they didn’t ask for my opinion or input.  I would like to learn how to hold on to my thoughts and keep them to myself.  To only express them when asked, or when it was obvious that it was appropriate to speak.

There is not a doubt in the world to me that I have worthwhile life knowledge and the ability to communicate this knowledge.  My goal is to be comfortable with this knowledge within myself and not feel the requirement to share it with any and everyone who crosses my path, and to give others their own space and not feel the urge to ‘help’ them all the time.

Sometimes people don't want, or aren't ready to be helped, and sometimes... guess what?...  They don't need any help!

3  -   Why do I try so hard to make people like me?

The next three questions all tie in together for me.  I’m sure it’s my insecurity that causes me to draw attention to myself in my attempt to gain recognition and self worth.

I know in my heart I’m a good person, but I also know there are aspects to my consciousness that lean more toward the ‘not so good.’  I have always been a visceral and tactile person and have spent way too many years (mostly in my past) searching for gratification in a purely (let’s say) animalistic way.  I accept my ‘human’ nature, and try to embrace it, but sometimes I feel guilty for succumbing to my sexual desires.

It is this guilt, I believe, that makes me want to act out in a way that shows people that there is more to me than just that.  I tend to overcompensate and overpower people in my efforts to prove myself… to myself!  Other people wouldn’t necessarily think twice about some of my actions or statements, and I know it’s this self-doubt that I carry inside that is the real problem.

Opening my heart and exposing it (even to myself) is terrifying to me.  I’m afraid of finding that the dark part in there is a bigger part of me than what I want to believe.
Trying to find people who will support me and like me is a way for me to keep my fear abated.   

4  -   Why do I act like a clown sometimes?

In my effort to help people be happy and enjoy themselves, sometimes I go too far.  Sometimes I get over exuberant and get carried away with the attention I am getting.
As I mentioned previously, I’m sure a large part of this is based on my insecurity and self-doubt.  If people are smiling and laughing at me, I must be a good guy, right?  Not necessarily.

Sometimes the people are laughing ‘at’ me and not ‘with’ me.  I’ve seen the look in their eyes… sometimes they don’t wait for me to turn my head away before they roll their eyes back into their heads.  Overcompensation due to a feeling of inadequacy is a likely answer to this question.

5  -  Why am I insecure?

So here it is… the first really difficult question for me.  Not because of the answer I’m about to face, but because of the fact that I honestly cannot come up with any kind of an answer whatsoever.  I’m smart, I’m good looking, I’m good in bed… I seriously cannot figure out why I have always had doubts about myself.

The only thing I can come up with is that I’m embarrassed because I’m such an underachiever.  I’ve always had the inner belief inside me that I’m supposed to provide something of substance and importance to this world, and… alas… I’ve done virtually nothing.

Sure, as a general contractor I’ve provided several hundred people beautiful additions to their homes.  And now as a tour guide, I’ve brought smiles and laughter to thousands and thousands of more people, but… I cannot help but believe that there was (is?) something else I’m supposed to do while I’m here.

Maybe if I can figure out the answer to that question, I’ll figure out the answer to my insecurity (?).

6  -   Why do I need a soul mate in my life?

When I was a young teenager I was introduced to the writings of Richard Bach… first “Jonathon Livingston Seagull,” and then several others.  The book of his that made the biggest impression on me was “One.”  In it, he spoke of the concept of two people combining themselves into something greater than the sum of their individual selves; the concept of 1 + 1 = 3.

I fell in love with the thought that I would find the one person on this planet that I could combine myself with, and create something beautiful together.  Over the following years (and failed marriages), I’ve modified my dream substantially.  My soul mate doesn’t make me something I’m not, nor do we lose our individuality as we grow, teach, and learn from each other.

Not only that, but I learned that it was the lack of belief in me as a complete individual that kept me from finding that person.  Once I changed my focus and stopped trying to find someone to help me become a better person… she appeared!

7 -  What makes me so special~different from everyone else?

We are all made of the same substance(s).  We are all stardust.  As far as we can determine so far, the universe goes on and on forever, with an infinite number of stars.  Therefor, although we are all made of the same elements, we truly are all different, special, unique, and most importantly... infinite.

We are each soul, a spark of energy that came from… “God”… “A Higher Power”… or any other name, term, or concept you wish to use.  We are each currently inhabiting a particular body, and we are here for one reason, and one reason alone;  to learn, to grow, to appreciate, and to enjoy the process.

Celebrating the diversity is the key.  Don’t try to put yourself or anyone else on a scale, measuring or comparing against, with, or to, anyone else.  Yes, we all are different, and… guess what… we are all correct in our beliefs.

I know this doesn’t really answer my question, but the harder I try to answer it, the further away I get.

We are all special and different because we are all special and different.

8  -   What is it that ‘really’ makes me happy?

This is another tough one for me.  I’ve always been the type of person that is always looking for that next mountain to climb, the next challenge to face, the next activity to make me smile.

For a while, golf made me happy; the inner challenge, coupled with the camaraderie and the time spent in a beautiful outdoor setting.  Lately it’s been motorcycle riding… specifically long road trips across the open country.

But when I get right down to it… the thing that really makes me happy isn’t an activity as much as it is a situation.  I experience the most happiness when I see somebody else having fun.  An expression of joy, excitement, and happiness on someone else’s face fills me with love and appreciation for life.

9 -  What do I want people to remember about me when I’m gone?

I would like people to think of me with a question mark in their eyes.  I like the part of me that surprises people and makes them wonder what it is that I’m thinking, and then… hopefully… makes them think about themselves and the world around them differently.

It seems to me that a lot of people are in a walking slumber.  I see a lot of people every day with eyes that don’t seem to have any real life or a sense of interest about where they are, or what they’re doing.

It’s so refreshing to me, to see someone who has eyes that are reaching out and connecting with other people.  It’s that joy of life that I mentioned in my last question that comes to mind.

I would like people to remember me as someone who enjoyed life, no matter what type of a situation he was in; someone who had an easy smile, and who listened to others when they spoke.  Someone who liked to do favors for people, and wasn’t shy about asking for help when he needed it.

But mostly, I would like to be remembered as someone who loved;  people, places, things… someone who just loved the principle of love.

10  -   How have I changed over the last 10 years?

Quite a bit actually; ten years ago I was recently divorced from my second wife, and going through a mid-life crisis.  I’d hooked up with a beautiful blonde bombshell, and was spending almost all my time drinking and playing.  The economy was starting to slow down, but I wasn’t.  I was living my life like I was a teenager without any cares, responsibilities, or self-control.

At the time, I thought I was fine… just having fun, and wasn’t concerned about what the future had in store for me.  I was living in the present, but not in a good way.
Now, besides having another beautiful blonde bombshell and a motorcycle in my life, I’m a totally different person.  I (try to) remember to think before I speak; care about other people’s feelings; and drink alcohol in a much more moderate fashion.
And guess what?  Now I’m having as much fun (or more) than I ever have!

- - -   long pause   - - -

It’s taken me over a year to come back to this list of questions.  These last two have continued to stump me, but I feel it’s time I made an attempt to address them, so I can share this list with my loved ones.

11 -   Why do I feel awkward when things go good for me?

I can only think of two reasons:  1)  I’m afraid the situation won’t last and I’ll be disappointed when things go ‘back to normal.’  And 2)  … ok, I guess I can only think of one reason.

It appears I ‘talk the talk’ of living in the present and being grateful for what I have, but alas… I must admit it’s only a fa├žade.  I guess in a way, at heart I’m greedy.  The thought of never having a reason to endeavor… to strive for something… seems like a slow death for me.

And what makes this whole topic kinda funny (in a sad way) is that I know in my heart, that the thing that I MUST strive and endeavor to reach is… so simple and close to me.  Why is it so difficult for me to relax?  I guess there’s more than twelve questions to this list…

12  -   Why am I afraid to develop the spiritual side of me?

This goes back to my early teen years.  My parents exposed me to a technique called “Alpha Perception,” and my experience with this ‘practice’ scared the shit outta me.  It absolutely proved to me, without any doubt, the potential ‘power’ of the human mind.  I experienced a sort of ‘out of body’ feeling, where I felt like I was every-where in the Universe, and no-where, at the same time.  I felt more fully alive than every before, and totally disconnected to anything close to life, simultaneously.  It was very unsettling to me, to put it mildly.

I realized that I had ‘the power’ inside me, to create and accomplish anything I ever wanted or could ever dream of wanting.  It was kinda like a feeling of omnipotence… like touching God.  No… more like being God.

Now, after all the years of hiding from this… reading the philosophical teachings of many ‘masters,’ and consciously understanding the concept that we are, all, God… it still frightens me.  I’m sure it goes back to my self doubt.  I’m afraid I’ll be corrupted by the ‘power’ I have inside me… that I’ll abuse and waste it like I’ve abused and wasted everything else in my life.

Thank you for reading this

January 8, 2015

Some Facts and Some Figures


                                        ROAD TRIP ADVENTURE RIDES
                                                       Facts and Figures


            Name of Story                                                 Dates            Days   Miles   Miles/ Day

Please Allow Me to Introduce My Selves               10/24 - 11/7/ 2008   15    4,561    304

From Here to There and Back Again                           5/14-26/ 2009   15    3,157    210

I Love Texas                                                              7/20-26/ 2009    7    2,406    344

California is my Home (But I Still Love Texas)         9/26 -10/1/ 2009    5    2,089    418

The Last Adventure Ride… of 2009 *                         12/18-29/ 2009   12    2,682    224

9-State Loop Ride '05                                                 6/10-22/ 2005   13    3,388    261

Killeen Texas is My New Home                                    5/20-23/ 2010    4    2,165    541

A Memorable Memorial Day Weekend in Galveston   5/30 -31/ 2010       2       677    339

The Hill Country, Our Second Visit                                   6/13/ 2010    1       298    298

Glacier Point & Devils Postpile                                 6/25 & 29/ 2010    2       495    248

Day Ride - Mt. Tamalpais                                                3/11/ 2011    1       230    230

A Lot of Firsts and One Last                                          8/5-9/ 2011    5       775    155

Shake Down Ride to Coalinga                                            4/7/ 2012    1       345    345

Oysters, Fog, Curves, and Beer                                  4/22 -23/ 2012    2       255    128

Our Super-Honey-Moon-Adventure Ride                       5/5 -13/ 2012   10    2,366    237

Six States & Five Chocolate Cream Pies                        9/6-16/ 2012   11    3,502    318

A Tragedy in The Family                                        5/23 - 4/2/ 2014   11    2,442    222

Nine Days of Saturdays                                            5/30 - 6/7/ 2014    9    2,239    249

September Solo Session                                             9/124-29/ 2014    6       990    165

* in a truck, not a motorcycle

                                                                                  TOTALS        132   35,062    265

September 30, 2014

S.S.S. Day 6- Last Day Draft


SEPTEMBER SOLO SESSION
The Last Day

Monday, September 29:

3:15am-  I really should have tried to stay awake later last night.  So after nine really good hours of sleep, here I am… Up and At ‘Em.

3:30pm- Sad to find out that the door of the lobby was locked.  Happy to find that only a little bit of knocking brought the night manager to the door.  Sad to find him in a bad mood.  Happy to find out the microwave was working (to heat the coffee I’d gotten earlier the day before in preparation for the empty pot.  Sad to find out the grumpy young man was not going to open the door for me again until 6am, even though I was told that the lobby was open 24 hours a day.  Luckily, I’ve got the 7-11 just next door for my Round Two Coffee Fix  (RTCF).  Now… back to my storytelling:

4:30am- RTCF from the 7-11 just next door.

9:00am- I’d decided to forgo my scheduled sleep over in Sacramento in lieu of getting home to my wife, so I took advantage of the decision with a celebration of a late start.

Sunrise from The Vagabond Inn... Reno, NV.
Tomorrow's Sunrise... from our apartment on the top floor of the building... home in S.F., CA.


10:00am- South Shore Lake Tahoe.      60/795

11:45am- Placerville for gas.  Took me almost two hours to travel 70 miles down the hill on Hwy 50.  In Nevada this road is known as the “Loneliest Highway in the U.S.,” but this day, this section of the road was known to me for being, “The most under construction road in the U.S.”  The good news was that every time I got to a stoppage, Honey and I could skip up to the front of the line.  Some of the lines were close to a mile long, so… at least it wasn’t as bad as if I’d been in a car.

12:30pm- Lunch in Rancho Cordova with my college buddy Bob.  One of the only people in the world who “gets me,” and still enjoys my company.  I’m so lucky to have friends like Bob.  So lucky.    30/160/895

3:30pm- Home again home again, jiggity jig.      110/240/975

September 29, 2014

S.S.S. Day 5 Draft


SEPTEMBER SOLO SESSION

DAY 5 - Sunday, September 28:

4am- Up and at ‘em.  Happy to find the hotel lobby open as promised, but sad that the coffee pot was going to stay empty until 6am.  I started to panic and then found out there was a 7-11 not too far away.  Whew.  Two hours with coffee, first thing in the morning… that was a close one.  Disaster averted.

Honey the Honda on the left, Yammy(?) The Yamaha on the right...
... and seven of those loud and obnoxious Harley's in the middle.


7:00am- Emailing, Facebooking, and Morning Journaling- Storytelling completed.  Called Taumie, found that my sister didn’t want to accept any company today.  I was gracious and didn’t focus on my own disappointment, but rather… on her hopeful continued recovery from her illness (pneumonia).

8:30am- I was rewarded for the way I reacted to the news about my sister… with a phone call from... wait for it... my sister(!!), telling me that after she got up and got dressed, she felt much better and wanted me to come over!!  I love Karma~Darma… especially when it’s Instant.

Note:  Insert babbling about the paradox of me nurturing and developing the spiritual side of my personality (which is still basically ruled by impatience and desire for instant gratification) vs. the “Zen aspect of enlightenment” which focuses on timelessness and eternity.  Someday I will be fully balanced.  Hopefully before I die.

9:00am- Sitting at my sister’s dining room table, with my sister (who doesn’t like her name or picture published), Taumie (my niece who likes to have her name published) and Marcos (who doesn't care one way or another), having a wonderful time.

10:00am- My grand-nephew (Taumie’s son) Brice made his appearance.  I love my family.


Hey Brice, do you mind if I publish your name and face?


10:15am- Walking down Virginia Street in the light rain, looking for Kelly Quinn aka Throttle Girl, in the virtual ghost town feeling of the last day of The (Fall) Reno Street Vibrations Gathering.


Crazy in a good way.

Same as above.


Where the heck is Throttle Girl?  She wasn’t even on the list of registered participants.  I felt like I was in a dream (nightmare)… I’d been looking forward to seeing her and meeting her Boyfriend R-Dub for weeks!

11:00am- After seeing everything there was to see, I retired to my hotel room for some football.  I called Sharon to tell her of my disappointment, and she said, “Wait a minute,” and called back in about three minutes, with the information that her booth was elsewhere, at a Harley Davidson Dealership a few miles away from The Not Vibrating Gathering of the closing down, down town gathering.

I was only able to stay in my pouting mood, which was also dry and warm, for about five minutes, at which time I rolled out of my comfy cocoon and put my wet leathers back on, and strolled over (how do you stroll when you’re riding a motorcycle) to the dealership of my friendly nemesis, Mr. Davidson.


Cocoon = Underwear

High Noon- I found Miss Every Month of Every Year Motorcycle Momma packing up her booth after five days of activity.  Perfect timing.  Sharon later told me that, “Good things happen when you’re connected.”  I felt a warm flow of loving energy through my body-soul as I realized that Sharon had finally become okay with the ‘crush’ that I have on Kelly.  And I think I was able to make R-Dub (her BF), and the rest of her support group feel okay with it too.  I’m sure they’re used to it.  I don’t think it’s possible to be alive without falling in ‘love’ with Throttle Girl.  She has something, that’s for sure.  No… she has it ALL.

Note:  Insert pages and pages of words about my feelings, impressions, experiences, and personally known facts about the incomparable Kelly Quinn.  For now… think, a combination of Marilyn Monroe and Gandhi.



R-Dub, Kelly, and Me.
Hey R-Dub... I forgot to ask you... may I 'publish' your real name?


Dani and ??.
Hey Kelly, would you please remind me of ??'s name?


Kelly, same as above please.


??, Dani, R-Dub, Kelly, and ??.
TEAM THROTTLE GIRL !!!
(R., I'm sorry I cut off your flag)

Honey with Team Throttle Girl.


1:15pm- Back to the hotel room just in time to watch ‘Our SF 49ers’ eek out a victory over The Philadelphia Eagles.

6:00pm- Changed the channel on the TV to watch the Dallas - ??? game.  The last thing I remember was thinking to myself that I really should roll over and watch Faith Hill sing the opening number.     

15/15/750.