The road from Chiang Mai to Pai has over 700 turns through the Northern Thai mountains. Coming down one too fast, I realized I wasn’t going to make it and braked, hard.
“I’m going to crash” I thought, and then I was lying in a ditch on the side of the road.
I opened my eyes and could hear the bike’s engine still running in front of me in the ditch. For some reason in that moment, switching it off seemed like the most important thing in the world.
“I need to turn off my bike,” I thought. “INeedToTurnOffMyBike.”
I climbed out of the ditch and looked around, then climbed back down 5 seconds later.
“I need to turn off my bike. I need to turn off my bike.”
A few minutes later, my friend who had been driving behind me came around the corner. He checked I was OK, and we started trying to pull the bike out of the ditch. Two Thai guys came around next, and luckily they had a rope and were kind enough to help us tow the bike back onto the road.
I had some scrapes and there was a bit of blood, but nothing major. I was more careful on the last part of the drive, and we arrived in Pai about half an hour later.
A Sign from Life to Slow Down
One of the main reasons for our trip to Pai was to take mushrooms. I was hoping that the trip(s) would give me some insight on the last few months of my life (confirmation that I was “doing the right thing”), and it was also to just take a break from work.
Later that evening we decided to test out the mushrooms, and ended up taking a fairly strong dose. On the trip, one of the first things I realized was that the crash was actually something to be grateful for. That I should be grateful it hadn’t been a bad one; and that I came out of it with only some mild scratches and $50 in repairs. I don’t even think my head hit the ground. Everyone in Thailand has horror stories about bike crashes, and I could have easily broken bones or worse.
I also realized that the crash was a kind of warning that I should be grateful for as well. Because without the warning, I might have gone on and done something much worse.
Before the trip to Pai I had also gotten sick with the flu, and we had to postpone leaving for a day. I rarely get sick, but here I was loaded up on painkillers and unable get out of bed for an entire day.
If you are an otherwise healthy person, then getting sick is not something that “happens to you”, it’s something that you do to yourself.
Those past few months I hadn’t been taking care of myself as well as I should. There was too much caffeine and too much modafinil. Too many late nights in coworking spaces, and not enough sleep. I was busy during the day but not necessarily productive, and at night I felt tired and worn out.
I was sick for our whole time in Pai, but on the mushroom trip I realized that that was something to be grateful for too. It was also part of the warning.
Combined with the bike crash, it was the universe’s way of telling me to slow down and chill out a bit. Something like, “Relax kid, you’ll get there. Take it a little easier or you’re really going to hurt yourself.”
The Story You Tell Yourself
Is seeing the flu and the crash this way the truth, or just my perspective? Well, it’s both.
What many people don’t realize is that you can decide exactly how you want to view absolutely anything in life. You choose what to believe about things, and accordingly, they take on whatever meaning you give them.
So on one level, I decided to see the crash the way I did because I really do think it’s true. But at the same time, I also think that rationally it’s the best way to see it.
You might as well tell yourself the story that’s going to help you out the most. Because that’s all reality really is: what you tell yourself it is. Everything is what you make of it, and it makes sense to give something a meaning that benefits you.
The point of this post is to say that you’ll get signs from life about things, whether it be to slow down or something else, and that it’s probably a good idea to listen.
Some might say this is slacking off or something similar, but the truth is that you can’t be going at 100% 100% of the time. Everyone needs to rest, but it’s hard to see this sometimes when your nose is to the grindstone and you’re caught up in life and all of its achievements.
So be mindful of the signs and take heed of them if they do come up. Because if you don’t, there might be something worse waiting for you later on.
Rather than end on that note, I’ll leave you guys with some pictures from our trip to Pai.
What do you guys think? Inspired to visit to Thailand? Do you agree with what I said in the post? Let us know in the comments section below.