Today is a down day.

There, I said it. I know I’m usually perky and upbeat and all so enthusiastic for this life I’ve chosen, but today… I’m sad. I went to bed last night with the deepest heartache missing Purl. Sometimes it just comes out of the blue and smacks me and I crumble. I’m still trying to piece out whether it is that I feel at a loss for the sudden way it happened, or if her loss was also symbolic of the end of the daily freedom of riding.

And I feel a bit of a failure. I know I know, you’ll tell me that’s not true, that I’m inspiring, all of that. I can own that too. But I’ve failed. At keeping her safe, at riding all the way across the country, at making something of the trip- a more consistent blog, a book, a speaking tour, inspiring a larger audience.

And it did not clear itself with a good night’s rest, even though I slept soundly. I woke up and tears where already building up in my eyes before I could even think. The rain on the rooftop heralding a less then perfect Saturday ahead. Its time to move on.

I’ve been in Portland for a week now. Got to hang with one of my closest friends for a bit, so that is wonderful. But this has been a week of work, not play. I’ve not done this area justice, but I just need to leave. Money is tight and we’ve got a ton on our plate. Its a pressure and a feeling of sadness and anxiety all rolled into one. Of giving up on Sidekick and admitting defeat. Not wanting to keep fixing and working through the ever constant issuing of changes from the social sites. Not wanting to keep playing a game we don’t have enough size, money, people or heart to engage in. Knowing we’ve put out one of the best damn products in the social field but that didn’t matter one iota. It hits at my greatest need, my need for justice. There is none.

There is no distinction between my sadness over Purl, the Vespa journey and ceasing to run Sidekick. Such a tumbled mixed up sense of where everything stands right now, despite new apps, new rides and next steps on the horizon. And that makes me all the more sad.

Purl, as comfortable as can be on a Vespa

Purl, as comfortable as can be on a Vespa

I think of her pretty little face and my mind snaps to the last few minutes despite my best efforts. And for anyone that thinks we get a new pet to “replace” the one we’ve lost, I can tell you that is absolutely not the case. Jerome is warm and loving and a terrific snuggler and great companion. He is lying on my feet as I write this. I love him ever so much and am grateful for him every day. But… he is not Purl. He is not Simon. He is not Jasmine. He is not Lacey (who is very much alive and living with her wonderful Kelly, but no longer with me). One does not replace the other any more than a human replaces another human in our hearts. If that is something you don’t understand, it actually makes me feel sad for you since that also means you don’t understand the unique personalities that are revealed in any one of our pets and in our relationships with them.

Purl was my freedom girl. With her, I was unique and interesting and fearless. We were doing something so extraordinary. She was dropping that ball at feet all across the country and delighting people everywhere we went. She was also coming off of a Vespa, which brought more wonder. She was a conversation starter, a funny tiny bundle of fur that filled a room. I’ve lost that momentum, that daily spark, that sense of exploring that she brought into my life.

It’s a down day. I know it won’t last and that I’ll recover my sense of enthusiasm for every day, maybe even by the time the sun rises. But right now, I cry. It is what it is.