Posts Tagged With: Progress

I suck at this blogging thing…

A-true-relationship-is-having-someone-who-accepts-your-past-supports-your-present-loves-you-and-encourages-your-futureNot that this statement is shocking to anyone that has read this blog with any frequency. ๐Ÿ™‚ But I think I finally know why. I started this blog to kinda get outside of myself. I have struggled a long time with allowing people close enough to hurt me. Now, I realize that one’s instinct is to keep themselves safe, but I kept EVERYONE at least arm’s length. But at the same time, I would help anyone that I could, as often as I could. I thought this was being a good friend. Helping them carry their burdens while not burdening them with my own. But that is not true relationship. It’s a give and take. And I found as I began to let people in, that it was frustrating for them to be in relationship with me while I purposely held parts of myself to myself.

And it was a lonely place to be. While I was safe from any emotional harm, I also was no longer living life. I actually don’t know if I had ever lived life. And then I let go this perception of self preservation and began to open up. I started with those that were already my friends. I let them get closer. I shared struggles with them and let them help me, even if the help was nothing more than to listen. And it was difficult! So freaking difficult to do. As I spoke about whatever I was struggling about, I was also worrying on the inside of how they were perceiving me. I mean was I being petty? Did I blow things out of proportion? Was my friend sitting there thinking that I was just a huge loser? Turns out no. Well, most of the time. I am human. And I have honest friends ๐Ÿ˜‰

So I started this blog as an exercise to get out of my comfort zone. It started with the mundane (and often hysterical) training stories of my marathon training and then circuit training. And every once in a while, I put a little something personal on there, and I would just see the numbers skyrocket on views. (Oh, and one secret I’ve kept is that I could see the view count and search terms. Someone out there has been regularly searching out my blog but would never subscribe. I see you! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Ha!!)

And then those posts became more regular. And the more honest I became, the more it seemed to attract people’s attention. And never once did I receive anything negative. And this is the forum to do it. Complete anonymity!! But a fantastic thing seemed to happen in the process. The more I got used to opening up, the more I was not met with judgmental attitudes, the more I opened up. ย In real life. I worried less about the opinions of those that didn’t matter. I became transparent to those that I love and love me. I began to live a life with arms wide open. I began to simply live life.

Now I’m not saying that I have not been hurt in the process because I have. Deeply. There have been moments where I was convinced that I would be unable to claw my way back to the surface. But then I remembered that I didn’t have to do it alone. That I had people that were there to help me. That wantedย to help me. And then there were moments that I trusted people that weren’t who they presented themselves to be and I just had to let go of those relationships instead of trying to figure out the why of the situation.ย And as broken as my heart was, I bounced back. Some situations took longer than others, but I bounced back with the help of my friends.

And as I lived more transparently in my real life, I spent less time chronicling my shenanigans on here. ย Because I became busy. Busy living the life I was always meant to live. Enjoying the wonderfully genuine people that were placed in my path. Busy living the life I used to write about in this blog.

And in my times of need, I reached out for help. I began to shed this huge ego problem that I held so tightly to before ( <- I attribute this to Jiu Jitsu, btw). And man I’m a lucky girl! Because no matter the situation, the help was abundant. Whether it was deep, big problems or a mini sobfest in the middle of my bed, someone was there to care for me. With absolutely no judgement. Now I’m not perfect. I still struggle with opening up. But those same people that are there to support me also support me by gently reminding me that I am being a stubborn ass. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’m a work in progress. ๐Ÿ™‚

So I think I know why I now suck at this blog thing. It’s because I no longer suck at this thing called life. So like other things in my life that were only meant to be in my life for a season, I am saying goodbye to this blog.

~~Til we meet again (in real life)

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No New Year’s resolutions here…

imagesLife is short. Really short if you think about it. The gray hairs I plan to cover tonight with hair dye are evidence of the years I’ve lived.

And then I think about the sweet girl that lost her life just days before Christmas at the tender age of 17. Life offers no guarantees.

And then there are the several battles of cancer I’ve had to face and have been open about and the multitude of “scares” that I’ve kept to myself. No guarantees.

Maybe that is why I live my life the way I do. I choose a life of passion. Of joy. Of a “human soul on fire”. A life of no regrets. And I also cut out things that do not add to the quality of my life. I do not want to sit on my death bed wishing I had not wasted seconds of my precious life on things that did not add love, passion, and life.

I want to do something? I do it. I want to go somewhere? I go. I want to spend time with someone? I do. Some think me crazy. Some think me bold. But while I have the privilege to experience this simulation we call life, I choose to find those moments meant to bring life and pursue them. I choose to pursue relationships that bring love and light. ย I want to be the friend that is energizing and uplifting. I want to be the lover that brings quiet excitement and chaotic peace. I want to be wholly me.ย 

At the end of my days, I want the movie that plays before my eyes to be filled with the moments I shared with the people I loved, doing the things I loved. And that starts with the everyday. New years resolutions? I don’t make them. I choose to live them.

So what makes you feel alive?? And do you choose to pursue them daily??

~~Til the next time…

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More like a family…

photo8 months. That’s how long I’ve been doing Jiu Jitsu. Still loving the hell out of it. Best form of exercise I have found for my body and personality. I’m learning every single day. My mind stays engaged. And I love that aspect. But even more, I find that the longer I go, the more I appreciate the relationships I have formed.

I genuinely adore the people I train with. They have got to be the most down to earth people I have ever met. Actually, most that I have met in the Jiu Jitsu community are pretty awesome people. I learn something new just about every time I roll with any of my teammates. I love that even if I get my ass handed to me or vice versa, we can stand up and finish with a hug and a “Hey! Good roll.” because it is not about beating the other person in the end. Or to prove a point. We save that for the tournaments. It’s about learning from one another and having fun.

I also love that I can talk to just about anyone with an issue I am having and they are ready to help. There is no sense of “me” in the jiu jitsu world. Everyone seems to want to share knowledge. Not finishing that choke? “Move this way. Change this. Yep. Like that.” *Gag* Tap! Tap! It’s the jiu jitsu way.

And I can’t tell you how awesome it is to have this as a part of my life. I’m a girl living far from home. I love knowing that at the end of the day, I’m walking into not just my jiu jitsu gym, but into what feels like home with family. The only difference is the hugs we give one another look awfully similar to chokes. ๐Ÿ˜‰

So to my jiu jitsu family, thanks! You all are awesome and I so appreciate who you are and how you represent jiu jitsu to the world.

~~Til the next time

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Day 6: What is the hardest thing you have ever experienced

Day 6

Note to self: Next time I create one of these, pick light-hearted material.ย I guess the goal was to not only write but to also stretch myself but stiiiiiiiiill… Alright enough of the whining. ๐Ÿ™‚

Day 6: What is the hardest thing you have ever experienced

Honestly, I could pick a number of things to write about, but if I am being completely honest, I know which one it is.

Love is a funny thing sometimes. It is something that can lift you up, carry you through the most difficult of days. It can also rip you to your core. And the worst you will feel will sometimes come from those that you love the most. I guess it is because those are the ones that you open up to the most. You are your most vulnerable and therefore the heartache comes easier.

urlOkay, I’m stalling ๐Ÿ™‚ but I guess the hardest thing I’ve experienced is also one of the hardest to write about. So not too long ago, yesterday really in my mind, I walked away from love. It was both the most logical and illogical decision I made. We both loved each otherย immensely. I had no doubt about that. Not for a second. But lordie were we just poison for one another.

We played this game of back and forth for many years. We lived a life of extremes. I love you. I hate you. You are my everything. You mean nothing to me. Don’t ever leave. Don’t ever come back. It was honestly very exhausting. But love will make you do stupid things. The last time was our longest consecutive time together and was probably the most painful.ย That time, we finally admitted that we loved each other.

When we met, we were so over relationships. We’d both been burned one too many times. At 32, I’d decided that I didn’t want to deal with relationships anymore. Thoughts of someday marrying someone??? Oh, hell no. I was done! Sad when I think about it, that at 32, I’d already given up. But I was so tired of hurting. My thought was if I just kept my distance, from men, from people in general, then I wouldn’t have to feel the pain of loss ever again.

And then I meet him.

We were like magnets. In every sense. There were times that we were just drawn together. I can’t put my finger on precisely why but if we were anywhere near each other, we would run into each other. Now, I live in a big city. It’s easy to get lost here if you want to. Didn’t seem to work with him. Then there were other times that, just like magnets, being anywhere near each other repelled us, shooting us in opposite directions.

Like I said, we did this for many years. Some of the pain I have chronicled here deal with him. We were together so long that there isn’t much in my life that doesn’t reminds me of him. Movies. Songs. My favorite artist we discovered together at another artist’s concert. I have a lot of good memories from our time together.

I also have a lot of gut-wrenching, pain-filled memories as well. The worst come from our last month together. It finally became too much. I made the decision to leave. It took a couple of tries but in the end, I did. And it honestly was the best decision I made when it came to our relationship. I had become an enablerย (<– perfect example at this post) to his bad behavior and bad decisions. I lost all my glitter and sparkle to try to make something work that was never meant to.

So I made one of the hardest decisions in my life. I walked away from the one person outside of my family that I loved the most.

I will say that thanks to that relationship, I am no longer cynical and closed off. I have plenty of reason to but today, I choose walk another path. I’m young. Too young to give up on life and love. I’m not actively seeking it out, but I am no longer sitting in my house, closed off to the world in an attempt to stay safe. I take any opportunity to live and make memories. Right now, they are with the best friends a person can have and with my precious children. And when it happens, I hope I am open enough to recognize it and embrace it. I just have to keep remembering that beautiful flowers do not grow in the absence of rain.

~~Til the next time…

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Addiction

“I thought we were a f*cking fairytale. But if you’re careless with something for long enough, you know, it breaks. And that’s how I feel. Broken. Completely and utterly broken.” –Karen

I’m not going to post this on Facebook. Hell, I don’t know if I will even publish this. I know this will automatically go to those that have subscribed to this strange little blog if I do, and that I am okay with, but I feel I should write this. I guess I just need to get it out of my head.

Right now, I am watching the 4th season of Californication. I love this show because first, the writing is fantastic. (If you haven’t seen it and you have delicate sensibilities, I suggest you avoid it. It is one of the more cruder shows out there.) Another reason I watch it tho, is in a way, it feels familiar. I’ve dealt with my Hank Moody’s. Yes, plural. I will say that none to the extent that Showtime shows, at least as far as I know, but the pain was all the same. I connect with Karen, his long time girlfriend. I hurt for her. I get angry with her. And I sit and wonder why.

For those not familiar, David Duchovny’s character, Hank Moody, is a sex addict, among other things. When you watch him, you learn he can’t really say no to anything. Drugs, alcohol, other people’s whims. He just does, as if on autopilot, seemingly oblivious to the pain he causes the people around him. Until that pain interrupts his life, causes him pain as well. And then you get to see a side of him that is broken, empty and screaming for something, a something that can’t be named.

And then I feel for him. My heart breaks for this adolescent trapped in a man’s body. Duchovney plays this character well, most certainly because of his own familiarity, and you get to see this side that people not closely involved rarely get to see. But I did. I know why Karen leaves and comes back. I’ve experienced others see a great guy, my great guy, and wonder why I’m angry and hurting. I’ve experience having to try and explain to my friends why I stay, why I go back when he’s hurt me so much. I’ve gotten to the point of breaking and vowed to never look back and then go running back into the same arms that shattered my heart, to give him “one more try”.

But there is just such a selfishness to addiction that can not be ignored. As many moments as I had of enjoying the kind, sweet person everyone else saw, I had many more where it was a “my way or the highway” kind of thinking. Sometimes I stayed, sometimes I left. Each time, tho, my heart broke a little more. And then I got to the point that I had nothing left to break. I remember those moments of feeling hollow as I said the words “I’m done”. I got to the point of being all “try’d” out.

In the middle of one of these relationships, I decided to start going to counseling. I was a mess. I honestly had no idea who I was. My identity became enmeshed in the battle of being a co-addict. Of hating what was going on and doing nothing to stop it. I sat in self pity and silence. I told no one of my struggles and I just let people assume whatever they wanted about me because I didn’t want anyone to “hate” him. I was just as sick as he was. I eventually left. I realized that you can’t help someone that doesn’t want it, or worse, doesn’t even realize he needs it.There was no magical person I could pretend to be that would make the situation better. His problem was not my problem to fix.

But self discovery is not about perfection. I found myself moving onto a relationship that was better but was still the same. I silenced myself to keep the peace. I walked on eggshells and lied about how bad it really was so that he didn’t feel bad about it. Thankfully, I realized it a lot faster than I had in the past and walked away, but not without scars.

Scars that ache when I watch this show because I am not just a viewer. I know this reality. I was Karen. I had my Hank. We had friends that played the roles like they do in this show.

Why do I watch, then? Because it’s everywhere. I can avoid this one show that screams of a problem that surrounds us, but that is the truth. It surrounds us. Remember Tiger? He wasn’t just a manwhore. He was a broken shell of a man that resembled someone of great confidence and power. And there are millions more like him that will never see their shame displayed on the tabloids for all to see.

I can run from a painful past, but then how do I celebrate the person I am today? That pain shaped me. The pain of my past allows me to fully celebrate the good I have today. It helps me appreciate the great relationships I have right now. It pushes me to appreciate authenticity as opposed to perfection. It gives me a greater sense of what true happiness really feels like.

So, I will watch. I will continue to face my anger and pain while watching a show I genuinely enjoy. And I will heal a little more everyday.

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Just trust me…

Trust. It’s such a precarious thing. I enjoy people who say to me “just trust me” followed by a casual wave of the hand. I especially like it coming from the ones that I’ve just met. It’s often followed with “have I ever let you down?”. Ummm, why no. No, you haven’t. But then again, I met you 5 minutes ago. ๐Ÿ™‚

I think that if you asked most of my friends, they would say that I’m a pretty trusting person. And then they would all be wrong. ๐Ÿ™‚ I am the type of person that will give people a chance, some more than others, but I’m far from the trusting type. Actually, what I am thinking on the inside is “you’re going to let me down”. With most relationships, it’s a constant battle for me to stay engaged because I have a cute little devil in disguise, dancing around my head, singing “this will never work. this will never work.” Insert sh*t kickers and a mandolin and I’m all but sold.

But I choose to fight to stay engaged and here’s why.

Some relationships have faded away as our time together just came to a natural end. Some ended in explosive, hurt filled rants that can only be healed with space and the passing of time. Others were an agreement that we just didn’t get along and it was time to move on. While others were a one sided ending of the relationship for whatever reason, but still peaceful. With all these relationships I learned something valuable and I don’t regret any of them.

But the reason I choose to fight the devil inside is because of the relationships I still do have. I consider myself a very lucky person because I have a lot of great friends, some of those I count as best friends. They are not only my best friends, but I think of them as family. I have a couple extra sisters and brothers. How many people can honestly say that? I talk to two of my friends every day. We aren’t just friends, we live life together. And I am grateful for them.

And I trust them wholeheartedly. I TRUST them as defined above. When I am with these friends, I feel like I am at home with family. There are no pretenses. I don’t have to act, look or speak a certain way for them to like me. They like every part of my silly, outspoken, imperfect, broken little self. I don’t feel like I have to be strong and perfect to be with them ‘cuz God knows I am far from either.

I think I mostly knew that but last weekend cemented it for me. I was having a rough couple days. One night I was sitting on the back porch with one of these friends, quietly crying. We would exchange sentences, little thoughts back and forth and we would just sit, me with my wine and her with her tea. I could see the concern on my friend’s face. I know most of it was her wish to make it all better for me. To find the magical combination of actions to make the pain go away. Little did she know that she was doing just that.

I don’t like to cry. Most people that know me have probably never seen me cry. I fight the urge so badly that when I do, it is often followed by a horrible headache from the effort to keep the tears at bay. And it’s all because I don’t trust people. I don’t trust that they will not judge me. I don’t trust that they will not blame me. I don’t trust them to care for me. Honestly, I don’t trust that they care.

But that night, as the tears flowed freely, I trusted. I believed. I had confidence. I knew, in the presence of sweet family, I was safe. Safe to cry. Safe to talk. Safe to be.

So, sweet friend, you know who you are, you did find the magical combination, which turned out not to be so magical after all. What little trust I had for people in general grew that night because of the great trust I have in you. Not because you knew the right things to say or because you figured out just what to do. It was all because you provided the safety and the care that was your back porch to a hurting, needy friend. I left that night knowing, regardless of the outcome of my situation, I was going to be alright because I had people I could trust with my heart. You are a light that shines in the darkest of my thoughts. Thanks for being there to chase away the devil with me.

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Getting personal and why I do what I do….

Anyone that really knows me also knows that I am not quick with talk about my personal inner workings. I have a tendency to keep it close and work things out by myself. Great, happy things that are going on, I feel free to talk about, but let it be something hard, a struggle I am facing and I am locked up tighter than Fort Knox. I am never surprised at the shocked faces when friends slowly find out things that have happened months prior. And it usually happens with a “oh and this thing happened. Blah. Blah. Blah” followed by a quick “hold the heck on” from my friends. I am currently working to change that.

Last night, in the course of a conversation, I did the same thing to yet another person. As we were talking, I said something about being a cancer survivor. Shock crossed his face. “What?!?” My response? “I thought I told you.” And then I went on to tell him my story, answering any questions he had along the way.

I also told him that I had a cancer scare last year. During that scare, on the outside, I was very much “it’s nothing”. On the inside, I was scared as hell. My cousin died of breast cancer at a very young age. Every scare I have had along my journey was magnified when my doctors were told about this fact. The most common response was “that is way too young”. The way they treated me and my illness was always with that in mind and I am grateful. Any occurrence was usually found early and dealt with little invasion to my body or my life. While I was irritated about having to possess specialists and see them far more frequently than I cared (and I’m sure far more frequently than my insurance company cared for), it was always the reason things were discovered and dealt with so early.

Now of course I had some meltdowns along the way last year, but for the most part I kept a positive or at least a “positive” attitude. In October, one week after my 33rd birthday, I had surgery to take out the mass that was in question. The surgery was walk-in (love the advances of medicine!) and when the tests were completed, the results came back benign. After 7 months, I could finally breathe easy again.

5 months later, all I have left from that is a little scar that will fade over time but is a constant reminder of just how fragile life really is. I see the scar everyday and it has really affected my way of thinking. In January, I decided that I was going to join Team Rio and finally run the half marathon that I have been dying to run for almost 8 years now. In February, in an effort to aid my marathon training and my well-being all together, I joined D1 for a year to do boot camp 5 days a week. I’ve committed to a golf scramble in March. I am going to go skydiving this summer with a friend of mine (yes, I am jumping out of a perfectly functioning plane). I am doing the Warrior Dash with her in September, as well. I tell my friends that I love them when I get off the phone with them or when we part ways because I don’t want them to wonder how I feel about them for a second. I am meeting new people and forming new relationship because I refuse to let fear get in my way anymore. Wow! I am starting to feel like a Tim McGraw song!! ๐Ÿ™‚

Ultimately, I’ve decided that I am going to try to live like I have a million tomorrows and at the same time, live like today is my last. I want to make every second count because really I’m not guaranteed my next. And if I live to be 100, I don’t want to look back wishing I had done something that I let slip by, regretting time not spent with people I enjoyed, not loving people fully because fear and pride got in the way. I want to look back and know I lived to the fullest of my ability.

So call me crazy because of the things I’ve gotten myself involved with. Look at my schedule and wonder what the heck I am thinking. But I will tell you one thing, I am loving my life right now. I can’t tell you the last time I have felt this content and at peace. I may be busy and on the go, but I am not living in “oh, I wish I had” moments anymore. I am working on opening myself up to whatever the world is going to bring me and taking on life’s lessons along the way. This is really why I do what I do.

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Swimming

I can’t swim. I can sink but I can’t swim. It’s sad because I used to live in Florida and time at the beach would be spent either on the sand or wading ever so carefully in shallower water. Actually, two years ago, a friend and I went down to Rosemary Beach and the only thing I did in the water was wash the sand off my feet. Don’t get me wrong. I would LOVE to go out in the water and swim around or at least have the confidence that if a huge wave came in, I wouldn’t be washed away with no hope of surviving.

Apparently, this is the year that I am going to take care of what I’ve always wanted to do. First is running the 1/2 marathon. Training underway. Now, I want to learn how to swim. I’ve always heard other people talk about how fun/relaxing it is to swim. I would like to find out for myself.

Well, yesterday, I traded my geekery skills for information about adult swimming lessons and got the hook up. My boss’ daughter is a swim instructor at the Y and is willing to teach me and if our schedules conflict, gave me the name of her boss. I have to say that while I am excited, I am also TERRIFIED! I have a huge fear of the water. It used to be so ridiculous that I wouldn’t wash my face in the shower. I would tip my head waaaaay back to clean the shampoo and conditioner out of my hair and would wait to wash my face in the sink when my shower was complete. I told you…ridiculous!

So now I am going to take the final plunge (literally) and learn how to swim. The timing is perfect. This summer I am going to the beach again and my sister is (hopefully) moving to the coast. I would like to finally take full advantage of the beach while I’m there. ๐Ÿ™‚

3 miles tonight!! Hooah! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Days 17, 18 & 19

After my bad decisions from this past weekend, I’ve decided to be not only good this week in my training, but very good. We also have a 4 mile long run again this Saturday (Lord, I hope it’s warmer this time!) and I do not want to struggle again like I did last week so I’ve gone to the gym and ran everyday. Monday rocked with my 4 mile run. I felt great after what I am calling my run of redemption. ๐Ÿ™‚ Tuesday I went and could only manage 1 mile before falling apart. Wednesday was the same. Last night I’d decided I was doing the 3 miles even if I walked the whole thing. I just couldn’t understand what was going on. A little fear was creeping in too. Saturday was quickly approaching and I was struggling with just a quarter of what I was to run then.

I got to the gym, ready to rock it out. Set the TV to what I wanted to watch, muted the sound and started my running mix (still working the rap :)). I warmed up slowly to make sure that I didn’t overdo it in the beginning and started my run. Within the first quarter mile, my body was starting to betray me. CRAP! I pushed through the first mile, walked the next quarter mile, ran the rest of the second mile and walked the last mile, pretty much hunched over the control panel of the treadmill. I have to say, I’m a little freaked that tomorrow may be a disaster but I’m going. I’m hoping that my running coach will have some idea as to why I’m dying all of the sudden. Praying it’s a fluke and tomorrow will be great. Here’s hoping…

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Day 16

So, I feel like I have redeemed myself from the horribleness that was Saturday. I had full intentions of running last night during half time, but instead I fell asleep on my couch and missed my run and the entire last three quarters of the game. I was exhausted. I really needed the sleep anyways. Saturday was, well, you saw. And Friday, I skipped thinking that it was going to be my only day of rest. Wrong!

That brings us to tonight. I really wasn’t feeling well. I left work early because I thought I was going to be sick. The bus ride to my car was about the most miserable experience I’ve had in a while. Yes, even worse than Saturday. I just knew that I was going to throw up on the poor kid that had the misfortune of sitting next to me. ๐Ÿ™‚ I got home and saw my workout clothes still folded from last night on the end of my couch and decided that I would at least give it a try. Better than letting another day pass without running. So, I got dressed and drove to my gym and started my run. About half a mile in, I started to get a little bit of energy, which was shocking given how I’ve felt all day. I passed the one mile mark and was feeling proud of myself. I even did that mile while texting. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I decided that I was going to keep going to the two mile mark and see how I felt. Two miles would be great, especially since I wasn’t feeling well. Two miles came and still feeling good so I kept going. At the end of my run, I did four miles. The four miles I would’ve done on Saturday if I hadn’t stayed out so late with my friends.

I am so glad that I decided to run. I actually feel tons better. It makes me wonder if it was from going from running everyday to skipping three days. Who knows. I guess I’ll find out when I wake up tomorrow. But here’s hoping!! Right now, I’ll ride this redemption high and enjoy a little Dexter as a reward. ๐Ÿ™‚

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