Posts Tagged With: Redemption

Day 9: Not doing the list

Day 9Day 9: ———-

So today was supposed to be about 10 pet peeves, but I have to say that my heart is heavy given what happened yesterday in Boston. I sat at my desk working with Facebook open on one of my screens, watching as a running group I used to be a part of was calling off members as they crossed the finish line in Boston, liking the posts as they popped up. I said a little “YAY!” as I saw them start rolling in. And then I started to see the reports of an explosion, maybe two at the finish line. Confusion. My brain tried to understand, figure out what could have exploded, hoping that there were no people hurt. I will say in the rainbow and sunshine brain of mine, I imagined that the explosion was no where near people and it was some freak accident. And then I started to hear the reports of planted bombs and my heart broke. The news reports were constant. The numbers of dead and hurt rose quickly. Pictures popped up on the television and all over social media.

I think this hit me a little harder because this happened in my community, within my running family. Lace up your tennis shoes and go running anywhere and when you encounter another runner, you will be met with a raised hand, a nod of the head, a smile, some sort of “hey, I see you.” It’s just what you do. And you don’t have to be a runner to understand this camaraderie. It’s the same with boaters, bikers, Jeep owners, and more I am sure I am not even aware of. We may not know each other but we recognize we still have a relationship and it is one of the things that I love about being in the running community. We share the same heart.

So when I started to hear about the damage done by some evil person, my heart sank. As much as I wanted to understand what happened, I stayed away from the television and internet all together last night. Like I told my very crushed daughter this morning, there is no understanding evil. She too is part of this community. In less then 2 weeks, I will be running in the Music City Marathon and she will be volunteering at the finish line. She will be the one that will put my finisher’s medal around my neck. As we were looking towards that day, we were excited but that was still clouded by the pain we felt for those in Boston.

And so today, my mind and heart is with Boston. And when I run in two weeks, I run for not only my little Newton angel, I will also run for Boston. For an extended family whose beautiful, celebration filled day was stolen by evil.

~~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. I guess the goal was to not only write but to also stretch myself but stiiiiiiiiill… Alright enough of the whining. 🙂

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 🙂 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 other 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. 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 enabler (<– 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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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. 🙂

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. 🙂 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!! 🙂

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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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. 🙂 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. 😉 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. 🙂

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