I Miss My People

A funny thing happened the there day.  It was pretty insignificant, really.  But my first thought was, “Oh my God, I have to text…” and in the place where you would insert a name, my mind thoroughly drew a blank.  I had no idea who I would text with this news, no idea who would laugh along with me at the oddness of it all.

As we progress in our significant romantic relationships, it’s only natural that our time with our friends diminishes and our “others” take the place of our best friends and most trusted confidants.  Add in a kid (or multiple kids) on one (or both sides) and its seemingly impossible that mutual time can be made available.  Thus the friendships break down even further, and personal contact is replaced with random texts and the like, promises of “we need to get together soon” and “I miss you”, until you feel awkward even texting with your random odd news, unsure and afraid that they won’t even understand.

I just know I miss my friends.

And I know that I am *at least* half to blame.  I am terrible at keeping contact with people.  If we feel like going the psychoanalysis route, to make a long story short, I tend to push people away, choosing to reject them before they can reject me (which I am absolutely, unequivocally sure they are going to do).  This was even confirmed today by a book I read about my birthday and being an Aquarius, so this is obviously scientific fact now.  The lack of confidence in my friendships even goes so deep as to HATE to invite people out or over.  I don’t want them to feel obligated and I know I’ll feel even worse if they don’t come.  So instead I sit and wait for my friends to invite ME to do things.

Yes, I know this is stupid.  Yes I know I am 37 and am acting like a 14 year old.  But the truth is the truth.

True, I have work friends.  We text about work stuff and funny family anecdotes.  We occasionally meet up for after work drinks or other events, but it’s not the same.  It’s not the same as finding those people who know you below the surface, those who have not only seen you go through hell, but have also gone through it with you. Those you can say just one word to and have them cracking up.  Those who have motivate you, and inspire you, and love you for who you are…even if you’re a psycho that constantly fears rejection.

I know I have a person who loves me.  I know I have my brothers and family members.  But sometimes, I just really miss my friends.

Best friendship quotes pics images photos (33)

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Confidence and marriage and running.

We met in college.  We were in the same biology class and lab.  It was an 8 am class and I clearly wasn’t interested in impressing anybody since I showed up almost every day in my pajamas.  We became late partners (or rather a group of three) out of basic convenience…we sat near each other and it was easier than seeking out others.  I actually had a crush on the other guy in our group, but alas, he had a girlfriend.  We started studying together outside of class.  One thing led to another, and Poof!  Three years later we were married.  Now 13 years after that we are separated and headed towards divorce.

I was a mess when I was in college, even more so than I am now (for those who know me in “real life”).  I battled depression and manic episodes.  I was unhealthy.  I was “in love” with a boy from high school who was dating another girl.  I transferred schools every year or so and my debt was out of control (hi credit cards).  Because of all this, and I’m sure so much more,  I had the confidence of…well, I don’t know.  Let’s just say I had really low confidence.  And it took me a  long time (16 years to be exact) to realize this is the main contributor of me getting married and the age of 24 to my first “real” boyfriend.

In the beginning, I think I was just trying things out and having fun and then it became a dependency.  Here was a boy was was relatively normal and seemed to like me.  I’m lucky, I would think.  I don’t have to be alone anymore.  Did I love him?  I’m sure I did.  But I don’t think it was a life changing, earth shattering love.  And I know (especially now) that it wasn’t a love that could sustain a marriage.  I thought so little of my self and my self-worth that I  reveled in the attention. Someone likes me and I owe it to him to be with him.  It saddens me now thinking about how much my low self confidence contributed to this MAJOR aspect of my life.

There were times I felt that I should leave.  That I should break up with him because I knew I didn’t have what it takes to be his girlfriend and then his wife.  He deserved someone better, someone that was completely over the moon for him.  But instead I stayed.  I convinced myself I belonged there.  Someone loved me so much and I should stay with them because of this.  I worried I would hurt him and I didn’t want the guilt of hurting anyone.

In reality now, I realize I also stayed because I didn’t think anyone else would ever want me.  How horrible is that?  It took me a very long time to admit that to myself.

Our marriage was so tumultuous; up and down constantly that I couldn’t keep up.  I always wanted to leave, but never wanted to leave at the same time.  I didn’t want to be alone.  I didn’t want to have to start over.  I was safe here in this place.  Unhappy.  But safe.

I wish I knew what it was that finally made me realize it was OK to leave and that I deserved to be happy.  I know a small part of it was finding someone else who really did love me for me.  Another part was the kids and realizing that they shouldn’t be growing up in an unhappy home.

In all honesty, I think the biggest thing was that my confidence was improving and I know it had a lot to do with running.  Running made me happier and helped me become healthier, which of course led me to be more confident.  It was an outlet for my anger and frustration and gave me time to think and decide.

I loved myself during those times.

I haven’t run consistently since I began dating Joe.  I guess when I found another source of happiness running just fell to the side until it was almost non-existent.  While I am happier now than I have ever been, I miss the confidence.  I think that’s why I’m chasing running again after two years, and why I’m chasing this marathon.

I need to get that feeling back again…and I’ll make myself run until I do.

We’ll all float on Ok.

I don’t seem to know who I am anymore.

Not so long ago I felt like I had it all figured out.  I’m a mom.  I’m a runner.  I’m a teacher.  I’m a friend.  Things were going well.  I had a wonderful new daughter, two amazing boys, and a fantastic support system of friends and family.  I literally had no complaints and was perfectly content any happy.

And then I broke…again.

This wasn’t like the first time I felt that I had broke, when my dad had died.  When that happened I feel apart all at once so it was almost easier to out myself back together.  The pieces were right there and easier to find, not scattered over space and time.

I wish I could say I knew the exact moment that it happened, but really it was a series of events that started small, each one separately almost microscopic in size, but together crumbled my world into a million pieces.

I cut back on my running and dropped out of the NYC marathon.

An old friend came back into my life just when I thought I was finally over our past.

I lost a person in my life who I thought was a good friend.

The separation began…and ended…and began…and changed so much that I don’t even know where we are at this point.

Most recently I’ve done things I probably shouldn’t have.  I’ve eaten things I probably shouldn’t have.  I’ve stopped running altogether.  With each passing day, the numbers on the scale keep inching closer to where I said I never wanted to be again.  And the worst part of it all is that I just don’t seem to care.  Not about being a bad person, or losing certain people from my life, or even losing everything I worked for.  None of it.

I feel like I’m on the roundabout on the playground spinning more and more out of control each day.  The sad part is that I know I’m the one that’s pushing it to go faster and faster.  I am in complete and utter control of this and I can’t seem to jump off and just stop. Because I know that when I do I’m going to break even more from the impact.  I know that I’m really going to have to work to find all the pieces and put myself back together again.  Not only in the “now” but in the past too.  The task seems daunting and so impossible that 99% of the time I don’t even have the desire to try.

But then, out of the blue, today happened.  The 1%.  The one glimmer of hope I had been hoping for.

We’re driving to the park and the library and all three kids are squeezed into the back seat.  Charlotte is singing along to Modest Mouse playing in the background while Oliver and Max argued about how many sheep are in an adjoining field.  The sun was shining in the blue sky as wispy clouds float by, my hand out the window rising and falling in the warm air.  I finally felt it.  What I had been longing to feel for so long lately.  A sense of peace and contentment.   A sense of placement.

This is where I was supposed to be.  Maybe not forever, but at least for right now.

And with that tiny feeling of hope, I know that pretty soon I’ll have enough courage to make the leap off the roundabout.  And maybe, just maybe, my feet will actually hit the ground and I’ll be able to pick myself up and begin to collect all the pieces.

Processing

It’s been a while since I have written anything.  Life has been busy, and wonderful, and messy and excruciating all at the same time.  But that’s usually how life is; the good with the bad, the best with the worst.


As the weather gets warmer I tend to spend most of my time outside, soaking up the sunshine, recharging my batteries, and just letting my mind wander to the tune of a gentle breeze and warmth on my face.  Lately my mind has been drifting more and more to the relationships in my life; friends, foes, loves, lovers, children, colleagues, etc, and how some stay and some go.


Recently, I lost a friend.  I’ll save you all the dramatics that surrounded it, but quite simply, one minute we were friends and the next minute we weren’t.  And quiet honestly it was for a stupid, arbitrary reason that I won’t even dignify by putting it into writing.  There was no falling out.  There was no betrayal.  Quite simply, it just ended.  But irregardless of the reason, I have one less friend than I had before.  Because of that I feel like “less” than I was before, like something in my life is missing…because it is.


And I’m sad.  I miss my friend.


There’s something so refreshing about having people with which you can be your unequivocal self, with no questions asked and no judgements posed.  I have very few people like this in my life, so when I find someone who’s soul meshes well with mine, I try to hold on to them for as long as I can.  I’m fiercely loyal and protective of these friends, so when one of them has to leave, it hurts.  A lot.


But all this aside, my most recent friendship ending has led me to evaluate many other friendships and relationships in my life.  I have best friends, and close friends, and acquaintances, all of which play integral roles in my life and help shape who I am.   And they all play their self-selected roles well.  We’re there for each other.  We check in.  We do the celebrating when it’s warranted and the cheering up when needed.  Just by being in my life, every single one of them makes me a better person.


But if that is the case, if I have some truly amazing people in my life, then why, oh why, do I continue my relationships with the toxic ones as well?  Those are the friends that lie, cheat, and manipulate their way through friendships and relationships.  It’s usually directed towards other people, not at us.  And we sit back silently and watch the way they treat other, judging quietly, but not saying anything.  Because it will never be us.  They’ll never lie to us or manipulate us.  We’re safe, we believe.


Until we’re not.  Until we realize that we’re the ones being lied to. And the moment you catch them in that lie, it’s like the wind gets knocked out of you.  You have no breath, you have no words.  And then comes the anger…followed shortly after by the overwhelming sadness.


And we tell ourselves that’s just the way they are and it’s something we need to put up with in order to keep the friendship.  And up to a short time ago, I would have believed this.  I would have put on my game face, hoped they didn’t do it again, and let our lives move on just as they had been doing.


But today…no.  Today I say THIS IS BULLSHIT.


Why the hell am I going to continue to put up with someone who treats me so poorly?  And not just me…but everyone else as well.  And the plain and simple answer is: I’m not.  I have some amazing people in my life, including my most recently lost friend.  I don’t need to continue to be friends with the toxic ones; the ones that make me feel less than, the ones that always make me second guess the truth, the ones I simply do not trust.


I’m 35 years old and I know that I still have a lot to figure out when it comes to life, love, and relationships.  Most days I feel like I don’t know much at all.  But I do know this.  I’m no longer going to allow these people to be in my life.  I may not always be the most self-confident person, but I do know I’m better than that.

What defines us…

“Bad things do happen; how I respond to them defines my character and the quality of my life. I can choose to sit in perpetual sadness, immobilized by the gravity of my loss, or I can choose to rise from the pain and treasure the most precious gift I have – life itself.” ~ Walter Anderson

It’s been a long time since I wrote a post.  Too long.  I really have no excuse.  I seem to form a million posts in my head every day but they never make it down.  Things have been busy, school was ending, and a million little things kept piling up and it was hard to keep my head above water most days.

I did accomplish something though…I ran my first 10k.  I won’t go into too much detail here because that is a post in itself but it was hard, scary, amazing, wonderful and a million other things all rolled into one.  It was the most fantastic accomplishment I have to date and has actually made me a little excited about tackling the half marathon in October.

I posted a few pictures to Facebook earlier today and although I live with myself every day, it’s crazy to see the changes that are happening, especially within the last year.  I run everyday. I’m in the best shape of my life. I’ve never felt better.  I have made so many lifestyle changes that I can’t help but be proud of all I have accomplished.  And yet…

There are other things I know I still need to focus on.  Character, emotional instability, and simply overall personality.

I tend to get angry too easily, and sometimes for reasons even I can’t identify.  I yell too much, and usually at the people who love me the most. At times I can be completely and utterly selfish…forgetting that it’s not just me in my life anymore, but that I’m also a wife and a mother.  I tend to push people away and challenge them too much…and not in a good way. Most days I am simply too much; too overbearing, too emotional, too demanding.  A tornado when most people can only handle a rainy day.  A hurricane when most people only want a light breeze.

And the worst part of it all?  I know most people can’t handle it.  But I still fault them anyway.  And the ones that can handle it?  I don’t cherish them as much as I should.

I seem to have the physical changes down…but maybe it’s time I start working on the other aspects of my life.

Because what’s the point in moving forward if I have no one to share my life with?

Blast from the Past: 2012 New Year’s Post

Here is my New Years Resolution Post from 2012.  Oh how things change and still remain the same.

Each year I try and come up with a few (dozen) New Year’s resolutions, and every year I fail miserably when trying to follow them.  Maybe it’s because I know that 7 million other people are making the same exact ones (eat healthier, exercise more, yell at the kids less).  I don’t know.  The point is that this year I am only going to make one resolution: no regrets.  I have spent so many years regretting almost every decision I have made and I realize this is a giant waste of my time.  No matter what choice I made I always figured that it was the wrong one, that maybe the grass was greener on the other side of the fence.  Then I worry and complain and whine because yet again I didn’t get my way (when in fact, that’s exactly what I got).

I came up with this resolution a few nights ago when a friend asked me and my husband out for New Years Eve.  I had to decline because of the kids and I began to reminisce about what it was like before I had kids.  When M was first born I was too scared to ever think that way.  M was our little miracle baby after a bunch of mishaps so it felt almost blasphemous to feel tired and simply need a break.  Once O came along though, the weight of working full time and having two tiny kids really did start to take its toll and I began to remember what it felt like to sleep in, eat whenever/whatever I wanted, drive out to the beach on a moments notice, pick up and move to a different state, go out with friends when they invited…

I started to think where I would be if I hadn’t had kids.  Would I be teaching english in Chile?  Would I have joined the Peace Corps?  Would I be getting my Ph.D?  All these little thoughts begin to creep into my sub conscience and I start to feel jilted, like I would be so much happier and better off if I had waited for a few more years and really done these wonderful, un-kid friendly things.

And then O looks at me a cracks up and M comes over to give me a snuggle and I realize had I become that person, running around the world doing all these wonderful things, what I would be thinking is how wonderful I bet my life would be if I had children to share it with.

Here’s to no regrets in 2012.

How nothing and everything has changed…

“Driving home, the sky accelerates
And the clouds all form a geometric shape
And it goes fast
You think of the past
Suddenly everything has changed” ~The Flaming Lips

Since I hadn’t been on Facebook in a few weeks, I missed random things that were happening.  As I perused a little this morning, I saw my brother had posted that last Thursday marked 6 months since my father passed away.  I couldn’t believe it.  Had it really been six months already? Had close to 180 days truly passed?  Have I simply been asleep or in a coma to suddenly wake up and find out this information? How can something feel like yesterday and years ago all at once?

I can honestly say that I have been through more in this 6 months than probably the rest of my life put together.  The dizzying highs and lows, the turmoil that was self-created throughout the summer, it caused a sort of retreat into myself that I have not quite been able to come out of yet.  True, I am not the person I was in August, not quite knowing which way was up and which way was down, confused about the sheer aspect of living life on a daily basis at time.  I am far from that, but I still sometimes feel the need to protect myself from people, and even from feelings, making sure I don’t become that summertime person I was.

While I have let go of the summer; of my dad, of memories, unsure decisions, and enlightening life changes, I haven’t truly let go.  Everything about these few months still hang around me like a dark cloud that could either blow on by or begin pouring down on me at any minute. Every time I think my stride has become right again and my path is straight and narrow a turn, or a rock, or even a small pebble comes out of nowhere to cause me to stumble and fall.  It causes me to relive and remember things that I don’t necessarily want to.

While I may have used the excuse of my dad dying before as the reason I was so off kilter this summer, I need to stop. First and foremost, it’s not fair to him.  He wasn’t a great man, frankly, he wasn’t a good man either, at least not to me, but when someone leaves us we can choose how we see things, and I choose to remember the early years over the later ones.  It’s not fair to continue to blame him for my short comings.  True, his death contributed, but only in the way that it caused initial strife and turmoil within myself.  I had the choice at that moment to begin getting better or continue down a path of self-destruction and we know which one I chose. I had no way to handle my feelings, or really simply to understand them, so I created myself anew, became someone that I wasn’t, simply so I wouldn’t have to deal with the effects of the pain; simply so I wouldn’t have to deal with feeling anything at all.

So many things died this summer, most notably, important parts of myself marred by uneasy choices and decisions along the way.  I have used the fall to rebuild what was lost and broken, and find the parts that were stolen and forgotten about. Some times I feel like I am back together better than ever and at others I feel like I am still a giant pile of rubble ready to be swept into the trash, missing pieces that are so integral to my survival

I’d like to be all zen and believe that all the decisions, even the bad ones, contribute to who you are. I’d like to think that even the bad decisions have gotten me to the place I am today and I should be grateful.  But I’m not all zen. I’m not even a little zen.  I’m not an optimist, I’m a realist.  In the words of Red Hot Chili Peppers, “Life could be a little sweet, But life could be a little shitty.”  And really, in a nutshell, that’s how I feel.

But if we’re still breathing, if we’re still upright, if we can still find something to smile about, then we haven’t lost our hope.

What I know now more than ever is that sometimes life sucks.  But then again, sometimes it doesn’t.