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.

I’m not me. But I will be soon.

I started the post awhile ago and then stopped.  There are so many truths within it that I just didn’t know if I was willing to face them.  By admitting these things, I feel like my life course, my life as I know it, essentially all that I am, will be different.  And I’m literally writing this after I had a mental breakdown on the side of the road at 5:30 in the morning.

I started running when my dad died.  Ok.  That’s not entirely accurate, but that’s the truth that I tend to tell people because it seems more acceptable than the real story.  More acceptable and less ugly. But really, what have I got to lose at this point?  Nothing.  They say the truth will set you free.  Well, maybe that’s just what I need.  Freedom from who I think I am so I can become the real me.

After my dad died I fell apart.  Which was odd to me because we hadn’t spoken in 5 years.  But I had often seen myself in him.  He was angry a lot and tended to push those who were closest to him away.  As I watched him die sick and alone I worried that this is what my life was destined for.  And I tried to run away from everything.  During that time I got caught up in a relationship that I shouldn’t have.  I thought it was healing me when in reality it was slowly dismantling me.  When it ended, leaving me heartbroken and empty, I had no idea how to handle two losses in such a short amount of time.  So I went for a run.  And it truly saved me. I had found something that could put me back together, slowly and piece by piece.

And it worked…for a time.

I loved being able to say I was a runner.  It helped me feel accomplished, like I could do anything.  It made me feel more confident and pretty bad ass. But it also gave me an escape from my life, the escape I thought I had needed before; a way to “run away” so to speak.  In reality, it didn’t save me from myself.  It simply gave me the outlet to gloss over my problems; to bury them deep down and save them for another day.

Cut to me crying on the side of the road because I couldn’t run.  I have so much going on in my life that I had begun to use running as that escape again.  Now I have an injury and can’t run.  What am I supposed to do?  Without the running, I’m actually going to have to face the demons in my life.  I’m actually going to have to figure out what’s wrong and get to the root of my problems.

And I don’t know if I can do that.  I’ve been putting them in the background for so long that I don’t how to face my problems without running away.  I don’t know if I’m entirely ready to make these hard decisions that I know have to be made.  I don’t think I’m disciplined enough to make the changes that I need to make in order to actually survive.

But maybe that’s why this happened.  Maybe this injury is the universe’s way of telling me to grow a pair and handle my shit.  Because life is short.  And time is not guaranteed.

I need to say good-bye to running for awhile.  I need to learn how to cope without it. I need to learn how to love myself completely without the label of being a runner.  Once I’m whole again, we can start our journey all over, when running is something in my life and not the only thing.

Here goes nothing.


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.

So Jump

“If she’s amazing she won’t be easy.  If she’s easy she won’t be amazing.  If she’s worth it you won’t give up.  If you give up you’re not worthy.  Truth is, everybody is going to hurt you; you’ve just got to find the ones worth suffering for.” ~Bob Marley

To say that this week has been crazy would be an understatement.   I haven’t been running since Tuesday.  My foot is killing me and I am trying to rest it as much as possible and try it out again Monday morning and see how it feels.  But, you know what?  I think this is one of the best things to happen to me.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t actually like being injured or the shooting pains in my foot.  But I knew that running was giving me some sort of endorphin-filled high.  Which made me want to run…a lot.  I probably have even been running too much, hence the pain in my foot.  I was worried that if I stopped running that my happiness would begin to disappear and that running was the only thing making me happy.

But it wasn’t.  I’m still happy even though I haven’t run or even worked out in the last three days.  My good mood seems here to stay, at least for a little while.  I’m starting to learn things little by little and that seems to be helping me change my outlook and perspective and keep me happier.

I’m learning that it’s OK to take a break if I need it.  I’m at the place where I know that a small break does not mean I have quit or give up.

I’m learning that it’s OK to stress about things…as long as you don’t let the stress over take you.  I’m letting myself feel the full weight of a situation for five minutes, handling it, and then moving on.  Worrying doesn’t help anything or change the situation, so why bother.

I’m learning that I know what’s best for me.  I love that I have a support system of friends and family who are there for me and want to help.  And I listen to their advice because they love me and want me to be the best person I can. But in the end, my decisions are my decisions and while they may not understand why I’m making one, they don’t have to.

I’m learning that friends may be people who tell you the truth, even when you don’t want to hear it, but they also will never intentionally try to pull you down. They won’t base their happiness and worth on your down fall.  Don’t ever let anyone dull your sparkle and all that…

I’m learning that not all bad decisions are “bad decisions”.  Decisions are choices, plain and simple, and what defines them as bad is how you see the outcome.  As long as you can live with the consequence of the decision you are making, and as long as it doesn’t intentionally hurt anyone, is it really a bad decision?

I’m learning it’s OK to be a little weird.  And to accept my weirdness and revel in it.  That one thing you think is weird, might be the one thing someone else falls in love with.

I’m learning that it’s OK to feel any emotion I am feeling.  Hurt, happiness, betrayal, love, sadness, longing, anger, giddy…there is a reason for each and every one of them.

I’m also learning that while it’s OK to feel any emotion you want, you need to be careful who you are sharing them with.  Don’t share them with people who will be reckless with them or judge.  While it’s OK to feel every emotion, not everything needs to be shared.

I’m learning that it’s OK to keep things to myself.  To keep me to myself.  Self-preservation is sometimes all we have.

And finally, I’m learning that sometimes your only available transportation is a leap of faith.

So jump.

Fear and (self) loathing

“Everything happens for a reason, but sometimes the reason is because you’re stupid and make bad choices.”

I tend to be over analytical in most aspects of my life.  I weigh pros and cons before making decisions.  Each choice I engage in tends to be calculated and the safest, most restrained, choice usually wins out.  It’s all very responsible.

Until it’s not.  Because, let’s face it.  There are always those choices that we make that seem to express the sentiment “What the Fuck?”  I mean, I know at least for me, I can physically see myself making the wrong choice and I do absolutely nothing to stop it.  I somehow assume that THIS TIME things will be different.  THIS TIME it will work out for the better rather than for the worst.

And you know what?  It never does.  I make this decision that I KNOW is the wrong one.  I KNOW nothing good will come of it.  And I do it anyway.  And then do you know what happens?  I go into a fit of depressive self loathing.

Why the hell is it that I can get my butt up almost every morning at 4:45 am to run before teaching elementary school children in East Baltimore but can’t stop myself eating that one food, drinking that one drink, sending that one text, saying that one thought?  Does it all come down to willpower? Or is it something else?

I really have improved in so many areas over the course of just the few weeks I have been running.  I am happier.  I have more confidence, I am working towards fixing things that need to be fixed.  I love the way my life is going…and yet…I still can’t stop myself from doing certain things I know will hurt me in the long run (FYI: I am not a drug addict, secret cutter, alcoholic, or anything else lifetime made a movie about).  What am I missing?  What else can I do?  I need to make better choices, even if I don’t want to at the time.

End teenage-girl-though-I’m-really-32 rant.


“Until you’re broken, you don’t know what you’re made of.  It gives you the ability to build yourself all over again, but stronger than ever.” ~Unknown

I saw the above quote on Pinterest the other day and it really spoke to me.  I’ve been pinning a lot of motivational quotes lately in order to help keep me on my path, but this is the best one I have seen.  I know I’ve mentioned or at least allude to the fact that I’ve had issues in the past with depression.  At the end of the last school year another wave of it him me, culminating when my dad died.  I tried to hold it together in a variety of ways, but due to other circumstances as well, by August I was quite literally broken.  There was no up or down, whole or half, only pieces that I was quite sure I would never be able to put back together.

But guess what?  I did.  I accomplished something I didn’t think was possible.  It started slowly, when the only differences I could see were mere subtleties changing in my daily life; crying less, sleeping more, smiling occasionally. And now, while not completely whole, I am far more together than before I broke completely.  I am happier, have more energy, and don’t let the small things upset me as much anymore.  I still have work to do and a long road ahead of me (don’t we all), but I’m not afraid of the challenge of living anymore.  As a matter of fact, it’s just the opposite.  I’m excited for anything that may be coming down the road.  And while I still get sad and weepy occasionally (don’t we all) I no longer feel that I’m fighting a losing battle.

And then the running happened.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not really running, I’m simply trodding along at an obscenely slow pace until I feel like I am going to die.  Then I stop for a few minutes until I think I can go again.  The whole process repeats until it’s it’s time to get ready for work.  And for some reason, it’s working for me. And on Wednesday I accomplished my first real running goal.  For the first time ever in my entire life, I ran a whole mile.  I couldn’t believe it (I still can’t).  I know to many people it’s not a lot, but to me it is huge.  It’s something I thought was impossible until it wasn’t anymore.

I took two days off and then decided to try the track today to take advantage of the gorgeous weather we are having in Baltimore.  I wound up walking for most of the time.  I tried running, but it just wasn’t coming today.  I had too many things on my mind, my stride was off, my foot was killing me (I have plantar fasciitis), and I just felt not all there.  But, instead of just quitting and saying I’ll try again tomorrow I trudged through and wound up completing 2.6 miles.

Honestly, the distance isn’t the big deal for me.  It’s the fact that I didn’t let myself quit.  I tend to quit (or try to quit) so many things in my life when the going gets tough or things don’t go my way.  I never really fight for anything and, as I’m learning, there are always things worth fighting for. You may not be able to fight for anything in the past, but you can fight for the future.

So now, instead of quitting, I am fighting for something.  I am fighting for me.

100 Mile Challenge Miles: 16
Pounds lost since starting 100 Miles Challenge: 4.2 pounds

Big, huge, colossal

” Big mistake. Big. Huge. I have to go shopping now.” ~Vivian “Pretty Woman”

Do you know anything about despair? It’s the place where hopes don’t exist. I liken it to walking around a city and the sewer drains are uncapped. If you’re looking, really watching and paying attention, you can avoid them all together. But if not, you fall right in and Lord only knows when you are going to be able to pull yourself out.

Once you are down there, in the pit of despair, two types of people emerge. Person A pulls themselves together climbs up the ladder and emerges, maybe a little dirtier than before, but still intact and ready to face the world.

Person B, on the other hand does quite the opposite. Instead of looking for the ladder they give up, simply lie down, and take a very long nap.

Lately, I’ve felt more like Person B. I’ve been trying to get myself together, but I keep falling apart. It’s been a rough week. I’m not going to go all “Candide” on you, but on a scale of one to ten, it was an 11. I feel like maybe I want to find that ladder, the item that will get me out of despair, but I’m just so tired and don’t have any motivation.

That is, until tonight. That all stops here. Big things are coming. Huge. I’m not sure what they are yet, but they are on the tip of my tongue.

No idea when it’s coming, but you’ll know it when you see it.