The Resolute Quitter

Someone once told me that to write I need to write about what I know. Luckily that’s all I know how to write about anyway.

In the past four years I’ve quit every thing I’ve started. You name it, I’ve attempted it…and then quit. Run streaks? I quit by week two. Running? I used to run 25 – 30 miles a week, and now I’m lucky if I even walk two. I’ve signed up (and wasted a LOT of money) on countless 5Ks, half marathons, and marathons only to quit about half way through…when I had decided that it got too hard. Being more environmental? I’m pretty sure I threw away a pile of paper yesterday instead of recycling it because the recycling was full and I just needed it out of my house. Hell, I’ve even quit my marriage. At this point the only thing I haven’t quit is my job, but I did switch schools so maybe that counts?

I wasn’t always this way. As a matter of fact, I used to be exactly the opposite. I would make a plan and resolutely stick with it, no matter the consequence or if it was the best decision in the long run. I was just that stubborn. I would see it through to the end even if it killed me. I used to think this was one of my biggest character flaws, but now I’m not so sure. The tenacity that would once push me over the finish line has now been replaced with apathy and indifference. I would do anything to get it back.

Maybe I’ve spent so much time quitting lately that it’s just what seems normal and comfortable now. I’m used to it. It’s familiar. It’s has the feeling of that soft, comfy shirt that is completely stained and threadbare. You need to throw it away. You want to throw it away. And yet, you can’t bring yourself to do it. As if parting with that one thing is going to increase your sadness even more than it already is.

Fear has become such a major part of my life over the past few years that it is literally ingrained in my soul. The fear of failure keeps me from making the big leaps. The fear of judgment keeps me from making the choices I know I need to make, the choices that are the best for me. Fear of retribution keeps me on my feet at all times…constantly looking over my shoulder and waiting for the other shoe to drop. I’ve spent so much of the last few years of my life being scared that I have barely lived at all. I’ve made so many goals and had so many things I want to accomplish which have all been brushed aside because of fear. And I don’t want to do that anymore.

If you know me at all, you know I love New Year’s. The blank slate, the new beginnings, the chance to start again all resonate with me on a deeply pure and spiritual level. I tend to make resolutions, grandiose goals, and big decisions all to have me eventually quit. I just can’t keep living my life like that anymore. I think this year I’m going to dump the resolutions. The changes I want to make within myself are big. Every single thing I want to change about myself I can control. And I don’t need resolutions or a New Year to do that. I can just do it. Plain and simple. It’s really that easy.

Of course, coming up with the idea to do something is the easy part. The hard part is the follow through…and that’s exactly what I plan to work on first.

The other day, as we were driving through the city on the way home, two runners crossed in front of our car. Joe’s immediate response was about how it was cold and they were outside running and that they were wearing shorts. It’s true, it was about 25 degrees…it was cold. But all I felt was the formidable tug of nostalgia. I remember thinking that I wish I was a runner. Or more clearly, I wish I was still a runner.

So you know what? I’m going to become one again.

Advertisements

Back to the Start

I’ve been wanting to write again for quite a while, but as usual, I had no idea where to start.  I currently have 9 notes in my phone about things I want to write about, but when I sit down and open up WordPress…crickets.  Every time.

So, today, in my all plague-induced sickness haze, I think maybe I’ll go back through my old blog posts and see what I used to write about.  Maybe it will spark something so I can get going again.

After all that, you know what I realized…I’ve fallen very far from the person I’ve become.

I used to think that the person I was in late 2013-2014 was so misguided and had no idea who she was.  I thought she was a mess.  I thought she was at the bottom.  But looking back over those posts I can’t believe how wrong I was.

She was strong.  She was honest.  She was brave.  She was motivating.  She was a survivor.

She climbed out of the darkness and found the light again.

I envy her.  I admire her.  I want to be her.

I know she is in here somewhere.  I just have to find her again.

39d8d66fe8b73524514d3750b4023e1b

I want.

I want to write so many posts, but I never seem to get the motivation at the right time.

I want to write about how I’m trying to rid my life of the negativity I can control and live more gratefully and gracefully.

I want to write about how I am about to start a new teaching year and I don’t even know if I want to be a teacher anymore.

I want to write about how I am trying to change my parenting style and my relationship with my kids and not get to frazzled and controlling all the time.’

I want to write about how I gave up on the marathon, and the half marathon, and I’m sincerely, trying so hard not to give up on myself.

I want to write all of this and more. But I sit down to write and feel like a fake. And like I have no idea what I am talking about.

But I wrote this and that’s a start.  Maybe tomorrow I’ll pick more and go with it.

I want to.

b52084b0609d5f8634364b5ad4613365

 

Summer is different this year.

I assumed that summer would be different this year.

I’m having a difficult time putting it into words.  I’ve written and then immediately erased at least 5 sentences before writing that one.  It’s not that I don’t know what to say, it’s simply that I don’t know how to say it.  Or maybe, it’s just that I’m too scared to say it.

Scared seems to be an overarching theme these days.  I only have the kids 50% of the time during the summer and I thought, at first, I would relish the down time.  I’ll have time to read!  I’ll have time to go to the pool!  But instead I just seem to have a lot of time with my thoughts, which has never meant good things for me.  I spend my days overthinking, overanalyzing, and simply being on such a high level of alert and anxiety that my body seems to vibrate constantly.

I’m buying a car, which for someone who has always had money issues, is highly stressful.  Can I afford it?  Yes.  Do I need it?  Yes.  But I keep hesitating, picking a different car each day, simply so I don’t have to do this thing.  Then, I start thinking about what Mike will say if I get a new car.  The arguments form themselves in my head seamlessly and without help from me.  My rational mind says:

“Who cares what he thinks?”

“He has bought a ton of stuff for himself without consulting or caring what you think.”

“You are separated.  You need a car to get to work.  All that matters is what you think.  The end.”

But it never really is the end.  That damn subconscious comes around to rear her ugly head to remind me in no uncertain terms that she is really running the show and it’s stupid for me to think otherwise/

And yet, I am 37 years old and I know this is a problem. The amount I seems to care what other people think is astounding.  I have always tried to pride myself on the fact that it only matters what I think and feel, not others.  But here I am, with all this time on my hands, CONSTANTLY thinking about it.

I tell myself to write.  That this process will help me work out what’s in my mind.

*What if people don’t like what I’ve written.*

*What if they think what I have to say is stupid.*

*What’s the point of writing.  No one is even reading it.*

I tell myself to throw myself into my half marathon training and the gym.

*Why?  You’re just going to quit again like you always do.*

*Why do you even thinking you can do this when clearly you can’t.*

I tell myself to put down the screens and read, go outside, do anything.

*Right after one more scroll through facebook to see that my friends (and others) are having a way more fun and happy summer than I am having.*

I don’t even know how to write more to this post.

I know I need a break, but I am simply too scared to take it.  I know I know I need to find the person I lost over the past couple years, but I just don’t know what to do to find her again.

When I was little I used to run around and smash lightning bugs.  Cruel, I know (at least now I do), but when I did that I was never thinking about their death, only thinking about how they would make me sparkle.  How, for a brief time, I would shine.

I never imagined that I would have to find a way to make myself sparkle and glow without the help of the lightning bugs. That I would have to do it on my own.

When did I stop believing in myself?

I have no idea.  I just know that I have to find a way to begin again.

Screen Shot 2018-06-28 at 1.58.07 PM

 

 

 

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.

images.jpeg

Fall down seven times, get up eight

Everything hurts and I’m dying.

I literally don’t think I could get out of this chair if I wanted to.  And I only ran/walked 2.5 miles today.  This summer I was up to over 25 miles a week with my long runs between 10-14.  Today? The idea of running 10 miles at one time makes me want to kill myself.

And yet, I have an alarm set on my phone to sign up for a half marathon when it opens on Thursday.

I’m constantly starting over. And for no other reason than I’m constantly giving up.  Something happens when I get to a certain point in almost every endeavor in my life.  I leave it behind, trying to convince myself I won’t get any better, or that I’m just going to fail, or thatI have something more important that needs my time and attention.

But we all know this is crap.  And then I’m forced to start over again.

I constantly wonder how far along I would be if I simply stopped giving up.  When I first started I was “running” a 16-17 minute mile on a fast day.  And I would get better and faster, but never lower than a 12 minute mile and never for very long.  And now here I am,  not anywhere near where I started, but definitely not where I was.  And after just a day back into it I feel like giving up…again.

My word this year is (was) supposed to be “brave” but I’m not feeling very brave these days. I have all these plans and goals but I’m too scared to follow through.  Mostly it’s fear of judgment.  And a little fear of failure.

I want to do things.  I want to help people.  I want to make the most of this tiny amount of time we are allotted on this earth.  I want to claim my guaranteed entry to to the NYC marathon, but what if I flake out again?  I want to really start using my running to give back, like running with Back on My Feet, working with a population I respect and who needs so much love, but will always feel like I’m too slow. I want to write more, more than just these blog posts, but never feel like it will go anywhere so what’s the point?

I have so much trouble putting myself out there…really out there.

Brave?  Not so much these days…

But I guess the fact that I care at all is something.  I guess the fact that I always try again proves I’m meant for more.

I know who I am.  I know what I want.  I know what is important to me.

But knowing is easy.  Doing is hard.

 

 

Brave

It’s almost that time.  My favorite time of the year.  The day we all get a blank slate to begin again.
I’m so excited.  I’ve been looking forward to this for a while now.  The last couple years have been marred by big events, both good and bad.  From new relationships and friendships, to break ups and new babies.  New houses and old baggage, and starting and stopping many times over.
I know the calendar has nothing to do with this, but there is something about the last number of the year changing that signifies a baptism.  The past is put aside so new experiences can emerge.  With the change in number so comes a change in attitude, purpose and resolve, almost as if the year is shedding off it’s old coat in order have renewed sparkle and shine.
In the past I’ve spent time coming up with strict, structured, and concrete resolutions; run this much, weigh this much, eat this food, be the person.  But not this year.  Instead I’ve decided to come up with a word, a theme if you will, that will drive the way I live my life.  My word this year will be brave.
In the past few weeks I have flirting with this concept, almost as if I’m simply tasting it to see if it’s something that my palate can agree with.  I’ve been more honest, stood up for myself, engaged in mild confrontations, and spoke truths that I’ve been too scared to address in over two years.
And I’ve never felt better.
Some of my braveries will be small (I’ve never tried steamed mussels) and some will be life changing.
I started this blog as a way to express myself and and make sense of my soul.  But in a way, I’m still hidden.  I speak the truth, but only a part of it.  I add sprinkles to items I’m not ready to completely address, like a way to liven up a bland sugar cookie.  I leave out details I’m sure will get judged.  But not anymore.  I’m ready to be open and honest about certain elements.  I’m ready to embrace who I am; the good and bad, the ugly and awesome.
I’ll probably be judged.  I’ll probably lose friends.  But that’s ok.  I’m almost 35 years old and life is short, dammit.  Why be someone I’m not?  It’s getting too hard.
I’m read to embrace 2016 and all of it’s amazingness.  And I’m ready for me to be amazing as well.
In 2016 we should resolve to be who we really are.
Be brave.  Be fearless.  Be you.

Unknown.jpeg