Definitely Not A Sprint

Get ready – this is a long one…

It’s a marathon, not a sprint. I’m not saying this to me. I already know this. I may struggle with the fact on a daily basis but I understand what it means. Not everyone around me does. I say this because there are still some people who are worried by my dark & twisty tone in this blog.  You know who you are. If we are being honest, I’m sure you are not alone. And while I feel perfectly justified in being all bad-moody, I see how disturbing it can be to the people who care about me. Not everyone gets that this is just me talking things through. Some days will be good and others will be bad. Some days I will complain and others I will cry. I make no apologies for how I choose to deal with life’s little turbulence. Talking out the dark & twisty is how I cope. I’ve always been more bark than bite – so no big surprise there.  I am depressed that things aren’t going my way, sure. But I am talking and working through it. Get worried when I stop talking about it. The absence of communication is what rots out insides.

This is a marathon, not a sprint. I am homeless. The third month of transient living is taking its toll. I am living off the kindness and patience of my friends. I hate it. I love my friends but I feel like a burden. Constantly worrying about being in the way, being helpful enough and being clear in showing my gratitude is leaving me exhausted. My friends will tell me that it is no burden at all. My friends are liars. I know it and deep down they know it too. But this is what friends do for each other. I cannot express how much I appreciate them for that. The good news here is that in just two weeks this nomadic phase will be over. I will have my own place – pause for dramatic effect and cue a huge sigh of relief. This is a tremendous weight off of my shoulders. It’s also super exciting. It’s a great apartment in a great location. And if I don’t show the excitement that is because the apartment still feels a little bit like a unicorn to me. Trust me, though, I am counting the days till I can call it my own.

This is a marathon, not a sprint. I miss my friends. I haven’t had too many good opportunities to get out there and make new friends in Boston. I suppose there is always the option of going to a bar by myself and just start talking to strangers but I don’t see that ending well for me. I’ve never been very good at striking up friendships with strangers. Luckily for me, I have had the privilege of being introduced to a lot of terrific people in Boston. They are all friends of friends. And flying in the face of statistics, I really think they are all phenomenal people. They are funny and kind and they genuinely care about each other. Coming from someone who doesn’t typically “like” people, that is truly defying the odds. I miss my friends from Michigan and Minneapolis. And in Boston, I would like to find that circle of friends that started with me.  I feel that it is important for me as a person – my own person – to have something; some people that are mine first.

This is a marathon, not a sprint. I’m a bad mommy. My horse, Sebastian, is still in Minnesota. My cats, Sonni, Skinny and Isabelle, are still in Detroit with my parents. On a rational level, I know that they are fine without me. Sebastian’s barn provides the best care that I have ever seen. He’s kind of a big deal in his herd, being one of the top geldings with his choice of the ladies. But I can’t move him out to Boston – not quite yet. And honestly sometimes I wonder if I can afford having him out here at all. The thought of being permanently separated from him breaks my heart into pieces. But I try not to think about it until it is absolutely necessary. My mom is a saint when it comes to my cats. Really she’s gone above and beyond. She’s got her cats and my cats on a schedule where they can roam the house freely and cuddle without encountering each other. My dad’s patience in a house of five cats is no small feat either. I know they are okay without me. However, I am not-so-okay without them. There is something to be said for the calming and therapeutic nature of petting and snuggling with animals. I miss it so much.

This is a marathon, not a sprint.  I need a new job. I have been working remotely for almost three months now. I have been looking for a job for much longer than that. As I have said in previous posts, I am losing steam and losing faith in this venture. I am not focused in the old job and I am discouraged in my search for the new one. My confidence has been called into question by a certain someone so allow me to clarify – I am damn good at what I do and I can do just about anything. Once I’m in a job, I am a force to be reckoned with. However, I don’t do too well in the search process. I especially suffer when I feel unjustly ignored or passed over. This comes back to the fact that I KNOW I am smart and passionate and great. How do I get these people to see it? What other options haven’t I tried? What the fuck am I doing wrong here? I am too good, too talented to waste so much time waiting. I want to work. I enjoy working. But I’m idle right now. I’m stuck and I don’t know what to do. And while my confidence in my abilities is as strong as ever, my faith and conviction in the job search is wavering.

This is a marathon, not a sprint. My self-perception is fucked. There is an unhappy whale that looks back at me from the other side of my mirror. Exercise is an important part of my physical and mental health.  I have not been able to consistently work out for a while. Not to mention that with this nomadic existence comes really terrible eating habits. I’m eating crappy food, drinking more than I’m used to and not getting the exercise I need. I have a membership to Cross Fit. I am supposed to go three times per week. Unfortunately I am never in one city for longer than 5 days at a time, making it near impossible to make three weekly sessions. My bad moods also make it difficult for me to drag my sorry ass to go running. This is probably the only aspect of my troubles that really is my fault. I can control these things and I haven’t been doing a good job. My frustrations have gotten the better of me and I need to take responsibility for them and for turning my focus to getting back on track.

This is a marathon, not a sprint. I am not giving 100%. Everything that I have just said is taking up its own little bit of my consciousness. My focus, my determination and my enthusiasm is split between all of these areas of my life. Will the new apartment have enough space? How will I manage moving my things? How can I make new friends? How do I balance seeing my time seeing my old friends with my new ones in Boston? When did my clothes stop fitting? Why can’t I just get up to run without a fight? How can I move a horse from Minneapolis to Boston? Can I even afford to move him at all? Will my cats totally destroy the new place? Will allergies actually make it impossible for me to ever live with anyone? When will I get a break in this job hunt? What am I doing wrong? Who else can I network with? Can I even stand more networking without vomiting? These are just a sampling of what plagues me. Everything has a portion of my attention but nothing has my full focus. I am not giving 100% to any one task. I hate not giving my all. I like to be the best and you can’t be the best without putting in the time. Right now I am phoning it in. All of it. I am half-assing it. And it’s killing me.

Yes. That was a lot of dark and a lot of twisty. It’s also the truth. It sounds really bad because we are in min-marathon.  Like those first two miles of a race, all I can think of is that there is no way in hell that I can make it. I can list out all of the challenges in front of me which seem in surmountable. I keep going. I make it to water stops that give me relief. I slow down to walk that helps me to catch my breath. I pass by cheering crowds that give my spirit a lift. And then, somehow, the finish line is within sight. That is the moment I reach deep down and find the strength to sprint. When the end is so close I can taste it. When I pass that line, they drape me with a medal and usher me to the snack line. While I wait I begin to wonder how I ever doubted myself. I did it and it wasn’t THAT bad. Heck at that moment I feel indestructible and am actually planning out the next one. It is my full belief that the euphoria-induced amnesia temporarily erases pain and doubt. This is the only way nature could entice us to run again. Right now, in this race, I’d say that I am about at mile 15. I’m more than halfway there, but I still have a ways to go. And that’s okay, because I will stop for water, pass by the crowds and walk if I have to. My future posts could be grouchy or excited. I will complain and mope. I will cry and I will giggle. There’s a finish line at stake here people. And I’m no quitter. I’ll get there eventually. Like I said, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.

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