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Contradiction

My life is a constant contradiction. I’ve known this for a while, but it seems to be getting worse.

For starters: I’m a life-long vegetarian (and leaning into veganism) but I don’t really like animals. I don’t really hate them either. I just don’t like them. They are fine outside, in a fence, where I don’t have to touch them or smell them. They are also fine in the wild, where they belong. I just don’t want them in my house.

I have a tendency to be very honest and direct with people, but I don’t like it when people are direct with me. I can dish it out, but I can’t take it. I assume this applies to a lot of people though.

I love fast cars, but I hate to drive. True story.

I work in marketing and I’m not a very social person.

I am highly judgmental, but I don’t like it when people judge me.

No lesson here. Just an observation. The first step is admitting that you have a problem, right?

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“Let’s Reason This Out”

I used to HATE when my dad said this… “Let’s Reason This Out.” I knew that it meant a long conversation about why my idea was a bad one.

We used to get advertisements in the mail for 12 CDs for $1.00. I loved those letters! My sister and I would pick out all of the music we wanted and then go ask Dad for his credit card to place our order. We were met with a “Let’s Reason This Out” lecture. There was some fine print on the back that we missed apparently. We were subjected to a 2 hour lecture about why it was not a good idea to give them your credit card number. Oh the memories!!!

Last night, I found myself thanking him for these conversations.

The Story

Last week I was listening to a guy tell a story about a series of bad choices that he had made. I was shocked by what I heard.

First mistake: he friended a coworker (a girl) on Facebook. She turned around and called him a nickname in a post. A name that his wife didn’t like.

Second mistake: not unfriending her right then.

Third mistake: he went on a company outing to a national park. At this particular place they had one of those “we’ll take your picture on the way in and sell it to you on the way out” places. Somehow (I really don’t know how) he ended up in a picture alone with this same coworker.

Fourth mistake: not buying the picture or paying the people selling them to get rid of it.

Fifth mistake: letting another one of his coworkers buy the picture, frame it and display it at work.

Ugh. I’m serious. This is a true story.

Sixth mistake: Telling more people about it!

Seventh mistake: Telling someone, who makes fun of him relentlessly, where to get a copy of the picture.

As I’m listening to this story “Let’s Reason This Out” flashes through my head. I stop and ask him why is he telling us this story and why is he telling this guy where to get a copy of the picture?

He gives me a blank look like he’s not sure why I would ask that question.

The only thing that we can gather from this is that reasoning is kinda like common sense, something that not everyone has. I’m so thankful that I grew up with parents that “tortured” me with those lectures. It was really important. Some kids weren’t so lucky. I’m very thankful that I was and will make sure for certain that my children are too!

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Hill Repeats

I started running a couple of years ago. That first day I couldn’t run for 30 seconds straight without feeling like I was going to die. Over a year I worked up to running 2 miles. Yes, it took me that long. I wanted to run, but not very badly.

Last October I found some inspiration (and a new job with higher pay) and hired a personal trainer. He’s a lot more dedicated than I am. I dream about being that dedicated. Mostly I look at the workouts that he sends me and laugh. There is no way I can do THAT! Silly boy. What is he thinking??? But I show up. I log miles, slowly but surely.

Yesterday was one of those days. I’m supposed to be getting out of bed early and working out in the morning when it’s 70 degrees outside. I prefer to sleep during that time though. So I workout after work when it’s 90 degrees and a million % humidity. It makes it so much easier.

Yesterday was the always dreaded hill repeats. For those of you who don’t run it means exactly what it says – running up and down a hill, repeatedly. Five times to be exact. The last time I did this was in February when I was pretending to be a morning person and was freezing at 5:30am in a park somewhere in downtown Charlotte. It was more like walking up the hill and walking quickly down the hill. Not a lot of running involved. A lot more gasping for air though.

The first one wasn’t so bad. I actually ran the whole way. As I neared the top a nice lady walking in her driveway stopped to say “Good job! That’s a rough hill!” That was exactly what I needed. I respond very well to encouragement and praise.

I rocked the second and third ones. The fourth one was a bit more tough, but I managed.

After the fourth one I stood at the bottom of the hill for a couple of minutes. I had to catch my breath. The inhaler wasn’t helping anymore. I could only think about what it would feel like to finish this workout. I know what it’s like to ignore the workouts. Guilt and frustration and irritation. I didn’t want that… again.

So I took a deep breath and put one foot in front of the other… all the way up to the top. It wasn’t the fastest, but I RAN!!! I ran up that hill 5 times! That is major progress for me! I couldn’t do that 4 months ago and I never would have even dreamed about it 2 years ago.

It got me thinking about why I seem to have the same struggles in my life over and over again. I always thought that it was because I was failing and couldn’t seem to understand why. But maybe I’m not failing at all. Maybe I get the same things to make me stronger, to learn how to deal with them better each time.

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right? If you can make it up the hill, running, walking, or crawling, you will eventually get stronger. That’s what it’s for. That’s why my coach tortures me with this craziness.

I felt like I could conquer the world after I made it to the top of the hill. I rocked out the remaining 2.5 miles of my run and the 100 squats and 100 lunges assigned to me.

The only thing I couldn’t do was walk up the stairs to my apartment after that.

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I Want

I’ve been thinking lately about honesty. It’s such a simple and amazing thing, but it’s so, so hard.

For most of my life I have been taught to hide who I am. “Don’t say that at church.” “Don’t tell your Dad.” “Don’t go out in public like that!”

The really funning thing is that the people that I love and admire the most are those who aren’t afraid to be honest! I envy their freedom and aspire to be like them.

So here it is… all the things I’ve been hiding from you:

I am NOT a morning person. I will turn off the alarm 5 times before I get out of bed. As much as I try to be a morning person, it just ain’t happening.

I LOVE Diet Dr Pepper. Yes, I know it’s not good for me. No, I really don’t care.

I also LOVE chocolate. Dark chocolate anything, but especially with oranges and almonds.

I am way better at baking than cooking. If it doesn’t have chocolate and butter in it, it probably won’t turn out well. I could live off of cupcakes and chocolate chip cookies… which is why I run.

I would rather stay at home and watch a movie than go out with a bunch of friends.

I have over 50, yes 50, scrapbooks that I have made over the years. I LOVE them. I love pictures and words and memories. I love documenting life and remembering years past, the good and the bad.

I have a huge crush on a guy I don’t really know, who is, by all accounts, completely wrong for me. He’s a total bad boy, but that doesn’t bother me. It’s one of the things I like about him. He isn’t afraid of anything.

I have my dream job, but it isn’t so dreamy most of the time.

I like to talk… ok, brag… about running, but the truth is… I can’t run very far without taking a walk break. Don’t tell my coach…

I’m continually terrified of what people think of me, regardless of who they are. I worry about the lady in the store who gives me a funny look when she sees that all I am buying is chocolate ice cream and Dt Dr Pepper. I don’t even know her. I don’t know why I care what she thinks. I just do.

I’m worried I’ll be a disappointment to my family, friends, coworkers, teammates, etc. I have always been a high achiever – top of my class in school, awesome evaluations at work, always the best. This fear of disappointing someone dictates that.

But most of all – I’m terrified that there is a life out there, the one that I dream about all of the time, that I will miss out on because I am too scared to live it.

 

This is the part where I have something inspirational to say to make all of it seem ok. But the truth is that it’s a struggle every single day.

I was astonished when a very sweet friend of mine told me that she liked to sleep. She loved naps and takes them all of the time. I was blown away by her honesty. I would never say such a thing for fear that I would sound lazy or that she would think me lazy. But I didn’t think she was lazy when she said it. I thought she was awesome! I love naps too! And in my single state I take them all of the time too! A lot of times I have nothing else to do, and I like it that way!

So… here you will find honesty from me… about my life, my job, my experiences. Hopefully there will be adventure and lessons learned and encouragement as well. Hopefully I can inspire you to live the life that you dream about too. That’s my goal. This is my life. Welcome to it!