Life isn’t perfect…

I’m sitting in the office alone–by choice actually and it’s kind of nice–18 floors above the bustling city streets below me.  It’s a typical San Francisco summer day–sunny but cool and the fog isn’t far from the Bay.  It hasn’t felt much like a Friday to me and maybe it’s my Eeyore like feeling that I’ve had since yesterday afternoon.  Transitions often have this effect on me and I’ve just learned to ride the wave.    I will still often try and seek out peace but it usually finds me once I sit down and just be.  Sure enough, here I am writing and I can do so now…peace is here, I can feel it.  Feels kind of like one of my Mom’s hugs–I miss those.

I may not blog here as regularly as others, but I do write every morning on my BART ride in to The City.  They are raw words of wisdom on one page.  I write off the cuff and without coffee in me.  I’ve noticed they’ve become less about me and more about the lessons I’ve learned by living my life.  Not sure who my inner self plans to pass this on to but it’s like I’m writing this to pass it on.  “Keep smiling…Love unconditionally….Be true to you…”  All like I’m writing to someone else, speaking generally yet specifically about myself/life.  I don’t even remember what I wrote about this morning.  But this evening I feel like there’s something more on my mind.  Bear with me…

I had a friend probe me about what’s going on….why this change or shift that I’m going through.  That conversation made me realize that it’s not one thing, person or situation that has this shift/change occurring.  It’s not dependent on anything other then myself.  My self finally realizing that I need to live my life for me.  Make time for me.  Be healthy for me.  Run for me.  Smile and be happy because of me.   Love me.

I’m a giver.  I give of myself before making sure my basic needs are met often times.  I make sure everyone else is happy and taken care of before I make sure I am.  I’m ok with this.  But I recognize a giver has a greater challenge.  We can be givers but we need to be more conscious of balance.  A giver will burn out if the output is more then the input.  Simple things can be energizing for me–a smile, compliment, a hug, a just because…

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Welcome to my life…I started this almost a month ago and never finished it!  The month between July 31 and August 31 has been a challenge and evolving period for me the last eight years of my life.  I’ve learned to only expect the unexpected.  I’m an avid planner and think ahead kinda gal but this month, I usually throw caution to the wind and go with the flow.  I’m a live in the moment, day by day kind of creature these 30 days.  Why such the 180* switch?

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Let me try this for a third time–it’s a charm right?  We’re on the brink of the holidays and I’m still trying to figure out where 2016 has gone!  I know many have been inundated and saturated with politics this year, but for me 2016 was a lot more then that.  This year I became a caretaker again, I’ve paved a new career path, I moved on from a six year relationship, i’ve come into my own through happiness and so much more.

For those who weren’t aware, last Fall I began the search for my next career step. It was a whirlwind two weeks of back to back interviews, calls and research.  I finally had a few days to myself with friends and I was planning to use it to clear my mind and make my decision.  While I was in Philadelphia preparing to run RnRPhilly, I was standing on a random street corner downtown and I received the call.  My Dad called to advise me that he was going to need a heart valve replacement.  Time froze and the busy downtown street suddenly had an eerie silence.  It was like I was taken back to the day I was sitting on the couch at my parent’s house and my Mom told us she was diagnosed with cancer.  So many emotions and no idea how to handle them.  I braced myself against my friend and listened to every word my Dad said.  Now a year later, he’s not only doing well he’s doing better then expected.  Don’t get me wrong, this hasn’t been an easy journey to get here.  There were a number of doctors visits, pre-ops, nervous pacing in the hospital, sleepless nights, early mornings, etc.  But I’d do it all over again to make sure he would thrive.  I’m grateful for the journey and the outcome!

For a moment, at the beginning of all that, I thought I was going to have to postpone my next career move but I landed at a place that was supportive of my situation and worked with me to make it through.  To that point, this (is it still new a year in?) new position has brought a lot into my life.  I’ve experienced the expected “ups and downs” of working life, but I’ve chosen to grow from it instead of let it get me down.  I’m not perfect, I’ll make mistakes but I will learn from them.  I’ve met some impressive and amazing people–young bright minds, wiser older ones, and many more.  I’ve also met the one who makes me happier.  Yes, happier–I make me happy, he makes me happier.  I’ll get into that later but it’s because of work that we even crossed paths (I literally mean that).  Doing what I do, choose to do, can have it’s moments–moments when I feel like I’m trying to manage a tornado, hurricane and blizzard all at the same time.  But then there’s those moments when the storm clears and the sunlight of gratitude shines.  Makes doing what I do worth it to me.  I’m a “what doesn’t kill me, makes me stronger” kind of girl and I live it.

As my life was starting to settle back into being my own again, I had a moment hiking in my favorite local spot.  Well more then a moment, I was hiking for about three hours and then it happened…the tears just started streaming down my face.  I knew, I knew the feeling I felt but I didn’t know how to handle it yet.  I finally went home not because of a distance or time goal was met but because I finally felt what I needed to feel that day.  I didn’t have the answer(s) yet but I didn’t need it.  I allowed that feeling to develop and evolve for almost three month before I finally knew and had the words I needed in order to express it.  Then it was over.

Some planned travel helped transition me into my new found independence.  I guess I’d been independent for a while though being that we were in a long distance relationship.  The trips were new, eye opening and awe inspiring!  The first two being international and two places I’d never been before–Canada and Hong Kong!!  My trip to Canada was to Vancouver specifically.  Four days in this beautiful city to run and yoga was the best thing I could do for myself at that point in time!  I’ll be back for sure!  Hong Kong was to witness my BFF Stef and her (now) husband Rob wed!!  I’d never been to Asia at all so this was a first on so many levels!  Seeing their love and that of their closest friends and family reminded me what life is really all about.  Venturing off to explore on my own renewed that love in myself!  Finally (and maybe not so adventurous) I went back to LA for the first time since leaving my last job.  This trip, while simple, allowed me to really let go of anything I was holding on to from that and move on.  It also reminded me of how far I’ve come in my journey as I completed my 30th half marathon there thanks (in large part) to Rock N Roll and the amazing people I’ve met through running their races–many of which I saw while running there!!

I’ve done this–life–on my own before, as an introvert it doesn’t bother me.  So I was prepared to do it again.  In the process of tidying up to do so, he crossed my path–well I think I technically crossed his.  He tells our story of how we met so well even I get lost in it like I’m watching some made for TV movie–LOL!  We’ve taken it one day at a time but I feel like I’ve known him for years.  Two so different yet so very similar in many ways.  Our difference compliment each other and our similarities blend.  As I said before he makes me happier.  I am my own happy–it’s not dependent on another.  I’m grateful for him.

So here we are…a year later from when this all started to unravel on me.  Progress?  ABSOLUTELY!! Better for it?  No argument there!  Lighter?  In one sense, yes–another, no LOL.  But this is life…it isn’t perfect, it (often) doesn’t go “my way”, sometimes it’s not fair (or at least feels like it) and there’s plenty of challenges that are faced along the way.  But you know what?  It’s ALWAYS worth it!  Life isn’t perfect, but it’s always…ALWAYS worth it.  If I knew then what I know now, I’d do it all over again.  I may have some bumps and bruises but I survived and more importantly I’ve thrived from what I’ve experienced and I plan to keep doing so.  Life isn’t perfect but I’m beyond GRATEFUL for every moment of it that I get to experience!

For the FUN of the RUN–my 1st Race Recap (ever) of my 10th Half Marathon! RnRSF

In August 2012 my goal for my first half was part serious and part joke–I kept saying that I just wanted to complete all 13.1 miles, upright and cross the finish line on my own two feet.  Then I started training and decided I could finish and that I wanted to complete it in under 3 hours; I ended up finishing in 2:35 so I was thrilled!  Then I did my 2nd half and beat that time by almost 20 minutes, then my 3rd half and PR’d again by another 5 min, and so on.  PRs became something I was getting used to and using as my focus/goal for each race.  Then the inevitable happened and I didn’t PR.  I was kind of bummed at first but I got over it, it was bound to happen at some point and I really hadn’t trained as well as I could/should have.  Then it happened again…I not only didn’t PR but I came in at the same time I did as my 2nd half and here I was completing my 9th!  Something dawned on me then…

This past Sunday I completed my 10th Half Marathon, it’s still amazing to me that within less than two years I’ve completed 10!  So here’s some background.  I am born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area–hills are part of my regular training/runs.  I did the RnRSF last year for their inaugural race and it had some good hills in there.  This course was a “go big or go home” kind of hill course and if you don’t know SF, then you should know that “inclines” are anything that are not pancake flat and “hills” are some serious climbs–whether that makes them short but steep or long.  Comparing this year and last year’s courses felt like night and day!  Once I faced the facts of what the course had in store from me I decided my goal was going to be “enjoy the views…and yes that was definitely a plural!”  This course started us out at the beach at sunrise for 0.25 miles then we headed up our first set of (many) hills into the sunrise itself–we had hills for breakfast!  Once we got into the Presidio and Sea Cliff it was all postcard views from there–and we were going to earn them!  I could talk about them but I will just post some of the pictures that runners took along the way.  I thought of stopping but I chose not to except for once and that was with some fellow bloggers who were cheering runners on along the course between miles 2 and 3!

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@pointonemiles and @pavementrunner

Explaining these views is pointless, they speak for themselves.  But for someone from here, they even got me to consider stopping because they were SO BEAUTIFUL!!

2014-04-05 13.06.51 2014-04-05 16.08.392014-04-06 06.32.59  2014-04-06 16.13.07image image_1 photo2014-04-06 08.51.50-12014-04-06 10.58.462014-04-06 09.35.11

  2014-04-06 11.04.522014-04-07 15.21.19

From top/bottom and L to R @sojomy, me, @pointonemiles, @katietheactor, @hayz808,  @pavementrunner, @run_westin, @runrocknroll

This weekend was more about why I enjoy running and not about how fast I could finish it!  Isn’t that what life in general is about?  Enjoying the journey and not focusing about how fast you arrive at your final destination?  I was so proud of myself for my finish but I was elated at the finish line because the amazing fun-filled weekend I had was well spent and worth the hurt (and tiredness) that I felt!  I met people who inspire/motivate me daily via social media and I feel like we all really know each other like any other friend I’ve had for years!  We all instantly click when we get together like we’ve never been separated by distance.  We encourage each other to keep going when it feels hard or hurts, to go further when we feel we’ve gone the distance, to keep our heads up when we keep ourselves down, to be proud of what we’ve done because we couldn’t at one point, and to enjoy the view and have fun because in the end that’s what it’s all about!

This weekend I conquered the hills of San Francisco, I completed my 10th half marathon (and plan on completing many more), I was blessed with some AMAZING views and I’m grateful to be a part of this running community that spans over many miles, ages, demographics, experience, etc.  We all have one common thread and it keeps us together through all the ups and downs–or in this case peaks and valleys!

 

 

For more great views check out RnRSF recaps at  http://www.pointonemiles.com/  and  http://pavementrunner.com/rnrsf-2014/