Evolution

January 16, 2013 § Leave a comment

I try not to view a new year as a new beginning, because I don’t quite believe in new beginnings.  Well, I believe in them in the sense that every moment is a new beginning.  Still, it is difficult to not pour over the past and look toward a positive future when January 1st rolls around.

This past year has been rather chaotic for me.  In many ways it has perhaps been one of the best ever.  I am in the best shape of my entire life and with that I also look better than ever, I actually made some great friends, I ran more miles than I ever though were possible and ended my first year of races by completing a full marathon, and so on.  However, I guess that is what has made it so odd.  I am not accustomed to social interaction, to getting attention from guys I actually want attention from, to having such big goals and desires.  This all leads to a lot of frustration.  All of these feelings come up and I don’t know what to do with them.  All of these situations come up and I don’t know how to react to them.  In many ways I am just lost.

But I also know that there is nothing to search for, because I also don’t really believe in “finding yourself”.  I guess I just want to keep trying to stay on a path of self-discovery and keep up the attempt to regain normalcy.  The problem with that is that things in my life, at least as an adult, have never really been normal.  And I know many will claim that there is no “normal”, but eh.  Basically, I am just striving for the opposite of insane chaos.

Balance is key for me right now.  As is focus.  I know I need to be far more proactive in creating change in my life.  Nothing external can do that for me and I truly believe that the only way to create change is from within.  Being said, that is of course a daily struggle.  Fear is still a big factor for me, as is anxiety.  I lost so much of my life in my 20’s that I have entered my 30’s feeling like I am just not on the same level as all of my peers.  Sure I have life experiences, but they are vastly different from the life experiences of the majority.   Instead of spending my 20’s trying to build a career, dating, having sex, making friends, and so on I spend them wishing I were dead.  Not exactly something that is a great conversation starter or something that makes me relatable to a majority of others.  And while I have done a good job in shedding many of the past insecurities that held me down, this has become the main insecurity of my present.

So while I have many health, fitness, social, and emotional goals for 2013, my main goal is to just evolve.  I hope that this year will be far better than the last.  That some of the pieces will finally start coming together.  That I can finally balance all of my needs, and wants, and desires.  In the end I just want to keep striving to be my best self.

And yes one of my goals is to post here more (and perhaps actually use this space to connect rather than just talk to myself), but of course it took me until January 16th to even publish my first post of the year (though I started it on January 4th, so that is…something).  And I’m still uncertain of what to even do with this space.  Oh well.  I’ll keep trying…

Regaining Momentum

August 20, 2012 § Leave a comment

So it has been about a month since I updated here.  Shocking.  I think I wonder so much about what to do with this space and how it really fits in with anything else that I just end up neglecting it altogether.  Unfortunately a familiar pattern of thought right there.  I know I need to stop thinking so much about  how I fit in this world and what others think of me, and I have to a large extent.  Trust me.  However, I still admittedly have some growth to do in that area.

One of the main things I wanted to write about here is my race training.  As mentioned previously, I am running a half marathon on September 16th (less than a month away!) and have been training for it during much of this summer.  I actually switched over to a marathon training plan (Hal Higdon Novice 1) when the timing was right to line up with the half.  So currently I am in week #5 of this plan with the intention of then running the Philadelphia Marathon on November 18th.  This will mean cutting out week #17 of the Higdon plan (sorry Hal!).  Of course in true me fashion I haven’t actually signed up for the full marathon yet, but I am planning to finalize that by Labor Day Weekend.  I even purchased Hal Higdon’s Marathon and thought about opening it up and giving it a read a few times.  Serious business!  Truthfully, I’m just lazy when it comes to reading anything that isn’t a magazine these days.  Attention span, where are you?

My longest run far was Saturday’s nine miles, which was a bit of a struggle.  I feel like a lot of this was mental as my actual pace wasn’t at all off with my normal pace for long runs , though I slowed a bit.  I also didn’t get out until near noon.  While this weekend the temps were actually quite pleasant, I feel like I would have had a better run if I weren’t out during the hotter point of the day.  The reason why I think a lot of it was mental was due to how much talking to myself I had to do and the fact that the lat mile was so incredibly easy once I realized it was the last.  My last long run of 8 miles two weekends before was not at all like this, though the pace and run itself was quite similar.

My goal time for the half is under 2:15, which the trusty McMillan Running Calculator tells me is totally possible.  And in my mind and body I think this is totally possible as well.  My goal for the full would be 4:45, which the McMillan Calculator also tells me is possible.  However, more realistically I do have a B goal of just finishing in under 5 hours.  I won’t lie though, I wish I could go by the Oprah standard of 4:29.  I mean I feel like I should be as fit as Oprah was when she ran the MCM, but I am sure that is based on somewhat faulty judgement.  I’m no Oprah and my current training times do not indicate that this is a goal I should be setting for myself at this point.  We’ll see.  For now I would be thrilled with under 4:45 as I am still a bit intimidated by 26.2.

Anyway, hopefully I will have much more to add in coming days.  I really think actively blogging will help me in various ways.  My life and my attitude about it is changing and evolving so much  lately, but there is also a lot of anxiety and fear that needs to be dealt with as well.  I guess I just need to keep reminding myself of this:

 

(Source)

Letting Go

July 10, 2012 § Leave a comment

The subject of non-attachment has come up in several of the yoga classes I have taken recently and it couldn’t have been more perfect timing for me to hear it.  Non-attachment is precisely what I need to be practicing in my life right now.  If only it weren’t so difficult!  I am at this weird point in my life where I am feeling more confident than ever, looking better than ever, wanting to live life more than ever, yet I am so stuck fixating on things that I need to just let go of.  I say that I don’t want my past to define me, yet I continue to fear that it will.  I say that I don’t want to continue to make the same bad decisions over and over, yet I do.  Instead of just being ok with the moment that I am in regardless of how bad it might feel, I would rather let loneliness and envy take over and set myself up to be hurt (and usually look rather foolish while doing so) yet again.  Instead of taking risks and trying to change my socially phobic ways, I go back to projecting my insecurities about myself onto others.

When I went to google “non-attachment” one of the first things that came up was this post on zenhabits by Lori Deschene of Tiny Buddha.  Every word hit home with me.  Every.  Single.  Word.  I’m far too attached to feelings, moments, things, people, my past, silly fantasies, fears of the future, and so on.  And I know this.  Non-attachment is not a new concept to me and I like to think that I try to live in the moment far more lately, but truthfully I know I am not trying nearly as much I should.  Now has to be enough, as now is all there really is.

I have come so far in the past few years and while it is frustrating that still can’t seem to do things like find employment or find a social circle for myself, I know that I cannot let these things or my feelings about them define and control me.  I can’t sit around and think about what I could have done differently, as I will never have the chance to do it differently.  I need to be constantly opening myself up to new experiences, new people, and new ways of life.  Instead of being attached to the false notion that if X happens things will change, I need to constantly remember that change lies within me.  As said in a song by one of my favorite bands and as I have been saying to myself over and over again “They say the past must die for the future to be born.”  And from the end of the article linked above:

Just know you have the power to choose from moment to moment how you experience things you enjoy: with a sense of ownership, anxiety, and fear, or with a sense of freedom, peace and love.

The most important question: what do you choose right now?

(Source)

Closer

June 18, 2012 § Leave a comment

Now that I’ve realised how it’s all gone wrong,
Gotta find some therapy, this treatment takes too long.
Deep in the heart of where sympathy held sway,
Gotta find my destiny, before it gets too late.

Above are the closing lyrics of the song “Twenty Four Hours” from the Joy Division album Closer.  In my eyes  Closer gives perhaps the best insight into a tortured mind than anything I have ever encountered.  Hauntingly beautiful and painfully honest, it is a favorite album of mine.  One I can barely listen to at this point in my life.

I don’t normally talk about depression that often, as it is a state of mind that few can understand who haven’t been there.  Having been there myself, I don’t even really understand it.  I guess for me it stemmed from a lifetime of shyness, insecurity, social ineptitude, and anxiety.  Once I was let out into the “real world” I found it extremely difficult to adapt which I think in turn led to a state of major depression.  By my mid-20’s I wasn’t even close to functional.  It took me years to get out of that state and I can’t say I’m sure how I even did.  It certainly wasn’t through psychiatry or modern Western medicine.  Not putting any of those things down, but they aren’t what did it for me.  It is all a blur really.  I think the fog just gradually lifted and I found it in me to help myself.  After years of neglect and practically falling off the face of the earth I began to take care of myself, which in turn led to a gradual change in perception about both myself and the world.  I became healthier, lost weight, gained confidence, and began putting myself out into the world that I had pretty much written off for so long.

However, this is where things get difficult.  For putting yourself out there most leads to a lot of rejection.  I find myself now at 32 with no friends or idea of how to make friends, no relationship or idea on how to even find a partner, no career and no experience in order to get a career, and so on.  I feel like someone who has recently been released from prison, only the prison I was in was created by own mind.  Which makes me quite angry since my mind can be quite brilliant otherwise.  All I want right now is to live.  To experience the life I left behind for so long.  I have never felt so capable and confident in my entire adult life.

And that is where the frustration sets in.  There is so much I want to be doing, yet I can’t figure out how to do it.  I can’t figure out how to relate to my peers, how to approach people, how to find a job when all I have is a degree in a rather useless subject and no real job experience.  I feel so pathetic and worthless, which in turn leads me to do pathetic things at times.  It is as if I occupy this weird space between having it together and having nothing at all.  When I was depressed I felt so extremely worthless that I expected everyone else to also view me as worthless.  Now I know I am not worthless, yet I have a past that I can’t really seem to shake.  I try to avoid telling people too much about that past since as I mentioned, it is one that few can possibly understand.  And I don’t blame them.

I am not sure why I am putting this out there.  Maybe I feel that by venting some of my frustration it will perhaps dissipate some, but I know that isn’t really the case.  I am just really struggling with unemployment and feeling so disconnected from my peers right now.  I am generally a person who is pretty ok with being alone, yet the feeling of loneliness is rather different and something that I am having a hard time being ok with.  The non-stop job application and interview process is emotionally exhausting and after trying for a couple of years it gets  harder to keep hope alive.

I do pretty much feel like I am at the point where I need to find my destiny before it is too late.  Some may that it is never too late, but the sense of urgency I am feeling is so strong.  My desire to be a participant in life is so immense, yet I get so lost and confused.  How does one learn to live life after they left it for so long?  I guess this is the question I am so desperately trying to answer, knowing very well that there is no clear answer.  So much closer than ever before, yet right now feeling just out of reach.

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