For today's literary treat, here's a link to an article I read recently that rings (sort of) true with me. The author of this article also has a blog, which some of you may also enjoy checking out.
Something I think we all deal with at some point in our lives, is figuring out who we are in terms of categories and labels. Can I say "I am a runner"? Can I call myself an athlete? I know I am a mother, a wife, a child of God. I love stories based on real life, I cry easily, I am shy and very uncomfortable at social gatherings. I love to write, I love to learn new things, but I am fiercely intimidated by the unknown. I am a total stranger to forcing my body to it's physical and mental limits. Training for a marathon was the furthest thing from my mind 6 months ago. Now here I am, smack dab in the middle of all of those things. One of the biggest hurdles so far has been convincing myself that I am capable of achieving this goal, that I am not the "blah girl", with not much notable about her, blending in with the background, just getting by day to day until....what? My issues are not with motivation, I have plenty of that, nor with consistency, also one of my strong points. My biggest struggle, by far, is with allowing myself to see what I am able to do, and what I have already done. Not just acknowledging these things, but actually feeling deep down that I am worthy to be the person I wish I was, the person I am incessantly striving to become.
There is a song I have on my mp3 that I listen to while I am running, ('Lift Me Up', by Kate Voegle). In this song, the lyrics say: "So loud the voices are from my doubts, telling me to give up, to pack up and leave town. But even so, I have to believe impossible means nothing to me. So can you lift me up and turn the ashes into flames, 'cause I have overcome more than words will ever say. And I've been given hope, that there's a light on down the hall, and that the day will come when the fight is won, and I think that day has just begun. Somewhere, everybody starts there. You're counting on a small prayer, lost in a nightmare. But I'm here, and suddenly it's so clear...the struggle through the long years, it taught me to outrun my fears. Everything that's worth having, comes with trials worth withstanding...looking up is not enough, I would rather rise above..."
Every time I hear this song I am reminded of all the things I have already gone through in my life that have made me stronger, and that this is just one more hurdle along the way. I often wonder when I will reach the point in my life when I can say I am content with who I am, that I am comfortable (and happy) in my own skin. As I continue on this quest, I dedicate my perseverance and efforts to all of my demons: the mother who called me 'pleasingly plump' as a little girl and made sure to tell me often what I was or was not capable of accomplishing, the neighbor man who stole my innocence, those whom I loved but could (or would) not return it, and mostly to my own inner demons - the ones constantly trying to talk me out of attempting to better myself. Four months from now I will have shed the persona of the pleasingly plump, dorky girl with the cute smile and sweet spirit, and I will instead be the unlikely woman who finished a marathon. :)