I always think most clearly while out on a run by myself. Unfortunately, with my recent job change, I'm only able to get outside on the road on the weekends, which has contributed to a mess of thoughts and emotions building and twisting inside me. Today while trying to hurry and beat the impending snowfall, I got in a short 4 miler. I found myself creating bullet-point lists of things I have learned - or more appropriately, have been forced to deal with - during the past 2 months. By the time I had finished, while I felt a little relief, I thought maybe writing some of my thoughts out would also lend to the cathartic benefit of processing some of these feelings. So, read on with caution, as you may learn more about me than you care to know. 😏
When I was a kid, I went through a traumatic and emotional time period after being regularly abused by a family friend. Experiencing something like that changes you, molds you, creates your future tendencies in relationships and in how you value yourself. And it doesn't matter how much you work on moving past it, or how (relatively) healthy and functional you think you become as a result of that work, it still seems to creep in, rearing it's ugly head in ways you wish you could ignore. Sometimes I get mad - wondering if the things I hate most about myself and how I interact with others is a result of what was done to me...then I give myself a metaphorical slap in the face as a reminder that I am responsible for every damn thought, feeling and action I experience - we all have the ability to change things about ourselves. I can't place blame on anyone or anything else for the decisions I make. Life is just one continual growth process, where we learn and move on, or repeat old cycles and get stuck. And just like everyone else, there have been times I have allowed myself to get stuck, and times I have done everything I can to break free and start a new path.
So here I am in my 40's, after making a life-altering career change, contemplating how well my time has been spent, how I've treated people, how I could be different or make things better, what else I need to learn or if I have something to teach. All while feeling like I'm doing the best I can with what I have.
Why are mistakes repeated? Why have I put confidence in the most random and untrustworthy people, while being the most critical, doubting and impatient with the people I should love, trust and cherish the most? It's important to me to make deep connections with a select few in life and not spread myself thin - that has always been my M.O. I'm not sure that's a good thing, because when things get rough with one, it can become a very lonely and introspective place. It makes me sad that the character traits that make me who I am, are what I find myself questioning whenever something doesn't go to plan.
What I am - sensitive, I can't stand when people are mad at me, I overthink every fucking thing, I have high-expectations of people and things - including myself, I have social anxiety and am uncomfortable in group settings, I prefer one-on-one interaction, I'm a rule follower, I need to feel valued and praised. Are these all bad traits? They sound bad when you list them out like this.
What I would change - I wish that I was emotionally stronger and didn't give a shit what other people think about me and was more flexible and forgiving - of others and myself. I wish I could let things roll off my back instead of harping on and reliving every little thing. I want to be able to relinquish control over some of the things I obsess over. I wish I laughed more and cried less, and I wish I didn't dance like a dorky white girl. That last one would be a life-changer. :)
So this is what I was thinking about on my run today: relationships are fragile, life is fragile, people are important, self-reflection is important, change is necessary, forgiveness is necessary, love is what matters most. Forget yourself and get out of your own head. Invest in those who give you all of these things in return. Appreciate the ones who stand by you, despite what they have to go through to be with you. It's a lot. I wish I could have run longer. There's not much resolution or closure, so I guess it's a good thing I can always go for another run. At least that is my goal, to forever be able to go for another run.