I’ve spent the past week filling my days with running, work, activities with Lillian, baking and even a trip to New Jersey to visit the family. Each day has been chock full of things to do as I’ve made new memories with my little Lillian and yet each day still feels a little empty. I’m adjusting, but it’s hard. I’m not in a rush to pretend that everything’s ok. I spent the better part of a week in shock and the next week trying to grapple with my new reality. Yea, I’m not ok- and that’s ok. I’m functioning. I’m going to work, getting my sleepies in, running, talking to friends and taking care of myself. I’m doing what I need to do, but I’m sad and I’m not afraid to say it or feel it.
Last week I walked into a coffee shop at work and heard Ingrid Michaelson’s The Way I Am on the radio and left with tears in my eyes. On the drive down to Jersey Lillian heard Pink’s, Just Give me a Reason song on the radio and out of nowhere told me, “one day you’ll learn to love again too Mommy.” Holy Moses. Talk about instant tears.
Time. Everyone says it just takes time. Well, I’ve got nothing but time so…. silver lining?
It’s always okay in the end. If it’s not ok, then it’s not the end. (or something like that).
I’ve spent most of my free time brainstorming what’s next for me personally and professionally. I started off the week with various awesome, but unrealistic and somewhat outrageous ideas like writing a book, going full force into my own coaching business and even going back to school. Then the dust settled, the emotions calmed and I started to truly reflect on what I need right now for my life and the years ahead. Here’s what I have figured out thus far….
The security I experience when running is a beautiful escape from the rest of my life where other things feel foggy and confusing. Running is my sanctuary. It is my second home. It is where I feel found. When I’m running my mind quiets down and I allow my life worries to disappear. I don’t have to worry about Lillian’s college fund, my career, my clients or even tomorrow. When I run I get to look at the clouds, breathe in the fresh air, scream woohoo at the top of mountains race garbage trucks and T-buses from stop to stop and feel like a bad-ass as I kick hard to beat red lights at an intersection. I get out of my head and get into my shoes and I feel life coursing through my veins. There is no doubt in my mind that running is where I am my best self. It’s my peace and quiet in a busy day. It’s my happy place in an emotional week. It’s my sanctuary in a daunting life. At its core running is where I feel found.
But at some point I have to stop running and reenter daily life as a functioning, working adult. Well crap, so what do I do then? And this is where I’ve been stumped for 2 years… if not longer. At some point I have to believe in myself, my own strength and take action in life. I had enough strength to leave a marriage and face the world anew. I need to find that strength again and build on it tenfold (times infinity).
While Chris and I were dating I often experienced fears and worries about being alone. He consistently assured me that even if I was physically alone that he was there with me in spirit. His words washed over me without ever truly sinking in. Being alone. Why did I- why do I fear this SO much? I guess I’ve never really been alone in my life. I went straight from a college dorm room to living with my boyfriend (now exhusband). I’ve never had to pay the bills 100% on my own. In all honesty I never thought I would have to truly stand on my own two feet without a partner. Ridiculous I know, but it’s the truth. When you get married at 24 years old you assume it will be forever. You assume that you will lean on each other, pay the bills, raise the family, prepare for retirement and pay for your kid’s college- together. And then it doesn’t work out, you’re alone and you’re now in charge with little to no experience. Well, shit. That’s scary. Fuck yes I’m scared of being alone!! Haha. Seriously! Wouldn’t you be!?!
I need to know that I can stand on my own two feet, and not just when I’m running. I need to assume that it will be just me for the rest of my life- I sincerely hope it won’t be, but if I build a career and a life for myself based on that assumption and the right partner comes along, well that will be a cherry on top. I need to develop my career to create stable future for Lillian and myself. I do have a job and I am currently working, however I do not receive benefits, vacation time or a retirement plan. This past weekend my brother put it into perspective when he said, “Kass, you’re a mouse on a wheel. You stop running and the wheel stops turning. You get sick- no money. Your client doesn’t show- you don’t get paid. Vacation, snow storm, Lillian gets sick- all no money. Mouse on a wheel, Kass. Mouse on a wheel!” It’s a tough pill to swallow, but in many regards he’s right. Even though I love what I do there is a lot of financial instability within my current position. This financial set up has been a breeding ground for my anxiety that has only increased throughout the past year. I’m not sure how, but something will need to shift. I need to learn how to stand on my own two feet and have confidence that I can do it on my own.
Lastly-begrudgingly- I need to stay single for a good long while. This part makes me sad. I’m a snuggler. I’m an affectionate woman with a lot of love to give. I love laughing, hugging and loving. I desperately want to find a partner who I can share all parts of myself with- good and bad. Heck, I thought I did. But I need to heal. I need to grow. I need to be alone. For now.
So what will I do with all of my newfound free time? I have some ideas…
*I’m determined to finish watching the entire series of Grey’s Anatomy- I’m currently on season 7. I know, I know, BIG plans. But this will keep me busy.
*Learning to actually cook. I’m going to buy a cookbook and cook my way through it- that will make for some fun blogging adventures, I’m sure.
*Connect with local friends. When you’re out of town most weekends you tend to lose touch with your local friends. Well, I’m here and I’m free every other weekend, play with me!
*Run somewhere new. My last relationship taught me how much running can enhance your life and bring you to new, unseen places if you let it! Your run can be a mini-vacation in your weekend simply by running somewhere new. It’s my goal to continue to do this and see new places all over Boston.
* This weekend I’m signed up to take the USATF Coaching Certification course. No matter how much I fight it I LOVE coaching runners. I’m SUPER excited to take this course- except for the fact that it goes until 10 pm on Saturday night- cough cough, I go to bed by 9 – yikes.
A change is definitely on the horizon folks. I feel it coming. I’ll let you know when I get there :). But for now I’ll be running. Next post will be about running, promise!!
Can’t stop, won’t stop.