“Don’t be afraid; people are so afraid; don’t be afraid to live in the raw wind, naked, alone…Learn at least this: What you are capable of. Let nothing stand in your way.”
― Tony Kushner,
Readers. I’ve been gone. I haven’t written for months.
It’s taken me this day to realize just exactly what happened in 2015, and the only one I’ve come up with is…Can’t.
I can’t blog. I can’t run. I can’t do this again.
All year long, I said things like, “When you hit 55, it all goes downhill, fast.” “It’s too cold to run in the morning.” “My running days are over.” “I definitely don’t want a relationship anymore.” “When your skin is this old, every day is scarf season.” “Maybe I had my shot at love already.” “I like to move into a new job every year or so.” “I don’t want to write this blog anymore.”
All year long, in all of my writing, I start to accept the notion that I am well on my way out. All of the things that I love, I simply put down. I think I was getting ready to be old… dead?
But I didn’t know until now that I was feeling this. Until I saw this video this morning. I met Billy on Twitter, seemingly a million years ago. Back when I was hungry, and hung on every word that runners said, what my coach said. Because then…I wanted it, and wanted it badly. Back when I was completely engaged and excited with my 50 year old self, running my first marathon. I didn’t realize how masterfully this man could weave not only a story, but could also ignite a desire for life in me on this New Year’s Day.
Get a cup of tea. This is a must watch.
I spent the morning of January 1 as I always do. In reflection. And I realized that if saying “can’t” to everything was working, then I would be satisfied. And. I am so. Not.
Then I saw the video. I cried all the way through it, because I somehow knew what was coming. What I didn’t plan on was the overwhelming realization that I gave 2015 a big…pause. A big shrug of the shoulder and acceptance, erroneously, that my time at the table was done.
So. I got a pen. A piece of scratch paper. I started writing. Throwing out my pathetic, self centered journal writing from this year. And. I started to focus. I wrote goals. Crossed things out. Smiled at some recollections of a hungry runner.
It’s not pretty, but here it is. The short list for 2016.
- Run a race. Any race, of any type. I’m a road runner, but if it’s a trail, well. I guess I’ll be running that.
- Stay purposefully single. Stay where I am. Lean in to this relationship-less path.
- Embrace my colleagues, and go with their purpose. I’m at a New Year’s Eve party, and get in a corner with another teacher, and realize. I love to teach.
- Swim. More laps. And in those laps, meditation. More of this.
- Enjoy my age. I will be 57 next month. It’s time I enjoy it, laugh, wear scarves, understand that just because I’m 57, well. It’s just an age.
- Keep loving my tribe. All of them.
I start. Today.