Sunday, September 4, 2016

This Is Happily Ever After

Just this weekend alone, there have been so many times where I almost cried, moments where I thought damn it feels good to be alive, I am so happy this is my life. Sometimes I wonder how I got here. But deep down I know. I got lucky. And I struggled. I wrestled with the Doubts, the feelings of being Not Good Enough. I wrestle with them still. Yet I kept going. I keep going. Because I've learned that my life can be whatever I want it to be. I can sit around bemoaning my not enough-ness. Or I can go forth and be ridiculous and adventurous and awesome. And the latter is much more fun.

Friday night, Alison, Bob, Danielle, Laura, Jon and I piled into Gus and went to the Pultneyville Grill to eat dinner and listen to Dan's band and watch the sunset over the water on our way home. I even ate a mushroom (Because the point of an adventurous life is to experience things, even things that may turn out to be gross and fungus-y. Because you might be pleasantly surprised, or at least not horrified, to find that those things are actually goat cheesy and not entirely awful). And I felt so happy I almost cried.

Early Saturday morning, I tried to run hills at Cobbs Hill. My brain was all for it but my body, unaccustomed to going without the near constant stream of sugar with which I usually supply it, was like Woman, where is the good stuff? What sorcery is this? (Since I am apparently incapable of taking any time off from running, I have decided to focus hardcore on nutrition, active recovery and strength. So I am saying sayonara to sweets for September and instead ingesting epic amounts of vegetables, fruits and vegetarian proteins.) I asked a lot of my body this year and it delivered far beyond my wildest expectations. So if it needs to be a little slower right now, I'm just going to let it do its thing and not get all judgy and frustrated at it. Hills were not happening on Saturday. Well some hills happened, but not as many as I wanted. I switched to running flats, then came back and tried for more hills. Still no. I abandoned the hills and went back to flats. My body still felt fatigued. But the view was incredible so I ran back to my car to grab my phone and take a picture. As I was heading back uphill to take a picture, I passed a guy who said "I saw your 50K sticker. What races have you done?" So we got to talking about ultras while his cute dog jumped all over me. He told me about how he did Bull Run and was really dragging at mile 37, but they had Coke and Jack Daniels at the aid station and, even though he doesn't usually drink either of those things, he thought what the hell and took some, then felt so good he had negative splits the last 13 miles. And then I kept running and felt suddenly energized. It was a beautiful morning and I felt so happy I almost cried.

Then I went with Alison and Bob to the Ossian Mountain Run and danced in a banana costume while watching friends run up and down ski hills super fast. An old guy who I think worked at the ski resort asked me why I was dressed like a banana and I couldn't really explain it other than to say "It makes people smile." Maybe that is not even true, but it makes me smile. I just want the world to be a funnier and happier place. That afternoon, Amy told me that one of the kids asked if I'm bringing the banana costume to Valone's party. I wasn't planning on it but it seemed like an excellent idea so I did. As we were hula hooping in Valone's backyard, I told Dan and Amy's son he was welcome to wear the costume if he wanted. Later, I laughed watching him wear the banana costume while hooping with 3 hoops. Amy told me he said "I was meant to be a banana." I thought of the little bee girl in Blind Melon's No Rain video. She doesn't seem to fit in anywhere, but she just keeps dancing in that bee costume until she stumbles upon a field of other bee people and then they all dance together. And maybe that's the secret. Be(e) yourself. Unapologetically. Don't change yourself in order to conform or shrink yourself down to fit someone else's idea of how you should be.You will find your way, you will find your tribe. You will end up at a party surrounded by lots of your favorite people, having weird and wonderful conversations and eating delicious tempeh empanadas (Thanks Jennstavo!). Then Amber will hand you an anniversary card that everyone at the party has signed. And you will feel an ache in your heart at not being able to spend your first wedding anniversary with your absolute favorite husband/person. And yet, you will look around and realize you are surrounded by love. And you will feel so happy you could cry. 

Because this is happily ever after: a whirlwind of uncertainty, challenge, awesomeness and epic adventure. I hope we keep dancing together through all of it.

Lyric of the moment: "Like a river flows surely to the sea. Darling so it goes, some things are meant to be. Take my hand, take my whole life too. For I can't help falling in love with you..." ~Elvis Presley "Can't Help Falling In Love"

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