What We Should Learn In School

Found this gem on Thought Catalog.  (LOVE that site).  I loved this post so much and related to it in so many ways, that I decided to add my own commentary as it relates to me.  My thoughts are in red.

1. Keeping close track of your bank account and preparing a detailed budget is the most practical kind of math you will ever know.  Unless you intend to be a Mathematics major, there is no reason the every day student has to know Algebra and Trig.  No one is ever going to stop me on the street and ask me how to plot a point.  We should be teaching students from a very young age about savings accounts, budgets and credit card spending.  Luckily, I had financially aware parents who DID teach me about money from a young age.  I credit my ability to manage a budget and keep a savings to my parents.  Their teachings are also why I have an amazing credit score.

2. People who have to leave your life for one reason or another do not automatically leave your social circle, geographic location, or local haunts. It is imperative to learn how to deal with them without making a mess of yourself as quickly as possible.  I really need to learn to deal with this; I still run from aisles when I see people I know and don’t like or don’t want to talk to.

awckward

3. If you wear an amazing outfit and no one got to see it, you can wear it again, guilt-free.  Definitely.  Same with photos.  If there are no photos, it was like it was never worn.

4. Learning to cook basic meals for yourself instead of consistently relying on pre-made stuff is, beyond better for you health-wise, an extreme relief for your wallet. Yes. YES, YES, YES.

4. There are going to be horrible roommates in your lifetime, and learning to extricate yourself from those living situations, a) gracefully and b) with security deposit intact, is an art everyone should practice. My ex-roommates list of awesome qualities included: leaving shit in the toilet, not taking out the trash for days, turning the heat up to hell and having sex on my couch.  She was also the most financially irresponsible person I ever met.  She didn’t pay bills most of the time because she “didn’t want to” and after I moved out (deposit in tact!) she proceeded to not pay rent to 4 months.  I bet my landlord regretted letting her stay and me leave.  How am I sure of this?  He asked me to come back after he kicked her out.  It gave me great satisfaction to say, “sorry, I bought a house!”

5. If you don’t learn to fix minor problems — electrical, automotive, or otherwise — you are likely going to be exploited by people who know how to do them and want your money.  True.

6. Shopping around for any big purchase is always the best decision, even if you fall head-over-heels for the first thing you see.  The prom dress I ended up with was the first one I tried on.  However, I didn’t want to just get the first one I tried on, so I went ahead and shopped for a few weeks.  Then, when I ended up with the first dress, I knew it was definitely the right one.

prom2Still friends too!

7. There is no reason to eat less than you actually want to eat while out to dinner because you want to impress someone or make them think you’re more dainty. They’re going to find out you eat entire large pizzas by yourself sometimes anyway. I eat like a pig and figure if you can’t handle it, I am not the girl for you!

8. Everyone wears their jeans at least five times before washing them, it’s perfectly okay and it doesn’t make you dirty. If you say you don’t, I will think you are a liar anyway.

9. Breaking up with someone is difficult and messy, but the best way to do it is always to be up-front and honest with them as soon as you know it’s over. Dragging it out may make it slightly less hard on you, but it makes it excruciating for the person you’re dumping. If R2 had done this, it would have saved me a lot of pain.  I have never and will NEVER do this to someone.

10. Having a good handshake and a trustworthy smile will be one of your greatest professional assets. (In fact, there should have been a semester-long class in how to handle the first five minutes of any job interview.) I judge people by their handshakes.  True story.

11. Learning how to do your own taxes is essential — even if you ultimately end up paying someone else to do them. You should always know what is happening to your money. Check and check!

12. The differences between political parties are not always very clear, but there may be key issues to be tuned into that can change a lot, especially when you are voting in local elections.  Know why you are voting.  Regardless of party lines, just know why you stand where you stand without regurgitating MSNBC or what your parents have always told you.

13. Voting in local elections is important, in many ways more important than voting for the President. I believe every vote counts…but it DEFINITELY counts where you live.  And if you pay taxes, even more reason to vote.

14. Credit cards are almost never worth it, except in the rare instances they are necessary, in which case they should be used with extreme caution and attention to the fine print on the agreements. I have always known this and yet, I got into debt.  Working on getting out.  Getting out is a whole lot tougher than getting in.  Beware.

15. A credit score is a thing, and you have to maintain it. And if you just accrue a bunch of debt in the early days of adulthood and are really bad about paying it off, it’s going to be terrible and take a lot of effort to fix.  One of my proudest accomplishments in life has been keeping a high credit score, even through debt and some college repayment issues.

16. Flossing is extremely important, arguably more so than brushing, and your dentist is going to be able to tell when you go and you’ve only actually flossed for approximately three days before your appointment.  I know how true this is but I hate flossing. And that is just the truth. I do it anyway, but I seriously hate it.

17. There is nothing unhealthy, weird, or dirty about masturbating.  Who cares what anyone else does in their own bedroom?

18. Everyone should have condoms at their disposal, and no one is a slut or gross for having them. If we listened to more of this and LESS of Teen Mom, we might not have a teen pregnancy epidemic.

19. Traveling is very expensive, but there are many ways to make it less so. There are dozens of websites which will allow you to find cheap boarding, discount flights, transportation shares, and other people who speak your language.  A life well traveled is a life well lived.  Spend money on memories, not things. 

arubaAruba 2007

20. The metric system is a thing you should be vaguely familiar with, even if you live in stubborn, standard America.  I have no clue.

21. Borrowing and loaning money amongst friends is a very dangerous endeavor, and should only occur if there is a profound level of trust between the two parties. If you end up on weird terms with someone because of money problems, it was your own fault for agreeing in the first place.  Could not agree more.

22. Being on the lookout for good happy hours or specials at bars is an essential component of being an adult with an active social calendar, unless you are a secret millionaire who is happy paying 12 dollars for a cocktail. Especially when you have the bedtime of a preschooler.

23. There are some people who are going to need to get cut out of your life, and doing it for your own mental health doesn’t make you a bad person.  I have done this.  It has made me a better person.

24. No one’s choice of career is inherently better or more deserving of respect than anyone else’s. Thank you!

25. The only way to be sure you’re not going to get something you want is by never asking. Exactly!

What do you think?  Anything to add?

Winner, Winner & What’s In My Gym Bag?

Found out yesterday that I was the winner of Kim’s knock-knock give-away 🙂

I love the knock-knock stuff and could really use this after the past month I have had, so I was double excited!  What a great way to start off a Monday morning!  And a great reason to check my mail 🙂

Recently, Nicole posted that she would need some help with what to pack in her gym bag.  I realized when listing my items…mine might be a little ridiculous!  I use a simple ADIDAS bag; it is usually stuffed with little room for anything else.  No wonder it is so heavy!!!!  The thing is, I get ready at the gym so often (sometimes for work, sometimes for after work, sometimes on weekends) that I had to buy double of the important things to have when getting ready.  It just became too much of a nuisance to keep packing and unpacking.  And it was beyond frustrating when I would forget something; especially if it was something I couldn’t be without.

In my gym bag-

Main Part-

  • Extra socks, underwear, a regular bra and sports bras.  Pretty much the worst ever when you forget to pack those!
  • Sliders to wear in the shower.  I would rather go to work like a sweaty pig then dare step in a gym shower without shoes.
  • Hair-dryer and flat iron.  I wouldn’t subject anyone to what my hair looks like without them.
  • Lotion.  Big bottles. Two of them; in case one runs out.  Because I am obsessed with lotion.
  • Towels.  I forgot my towels once.  I dried off with a single t-shirt that I luckily had in my bag.  It was not fun.  I never forgot towels again.
  • Change of clean clothes.  Bet you had that one guessed.

Side pocket-

  • Hair ties.  At least 342 of them.
  • Shower needs: shampoo, conditioner, body wash, razor.  You aren’t supposed to shave in the gym showers.  But since the rules about walking around naked in the locker room and sitting on the benches without a towel get broken all the time by women who have disgusting hygiene, then I figure what is the big deal if I shave my legs in the shower?
  • Small bottles of lotion.  Listen, I said I was obsessed.
  • Deodorant.  I try not to smell.
  • Advil.  If I have a headache and plan to go from work to the gym, I won’t go.  But in the time it takes for Advil to kick in, my commute from work to the gym is over and I am ready to work out!
  • Gas-X.  Why more people don’t take this before running, I will never understand.
  • Make-up.  Sometimes, I get fancy.

Other side pocket-

  • Goggles, swim cap and fins.  I don’t like any of my swim stuff to touch anything that is non-swimming.  Oh, to be so Type-A.

 

Ok- so fess up!  Are you an over-packer?  Do you use a gym bag at all?  Pack and re-pack or have doubles of things?

Checking In & Staying Accountable

When I first started this blog (broken record- how many times have I started a post with this sentence?!?!) I did it as a record of my training and progress as I dove into the world of running and triathlon.  I have spent much of the last few months re-reading my old blog entries.  Mostly because I wanted to remember how awesome it was when I was blogging but also because I knew it would motivate me back into my training.  It was really fun to re-read all my race posts; it was especially great to see how far I have come over the years.  It definitely did the job of motivating me.  But you know what wasn’t fun- seeing how statistical I had become.  Holy shit, I kept track of ever step I took!  Or at least it seemed!  I did weekly reviews, months reviews, broke down my mileage for swimming AND biking AND running.  I really feel it is important to keep a training schedule and I still think it is important to keep track of my miles, but I also think I took it to a level of crazy before.  In planning how I was going to approach this year, I knew staying healthy and uninjured were at the top of the list.  That meant following a good nutrition plan, not pushing too hard and following the 10% rule like it is my job.  Obviously, this means I have to keep track of things as I go along.  But more than that, I need to stay accountable.  Which brings me back to the exact reason I started this blog.  As a record of my training and progress.  I don’t need to do specific re-caps.  But I do need to stay accountable with at least a monthly post of where I have been and where I am going.

So where was I in January?

Running- I ran consistently two times a week building a base throughout the beginning of the month.  Towards the end, I threw in a third min-run as I began to get into my half-marathon training schedule.  Right now, my “long” runs are still short and I am working on speed and consistency.  As the mileage builds, I will focus more on endurance.  My runs thus far have been good for the most part and I am pretty excited to see where this training cycle takes me.

Ballet– I am loving these classes.  I take one ballet class and week and one Barre class a week.  When I get  rare Monday or Friday night in, I do an extra one.  Ideally, I would be doing two of each a week, but unfortunately a schedule like mine isn’t very accommodating.  I am looking forward to Spring Break when I can pick up some more classes.  If you are looking for a new way to strength train or just a new activity, I high recommend a Barre class.  I cannot believe how much my body has changed in just six weeks.  My weight hasn’t dropped all that dramatically, but I see and feel such a difference!

Nutrition-  I have been using My Fitness Pal to track what I eat.  Accountability matters most here.  I don’t put the cookie in my mouth because I know I have to write it down.  I don’t have the second glass of wine (or even the first lately) because I don’t want to use my calories for it.  I am eating so much smarter this year because I know I have to own it every single day.  This isn’t new information; it is a n0-brainer being accountable for what we eat will result in eating better.  With that said, I am always amazed at how much I change when I practice this on a daily basis.

Sleep- I am pretty sure that as long as I work two jobs and have to get up at 5am for the first one, I will never get enough sleep. Maybe I can catch up on Spring Break?!?!?

Resolutions- I am trying.  In January I finally set up my guest bedroom so that was a huge check off my list.  I haven’t read a single book but I did pay off more debt.  I also continued my promise of only paying cash for everything.  If I don’t have it, I need to either pick up another waitressing shift, or not have it until I can better afford it.  The only purchases I put on my credit cards are online purchases.  The only other way I will use my credit card are for big purchases (new appliances coming soon and hopefully new living room set) and real emergencies.

Other life events-

-As you already know if you read my blog, my friend Jessica lost her battle with CF two weeks ago.  Sadly, last week, only a week after Jessica passed away, my friend Will lost his battle with lung cancer.  It has been an emotionally tough month for me, but I have been blessed overall and that is what I am focusing on right now.

-I am really excited that the Raven’s won the Superbowl.  Joe Flacco grew up a few towns over, went to school with my cousin and is married to a friend of our family.  I don’t follow Pro sports all that much (I love college sports) but I do cheer for the Ravens, so that was an exciting game 🙂

Do you track what you eat?  How much you exercise?

What do you focus on when you are going through a tough time?

Quick Pop Quiz

The truth is, I am in the mood to blog but my thoughts are such a mess.  Between Jessica passing away a week ago and my friend Will being so sick, I am just so over-emotional.  I took off today because I am having furniture delivered and I am looking very forward to a long afternoon workout.

 

For now, this.  Which I stole from Andrea.

 

1. FUEL: Shot Bloks, GU, Energy Chews, Candy or Other?

The only fuel I use during runs is GU.  And it has to be TriBerry.  Nothing else has worked as well or as consistently.  For tri’s I use Bloks in transition, but still GU on the run.


2. Race Length: 5k, 10k, 1/2 Marathon, Marathon, Ultra or Other?

My favorite distance is 10 miles and I do not think there are near enough 10 mile races.  The only one close to me is the Broad Street Run which I haven’t ran since 2009.  The race has gotten so out of control, I cannot stand the thought of running it.  This year, they capped it at 40,000 people.  No thank you.

3. Workout Bottoms: Skirts, Running Shorts, Capris, Pants or Other?

Depends on the weather, but I HATE running in pants.  I train in shorts but love racing in skirts.  So I guess skirts are my favorite 🙂

4. Sports Drink: Gatorade, Powerade, Cytomax, you stick to water when you run or Other?

During a race, I might use Gatorade, but I mostly depend on water.  Post-run, I love chocolate milk!


5. Running Temperatures: HEAT or COLD?

I run much better in the cold.  So, as much as I hate it, I definitely have to say cold.


6. Running Shoe Brands: Saucony, Mizuno, Nike, Brooks, Asics or Other?
I ran in Brooks Adrenalines for 5 years.   Honestly, I never imagined I would run my marathon in anything but Brooks, but when the 11’s came out, I didn’t like them.  Switched to Saucony and haven’t looked back.
 
7. Pre-race meal: Oatmeal, Bagel, Banana, Eggs, Cereal or Other?
English muffin with PB.  Always.  And sometimes a banana too.

8. Rest Days: 1x per week, 2x per week, never ever ever or other? 

Generally speaking, Saturday is my only real rest day.  My full-time job is Monday through Friday.  I workout two-three nights a week and on Sundays.  I also waitress two-three nights a week and sometimes on Sunday.  The only day I never waitress is Saturday and I try not to work out that day either.   And anyone who thinks waitressing is not exercise, has never done it.  On average, I walk 4-6 miles a shift.  Not necessarily a work-out but definitely not a rest day!

 

9. Music: Have to have it or go without it? 

On the treadmill, definitely.  Running alone, never.  Racing, sometimes.

 

10. #1 reason for running: stress-relief, endorphins, you love to race, so you can eat all the cupcakes you want, weight-loss, love running for social reasons or other?

I love what running has brought into my life.  The fitness, the confidence, the people and the ability to do things I never imagined.  I have never regretted a single workout.  I have never regretted this journey.

Racing in 2013

Last year, my race schedule was anything but a schedule.  The few races I did were mostly last minute decisions and I bagged quite a few of them last minute.  That doesn’t mean this year was without its highlights!

-I was 5th in the swim at the Life is Good Tri!

-My relay team took first place overall at the Belmar Tri!

-I finished the Philadelphia Half-Marathon with little training and was NOT injured!

With everything that 2012 was, I am glad it is over.  2013 has started off quite nicely in the fitness field.

-As a kid, and a teenager, I always wanted to take dance.  I never did but in December, at age 31, I began taking ballet classes. I love it!  It is an adult class and NO we do NOT wear tu-tu’s!  I am also doing Barre Fit and it has been amazing for toning up and getting fit.  I see such a difference!  I go two or three times a week and it is great.  Not only is it whipping me into shape but it is really helping with my core, balance and flexibility as well.

-In addition to the ballet and barre classes, I have been hitting the gym two times a week, no matter what!  Between two jobs, that can be difficult, but I know I want to get back to a fitter and healthier me this year.  One of the additional motivations to stick to this schedule, is that in March I will be heading to Mexico for a friends wedding and I need to be in bikini shape three months earlier than I am used to!

-I have been base building for my April half-marathon.  Short but quality runs, building back up my endurance and getting my legs back into gear!  The real training schedule starts this week.  I am really looking forward to nicer weather so that I can complete all my runs outside and only have to worry about the gym when I want to swim.

-I am continuing to see my Sports PT every other week or so for ART and Graston.  I use the foam roller every night and use a LAX ball for trigger point a few times a week.  I thought the foam roller was the enemy but as it turns out, the LAX ball is the devil!  It is worth it, though.  My very biggest goal of all, is to stay injury free!

-I am done doing triathlon.  Yup.  Done.  You know what…I really gave it a good try; I really wanted to like riding a bike.  But I just hate it.  I did four years of triathlons.  And I enjoyed it and I was good at it.  Except the biking.  And I don’t even want to be good at it, because I don’t even like it!  You know what I do like?  Running and swimming.  Relay tri’s are still going to very much be a part of my life.  And I am determined to find more Splash and Dash races so that I can still compete in both sports I enjoy.

I feel like for the first time in 5 years, I am doing everything right.  Looking back, I feel like something was always off.  There was never a time where everything was on point.  This year is going to be different; at least I am giving it my all to be that way.  Sticking to a strict training plan, increasing my core and flexibility, keeping my nutrition plan together and continuing ART and Graston to keep from getting injured.

So what is on the agenda for 2013?

Rutgers Half-Marathon

Spartan Race

Atlantic City Half-Marathon

Philadelphia Half or Full Marathon  (I’ll be deciding this for sure after the RU half.)

I am still looking for a May 10-miler and I know there are a few tri’s I will be swimming for as part of a relay and there is a possible 15k in the fall.  And of course some local 5k’s that will be week or day of decisions.  I am excited to be training and I am looking forward to racing, but the last thing I want to do is overwhelm myself.  I have to constantly remind myself that I am, in essence, starting over.  I don’t want to push too hard, or race too much or risk burn out or injury.

How is your 2013 shaping up?  Are you doing anything new this year?

2013 Resolutions

I don’t really like the idea of a resolution.  To me, we should be resolute about changing our lives whenever the need arises.  If I waited until January 1st every time I wanted to make a change, I have a feeling life would be very different.  So while I am calling these “resolutions” they are really things I have been working on or want to start working on this year.  They are more lifestyle changes, than simply goals I will achieve.

But in the spirit of the new year and tradition…I give you, my resolutions:

Read more. I love to read. Growing up, I was the only kid without a TV in my room.  My mom wanted to instill a love of reading in me and knew I would replace reading with watching TV.  And she was right, because when I did get a TV, my reading time went down.  In school, I studied English, so I was ALWAYS reading.  As an adult, I still love reading…books, magazines, newspapers, articles…anything.  I love learning so I tend to read autobiographies, biographies and historical books but I also love a good Jodi Picoult book.  My favorites of all time?  Go Ask Alice, Perks of Being a Wallflower (and I refuse to see the movie), My Sisters Keeper (movie not even close to as good), Nineteen Minutes and  Yes, I have a lot of favorites!

Complete one house project a month.  I still think houses should come with a landlord!  Keeping up with a three bedroom house alone can be daunting.  And I bought a fixer-upper.  Still lotsa fixin to do!  If I do one thing a month, even small, I will feel accomplished.  This month, I would like to take down my Christmas decorations.  Yes, they are still up and yes, it is a project!

Keep blogging. I didn’t realize how much I missed blogging because I wasn’t able to see how much I actually missed life in general.  Getting back to blogging (both reading and writing) has been great.  I remember now why I started this blog in the first place: to keep a journal of my progress and my journey.  The friends I have met along the way are a great bonus.  But truthfully, if no one ever read this again, I would still keep writing.

Pay it forward more.  It is as simple as leaving a note for someone.  Paying for a coffee for the guy behind you.  Just something that says, “not everyone in this world sucks” because sometimes it is hard to remember that there is so, so, much good behind all the bad we hear about and read about on a daily basis. 

Compliment 3 people a day. I love when I get a random compliment.  I have a feeling everyone does.

Live and let live.  I am not too proud to admit, this will not be easy for me.  I lose patience way too fast, not stopping to think about what might be going on in someone’s life before I get annoyed with them.  Examples: slow drivers, waiting in lines and screaming kids in stores/restaurants.  Recently, this guy came to speak at our school.  His message was simple and clear.  And I am trying every day to just live and let live.

Let go of past failures.   Likely, this will be hardest for me.  But I am working on it.

Take care of myself.   I gave up a lot when I was with R2.  I constantly felt bad for how much my training and second job took away from us time wise, that I didn’t do other things I would have liked because I would have felt even worse.  For so long, I did not put myself first.  And I still don’t at times.  I still have trouble saying no or carving out time for the things I need/want.  I need to think more about my mental and emotional health when making decisions.

Appreciate every day.  I used to write three things I was grateful for each week.  Now, I am writing down three things I am grateful for every day.  It is not always easy to come up with three things, but I am learning a greater appreciation for even the smallest things. 

Pay off my credit card debt.  This one is HUGE.  But totally doable as long as I keep picking up extra shifts waitressing and stick to my budget.  I have been in cc debt for 6 years and it doesn’t feel good.  And by general standards, I am actually considered to be in really good shape.  However, I hate having to spend so much money every month paying things off.  For the last six months (with exception of a few internet purchases) everything has been paid for with cash.  I am really proud of that and cannot wait until I have extra money every month to add to my mortgage principle instead of sending to credit card companies! 

What were some of your resolutions?

Life Is Hard- My Most Honest Post Ever

I always pride myself on having an honest blog.  I am who I am and try not to waver from that on this blog.  That is why, when things really just got too hard, I stopped blogging.  I couldn’t be honest, at least not completely.  Oh, and I was broken.  Literally, physically, emotionally and mentally.

So, if you are still here…if you are still reading…park it, because this is going to be a long post.  But when it is all over, I know I will feel better and I know I’ll be ready to blog again.  It has taken over a full year, but I am finally finding my way back to me.  A better me.  Which makes everything I went through, worth it.  I wouldn’t want to go through it again, ever, but I can at least take comfort in knowing I have come out on the other side and I am okay.  Better than okay.

So you know the basics if you were a reader in the past…broken foot, broken heart, crazy roommate, etc…etc…ETC!

But what you may not know is this…I was jealous.  And generally speaking, I am not a jealous person.  But I was raging with jealousy.  That is the dead ugly truth.  Every blog post I read was about someone running, getting engaged or married, having a baby, losing weight, finishing a race and generally loving life.  Every damn post was so damn happy.  And I was so damn sad.  Angry, sad and seriously jealous.  I wanted to be running, getting engaged, losing weight and loving life.  (Notice, I did not say I wanted a baby!!!)  I couldn’t do it anymore.  I couldn’t open my reader to all the happiness.  In some odd way, it only made me more sad and more angry.  Like everyone in the world was happy except for me.

Here was problem #1…I didn’t even know who “me” was anymore.  I was 30 years old and a lost little girl.  I had to give up a life I planned and find myself again.  I had to admit that I was the only one in a relationship working on said relationship.  I had to swallow the most bitter pill of all:  I loved someone who didn’t love me.  It is so easy when you are in a relationship to only see what you want to see.  To pretend the bad things aren’t there or that it will get better.  And damn, let me tell you…when it came to R2, I was wearing the rosiest of rose-colored glasses ever.  And I wish I could say that it all became clear to me after we broke up…but it didn’t.  And because of that, I spend the next 5 months or so holding onto something that wasn’t there.  Something that was never there.  The break-up, the break, the separation…everything was dramatic, difficult and painful.  And look, this is a not a public forum for me to bash him and I won’t do that.  But I will say this…it was not all sunshine and flowers and the damage my relationship with him did to me is going to take years to overcome.  I have been in therapy for months.  There was a time when I never would have admitted that publicly.  I didn’t think I “needed” help.  Well, turns out, this help was the best gift I could have given myself.  I have learned so much.  Of course these are lessons I wish I had learned before going through so much pain, but at least I have these lessons in my pocket now.  I’ll never be as blind as I once was.  With that said…as much as I blame him…I also blame myself.  No one forced me to put with it all.  No one forced me to keep going back when I knew I would only get hurt.  And trust me, forgiving him was much easier than forgiving myself.  Much.

Problem #2 was that my release for stress is to work out.  Broken foot=no working out.  I was stuck with my pain and had no way to deal with it.  And then, when I could run again, I just didn’t want to do it.  I was too far gone.  The hole was dug too deep.  And in the midst of all of this, I was moving out of my condo with my psycho roommate and looking for a place to live.  Thankfully, I was able to stay with my aunt until I found a house.  But I had to find a house.  It was all I could do to get out of bed.  I struggled to get through each day; work was actually comforting because at least I knew my mind would be busy.

Problem #3 was that even when good things happened, I couldn’t actually be happy.  I mean, I was happy, but I couldn’t celebrate it because everything was so overwhelmed by my feelings of loneliness and sadness.  Everything was a reminder that I was alone. It took everything I had in me to get ready for a night out.  I would be exhausted before I even arrived.  Even the biggest and best thing to happen to me, buying a house, served as a reminder that I was doing it alone.  I just couldn’t get out of the damn black hole.

Then something happened.

I started solving my problems.

I started letting go of the shit that made me sad, so that I could be happy.

First up, R2.  He had to go.  He was inhibiting my ability to be happy and I was letting him.  The process of letting go was not easy; even though he didn’t want to be with me, he didn’t let me go easily either.  (Let’s hear for making difficult situations more difficult!)  From the time I first walked away and tried to cut him off, until we finally stopped communicating on a regular basis was six months.  He still wanted to be friends.  My argument was that he wasn’t someone I wanted to be friends with or have in my life.  But I kept giving him chances to make it up to me, apologize…anything.  I wanted the time I had spent with him to be validated.  But it was just a sick cycle.  I would cut him off, he would fight me on it, we would fight, we would make up, and repeat.  And repeat.  EXHAUSTING!  Oh, and ridiculously unfair.  It wasn’t until a few months ago, that we were able to talk openly.  He finally apologized (sincerely) and I was able to really let him go.  Since then, no communication and none intended in the future either.

It is a funny thing when someone stops taking up so much space in your head.  I started having space again for other things.  I started remembering how much I loved to swim and run.   I ran the Philly Half-Marathon in November.  I barely trained and the race was brutal, but I did it.  And at some point, I knew I would run another race.  And another.  I started remembering how much I really loved be with my friends.  Taking road trips.  I appreciated my house and saw it from a completely different point of view…I was doing something on my own, that many people couldn’t do with two people.  Things in general just because more clean.  I am not always happy; this is a major work in progress.  Sometimes…ok, quite often, I still feel lonely.  But I am no longer feeling alone. And for the first time in a very long time, the good days are outweighing the bad days.

I have a job I love.  I have an amazing family.  My friends are awesome.  I own my own home.  I have four races planned for this year.

I am back.