Tuesday, May 3, 2011

lessons learned.


This weekend was all sorts chalk-full with internal dramafests. I probably don't convey this accurately when I'm slinging down words for the broad expanse of internet anonymity, but I'm actually not a very emotionally expressive person in real life. Specifically regarding insecurities, sadness, disappointment, or the hug or no-hug confusion/mess when greeting/saying goodbye to most people. (Anger is one thing I DO convey well.)However, usually I'll be going through a space mountain ride of tumultuous feelings in my mind, but the external shell is pretty much impenetrable.

It's how I like it.

This weekend, not so much. What's even better, I'm having an especially tough time finding the words to express to people what I'm thinking/feeling- probably from years of practice NOT doing that very thing. So I'm working on it.

This weekend was a seemingly never-ending series of 'Let's teach Sara a life lesson!' moments.
AKA the Universe took the past few days to fuck me up with some knowledge. It was intense. Here's what I got out of it:

1. Not all things that are broken can be fixed.

I sent Mary an email on Friday morning and got a less-than-cuddly response. My expectations were low, but it was still a bitter disappointment. Mary and I have always been good about expressing ourselves to one another and this short correspondence was no exception. Her response cut me to the core and I was glad I had time for a long and punishing run to bang out some of my feelings directly following my reading of her response. Too much time has passed for her, we're too different of people and I've missed too many important events in her life. Point taken. I had this knowledge clinging to my psyche for the whole damn weekend and decided I wasn't going to tell a soul about it. Yikes.

Bottling everything up so tightly causes things to seep out in weird ways... such as:

2. Country music, even though it's not my usual musical selection, will make me involuntarily weep like none other.

It's irritating too, because it's really the only music Manfriend and I can settle on, and if I'm having a bad day, those voices and words just make my eyeballs leak. Even Elliott Smith and Bright Eyes never get me that way. Plus, I don't exactly make the hall-of-fame for graceful weepers. I don't know how, I don't cry often enough.  It's ugly and messy and mostly I get so worked up that I can't breathe, which I try to control, so my throat starts to ache and my face gets all contorted. I hate it. I've actually pondered and wished that I could expel a lone crocodile tear from one eye and let it run down my cheek perfectly until it reaches my chin and begs to be wiped off tenderly with a loving touch- but it's just not me.

Instead I get embarrassed and bitchy and all "I don't want to talk about it." And decide to go for another long and punishing run, which leads to these little knowledge bombs.

3. Don't look down!

I went to an old, familiar park about ten minutes away from my hometown Saturday afternoon to bang out some more feelings and be by myself for a while. I didn't wear a watch or let myself fixate on my shin splints. I pondered my future and my friendships and what I want. I started feeling tired and kind of shitty like someone was pulling a Tonya Harding on me, and ready to just call it good for the day. 

And then something happened.

I realized I was looking down at my blasted feet. It's Spring! The sun was making its second and final appearance of the week, and there I was. Lost in thought and watching my feet hit the ground in front of me. Worrying about getting my knees up, improving my stride. Over thinking the shit out of it.

I know how to run, I've been doing it on and off for longer than I haven't at this point. But for whatever reason, I wasn't trusting myself not to trip over my own two feet, keep a good stride. I'm like that with my feelings, too. I micro-manage every little thing and don't just trust the process. I've concentrated on growing up and maturing for so long and so desperately and vigorously that I'm almost certain I've stunted myself and my own personal growth in the meantime. There is no instruction manual for growing up, 'adult' looks different on everyone, depending on what makes you happy.

When I looked up and started noticing the trees flowering, the other people walking their dogs, the birds flying overhead, I was almost overwhelmed by it all. Running became so much easier because I wasn't fixating on it and letting it control my psyche. I looked up and trusted my own legs and admired the beauty around me, feeling a visible lift in my stride.

I brought that run in hard and almost collapsed onto the ground to stretch at the end, and then this happened:

4. Serendipity is real and people will touch your life and change you whether or not you give them permission to do so.

 I had a great run and I got done and sat beneath an old familiar tree to stretch my legs and catch my breath and down some water. As I get up to leave... my high school cross country coach rolls up on his bike. I almost shit myself. We never got along, but on Saturday, we'd both gravitated to the spot where we'd met as a team for practice once a week ten years ago.

He and I never got along because I'm me and I didn't like bed-times and rules put in place by people other than my parents... and really, even them. I was outspoken about my distaste for the way he treated us and played favorites and how much he expected of us. He once told my team of high school runners on a ride back home after a meet that we'd make terrible parents. It was a frustrating four years for both of us, we knocked heads on everything. But I'm still running. He almost forced me to join the team as a freshman and the new kid and I now realize that it saved my life. I was part of a team, I learned healthy habits, I made the best friends that I still have and currently share a home with. That man gave me an outlet for my feelings and a lifelong hobby. Up until Saturday, I never would have given him credit for any of those things. But the truth is, I still gravitate to that spot when I'm feeling weak to remind me that I'M NOT, and he helped me realize how strong I can really be.

So that man that I never really got along with is still influencing me and making an impact in my life. I hadn't seen him in seven years at least, have never run into him around town, but wouldn't it happen that I see him at the most significant place to link us on that particular day. Weirdballs. We talked for a few minutes and it was so strange for me, all of those realizations dawning that I started shaking. I cut our conversation short and drove away and thought about the person I'd be if he'd never ushered me in to that world, that community and family that comes with being part of something bigger than you can realize at the time.

And then I burst into tears like a little emo bitch, because damn, that's RAW.

Plus, I'd like to add, I was already fucking raw. So cut me some slack.

The rest of Saturday passed. Manfriend and I drove down to visit an old friend and her husband. We got back to his house late and crashed. Sunday was rainy, and perfect for moving languidly, making breakfast together and laying in bed as long as possible. I felt spent and emotionally exhausted. We drove over to visit my family for a few hours and I checked my facebook for the first time all week to discover a second message from Mary. 


5. You'll never get the things you want most in life until you learn how to ask for them.
6. Sometimes when people have time to think and reflect, their perception of things shifts.

Mary's second message expressed that now that she'd had time to think back on our friendship for a few days and really ruminate in the memories of how fucking fabulous we were as best friends that she decided maybe it wasn't too late for us to forge a newer friendship on top of the rubble from one we'd broken together. I say party on.

I guess I'm realizing that you have to learn how to ask for what you most want, because the worst that can happen is nothing, which is exactly where I was to start. It takes time to think rationally after emotional whiplash, people change their minds. Being rash is easy, especially for those with sharp tongues and quick minds, but letting your heart catch up to your head... that's a real challenge.

I'm glad I asked Mary to be my friend again. I'm glad I'm taking time to figure out what I want the most in every aspect and figuring out how to ask for it effectively.

So yeah, I learned a shit-ton this weekend. And as much as I appreciate it, Universe, maybe take it easy on the feelings this coming weekend.

XO Sare

No comments:

Post a Comment