Wednesday, October 22, 2014

I stopped "tri" ing, but haven't given up

Holy heck...two posts in one day!

I have the good fortune of working with a very international staff. The nature of the project draws people from all over the world and, while it is nice to be "blessed" in many languages after a sneeze, sometimes things get lost in translation. While I am usually the one helping translate for my esteemed colleagues, this time they made some things abundantly clear for me.

You may remember me stating publicly that I would be training for a triathlon. Not an IronGirl, but Ramblin' Rose. I have spent most of my life on a bike or in athletic shoes. While I am in the water every chance I get, I have never been a strong swimmer. But. I'm always willing to face a challenge head on. I started running first, thinking the biking would be a breeze. I was dreading the swim portion. After arguing with someone one evening, I wisely chose to go running instead of something self-destructive. And, I felt free. I have run almost every day since. I will never be an elite runner, but I am steadily improving. And the running community has been very supportive and encouraging.

While running, I often pass a younger, fitter colleague that is also tri training. And she rocks it. I didn't feel like I was competing with her, but somehow my heart wasn't in it in the same way. A few days ago. another colleague came in with a bib on from a 5K. I asked him how it went. He grimaced and said something I didn't quite catch. But, what he said next really resonated. He said he enjoyed the camaraderie and it was for a good cause, but that he is a swimmer not a runner. He was happy he did it, but he doesn't plan on doing it regularly.

I am all about stepping out of my comfort zone and trying new things. Like the day one of my fav teachers sprung hot yoga on us. I live in a place that is like a sauna a good chunk of the year. Why would I go in a room and sweat on purpose? Just not my thing. I love the beach and a good long ride. But I fear I would come to hate swimming and biking if I forced myself to train for a triathlon.

I am a runner. That is clear...even through a language barrier. So, I've revised things a bit. I don't plan to run a marathon, though. I am only half crazy ;)

Thoughts on Coming Out

I have a lot on my mind and heart, which will be revealed in the near future, but suffice it to say I'm often a bundle of anxious energy. Even now, I can't decide whether I should be resting, running or organizing. Or maybe one last beach day? I digress.

As usual, I have neglected my writing. And reading. And all things that fulfill me. My running has improved, but mostly because I can take out my aggression on the pavement. I have been reading/skimming my blog reading list daily. Last night, I came across something on Up Popped a Fox that really helped clarify things for me. The writer mentioned a few things that happened when she "came out." No, that is NOT my big revelation. But, those who know me well know I am a strong ally. And, after reading the post, I realize that sexual orientation is not the only thing that can be closeted.

I have written about it here and I struggle daily with my strained family situation. It is really awful and I take responsibility for a lot of things I did wrong. But, if I had to do it over again, I think what I regret the most is wanting to please everyone at my own expense. I have hidden my beliefs, toned down my personality, and even wished I could change myself to fit into a mold that would make my family love me more. Or a guy to look my way. Or the cool kids to invite me to a party. I didn't see myself as good, pretty, smart, funny, or worthy of love. I was raised to believe not to be boastful, not to put myself out there. That led to years of abuse by others and, worse, my own self loathing.

Somewhere along the way, I gained confidence to be myself. I "came out" and found that people like me just the way I am. I have people in my life that support me, challenge me, and just plain care about me. They listen without judgment. They console and empathize. They compliment me. They not only accept me, but they celebrate me.

I know it is idealistic, but imagine how wonderful it would be if we all celebrated each other instead of seeing differences in race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, etc. I may appear very different than the lovely writer that inspired this post but, after contemplating her thoughts, I realize how very similar we are at heart.

Friday, October 17, 2014


I will admit to being a little "different" as a kid. I preferred to go antiquing; watch old movies and musicals; eat vegetables; read; and dress as literary or  historical figures for Halloween. Even today, I could read _A Tree Grows in Brooklyn_ or watch 'Little House" any day. Or sing show tunes. Or, if I were to have another child she would be Cordelia, a "perfectly elegant name" according to _Anne of Green Gables_. And, especially when I am sick, I want to watch " The Little Princess" or "Pollyanna."

Pollyanna. I had an antique "Glad Game" when I was younger and still, somewhat, play this game today. I am not a super perky person and can even be quite cynical and pouty. But I don't see the need to be unnecessarily so. Being negative and grumpy only makes things worse. I am quite tired of apologizing for my disposition.

I cannot deny that the last few years haven't been all rainbows and unicorns. I have made some missteps, had some unfortunate occurrences thrown at me, and am still struggling. But I do not spend every day wallowing in self pity. I have grown quite strong. realized value in good relationships, learned to count my blessings; and have attempted to find something good in every day.

In essence, I play the "Glad Game."

I try not to make this is a space where I spew hatred on those that have wronged me and there are some things and people I hold close to my heart. But, as the saying goes, "you catch more flies with honey." I simply have no use for negativity. I am all about sharing joy and love. Celebration, and encouragement. Empathy and support.

It's not a contest. My choosing happiness does not mean I don't care or that I am not hurting. I don't negate your feelings. I welcome everyone to join me in peace and harmony. It sure beats being miserable.

I am very thankful for things and people that sustain me. And I will not be dragged down by those that don't.

Just call me Pollyanna.