Raspberry sorbetto after a sunset photo-walk after a wild rice/pork tenderloin/coconut-curry sweet potato goulash repast after a nap. Atmospheric distortion: dark violets to light greys with each successive mountain range as the sun sets behind them all. Realizing that confidence is beautiful. Realizing, too, that the person I used to be before the Boston Marathon, before celiac, before Colorado and certainly before cancer, is not the woman I have become and not particularly someone I want to emulate. Realizing the neighborhood in which I live is extremely lively and interesting when you're strolling around it on foot in the evening. (There's a Buddhist temple/house/bookstore three blocks away?!) Finishing that pint of delicious raspberry sorbetto and you know what? I don't even feel bad about it because it is gluten and dairy free and I ran yesterday... Oh yeah, and running.
Yesterday after work, I flopped onto my bed with every intention of closing my eyes and napping for a bit before I began the adventure of cooking my dinner. My brain, though, didn't shut down. Instead, it reminded me that I hadn't really run in about 2 weeks, hadn't moderately exercised in a few days. Also, I just wasn't that tired. So I popped up, put on my shorts and wicking t-shirt, laced up my sneaks, and headed into the wind. 3.6 miles later and that was it. Run and done. For a while last night, I couldn't stop thinking about how soon I became winded (after, like, 5 minutes) and how the run really didn't feel that easy. Then I realized that I have this ridiculous double standard for myself. I had just run for 35 minutes straight, two days after nearly passing out from exhaustion at work. So many people don't run, period. My roommate reminded me that of course it wasn't particularly easy; I've only run twice since the marathon a month ago. You don't just stay in shape because you want to be in shape; you have to make an effort.
Every day I have to remind myself to make an effort. Whether concerning running, what I'm eating, how I approach my job and coworkers, or how I approach the day in general. Maintaining a positive attitude can be difficult, especially when it seems like everyone else is in a bad mood or no one will ever want to hire me for a "real" job. I have to remind myself that there are So Many Wonderful Things! and that I am incredible and indestructible in a way that has nothing to do with twenty-something obliviousness. It isn't that I can do stupid things and suffer no consequences; it is that I have survived so much that I know I can conquer any fear or challenge. I know too many wonderful people who doubt themselves or who don't give themselves nearly enough credit as human beings. Of course, there is a line between confident and cocky, but why are too many people afraid to believe in their own strength and beauty? It has taken me years and a whole lot of self-doubt (that I still struggle with) to reach this point, but seriously, we are all so amazing, so capable of grabbing life by the horns and making it our own.
I really can't emphasize enough that there are so many wonderful things in our worlds, so many small or huge or seemingly insignificant things that can only bring you joy if you make an effort to see them. Walking underneath a giant flowering tree that smells Amazing! Knowing that somewhere out there, maybe close by, possibly not close enough, there is another person who loves you and believes in you even when you doubt yourself. Think about it: you have that person somewhere. At the very least, you have yourself, and often you can be your own greatest source of support in tough times.
If you don't run, you won't improve your endurance and lung capacity. If you don't take a moment to breathe and love yourself, you might come to the end of your day questioning what exactly you accomplished, and was it worth it? I didn't accomplish anything measurable or necessarily lasting today, but I told someone I love them, and I sat for a stunning sunset, and I reminded myself, Again, that my life can be so stupid hard sometimes, but it is all worth it. Even the pint of sorbetto. That was definitely worth it. So. How was Your day?