Sitting here in the Salt Lake City airport. Hot coffee next to me on the table. Less than an hour until boarding my second of three flights today. Final destination: Northern Minnesota! Why? To see a very dear friend...one who came into my life in the most unexpected of ways.
This takes me back to 2010. It had been about a year since I put my teaching career on hold to stay home with my three kids after my son was born in June 2009. I was starting to feel restless. Itching for a goal or focus to channel my creative energy and have something mentally stimulating to work on in addition to carting kids around, wiping up spilled food, singing Raffi songs, perfecting my Elmo voice, attending and leading story hours... I needed and wanted something for MYSELF! My friend suggested starting a blog. At the time, all I knew of blogs was mommy blogs and I knew I really didn't want to start a blog where I wrote about my kids all the time. After all, that's kind of what I wanted a break from with this "something" I was looking for. I loved motherhood but I didn't want to have a blog only devoted to documenting my child's every smile or pee in the potty. That's when one thing led to another and another and I eventually came up with the idea to start Runninghood, a blog on running, motherhood, and life as it comes. I remember thinking my blog was silly and pointless many a time and there were times I wrote my heart and life with purpose and pride and others when I felt embarrassed to even be writing a blog. But in the end, even though this blog is pretty dusty and old and deserted, I am SO GLAD I wrote myself for so many years. This blog has led to so many wonderful opportunities, insights, self growth, motivation, learning, connections and most of all... relationships with people all over the world. One of the people I met way back when I started this blog is the person I'm going to see today. Jenn. If it weren't for my blog (and hers), I never would have known her and now she is one of the closest friends I've ever known... family, really. We've written in email darn near every day for almost 6 years now along with Skype calls, trips all across the country, following each other's marathon training, parenting, marriages, heartaches, joys, running in the Boston Marathon together, and so much more. Trying to explain our connection or the depth of our relationship on here in only a few sentences does our friendship no justice at all... It certainly does blow my mind sometimes when I think of how it all came to be... how we came to know each other. To think it all started with a blog...
Over the years Jenn and I have shared our life stories with each other through our blogs, email, personal conversations. I think out of all the people in my life (outside my husband), she just might have the biggest view of my heart and the lessons and growth I've had over the years. We don't see each other in real-life on a daily basis but we do know about matters of the heart when it comes to the other. I think you get to know someone on an entirely different level when you read them and take the time to grow together in daily written correspondence. She's seen me go through some HUGE work with my heart... So much has happened since 2010....so much LIFE. Through it all, no matter where we've been with our friendship, the one thing above all that I've felt from Jenn is: LOVE. She's loved me through and through and in some ways, helped me grow into love for myself and believe that I am loved and worthy of love. I know, this last sentence sounds a little funny without an explanation... To make a long story short, I'll say that a big part of my blog over the years was processing the emotional pain that came from my dad's death when I was a little girl. I wrote about running and life and motherhood but so much of my blog was about telling MY story... processing the stories and parts of my heart and life that I still hadn't worked through. My blog was my healing....through story telling. In 2010 I was still in so many ways, a hurting little girl who loved herself very very much but didn't entirely believe she was worthy of the same love from others. Lots of guilt and shame and "not good enough" and always feeling like I had to try harder, be more, do more to be worthy of whatever good came to me.
|"Really cool how certain people come into our lives and help us learn messages we need: 'May you always know how deeply you are loved.' It took me years to truly believe this after my dad died when I was little. I think I must have bottled up the pain and confusion from losing my dad and somehow, in my four year old brain, told myself it was my fault or that he died because I wasn't good enough or worthy enough... Whatever the reasons, I went through much of my life feeling this way. Crazy how we can take these messages with us through our whole lives and not even realize it until we've processed, healed and come to rewrite our script! But, the message on this necklace is one that is finally imprinted on my heart and today I have my lucky charms on to match."|
"May you always know how deeply you are loved."
These words have a story behind them... again, too long of a story for this post. Part of the story is the necklace in the picture at the top... a necklace she had made for me with these words imprinted on it, along with my name and the year we met.
Thank you for helping me always believe in this message Jenn. In truly owning these words, I am able to do so much with this message... as a mother, wife, friend, teacher.... in believing these words for myself, I also give them to the people I love the most. Thank you for loving me always. For lifting me up. For being there through some of my best best times and some of my very hardest. A gift you are. Thank you God for bringing us together... even if that was the only point of our blogs.
|Me and Jenn on the bus to the start of the Boston Marathon 2014!|
Not the typical entry for this Project Begin Again but I'm changing things up today!
- The means to travel. So glad for airplanes! ;)
- Such a beautiful morning in Bend with my family.
- Seeing my kids happy and thriving... gosh, it was so special to see each of them heading to their classrooms today... and realizing how content and happy they seem.
- 21 mile run this week and feeling like I didn't even run. Not sore at all. I know this is from running so slow maybe? But that's a long time and to not be sore at all makes me feel like I'm in better endurance shape than I thought. This makes me feel like I might have a chance of finishing my 50k without dying as badly as I've been thinking I will...
- Being in this stage with life and running where I am OK with NOT making my training as intense as I have in the past...it's joyful for me to be in this place with running and know that it doesn't define my worth as a runner to run slower and without competition in mind. I know I can go back to training hard for something again if I want but for now, I truly am running for the JOY of running!
- Be in my present moment this weekend (and always). Soak it all up.
- Be the friend I want others to be to me.