I think this screenshot says a lot about my running progress: 19 miles one week, then only 2 the next. Take a look at my summer work schedule. Six Classes...I have six classes to go until I finally have my Bachelor of Arts degree. Last night I tried out a new recipe that I copied out of a magazine at work. I don't think I've mentioned the Zimmerman case here before, and I probably won't mention it again, but I was sort of shocked to wake up this morning to a "not guilty" verdict and to find so many of my out-of-state friends on Facebook proclaiming once again how effed up Florida is. They switched up the process for Candlelight choir this year. I don't think I've mentioned on the blog (though Facebook knows alllll about it!) that my work building has a... considerable challenge with German cockroaches. Oh hi, guess what! I had a really good idea a few months back: heading out to do my longer training runs out at Disney resorts. Thirty-eight hours ago, I was waking up for the Space Coast Half Marathon.
Honestly, of all the years I've been putting these posts together (they really are some of my favorites!), I don't recall a post that less represented the peaks and valleys. And boy howdy, there have been some peaks and valleys. Among others:
- School! Though I had hoped to graduate in December, I think things worked out for the best. Two semesters on the Dean's List, all A's and A-'s, and just one class this spring before graduation. Plus, my Master's application is filled out, resume and cover letter uploaded, and references secured. All that's left is to pay the application fee and order my transcripts.
- Running! There were some significant roadblocks - physical, emotional, and other - during the first 3/4 of this year, but I ended up completing THREE half-marathons and a bunch of other races. I dragged friends into running 5k's, encouraged (and sometimes inspired) others to run longer distances, made runner friends, and can't seem to stop signing up for more races! Running has become my outlet, my therapy, and on multiple occasions the one thing I could point to and say "I'm proud of this." I wonder when I'll stop gazing at my medal display and getting a little choked up...
- Separation! (note: the exclamation point was just there for style continuity -- this falls into the "valleys" category for sure) It was hard then, and continues to be hard in so many ways. I know I handled a lot of things terribly - things that never hit the blog - and that this shit hurts, but I still believe I'm on the path I'm destined to be on.
- Other assorted drama! (again, a valley) There are a lot of people in the world who are selfish, mean-spirited, broken in any number of ways, or who bring negativity into your life in ways you can't possibly anticipate and don't understand. I've had quite a few of those people meander along my path this year. I'm not playing the victim card, because sometimes you invite the wolf in because if you squint and tilt your head to the left maybe he looks a little like a sheep... But I've definitely learned that when my health, heart, and happiness are on the line I am quite capable of standing up for myself. (hmm...maybe not completely a valley after all...)
- New Friends! I've made more new friends this year than I can count. Most of them exist in only one facet of my life - work friends being a prime example - but having people to rant at, laugh with, cry to, and even run with has made this year much more positive than I feel I deserved.
- Old Friends (and of course family)! Some are in my life now more than they have been in a decade or more. Seriously, who'd have ever expected me to be planning running vacations with high school friends? Some have been around for forever. They are my biggest cheerleaders, my secret keepers, and my ultimate supporters. Thinking about the outpouring of love and understanding I've gotten when I needed it the most continues to humble me.
I've learned more about myself this year than possibly any single year of my life. I brag about the things that I love, and continue to examine the things that aren't so great. I've grown in ways I can barely fathom, and also done some incredibly stupid, careless, and irresponsible things. Like I said, peaks and valleys!
Looking ahead, I wish for less drama and more fun in 2014. I will graduate from college a mere 14 years behind schedule. I think I can (at least) double the number of half marathons I ran this year. I hope to get a new job, though the idea of leaving the one I have now makes my heart ache a little. I need to handle my personal business (including the D-word and some financial stuff) and not hope that everything will straighten out if I ignore it long enough. And I'm going to nurture my new and old friendships. After all, no Jamie is an island.
Happy New Year to you and yours. May your 2014 be filled with love, happiness, and wonderful memories. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for coming along on this voyage with me.