If you work in my department, it is dangerous to go on vacation. Taking vacation days leaves your cube vulnerable to the plotting and execution of some hair brained scheme that your fellow co-workers hatch over lunch. This plot was executed over the course of three days. We lost track of the number of trips we made to Hobby Lobby to get more balloons. We would not have successfully filled the cube if someone hadn’t thought to bring in a small shop vac and reverse it to blow air. The smell of rubber took over the entire floor. The balloons were deflated in a matter of minutes.
I was in Best Buy late this afternoon picking up a copy of a movie I’d been wanting and when I got in line I noticed this kid (he was probably 21 or 22) about four people ahead of me. I noticed him because he was standing in line with his iPod earphones in and I always think its funny when I see people out like that completely shutting themselves off from any interaction with anyone. He had this really long, stringy hair and (for you fellow Kevin Smith fans) he kind of reminded me of Jason Mewes’ Jay character (of Jay & Silent Bob). Anyways, I lost track of him as he went through the check out ahead of me. But as I headed out to my car, I ran into him again out front. At this point I see that he had purchased guitar hero and now he was heading home on his bike with the box balanced across the handle bars. I laughed to myself cause I knew this kid had been probably saving for months for this game. I pegged him as maybe working at a pizza joint (not a delivery driver though as he was rockin the bike) and he had probably just gotten off work and was headed home to master the guitar hero…he probably swung by and picked up some PBR and had himself a rockin Sunday night.
I didn’t realize setting my feet to the pavement three months ago was going to become something that defined me. But I guess that’s not a bad thing since some of the things and people that once helped define me don’t anymore. So maybe I was secretly looking for some new definition.
After I figured out exactly how much I loved the running, I decided I should maybe work towards a goal (cause my life stays more structured with goals) and found myself a 5K to run. I was actually really nervous to do this (i’m not sure why as I have taken tons of dance, yoga & writing classes…why would this be any different?) and so I put off registering as long as i possibly could. I knew I just had to go and get the first one over with though or I would be mad at myself.
So at 6:15 this morning I drug myself out of bed to a crisp March morning (it was 12 degrees), dressed myself the best I could (the only actual running gear I own right now are running shoes as till now I didn’t really consider myself a “runner”) and drove myself into Lawrence for my first 5K. It was pretty intimidating because almost everyone else showed up with all sorts of friends and fellow runners. I on the other hand showed up alone not knowing what to expect.
After checking in and receiving my shirt and number that I apparently was supposed to wear, I stood around for about 30 minutes before the run actually started. At some point some old guy wandered by and asked how many layers I had on, but other than that I just stood in the corner and watched people. I determined runners like to eat, most runners wear silver shoes (mine are green), and a lot of people have problems safety pinning their numbers to themselves.
I think the standing around was the worst part, the run wasn’t much different then running every night through my neighborhood. The run itself was out behind a bar in Lawrence called Johnny’s and they ran us up on the levee. We ran down about 1.5 miles and then headed back. Amazingly I didn’t finish last, but there were a lot of pretty fast runners out. One of the guys I talked to before the race said the KU cross country team was out there. Those guys doubled back by me before I had even passed the first mile. There was guy running with his kid in a stroller…he smoked me too.
In the end, I at least accomplished what I set out to do which was run the whole way. I will definitely get faster…especially as the weather gets warmer…sometimes the cold and wind kicks my ass. I guess at this point it’s just on to the next one.
Without thinking about what day or time it was, I head out to run. It is a gorgeous morning, the first after months of rain, sleet and snow, and so I am kind of surprised to not see anyone out…anywhere. After about a mile, I suddenly realize it is Sunday morning…and I live in God country.
As I run down my newly extended route that is kicking my ass, I start to think about how different these god fearing people think I am. How I’m not as good or not as worthy. But while they spend their Sunday morning praying to their gods in their man made houses of worship, I spend the morning outside worshipping what I believe was created by something other than us. As they sit in their pews and ask for forgiveness from above, I’m outside trying to find forgiveness within myself. While they are inside listening to what they think matters, I’m outside experiencing what I think matters. They see the beauty in the words that are spoken and in the promises of what lies ahead. I see the beauty in the visions of nature and the promises of here and now. They pray, I hope.
So don’t you dare tell me I don’t believe in anything.
Another two miles behind me…in the cold no less…and ive decided I may need to get myself some mace. I was running around a corner tonight and over my music I could hear a dog behind a fence. It’s a 6 foot wood fence so im not worried. I come around the corner and start running the length of this same fence when all of a sudden I hear the same dog barking…but this time it seems high. And when I turn to look, this dog has found something in the yard to climb on that allows him to lean over the fence and bark down at me. I about pissed my pants.
Observations/lessons/comments from my 34th birthday celebration:
Your skirt is too short if, when you put your coat on, it looks like you aren’t wearing any pants.
My sister’s got a bucket of beer and a lesbian on her lap.
Somewhere in KC, a girl has a picture on her phone of my friend Wag with her leg behind her head.
Every girl needs 1 pair of red shoes.
A shiny, gold trenchcoat and gold 6 inch pumps are not okay to wear…ever. It makes you look like a hooker.
It’s good to have friends who ask the DJ to wish you a happy birthday.
You’re never too old to dance…I actually think it’s more fun the older you get.
I call myself a writer. I’ve always written and hope to publish something some day. How else is anyone going to remember I was here? For most of my life, I was kind of forced to write in school. So that is where most of my writing came from. I was good at it though and it led me down the paths I have taken. But once you fall out of college and there is no one making you write, it becomes easy not to write (cause believe me it’s painful sometimes…which is why i avoid it). So there was a VERY long period where I didn’t write…anything. I would attempt journaling, then lose interest. I even took a writing workshop at some point…but that didn’t even kick start anything. Now suddenly I am writing a lot…almost every day at this point….and it seems to be that one of my better friends is who has led me back into this.
He recently moved half way across the country, and in order for me to keep up with him, I was forced into written conversations. And as soon as I had to start typing words instead of communicating verbally, the easier it was for me to put words down. And as I started to put words down…any words…the more words I needed to get out. And all of a sudden these words started to form ideas….and these ideas started to form projects….and now I write again.
So at this point, I just keep putting words down because I know at some point something will formulate that just may be important enough or relevant enough or at least okay for others to want to read. If and when that happens, I’ll be sure to thank the perosn that jump started the words in my head.
I am not a people person. Ask anyone that knows me. I have always been kind of a loner with a select few that I actually allow in. I don’t even need one hand to count the friends I had in highschool. And after that, until recently, I can only think of three people that I would actually call my friends. So it is shocking to me that I suddenly find myself in the middle of a group of friends that are some of the most amazing people I know…and at this point in my life, maybe some of the better ones I’ll ever meet.
After having known most of them for over three years now, I am not sure how I existed without this many friends. Friends who are amazing mothers & fathers, friends who have discovered mid-life chaos and lean on me for support, friends that I travel with, friends I spend time with on weekends, friends who know I drink on Fridays at lunch (and still find a way to convince me im not a lush), friends who tell me to breathe when i forget, friends who make me laugh and think its funny when they make me snort, friends who nicknamed me, friends who I can say anything to, friends that listen, friends that understand, friends that have become part of my every day existance.
I truly believe we meet people for reasons…and I honestly think these friends are people I am supposed to know. People I’m supposed to know till the end. It took me 34 years to become part of a crowd…maybe it took that long though because, in the end, these are the people I was supposed to meet.
I overheard Stephanie at work telling someone she had a chocolate martini once. Kinda like it was something special, something new, something out of the ordinary. And I thought to myself that I can’t count how many chocolate martinis I’ve had.
Sometime in December, after enduring two months of chaotic change (friends leaving, friends in trouble, incredibly frustrating family situations and the looming anniversary of the Xmas from hell), I decided to run. I’d been told it would clear your head and i figured i needed that. It was either run or break at that point. The first time I headed out I thought I was going to throw up and my body wanted to know why we were continuing on instead of turning back towards the couch. I had to tell myself the couch gets you no where. It was 3 weeks before Xmas, so houses had Xmas lights up and there was actually a little snow still on the ground. After I convinced my body to keep going, I rounded a corner and all of a sudden I started uncontrollably sobbing. I suppose that was the clearing of the head I had been told about. But there I was, running in the dark, Trapt playing on my iPod, me crying so hard all the Xmas lights got all blurry….kinda finny and pathetic all at once. I thought shit like that only happened in the movies.