Looking back at the past year I was lost…
Now I am found… (No, this is not a religious post, but I do like that song)
As I ran an easy 4-miler this morning I pondered my current situation and realized how miserable I really was the past year compared to now. As recent as the beginning of summer I felt as if I were wandering in the weeds of life. Lots of back luck and bad timing had me down. I was single and lonely.
Me surfing Puerto Rico last week
I wouldn't go as far as to say depressed, but I was definitely lonely. Date after date seemed to result in disappointment after disappointment. Two different girls (at different times) decided to pick other guys instead of me to start relationships. I wouldn't go as far as saying I was dumped since I wasn't to the level of what I consider a relationship with them, but it's a serious confidence buster being second to best. Not only was I down in my personal life, but I was down in my work life as well. I was and still am making the least amount of money I've ever made in my career (thanks housing bubble burst!). In a 3-year period I went from a six-figure salary to making less than my first year out of college writing obituaries and police blotters as a print journalist. Last year I worked that hardest I've ever worked with the most stress and made the least amount of money. It's hard to find the motivation to keep going each day when I receive no compensation for my hard work.
At the beginning of summer I was really down. I had allowed myself to fall for a good friend (some day I'm going to learn not to do this), a friend that is also a highlight of my personal life. Why is it that girls always say they want to be in a relationship with a foundation of friendship or marry their best friend or be with their best friend, but when it comes down to it they can't step up to the plate? I've given up on the best friend fairy tale for now, but learning from my past I wasn't about to let my emotions ruin a great friendship so I held it inside, kept my mouth shut and set out to find myself, make myself happy and have some fun in the process! The summer is almost over and I can officially say after visiting friends in California, Oregon, Washington, Minnesota and Puerto Rico this summer that I have officially found myself. You see the key is not relying on other people to bring you happiness. You have to find happiness from within first. Seek out what makes you happy and embrace it. Once you are happy you can bring others into your own happiness, but you can never rely on others to bring you happiness. They can only compliment it. I'm living the simple life. I love the ones that treat me right and forget the ones that don't.
I've always believed in finding a positive in every negative situation. I'm a positive person for the most part. In fact, I'm guilty of avoiding negatives even when they must be faced and realized. Some of my positives from negatives right now are:
Work (real estate) is slow = more time to pursue other ventures.
- Last year I killed myself for very little money at work. Hell, I have gray hairs now! This year I'm getting a reputation of not working, but I don't care. "Let them eat cake!" Haha. The fact is I am working, but I'm only working on things I view as being worthwhile. If I feel it's a waste of time I simply trash it and move on. There's no point in stressing myself out because of situations I cannot control. I'm happy to say I have the least amount of stress in my life in a VERY long time.
I'm single (perhaps a little lonely) = Freedom to travel, explore and do whatever the hell I want.
- I'm in my early 30s. I'm in the best shape of my life. I'm stable with no kids or negative baggage and I'm having the time of my life. It's as simple as this; I'm free to do whatever I want! I am dating and would ultimately love to find someone with the same views and drive and eagerness to explore and share this world with, but at the same time I'm being 100 percent myself. Whomever I end up with will have to except me, love me and laugh with me for who I am, as I will them. You see what you get and I'm not holding anything back and it feels great!
Very little disposable income = Becoming smarter with the money I do have, living a healthier life (exercise activities such as surfing and running are free).
- So I can't travel in first class style anymore. So what! Traveling like a poor college student is sometimes way more rewarding that being some rich snob. Besides, I always strive to be a traveler and not a tourist. Instead of going out to expensive restaurants I'm learning to cook meals that are better than the menus at those restaurants. Instead of blowing money in bars and nightclubs, I'm getting up early and surfing the sunrise or running toward my goal of the Disney Marathon. It's nice to have money, but I've learned that money has very little correlation to happiness and good health.
I'm sitting here with a frozen bag of baby corn, bean & pea mix on my knee (I find it feels better than just a bag of ice) and I realize this blog is really exposing myself… throwing it all out there to a bunch of strangers. The bottom line is I'm stoked for my life right now and I'm excited about the future, whatever it may hold in store for me! I recently read a blog by my friend at Caution: Redhead Running and in part it inspired me evaluate myself, how positive I am and to write this post.
I'm still single, but okay with it, and I'm still in the weeds of life, but instead of wandering I'm exploring, living, loving, laughing, learning, surfing, running and being happy!
This Walt Whitman excerpt from "The Song of the Open Road" has floated around in my head for several months. Every time I read it I get goose bumps and I really feel it's an accurate description of my life right now in both general and when I'm running. I've wanted to somehow use it in a post and it wasn't until now that I figured out a good point to use it. Here it is:
AFOOT and light-hearted, I take to the open road,
Healthy, free, the world before me,
The long brown path before me, leading wherever I choose.
Henceforth I ask not good-fortune—I myself am good fortune;
Henceforth I whimper no more, postpone no more, need nothing,
Strong and content, I travel the open road.