Early Morning, Driving Through Clouds, With My Mind Wandering

Yesterday, I left for my first 5k at the bright and early time of 6:30am.  I was heading to meet my friends and start a new chapter in my transformation from a person who hated (and I mean HATED!) running into a person that looks forward to her feet hitting the pavement, when my mind began to wander (yes, as it is prone to do).

While driving through clouds (“fog” is just too boring of a description don’t you think?), I was thinking about how much of a coward I am.  I let moments slip by until at last faced with a “do it now or it may be over” kind of mentality which is both insane and, I think, very human.

Most of us go through our days trying so hard to do our best.  The best for our jobs, our families, our friends, heck, even ourselves.  At the end of the day, I think it’s easier for our minds to look at the problems of the moment and not recall painful lessons already learned.  It’s easier to be afraid of failure and miss an opportunity than to remember all those other moments that hurt, or paid off, at cost.  It’s easier to forget how you promised yourself never to let a chance to tell someone you care about them, then to remember how much your heart broke when a loved one passed away.  We are creatures of the moment, but sometimes, when it’s quiet and we let our minds wander, we remember…..

Yesterday, I remembered and, for once, I didn’t cry.

Not many people know it, but I am definitely a crier.  I cry when I’m mad, when I’m super happy, I cry at sentimental documentaries/movies/songs/commercials – you get the idea.  For me not to ball, but to enjoy a memory, is a big deal for me.

One of my favorite, and most painful memories is from when I was 16 years old.  I had such a HUGE crush on this fella and I think he felt the same about me.  Just two awkward teenagers trying to figure things out but it was so easy to be together – felt meant to be.  We listened to records. We laughed. We held hands. Neither of us said how we felt – I thought we had time.  We didn’t.
For a long time it hurt, not knowing how he really felt, only being able to guess.  Now, many years and a heart broken, mended, and smashed…again….(he didn’t break my heart, mind you, that was later) can I see how fortunate I am to have that memory.

That memory – holding hands in the van – used to be painful.  It reminded me of what could have been…what I wanted things to be like….which is why I hid it away.  It always hurt too much.  I didn’t intend for my mind to go back to 1997 while I drove an hour and a half yesterday.  Once it had, I came to the realization that while I don’t know how he felt, or really how the two great loves (to me, my two great loves – one brief, one I wanted to marry) that followed felt/feel, it doesn’t matter.  What matters is how I feel. And, you know what, I’m happy.  I’m happy I had those moments with them.  I’m also happy that I’ve grown as a person and can look back and not be sad/too angry (hey, I’m only human) at what could have been, but be glad for what was.

I am a different person today than I was as a 16/22/24-31 year old (thank Thor!).  Yes, I would like to find the One, but I need to work on not being afraid of being hurt – and I am working on it.

Taking chances, trying something different, remembering……I’m getting there.  To say things won’t hurt from time to time is silly, but at the end of the day I can say I held the hand of my first great love, was told by handsome man he’d marry me under the stars we stared at, and was given the courage to move and do something on my own – how can I stay mad or hurt by those memories?

I can’t….but, by no means, does it mean I want to go back to those times.  Forward, that’s the direction for me. 

As I pulled into the parking space, the sun shone down and I got out to wait for my friends to run/walk our first 5k, I smiled. I smiled because despite how hard I am on myself, at the end of the day, while I may be afraid of things, and the unknown factor, I am not a coward.

How nice it is to finally remember that!

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. twinler
    Sep 29, 2013 @ 18:26:05

    Staci, I’ve read a few of your posts here and there and I believe you have an emotional clarity and maturity that most of us can rightly be jealous of (and many may never achieve). You are a beautiful person, inside and out. Thank you for sharing this with us.

    Reply

    • stacigilliam
      Sep 29, 2013 @ 19:16:01

      Thank you so much!! My goal in sharing has always been to let people – and myself – know that you aren’t the only one to feel this way, etc. Most of the time I think I’m rambling on, but it is nice to know that someone enjoys what I write. Again, thank you so much! 🙂

      Reply

  2. cryptotox
    Sep 29, 2013 @ 21:11:46

    Way to go on doing the Color Run, Staci! You are certainly no coward, your journey is a heroic one.

    Reply

    • stacigilliam
      Sep 29, 2013 @ 23:09:58

      Sara, you are too nice, but I appreciate it. There is no way I would be here where I am now, if it wasn’t for some amazing friends – of which, you and Dez are the tops!

      Reply

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