The good, and bad thing, about the start of a new year is that the arbitrary date of January 1 gives us a start off point for self reflection. While this is good in the sense that it provides us that chance of looking inward and trying to better ourselves, it is bad in that it makes us doubt things that might really be OK in our lives but are, at that moment in time, challenging.
One of the things I pride myself in is that I am open with how I feel and how I think. While that may lead to some hurt feelings, especially to some participating in multi-level marketing, an issue that just rests on a nerve for me for some reason, it also provides a chance for some that read this blog or listen to the the Back of Pack Endurance podcast a chance to identify with something I am writing about that they may not be comfortable with sharing. My ability, or inner need, to express thoughts, fears, and weaknesses has been off putting to some, especially family, but I have received much more positive feedback than negative, so I feel alright with continuing to do so. It is cathartic for me to write these things out. It helps me think them through, and also gives me a measuring stick for the future John.
I have written quite a bit about how challenging 2014 was for me. A lot of things happened that made me question a lot of things. I was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis, I was transferred to a new group at work at the request of a new team lead, who then promptly went on medical leave and eventually left the job, leaving me rudderless since no one else quite knew what her intention for me was, a close relationship decided they no longer needed nor wanted me around and I did not really know why (though that has reversed itself but not without some damage because my stupid brain doesn’t let things go), the three year battle to save my house after my bankruptcy in 2011 ended with me losing my house, so while that winds its way through the system I feel like the Sword of Damocles is hanging over my head (cue Rocky Horror song here for those who know the movie) and at any time I can get the notice to vacate, which I cannot do until then because that would constitute “abandonment” of the property. On and on and on and on and on.
So I start out 2015 in this state of … limbo … or at least that is how it feels. I have my fiend back, I have a new coach/guidance, my health feels like it’s bouncing back, and I started a new position with Children & Youth Services (though still in the county) which gives me a longer commute in the morning but puts me close to the pool and to the area I ride and run in after work. But still, when I look at myself, I cannot help but feel … unimpressed.
And yes, I know there are things I have done in my life that can be classified as impressive. I know. I served my country for ten years, then put myself through college starting at age 27. I have earned two masters degrees. I survived cancer.
But still I can feel the sword dangling.
Maybe it is something that is just preprogrammed into our heads? In the book “You are a Badass” the author writes about how our belief systems are hardwired at a very early age by our parents, and while it is cliche to “blame your parents” for everything that is wrong in our lives, I think it holds merit. We learn how to take on the world by watching them. It is rare for someone to break the cycle. This that are abused abuse. Those that are poor stay poor. Those that have overweight parents become overweight themselves. Overcoming this subconscious is hard, and rare, but can be done. We have all read or known about people who have done it. But my question is does that inner drive to be different than our parents change, or go away, or does it lie dormant in us forever? It’s also hard to explain this to people who did not have the same type of upbringing. Trying to explain how it felt to have to hide in a bedroom with my Mom and siblings when Mr. Fashion came to collect the mortgage because we did not have the money to pay him is lost on those that never had that happen (and it says something that I can remember his name after 40 years). So when I try to explain how losing this house feels to someone who sees it as “not a big deal” frustrates me. I have worked hard to not be my parents, and this to me is becoming my parents. It does not feel good.
I was recently questioned about my feeling for my family. I guess the vibe I put out in here and in person is that I do not care about them at all. It is not the case, so let me clear this up right now. I envy families that show love for each other and like being together … it’s just not how my family works … and I am not sure when that happened. I grew up with Sunday dinners at my grandmothers house where everyone showed up, even my grandfather and his second wife. We always were together on holidays, weekends. Then something happened, and I am not sure when, but it just stopped. I think it may have been when Pops died? I know it was before my grandmother passed, but we just stopped. The effort to get together is just not there anymore. To be crystal here, I love my family. I may not show it like others do, but I care about every one of them deeply and want them to succeed and be happy. My sister cares for all of us. She may not come over when I am in town at my Mom’s, but she cares. I know she does. My brother is still 21 in his head and heart, and part of me envy’s that about him, but another part is glad I am not the same way. My mother is my mother. She is the same now as she was when I was growing up, but I harbor some hurt inside me that I have never been fully able to let go of, and I think that is the wedge I feel. It is not something I will write about here, and least not now, and maybe ever, but I acknowledge it.
My faults are numerous. I have a hard time forgiving betrayal, even though I try. I may continue a friendship afterwards but I think after having it so often I build a little bit more of the wall (cue Pink Floyd music here) and it becomes a barrier. I know I have betrayed people as well, and have been very hurtful, so thank God everyone is NOT like me or I’d have NO friends at all, but I never forget my own betrayals, and I dwell on them. To the point of distraction. Above all things I want to be able to TRUST you and to receive RESPECT in return. When that is not done, at least in my eyes, in work or in my personal life, I have a hard time getting around it. Actually, in thinking about now, it really is all about respect for me. Lying to me is disrespecting me. Hmm. More to ponder. I need to make a list.
I received an email the other day from a listener to the Angriest Trainer podcast by Vinnie Tortorich and Anna Vocino. They had listened to the episode I was in (#333) and felt compelled to contact me. Now, know this, I have no idea who this person is, but their insight from just that one appearance took me aback a bit. Especially one statement. They wrote:
….You didn’t strike me as being especially happy, and that actually made me feel rather sad on your behalf.
First off, I don’t like anyone feeling sad for me, but it seems like this came from a good place so I wasn’t put off by that, but what struck me more was how did I come across in that show that made this listener feel that way? Do I present myself as unhappy?? Did Anna and Vinnie get the same impression?? Cripes.
I feel like 2015 is going to be a big year for change. In advance, forgive me if there seems to be more of these kind of posts throughout the year, but I am tagging them all as “Mind and Body” so feel free to skip them when they pop up. I do that for your benefit. 🙂