Monday, June 05, 2006

A race for life.

"What it gets down to is: how do you want to spend your time on earth?" - Meredith Monk

Well, I DID IT!! I completed the 5K 'Race for Life.' It took me about 39 minutes. I admit to doing some walking - up the hill that we had to do twice!! It was such an amazing experience. It was incredibly, scorchingly hot, and there were 5000 women doing it. I had a few moments of concern for my ability to finish the race when I was walking towards the venue. I was following all of these women with messages about who they were running for on their backs. I got all teary and goose-bumpy as I read about people's loved ones and people's struggles. I felt the emotion of the day all around me. It was difficult keeping focused. BUT I DID IT!! (Here is a rare photo of me. I am the one on the left - the one who seems to have lost her eyes somewhere along the route!!)

Three years ago if someone had told me I would be running a 5k (or training for a half marathon) or that I would have finished and sent off a manuscript, I would have laughed and looked down, bit my lip and known full well that it would never happen. I have had a very strange vision of myself. Like I said in an earlier post, I am good at controlling some parts of my life and not others.

In the past little while, however, I have felt like things were changing. I can trace its roots back a few years, but it is only in the past few months that I have really been feeling the effects. I have heard a grumbling - a roar, a growl - deep in my insides. I know almost at a cellular level that there is so much more to me than I have been allowing so far. I have been clenching - holding back huge parts of myself - worrying about so many things. I have been stuck seeing myself as a fat, stuck, struggling writer, and have not allowed myself to see that I am so much more than that. Lately I have sensed that curtain being pulled back a little. I can see my life on the other side. Every time I have gotten a peek I have stumbled back a few steps and had to make my way back there again. Each time I've gotten a little bit stronger. Each time I've gotten a little bit braver. The growing pains have been enormous. I've wondered if it was all worth it.

But this weekend I pushed myself past one of those perceived boundaries. I CAN be strong and fit and healthy. Why not? As I finished the miles I could hear the growl becoming louder and louder. On Saturday I sat down and drew this tulip - pushing past my creative fear for the first time in a long long time. Today I officially started in a permanent job. Saturday I talked to a wonderful new friend for hours. Tonight I spoke to another inspiring friend for the first time. I can feel my life shifting in profound ways.

So when I was drawing this I was pulled to use these words of Liz's to go with it. It captures the way I want to be right now - softly, honestly, and gently continuing to grow and change and be strong - and finding the beauty that is in there. GGgggggggrrrrrroooooooooowwwwwwlllllllllllll!!!!!


M said...

This is fantastic!! Wow Meg, so inspiring! Just what I needed on monday morning. Congratulations on doing the run!!! That is huge! I'm so proud of you- doesn't it feel great to reach for a goal, push yourself through the fear and make it happen?!! And it only makes you want more- love the growling by the way!! I am finding my inner roar as well and this post just made me want to fly over and give you a big hug of thanks. The Tulip is beautiful as well- can I put it in my journal??
Loved your Sunday Scribblings post as well- the photo was too cute.

Susannah said...

YAY MEGGGG!!!!!!!! i'm so proud of you, and heavens, i bet it was boiling on your run :-) What a beautiful tulip - it really is you, opening and *blooming*. beautiful words from our LIzzie, and they describe you perfectly, my lovely friend - and this is just the beginning......

Becca said...

Congratulations! Be so proud of all you have accomplished, and don't be afraid to keep roaring!

Cate said...

This is absolutely, hands down, the most inspirational, empowering post I have EVER read! You rock! Oh, congrats, Meg! Joy, joy, joy--happiness abounds!

Your determination is a great gift to us all, but esp. to yourself!

You are wonderful!

Alexandra S said...

You continue to amaze and inspire me Megg. Knowing you are out there somewhere brings me the same sense of joy that knowing there are chocolate factories all over the world does. Congratulations on your marathon!!! You look beautiful and so happy and so empowered and in touch with all your many, many possibilities. I wish I could have seen you cross the finish line but I am there in spirit.! xoxo

Jennifer said...

congratulations! doing great, feeling great. It's good to be alive!

liz elayne said...

i am so honored to be your friend.
so very honored.
look at you completing your race and finding the growl all in one weekend. this is so fantastic my dear. FANTASTIC!
thank you for being an inspiration to me. even as i lay here sick in bed with a runny nose and heavy heart. you remind me why we are here, what we are up to, how we are going to change the world.
thank you my beautiful friend.

susanlavonne said...

from what i see in this post the beauty is already spilling way over to the outside, not just the inside! and the drawing!! wow...think of drawing this way..(i read this in an art teacher's book)...if you can print and write, you can teach yourself to's the same principal...
makes sense when you think about it (even though i am truly afraid to try drawing myself)

(and thank you for inspiring me to walk this morning when i really feel like plunking my arse down at Starbucks)

Jamie said...

Congratulations on all these huge and major accomplishments. You are a star, Meg!

In light of your recent post, I am so excited to see you not only creating a visual image but for sharing it! It made me smile right away!

Reading your post and the blogs of a few others recently, it seems like so many of us are in the midst of a significant shift. It's like something is happening in the stars and it's being reflected in us. What a wondrous time. I'm glad we're sharing it.

Colleen said...

It's nice to see your smile! I'm feeling a bit lazy reading about all my friends and their marathons! I'm so proud of you!

HoBess said...

Congratulations! On the race ... on the job ... on this drawing!

I just finished reading your scribble, and it seems to me that girl you said you need to channel is a woman inspiring us all.

Hooraay MEGG!

la vie en rose said...

hip-hip-hooray!!! i'm so happy for you! you did it!!!

i feel the change too and i'll tell you what i told liz yesterday. a lot of times when i see change coming, when i feel it moving under my feet, i get scared and turn around, running in the other direction. i'm deterimined to sit in this change, to stay with it, to stand still. i told liz we could hold hands through this changing and you can hold hands with us too. if anyone gets scared we just gently squeeze the other one's hand and we'll hold on tight to each other.

Karen said...

What and awesome photo--you can see how great you feel just by looking. Congrats Meg---you go girl!

tara dawn said...

I am so very proud of you! You are awesome, Meg! What a HUGE accomplishment...and your strength, your character, your whole being, is growing even on these pages.
I promise to email back soon...big test in the morning, so more studying for now.
Love to you my friend,

Sacred Suzie said...

Way to go! You give me hope that one day I can be strong too.

Laini Taylor said...

Congratulations, Meg! That's such a great goal to have accomplished -- and it looks like it was probably fun, too. It's so good to hear you in such high spirits and inspired. And I always love your growling!

Jennifer (she said) said...

Congratulations Megg!!! I can feel your happiness and energy in this post. Your honesty about what it feels like to go forward and back but then, to see the worth in the effort that you weren't certain was there means a lot. Thank you for sharing this experience. And as fellow runner, I know running and health aren't always a piece of cake, so good for you for showing up and working so hard!


Sarah e.Smith said...

Congrats! You have such a great energy! Your photo says it all! :)

chest of drawers said...

Fantastic! have a lot of good things going on. I hope your book goes over the finishing line soon too!

hundredandone said...

Oh, oh, oh Megg. Thank you so much for writing this. I could identify with every single line. '...I am good at controlling some parts of my life and not others....'I feel exactly the same. I am going to print this entry off because it speaks to me so strongly. Thank you, thank you, thank you. It just what I needed to read today!

Bohemian Girl said...

i am bowing down to you for accomplishing this!

*bow, bow*

you rock, girlie.