"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!!!!!