I am having a tough weekend. I am having one of those moments when I look at my life and all I see are my shortcomings. I know I am not being rational. That said the despair I feel is real because I feel like I am not where I want to be at this point in my life. No, I don’t feel like I am at rock bottom. At the same time, I don’t feel like I am on a successful path. There is so much more that I want out of my life.
Sometimes the things I desire out of life lead to competing interests. On one hand I feel like in order for me to progress professionally I should be open to moving out of the Greater Boston area. On the flip side, I have moved so much in the last thirteen years that the thought of packing my bags moving has me crying on the phone with my friend.
I don’t have much in Boston. I have a job. I have a few friends. Some clothes, some pots and pans and my growing sense of stability. For some looking at my life, that is not enough to stake a lifetime on. For me though, the bit I have now seems like more than I have had in a long time. The sense that I have people to call, places I know and some hope of a career seems like more than a enough to build a future upon.
While I was crying to my friend on the phone, he asked me, “What is success to you? You have to figure out your narrative and make decisions that are right for you.” I am not sure what my vision of success is. Okay…maybe I am telling lies. For me success is not just having a good job, it is having a social bearing as well. On the whole, I don’t have any of those things at the moment. And that scares me badly. As happy and as inspired as I am to turn 30, it scares me as well.
It is scary because I see so much more that I need to be doing. As much as I am inspired to live with vigor, 8 months is not enough to build a life like the one I want. But like everyone keeps telling me when I get worked up and too emotional about the whole thing, I need to calm down and take it a step at a time.
As I type this I am sitting in my bed while I mentally calculate when to leave my house so that I can get to the gym, workout, get lunch and still get to my dentist appointment on time. This is now my life.
I signed up for a half-marathon. It was a spontaneous decision. Alright, it was not spontaneous like that. It was more like I saw an ad for the AirBnB Brooklyn Half 2016 and I though to myself I should run that. I have become a bit more adventurous as I try go out of my twenties strong. I saw this ad back at the beginning of January. Registration wasn’t for a few weeks so I told myself if I could start training consistently for it, I would sign up.
I have been spending a consistent amount of time in the gym lately. Loads of running and cycling. Recently I have added yoga and strength training to the mix. Running is hard. Some people get on that treadmill and they look like they were born to run. I have had to learn to run.
I have been running for a few years now, off and on. When I was 21, I trained for the San Diego Marathon. I loved every minute of it. The early morning runs. The abdominal work. The discovering weird food like GU. The pasta and broccoli in Marinara sauce with tuna before long runs. The sweaty body. I hated the injury that stopped me from running. I remember that foot injury everyday.
I ran again consistently in Manchester. Then I stopped running until I got to Boston. In between, I did a lot of walking around. I love walking so much. In New York, I used to challenge myself by walking for blocks and blocks. In Ibadan, the teachers taught I was crazy because I would walk from Eleyele to Dugbe often. There is nothing like movement to make me happy.
The funny part about my love of moving is that I have never really considered myself an athlete even though I put in a good amount of time moving. Maybe it is because of my body time. Sometimes when I have a conversation with people about running I feel like I haven’t earned the right to talk simply because my body isn’t skinny. I have put in the miles. But I don’t have the muscles therefore I feel like I can’t be a runner.
Now that I am running consistently again, I am not so worried about titles. Although, I do think I am a runner. I know I am an athlete. I know that because I put in the work everyday. I show up. I push through the discomfort. And I am enjoying this process.
I am enjoying it so much I strategically planned my day to sign up for the Brooklyn Half. The tickets sold out in 52 minutes and I am one of the lucky ones.