I’ve run away a lot in my life. I avoid social situations where I don’t have control. I like my routines, my boxes and things a certain way. My brain has a way it wants things done. When things are not that way, I have an internal battle where I convince myself not to run away.
On the surface, I seem very social, easy-going and up for most things. On a deeper level, it takes a lot of work to get me there. I’m not saying I would rather be a shy mouse in the corner, but I don’t branch out very often. I don’t do many social situations after 6PM. I make sure I give myself enough time for 8 hours of sleep.
I don’t go to bars, I don’t drink much. I like to have dinner at home. I like to get up early and go to bed early. I like to take my time.
Then, I started to build relationships and have friends. I have a huge family unit I love being a part of. Though these people drive me crazy sometimes and push me out of my Zen zone, I would not trade them for that comfort.
The second half of 2017 looked a lot different than the first half. The first half I needed to get away from Ithaca, from friends and from what I was used to. Essentially, I ran away from that comfort, but I also ran away from the responsibility that comes with forming relationships. I had a reason not to show up. I lived further away after all. Sorry, no can do. Bridal shower? Sorry, gotta work. Christmas? Hmm, I actually can’t make that. No I wasn’t mad at anyone, but I was in my comfort zone, alone, doing what I knew. I was content living that way.
In the second half of 2017, things started to change. I met Michael, Eric, Sheila and Lisa from TrailsRoc and they made me a part of their family. I started to work with my friend and running coach Mike, which forced me to be accountable with training and what I was doing. I started to crave people who liked me for me. Even crazier, I missed my family because they became people who I could talk to, lean on and laugh with. Rather than loving them because they are blood, I loved them because I love them. They make me feel whole.
Making these relationships, running a few crazy races and job circumstances led me back to Ithaca, to living with people and running with guidance. I was overjoyed to move back, but I had changed and so did my need for control.
Having relationships means showing up. It means being where you say you’ll be. It means being honest. I no longer felt “bad” for saying “yes I’ll be there but I have a run first.” In the past, I felt like I was doing something wrong or I didn’t care enough. Granted, if it was important, I skip said run, but building a new relationship with my family meant that they also understood who I was. They understand I run and doing that before I help my mom at her store or work with my dad doesn’t mean I don’t love them, it means that my priorities make running first (early before they are awake or opening up shop) and then I am more productive, happier and we get more done.
Showing up means being present, not worrying about other things that “need” to get done. Showing up means connecting when we can, but also not expecting an answer super fast because we all have things we want to do. Showing up for me meant loosening my vegan dietary preferences. Showing up meant loosening my need for control. Showing up reminded me that I don’t need to be alone and that if I do make plans one day instead of have a day to myself, the world doesn’t end, I still get my stuff done and I usually feel even more invigorated afterwards.
Showing up means not living a life online. Showing up means just being there.
Showing up is hard. It’s uncomfortable. It’s worth it.
2017 taught me how to show up. No turning back now 🙂