The Person I Am, 83 Days Out
I follow a lot of running and triathlon blogs, as well as feminist blogs and clothes blogs and pop culture blogs and music blogs and blogs for people that like to eat food but don’t like foodie blogs. Basically, I spend a lot of time on the internet. I stumbled across this quote on SwimBikeMom, one of my favorites, and stopped dead. “Somebody once told me the definition of hell: “On your last day on earth, the person you became will meet the person you could have become.” It’s not attributed to anyone, but holy crap. Whoever you are that said this — genius.
Almost all of my writing, from when I first started keeping “journals” (much cooler than diaries) to I don’t know, maybe, yesterday, was deeply concerned with who I was going to be when I finally figured everything out. I don’t know if I had a magical date in my head for when this was going to happen, but I know I suffered/er WILDLY from this idea that I was going to be someone. Someone impressive. And when I failed to be impressive against this imaginary measure of impressiveness, I considered myself hopeless, a loser, someone that is destined to be…ordinary.
I would be flat out lying if I said that running magically cured me of my need to be amazing. I can still list my “not XXX enough”s quicker than most people can recite their social security numbers, and I am female so even if I had the most amazing self esteem, the world would cure me of that quickly. But running has given me a sense of accomplishment that all my years of striving to be MORE couldn’t give me. To be clear, I am not an elite athlete or a sub elite or a basement elite or subterranean elite. I am a 40 year old, overweight mom that can sometimes, if every other condition is right, run a 10:30 mile. And I’m goddamn proud of it. I set a goal and I accomplished it. I gave something to myself and that allowed me to give more of myself to others.
Maybe I would have been a better runner if I started earlier. Maybe I could have been an athlete. Maybe I could have been an astronaut. I don’t know. But I know that all that striving to be amazing without any sense of what it meant made me into someone that wasn’t very likable. Maybe being comfortable with being ordinary will help lead me to the person I’m going to become.