Yaymen! God has blessed me with another year. I’m so excited and thankful that I can’t sleep! My first act of 29 was to register for my first marathon (by the way, check out my race calendar if you want to see what steps – literal and figurative – in faith I’m taking, hah!) and I’m AMPED.
I’ve got to say, though – I’m also a bit bewildered. And a little nervous. You see, this person who treats herself to races, as a birthday present no less, is brand new. When I say that I have a race coming up to anyone I know, s(he) acts like I am saying something super obvious. “Hey Joan, wanna hang out or do you have another race.” Apparently, this has become an integral part of my life. People call me a runner, or even more nuts, a triathlete! This is the girl who, when passing a store in Miami every day for three years called “Swim Bike Run” thought to herself, “oh, that’s nice. Something for everyone.” Even a year ago, when I decided I wanted a GPS watch I said, “there’s no way in hell I’m doing triathlon. Lemme just get the running watch.” Bad call.
WHAT IS HAPPENING TO ME?!?!
My mother jokes that the picture above represents one of my bigger (smaller?) physical changes since I began racing. “Hahaha your chest used to be the first thing that entered the room. Now you all come together.” Thanks for that, Mom. Clearly, things are different and it’s WEIRD. The girls have served as a pretty solid way to pick me out of a lineup and they ran away with – well, me.
It makes sense that those to whom I’ve been close for some time would take note of the changes, and I’m thankful that they are celebrating with me. In contrast, those who have met me recently seem to take note of something entirely different.
“You’re always so happy.”
“You have such a great attitude.”
“Your perspective is so healthy.”
For the 2014 Lenten season, I chose to give up negative self-talk as opposed to something material. This should indicate just how much it was a part of my life as it was quite a struggle for me to give up talking mess about myself. I discovered then just how horrible I was being to myself just 1 day into Lent when I was playing Chopin and having fun. “Why are you enjoying this music? You haven’t earned it!” What the hell?! Who would say that to anyone? I quickly realized that I had to alter my choice of not saying anything negative into being positive, but skeptical Lady J had to find a reason to do so. I came to the conclusion that talking down to myself was indulgent, in that it gave me an excuse not to fully use the gifts with which God has blessed me. If I suck as much as I say, I can’t possibly do the tasks given to me. I was scared of God knows what. Wait, no, I know! Being good enough. By what standard? Uh. That, I truly didn’t know.
Then it hit me. If God gave His son for the world – for me – I must be kind of a big deal. So is everyone else. Best part of a realization like that? Now when I encourage people – loved ones or colleagues or acquaintances – I speak with greater authority. I’ve never been a disingenuous person, but because I now believe the same things for myself, I believe it has more impact. People are taking notice of my positivity and that means the world to me.
While I can’t say I no longer struggle with feelings of inadequacy (I mean, geez, are the girls too small now?), I am loving the path toward inner peace that God is bringing me with added years. I look forward to learning and growing more than I ever have, and for that I hope to eternally show my thankfulness.
I can only conclude that my negativity must have been stored in my chest.