Blind Faith

11 Nov

In my last blog or two I mentioned that, I DO, Run…Well, I DO: run, challenge myself, work hard, and chase my dreams to name a few. And because I DO all that and more, I Didn’t. I Didn’t get married. October 19, 2013, came and passed like any other day. The semblance of what this date stood for broke me down a bit. I stayed distracted and kept moving forward. I knew it was going to be a daunting task when the day came to hold my head up and high. I tried not to get overwhelmed with guilt, sadness and heartache. I have had that date etched in my mind for 14 months! I was going to be a Mrs. I was already the starter wife but I was finally going to get that prefix!!! But as fate would have it, marriage wasn’t my gig. At least it wasn’t then and it isn’t right now.

Don’t get me wrong, I am pro marriage. Go get married if that’s your prerogative. Buy your house. Have your 2.06 kids (https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/fields/2127.html) and live that dream of perfection. The parody is it’s just that, it’s a dream eluding perfection!

Sure, I wanted to buy into the dream. I wanted a husband and the 2.06 little bambinos!!! I had a plan. I always had a plan. The thing about plans is that they get broken. The miracle isn’t when the plan goes accordingly (i.e. Wedding 10/19/13) The miracle is when the plan goes awry and you find yourself catapulted off route. You’re forced to open your eyes and get acclimated to your new surroundings when suddenly you see all these incidental opportunities and miracles. They were always there but you were too distracted to see them. As I was. Too distracted. Something inside me said marriage was not right, not right for right now, but I hushed myself. Every wedding detail was falling into place. I ignored my inner voice and steered my inner compass toward the wedding. I was always redirecting it because it kept moving me the opposite direction. A push-pull relationship. That’s when the job opportunity presented itself. My inner compass, like a metal detector, went off and like a magnetic force pulled me to the job. I couldn’t shake the overwhelming feeling of guilt because I knew I wanted to go after the job but I also knew what that meant if I got it. Yet everything about the job felt right. I was so focused on finishing up the wedding plans and selecting the perfect arrangment for the centerpieces that I wasn’t looking outside my “box”. When I finally did I saw a world I wanted to live in. I knew the risks. We broke our plans. I wanted to fulfill my commitment but I was in between a rock and a hard place. I realized I couldn’t compromise having that sought after prefix (by many women) if it meant letting go of the career opportunity I always wanted.

Instead, I let go of the promise of forever to chase a career with no finite promise. The career move was the challenge I’ve been searching for with a guarantee of some sort of a return on my investment in some shape or form. Whether that return is self identity and discovery, monetary, experience gained, the cumulation of it all etc, I don’t know. I actually like not knowing! I broke my promise to marry a good man because I promised myself to never let an opportunity pass me by. I have never been the type to be frozen by a fear to fail. That’s the beauty. The very fear of failure is what drives me. When I discovered I got the job, I was all in. I was all in when everything else felt like it was falling apart. (I’m not complaining!)

That’s the thing about me. I knew in my heart what I wanted. It made sense. I also knew what it meant I was giving up. I weighed the consequences but didn’t give them much of a second thought. I didn’t have to sit down and overanalyze the pros and cons. I didn’t do that until after I made what others categorize as hasty decision. I always overanalyze in the afterthought. In the, “Holy shit, I’m really doing this. I’m really moving. I’m going somewhere where I have no familial support or friends nearby. Wtf am I doing? Can I really do this? Who the hell do I think I am?” I would sit and evaluate my predicament and confer with myself… I rehearsed a cogent argument in my head to reiterate to myself and family and friends if they would ask me what the hell I was doing. I tried to rationalize my motive and sell myself when fear trickled in. Then in some moments I would grin ear to ear and think, “Holy crap!!! I went after something and I made it a reality. Expletive. Expletive. Expletive. Ok. Breathe. I got this”. It makes me think of an appropriate Mark Twain reference, “Under certain circumstances, profanity provides a relief denied even to prayer”. Case and point, I Do, surprise myself from time to time. I left everything I knew for the unknown. I shook up my world!

I am doing this for many reasons but one thing that resonates with me is the fact that sometimes you have to leave all that you know to discover exactly what it is you left behind.

Because I left everything people speculate to make sense of my behavior. In their mind my behavior is so enigmatic!!! It’s rather odd to me they’d rather speculate, assume and pass judgment versus picking up the phone to talk to me. The only comments I heard when I planted the seed about this career opportunity were, “Why would you go after a career when you were going to get married? Poor so-and- so. Wow, Val, you’re chasing and choosing a career over love. It’s really expensive there…” Really? Thanks friends! The only meaningful thing my friends should have offered was love (my family did and some friends). Not advice, ridicule or questions or suggestions about my choices. I need to filter my feelings and comments here but I will say in regard to the absurd comment, “you’re chasing and choosing a career over love”, well that’s wildly incorrect! I love me and I chose to put myself first. In actuality I married (pun intended) career and love together so I chose nothing over nothing. I put myself first and if others view that as selfish or narcissistic, okay. I reprove with, what you think of me is not my business. I’m actually living my life for myself and not for you. So I gladly take responsibility for my actions. These negative comments have come from people who I had mistaken as friends. It was difficult to digest because I am very sensitive; a little overly sensitive, really. Time has passed and I believe in what I am doing so their absurd assumptions and comments fall on deaf ears and no longer cheapen this incredible opportunity of mine.

I think others judge me because they can’t understand or make sense of why I folded on the idea of the “dream” and the marriage. My behavior is for me to understand. I own it. As for them, I chalk it up as them having their own infirmities. They must be so uncomfortable that I broke out of the box they choose to live in. The box synonymous for the antiquated ideology of “marriage” and the traditional gender roles, let alone what should be the natural sequential order of things. Oh hell no! I cannot conform to someone else’s ideology! I don’t need the white picket fence, the hoopla of a wedding, the marriage, and kids to feel complete. I am complete! Sure I am lacking companionship and a second party for dinner dates, movie dates, lounges, jazz bars, etc. Cooking for one sucks to put it bluntly. I make way too much. Having a shot of tequila without clinking my partner’s shot glass is odd. Should I even have a shot solo? At restaurants there aren’t two entrees being plated on the table with my interest to have a bite (or half) of his because he got what I really wanted… Yes, it sucks. But I move forward.

I remind myself daily that following my dreams is what completes me. If my friends knew me, they wouldn’t have to speculate my intent. They would have applauded me!!! The true friends I have did just that. They gave me kudos for doing me, putting myself first, and for making this move before I signed the marriage certificate. Some people go through with a wedding because they don’t want to disappoint others. They rather spend lavish amounts of money knowing it’s a sham because they are too vested and in deep with vendors, the flight arrangements people have made and they don’t want disappoint their guests. How asinine!!! Especially because divorce is more expensive! That right there is a double whammy! Well guess what, disappointing myself by letting an opportunity pass me by is a greater fear of mine than disappointing guests. Sorry for my honesty. My guests (family and friends) should respect our audacious move to postpone/cancel our wedding. They should have given us some praise. That’s the distinct separation between myself and others. I’m a realist not an idealist. You live once so why not live? Shake things up. Do something that makes you uncomfortable. Test your limits. Learn your strength. Learn who you are, alone!!! I can’t be placed in a box that’s confining, marginalizing, and restrictive of anything outside the status quo. That doesn’t suit me. As my good friend Milena says, “Don’t put me in that box”.

Regarding the friends I have lost due to this ordeal- I have come to the conclusion that God must have really wanted us to connect with each other for the seasons you were present in my life. You were a part of my life and my heart, and you will remain tucked away there. I am thankful for your friendship and what you were for me and my growth. I wish you well.

Anyway, here I am. I am in DC! I don’t miss Phoenix too much. I do miss my family and friends but it’s not bad. There’s FaceTime and that makes it better! I don’t miss running on the Greenbelt. How could I?The paths here are littered with autumn leaves and they wind down new scenery. I’m still in the novelty stage here to miss much of anything back home.

I have had a lot of alone time this past week and I have loved it! I have sat in solitude and got lost thinking about the events over last year. I’ve realized that life is pain all while being equally beautiful. I have/had love, all sorts of love. Never the same love twice but love for many! In one minute love made me feel like I had everything. I had the world. Then fate intervened and pillaged through my plans for the umpteenth time leaving my heart shattered and my ego banged up. Talk about insulting!!! I read once that a broken heart is both a badge of honor and the most powerful tool on Earth. I tend to agree. My broken heart made me realize that my love was real. I gave love. I accepted love. I was alive. Love didn’t go according to plan but that’s okay. Having had love and feeling its depths renders me happy!

My key to happiness is acceptance and letting go. I will never fit in the idealistic box despite it’s promises. I accept that. I perform best outside my comfort zone. It’s synonymous for running as with running, the magic doesn’t happen until you run on blind faith while your lungs and legs beg you for mercy and tell you to quit, but you don’t. That’s the magic—->mental grit!!! To succeed in running you have to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. That’s when progress happens. Same with life. Life is uncomfortable. Especially if you choose to live outside the box and challenge the status quo. Running has given me the fortitude to go after my goals (professional and personal) regardless how lofty and to live my life. Running has helped to shape my professional and personal repertoire and gave me the courage to stand on my own, here in DC. I thank running for giving me the confidence to go after this job and the strength to stand alone, regardless of how uncomfortable I may be. This is blind faith! I am exactly where I am meant to be, right now, as I am.

Week 1

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2 Responses to “Blind Faith”

  1. Tim Samz November 12, 2013 at 4:49 am #

    Valerie, it takes a courageous person to follow their heart. You believed in YOU! Both impressive and inspiring!

  2. Rick November 12, 2013 at 7:03 am #

    Val, live your dreams. People will come and people will go. Everyone has their own opinions and we know what they say about that.
    All that counts is your happiness wherever that may be found.

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