being me

 it’s about time to be me.  i have lived so much of my life to other’s expectations and requirements i’m not sure who i am anymore.  i remember knowing quite clearly at age 7.  then we moved.  everything changed.  there was a whole new set of people to please (those whose donations helped support our family, and a bigger meeting and bigger school) and i felt a lot of pressure to perform.  to be liked, to fit in, to not make anyone unhappy with me or disappointed in any way.  i was trained to be certain things to certain people, so as not to offend anyone.  somewhere in the process i lost sight of who i am, naked before god.  it’s carried on to the point that i still have trouble, at 39, expressing an opinion.  standing up for things.  being decisive.  i can control things to the point of strangulation, for myself and others, but i can’t just be.  i honestly don’t know how. 

i’ve been trying to write about things that make me angry (thanks mike), and succeeded in epxressing my feelings about the most horrific 7 weeks of my life on paper.  that would be the 7 weeks before i got married, and it didn’t exactly turn into sweetness and light afterwards.  i’m still a bit numb in spots.  it felt somewhat good to write, but hard to look at and remember.  i need to speak the truth about things that hurt me, which is different from pointing a judgemental finger and saying “you screwed me up”.  the distinction is important to me. 


i feel rather amused/chagrinned that in my quest to keep this blog out of sight from search engines looking for my name, i forgot to take off the footer with my complete name in it.  riiiiight.  done now, but to what purpose i’m not sure.  i don’t hide who i am, but don’t want random googlers to find me, like clients.  i feel a wee bit more free.


having family and friends for the holiday was great.  it was encouraging, enjoyable, and distracting.  i have these silly hopes that now that i’m confronted with myself again, i’ll find some big magic mirror that allows me to see underneath all the layers of crap i’ve armored myself with.  there are no magic answers, just picking away when i see stuff or am poked at.  the boys have watched insane numbers of videos, played computer games (yes both of them, fynn can operate the spiderman game passably and played some lego starwars when mike was here) and not gotten outside much.

i’m going to go running, for the first time in 5 days, and see if the crazy wind will blow some of the cobwebs out.  it should help with the sugar cravings at the very least.


i’m still here.  been too depressed to write.  no words most of the time, when i do surface and feel alive, i overcompensate and try to get lots done before i sink underneath the cloud again.  it’s not been pretty.  i have no answers, some clues as to why i’m in this hole, and hope it changes soon.  running helps, visitors are good as i almost reflexively play my role, but it’s a deep one. 

it’s christmas.  we have company.  there are piles of presents under the tree, thanks to the generosity of others. 

i’m tired of feeling on the fringes.  i don’t belong anywhere.  i have a need to, i think.  i miss my family, miss feeling like a real part of a community.  i have a bit of that at fynn’s school, but it’s not deep enough.  i need to feel at home somewhere.  anywhere.

i hope i find it. 

a thought

i was interviewed today for someone’s phD dissertation.  the subject was the effect of gentrification on school choice.  as i shared my reasons for my choices, the interviewed made an observation that caught me totally off guard.  she asked if i preferred to be in the minority.  she’s right, i do.  i have suspicions as to why, such as being brought up that i was different, special, and while not to be proud of it, different was good.  good to be ridiculed a bit.  good to stand out.  good to be the underdog. 

i had no idea how that translated into my school choices until today, but i do enjoy being the minority.  curious, it is.


quote for the day, from the WC.

… this woman (suburban wife, mother, successful career woman) clearly walled off huge sections of her inner life from her most beloved friends and family. She never felt safe enough to reveal her real self to anyone. She died not being known. … Don’t do that. Don’t die not being known.


raising the bar

i’ve had a goal all year of running a half marathon in under 2 hours.  i signed up for 5 half-marathons (one in each borough) to give myself 5 chances at the goal.  i also loved running through the 5 boroughs so much last year, during the marathon, that i thought running through them each a little more would be great. 

the first two races were back-to-back, one week apart.  i hated the first as it was just 2+ laps of Central Park, and not very inspiring.  i finished in 2:06, and was happy with it given the freezing temps.  the next weekend in the bronx, i had no thought of making my goal time as i figured i wasn’t recovered enough from the previous week.  i started out fast, and ended up realizing at about mile 9 that i had a shot at making my goal time.  i pushed within an inch of my life, but fell short by 45 seconds.  maddening but i had 3 more chances. 

the next two races i ran with friends.  the bklyn half was really hot, and i worked hard but not too hard, had several annoying pit stops thanks to a bad dinner choice the night before, and ended up with a 2:16 finish.  not too happy but it was a fun run.  i’d hoped to take a stab at my goal again in queens last month, but got stuck by some bad planning on the part of the race staff.  there were not enough shuttle  buses as promised, and despite getting there when they said, my friend and i missed the start of the race by 30 minutes and had to walk 2 miles just to get there.  even though we were fairly timed, i didn’t have the heart to leave my friend to run alone, in her first-ever race, as we were practically running alone.  i let her set the pace, and stuck to her side, ending up with a 2:22.  i wasn’t too happy.

going into yesterday’s race i knew it was my last shot.  i was determined to break 2 hours, but didn’t feel like i’d trained enough.  it requires a 9:15mm pace, when i run a 10mm naturally.  i got there early, stayed relaxed, ate right, and hit the port-a-potties 3x in the last hour just to make sure.  i aimed for a 9mm pace to give myself a wee cushion for water breaks and tiredness.  the first 3 miles clicked off at an 8:45 clip, and while it felt hard i figured i’d rather start strong and fade than try to catch up.  besides, it felt really good to watch the mile markers fly past, rather than slowly hove into view like they had in queens.  every marker, i’d set a mental note for the time +9, and watch for the next one.  the next 3 miles passed, and i had a 2 minute cushion built up. by the time i hit halfway, i knew that even allowing for some fading, i’d break 2 hours.

it was then that my crazy self decided maybe i could raise the bar.  i’d started 4 minutes after the gun, as getting 4,000 people across a starting line takes a few minutes.  the timing clocks at the mile markers were then 4 min ahead of my watch.  i did some more mental math, and thought that maybe i could beat 2 hours by the official clocks, not giving myself credit for the 4 min lag (though they always give you net time, not clock time, when scoring your results).  that kept me going for a few more miles, till about mile 10 i knew that goal was clinched also. 

that apparently wasn’t good enough, because i then decided maybe i could beat the official clocks by as much as 5 minutes.  at this point however i only had 3 miles to do it in, and not that much steam left.  i’d pushed myself a lot harder than in any previous half, and was really feeling it.  i still hoped for it, but didn’t have enough oomph left.  i finished in 1:53:20 by my watch, 1:57 and change by the official clocks, and managed to be very happy but a wee bit disappointed at the same time.  

insanity.  i always raise the bar for myself, no matter what.  if i’m in danger of reaching it, i move it.  my goal was 2 hours, i shattered the goal with a 1:53 and a record pace averaging 8:39mm, and yet i still felt like if i’d tried a bit harder i could have made it 2 minutes faster.  i’m very pleased with what i did, and yet i won’t let myself be 100% happy with it.  what on earth is wrong with my brain that i can’t be satisfied with that?? 

i really don’t know where it comes from.  i’m afraid i sometimes hold my kids to unattainable standards too, which is not cool at all.  i do remember feeling like nothing less than straight A’s was acceptable on my report card, and being asked what i could do to bring B’s up to A’s.  is that enough to make me always move the bar?  i don’t know.  it’s not healthy, it breeds discontent and a lack of satisfaction.  am i afraid of rest and stagnation?  possibly.  i’ve recognized the issue for years, but this race business showed it in it’s full ridiculousness and brought it to mind again.  love to back off on it, but am not sure how.