I have to write this down so I don’t forget about it.
Mile 15… Perhaps it should be called Magical Mile 15 instead. I have run half-marathons before, but until this weekend I had never run a marathon. I am not going to lie and say that it was easy or fun. It wasn’t. Despite the miracles that happened out on the course, I am not sure I ever, EVER, ever want to repeat this length of a run ever again. However, the lessons I learned from doing it are pricless and if the cost of a miracle is feeling hobbled for two days, aching with soreness and blistered feet, then sign me up!
I have lived a hard life, a glamorous life, a secret life, but more than anything I have lived a dark life. Lines of cocaine, check. Million dollar houses, check. Rape, check. Being molested, check. Famous boyfriend, check. Remote backcountry camping by myself, check. Pregnancy, check. Abortions, check. Love, check. Heartbreak, double-check. The list goes on…
I am not here today to talk about the past. It is through. It is over. I am hear today to talk about living, dreams and the future.
When I signed up for this marathon, I did it because I needed to prove to myself that I could accomplish something difficult, to prove to myself the power of perserverance in the face of hardship. I would struggle, I would conquer and then I would go home with a medal. The end. Not so.
Mile 15. I crossed mile 13 in a flash, in a blink of an eye the distance I was used to running was gone. It had disappeared. The only thing that remained in front of me was distance. Miles of it. I couldn’t see anyone when it happened. I was making my way up a tree-lined hill, steep and painful. I kept chanting to myself almost there, only 12 more miles to go, when a flash of my life came over me. All of the pain, all of the betrayel, the hurt of the past rushed before my eyes and heaved in my chest. I burst out crying from the sheer magnitude of the complex emotions I was experiencing. I couldn’t believe. For years I have felt nothing for these events, the darkness of my life, besides the occasional reflection. Suddenly it was undone, I was undone. I couldn’t keep the sobbing in, and so I cried. I cried with each footfall, pushing the pain into the dirt and gravel beneath my feet, thankful no one was around to see me. I cried with outrage, dispair, hurt and pain, and then I moved on. The past didn’t matter anymore. Here I was taking responsibility for events that didn’t even exist anymore, sheltering other people’s dreams as my own future was sacrificed for the darkness within. I kept beating myself up about that, torturing myself for not feeling good enough, paying penance to other people so that they could follow their own dreams while mine laid shattered on the floor. In fact, it had been so long since I had asked myself what I wanted out of life, what my dreams were, that I couldn’t even begin to start, to know what it was I wanted.
Th rest of my life flashed before my eyes. The mundane, everyday things, the promises I made to people, the vows I had kept… All of which meant nothing. NOTHING. Because those same people never kept their vows or their promises to me. I had lived for other people’s dreams because I couldn’t live for my own. I felt I owed them.
Then something inside of me snapped. The worries, the traumas of the past, crushed beneath my feet as I moved on. I asked myself what do I really want? And what am I willing to do to get it? The answers came, answers much too private to even post here, but the ultimate answer to what I was willing to do for it was anything. ANYTHING. I gave my all to others and now it is time to give for myself. My life was changed at that very moment. Nothing else mattered but my willingness to follow my own dreams. Nothing else does matter. I will not feel guilty or ashamed about my past or the changes I have to make to shape my future to be how I envision it. I do not care about the people that it will hurt, because I am not being honest to myself about what really matters.
I am willing to overcome my fears and face life in a whole new way, in fact I already have!
Thanks, Mile 15, you changed my life.