Pending

How is it already the end of February? I mean, it’s a short month and all, but wow! So much has been happening and the days are just disappearing.

A Few Updates:

1) House is under contract – yippee!! A really good contract to boot. Closing scheduled for April 6, the count down is on!

2) No interesting results from bloodwork/doctor’s visit. Nothing surprisingly there – all this stress and winter blues and baby germs and Girl Scout cookie season and I just can’t expect my body to be operating at its peak all the time. So I’m trying to eat better and rest more and not work out as hard (but just as frequently, because there is still an April marathon on my calendar after all).

3) I got older. Hello 36. Birthdays get significantly less interesting the older I get. But I’ve learned to drink only good wine with good friends on these occasions. Good wine is key.

4) Mom had a rough couple weeks. Damn radiation. So there was some additional stress and anxiety til she got things under control.

 

I wish I could cross some things off my never ending to do list but it seems like everything is just “pending” right now. The house, my training, mom’s health, travel plans, race registrations… so how does one live in the midst of such uncertainty? Of what can I be certain? What keeps me moving forward, however small the progress? As I sit here pondering this very question I scroll through my Facebook feed and see a post from my church:

Embrace the circumstances in your life right this very second! Begin to see your circumstances as a stepping stone on the way to becoming all that Christ has created you to be.

If we don’t embrace it & trust Him, we can’t progress!

Sometimes He whispers, sometimes He shouts, but He is always near and always listening. And for this very moment, that is enough. At least at the end of my run and swim workouts tonight I can check those boxes off my to do list. One day at a time. Sometimes that’s all we can do.

 

Waving my white flag

So about two weeks ago I started to notice some feelings of fatigue. Not just the normal work, exercise, eat, sleep, lather, rinse, repeat, I-could-really-use-a-good-nap type fatigue. The I-can’t-finish-my-workouts fatigue. The I randomly fell asleep for an hour after acupuncture fatigue. The sitting at my desk all day accomplishing nothing because I can’t focus fatigue. The inability to find appropriate words in conversation fatigue. The I’m too tired to take a shower for a couple days fatigue. (Sorry, it’s true.) And it is more than that. Crazy night sweats, headaches, swollen glands, digestive issues, sensitivities to cold/light/noise, etc. I mean, when a fairly fit woman struggles to carry groceries in from the car or tote her laptop to the office, something isn’t right. This could be a variety of things, so to the doctor I go for bloodwork. They never seem to have answers but hopefully this time I’ve done enough research to know what to ask for specifically. I’m not a hypochondriac. I don’t want to be suffering from anything. I’d love to just be one of those people who can juggle work and hobbies and relationships and not have a total meltdown in the process. But such is my life, nothing ever goes the way I want it and I’m constantly adjusting my expectations [and spending money to cancel things].

To that point: the Napa Valley Marathon. It was an impulsive registration after having a great race at Kiawah in December. An expensive impulse decision that I’m now regretting, but there’s no point really. It is what it is. I can apply for a deferral and if the universe coordinates, maybe I’ll try again next year. No one was going with me anyways. You’re thinking “How hard can it be to find a friend or two to accompany you to Napa Valley for 5 days?” Apparently a little harder than you realize. And since my house isn’t under contract yet, probably better to have wasted the registration fee and cancelled plane ticket fee than spend 5 nights in a hotel alone, drinking endless amounts of fabulous wine. Okay, I’ll miss the wine part. A lot.

But it still broke my spirit. And as I sat in my car Monday after a short, slow, sluggish 4 mile run – cold, breathing heavy, experiencing some mild chest pains, trying to get my heart rate to slow down and the dizziness to clear up – I got choked up. With still frozen fingers I texted my coach that I couldn’t run and she immediately suggested we bag the marathon. Then I drove straight to my ART appointment and started to cry when he asked me how I was doing. (Sidenote: I feel bad for professionals who have clients that randomly start crying as soon as they walk in the door. I clearly don’t have the emotional capacity to maintain a job like that.) I don’t quit things. I don’t cancel things. It was so painful to cancel all my races in 2013 after my accident. Admitting that I can’t do something or am not prepared for something is soul crushing. The the not following through part. The loss of a dream.

What does this mean for the journey ahead? Hopefully it’s just part of the process: learning how to balance all the stressors flying at me every day. Ironman training is enough on its own. A volatile work situation is also more than enough. Having a house on the market? A sick parent? Dating? Keep going… it’s a lot. Maybe it’s just low iron again. Maybe it’s just a virus. Maybe it’s just hormones going crazy. Waiting for lab results and trying to not beat myself up too bad. Easier said than done.

lunch break

Okay. Well that was amazing. You may have heard me mention not getting a job I REALLY wanted this past fall. I had like 4 phone interviews, wrote a research paper, made a presentation, did a video conference, and didn’t get the job. I cried. Hard. I was so frustrated. It seemed so perfect. Like the job description WAS my resume. I prepped and I prayed and I hoped. But I didn’t get it. And I lost momentum for looking for jobs for a while.

Then this whole I’m quitting my job and selling my house and running off into the sunset thing happened last week. And out of nowhere I get an email on LinkedIn from a recruiter. [Sidenote: recruiters LOVE LinkedIn – make sure your shit on there is legit and current.] For the same job. Different practice group, but same role. And who gave her my resume? The hiring manager that didn’t hire me in September. The hiring manager that I apparently impressed enough to remember me 4 months later. If I learned anything from that whole experience: send follow up emails when they don’t hire you. Ask for feedback and how to stay connected. (Thank you Valerie.)

Just got off the phone with said recruiter. We talked about my current/soon-to-be-former job. We laughed. I was totally honest with her about my recent resignation and readiness to move. She was impressed with my boldness. I am a different person than I was in September. Yes I still sweat and get antsy talking to recruiters. But man, did it feel amazing to be in a different “place” talking to them now. Because I won’t settle. So I’m not begging them for a job. But I don’t believe in coincidences. I believe in God’s timing. And I’m not afraid to put this out there because no matter how it turns out, it’ll be the right thing. (It’s a virtual position – I could work from anywhere. HELLO? <= Dream gig.)

That’s all. Just a fun little hump day lunch call. Dare to dream. Be bold. Be you. Don’t settle.

Got Questions?

One of the questions I keep getting regarding this whole sabbatical/journey is “what brought this on?” And I kind of said that I wouldn’t really go into the detail in my announcement post. But I guess I need to give a little background to dispell the myth that it just came out of nowhere. Nothing comes from nothing right? [Well, I’m a Bible believing Creationist, so that’s my opinion anyways. It’s the whole – God is, always was, and ever will be – thing. Won’t get sidetracked here, but God is a theme.]

As far as I can tell, it’s been a long time coming. I’ve always loved traveling, especially to off the beaten path type places. The summer my sister and I drove coast to coast was the closest I’ve ever come to doing something like that. And that was only a few weeks of road tripping but it included visiting old friends, camping in one of the arguably most amazing settings on earth, some athletic endeavors, plenty a local eatery (and watering hole), and generally great relationship building time. I have wanted to go back and spend more time in the Pacific NW ever since. So there’s the road trip aspect that appeals to me. All the places I have yet to see and experience right here in America. But I also want to spend enough time out west to know if I could really live there longer term (I’m already pretty sure the answer is yes but I’m willing to be surprised). If I’m going to quit my job and sell my house and find a new place to live/work/be then I should really seize the opportunity to run around and do a whole bunch of stuff before getting settled into making a new home for myself in city X.

So essentially my parents planned a family vacation for 2 weeks in April and when an opportunity presented itself to go to Germany with a friend to run a marathon right after, I figured I couldn’t exactly take a month off work and the obvious alternative was to just quit. Seems a bit drastic, sure, but what the hell? It’s not a secret that I’ve been looking for new jobs and haven’t had a ton of direction since the Bersin gig fell through back in September. My activities at work have been feeling kind of futile anyways. It just felt like I had to let go of what I had to free my hands to receive what comes next. 

I would be lying if I said my mom’s cancer didn’t have any influence on this decision. The shocking news that came last April changed the landscape of our family dynamic forever. Praise the Lord that we all hold His promises as our firm foundation. I can’t imagine facing something as heinous as cancer without the hope, strength, and comfort found in Our Lord and Savior. But it does point out what is important in life, even if you hadn’t completely forgotten. Even if you already faced two foundation rocking events in the preceding 9 months. Constant refining. That is life. And truly I am expecting a lot of that on this trip. I want it. Intentional self-discovery, self-improvement, self-sacrifice. If my days were cut short, I’d want to leave having done more than I’ve done, seeing more than I’ve seen, giving more than I’ve given. So it’s time to stop playing it safe.

Yes it all sounds very self-indulgent. And I recognize that I am really fortunate to be in a position to do what I’m doing. But I’m putting this out there as a request for accountability – this is not a free-wheeling adventure ride. It’s an intentional process. At times intentionally free-wheeling, at times intentionally labor-intensive, at times intentionally relationship building. It all works together to get the imagination going, to learn as much as I can, and be open to meeting people and going where opportunities arise. So far no one I’ve shared my “plans” with has said it’s a terrible idea. Even my parents, who I was extremely nervous about telling, were surprisingly not freaked out. That was HUGE. Everyone who has done something similar says hands down, no regrets, the experience of a lifetime. Everyone who hasn’t done something similar wishes they had/could.

Basically if I’ve asked you to be a part of this in some way – as a stopover, as a roadie, as a training buddy, as a prayer partner, as a resource, as a reality check, as an introduction, as a storage facility, or in a role yet to be determined – it means you are important to me. Don’t worry, if I haven’t already asked, it doesn’t mean I won’t 🙂 If you’re feeling ambitious, ask the Lord how you might partner with me. What experience can we share? What wisdom can you impart? There’s a lot going on behind the scenes and I don’t have answers to a great many questions yet. Now is the time to dream and have faith that my steps are ordered.

Oh and speaking of… anyone want a well-maintained 3 bedroom townhouse in Cotswold? Step 3: Sell house [preferably to coincide with final paycheck].

it’s time

I’ve reached critical mass. Enough people know just enough to be dangerous… er curious. And the people who really needed to be told before I went totally public have been told, whether they liked it or not. So here it is:

I’m leaving. And I have no idea where I’ll end up. And I am surprisingly really comfortable with that.

It’s time. There are too many experiences and relationships and circumstances that have led me to this “place” to even attempt to give a finite reason for why it’s time. Just trust me, it is. It feels really really REALLY good. There are so many places I want to see and people I want to visit and things I want to do and I’m tired of putting it off til I have more money or more vacation time or [gasp] a husband. So I’m just going. And believing. Having faith that my steps will be ordered, connections will be made, doors will be opened. And quite frankly it’s just that simple.

I’ll keep this intro short and sweet. My to do list is long and there are many blanks left to be filled in. But be assured of a few things: I am financially stable. I will still train for the Ironman. My passport is current. I will document the journey. I am full of faith and appreciate your prayers for safe travels and spiritual enlightenment.

The one place I long for most is beyond this world. But until that day comes, I want to make the most of my time here. I’m not in a rush to be anyone or be anywhere. But there may be a place where I am more me and this little adventure is all about figuring out how to be the best me. So here’s to trying the long way Home.