Sitting, Waiting, Wishing

If there’s one aspect of my personality that you can take away from reading everything I’ve written in this blog, it’s this:

I am an impatient person.

I’ve never been the type to sit around and wait for things to happen. My entire life, I’ve firmly rooted myself in the mentality that if you want things to happen, you have to go out and make it happen. Having this mentality has brought me success in several areas of my life; School, work, running.

The one area that constantly contradicts this mentality is relationships. Specifically, romantic relationships.

Before I left for New York City, a very close friend of mine bought me a mug that had the words “Live with passion” on it. It sits on my desk at work and I look at it almost every day and absorb this phrase into my mind.

I believe that anything you do in life should be done with deep passion, whether it be your part-time job or your favorite hobby. Otherwise, what kind of results can you expect if you don’t put deep passion into anything you do? There’s a reason why fast food doesn’t taste as good as fine dining.

Getting back to the point that I was trying to make…Romantic relationships have always been something that I really care about. I’m obsessed with the idea of giving your whole heart to someone and giving them all the love that you can offer.

Someone once said to me, “You seem like the kind of person who follows through with exactly what you say you’re going to do”

This is true.

I will never give my word to myself, or to anyone else for that matter, unless I really mean it. And for this reason, I expect other people to do the same. Unfortunately, that’s not how the world works. And that’s most certainly not how everyone else thinks.

Since I’ve been single in New York City, my ongoing goal has been to find “the one”. Well, I haven’t been the least bit successful in finding that person. And the reason for this is because I don’t even care who “the one” actually is. I’m more involved in the idea of giving my heart to anyone who will take it. I’m impatient.

I don’t actually care who this person is. I just want to be able to dedicate my time to someone and smother them with my whole heart.

Yes, that might sound psychotic, but I can’t grasp the concept of sitting around and waiting for “the one” to walk into my life. I’ve carried my go-getter mentality with me in terms of finding a boyfriend, or a relationship, or just someone to spend my time with.

Well, I’ve learned that this approach yields a 0% success rate.

I’m familiar with the saying, “Good things come to those who wait”. Well that’s never worked for me in terms of school, work, or running, so naturally, I assume it’s an unsuccessful tactic. I’m used to putting in the time and effort and seeing results from the hard work that I’ve put in.

Apparently, that doesn’t apply to finding the right person for you.

I don’t know how to do this whole sitting, waiting, wishing thing.

I know it shouldn’t even be like that though. I should be focusing on myself, living my life, and eventually the right person will come my way. It’s just a matter of when.

Similar to finding the right job, the right apartment or house, the right workout regimen, or anything in life, it has to be the right time and the right fit. This holds true for everything.

One factor that I’ve overlooked in regards to the success I’ve had with school, work, and running is that I’ve had success because these things happened to be the right fit. Life kind of just let it happen. Of course, I still put in the time and effort, but everything happened with the right timing.

I guess all I can do is just let the chips fall where they may and trust that “the one” will find me in good timing. And then, and only then, will it be worth it.

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At the End of the Day…

I can’t tell if this is just a phase that I’m going through right now. This phase of lonliness. If it’s the same phase that any person goes through in their twenty-somethings. Who am I kidding? Of course this is just a phase. At least, I hope so.

This is how we relate to other people. We experience certain things at certain ages that other people our own age can relate to. And when we get older, we look back and realize how silly we were during that period of our life (which is why our elders look at us knowing that it will pass)

I always got frustrated whenever my Mother would lecture me on how ridiculous I was acting towards a particular situation. (She still does that) My immediate response was always, “You just don’t understand.”

Well, that’s a ridiculous thing for me to say because she was my age once and she has most certainly gone through the same, or similar, experiences as me. It’s human nature to be able to feel certain emotions when we see someone going through a familiar struggle that we’ve once been through. It’s called empathy.

People write songs about it, make movies, television shows, etc. We produce these things because we want to make people feel a certain way. We all want to relate to one another.

It’s difficult to go through this life without being able to really connect with someone. This is exactly what I’m constantly searching for. And I’m almost positive that it’s what everyone else is searching for as well. Even if they don’t want to admit it, or if they do a remarkable job at portraying that they don’t care; what we need in this world is to connect, to relate, to feel.

Ever since I’ve moved to New York City, I’ve found it much more difficult to really get to know someone. Everyone wants so badly to have their space, yet we all seem so lonely once we get it.

It’s a fast life here, living in a large city. To constantly be surrounded by thousands of people who don’t really care to get to know you.

Ever since I moved into my new apartment, though, I’ve become very attached to certain restaurants, bars, coffee shops. I’ve found a comfort in seeing familiar faces and being recognized. What I have noticed is that it truly makes someone’s day when you acknowledge them as an individual; when you notice them, when you make an effort to get to know them. It’s an amazing feeling to be noticed.

At the end of the day, it’s just good to know that someone is thinking about you. In a large city like New York, it’s easy to get distracted by other things and people.

I hope to never lose the ability to connect, to relate, to feel. If I did, then this city would just completely absorb me. I can’t give in.

Forced Togetherness

A subject that I’ve been trying to avoid writing about is love. I’ve drifted very far from understanding the idea of it.The concept of it. The meaning of it.

Last night was one of those nights when you’re out with your friends and the conversation revolves around relationships. Unfortunately, I had nothing to contribute from my personal life because it’s been a while since I’ve been close enough to someone to consider it a relationship. Lately, I haven’t even reached the point where I didn’t have to wonder if the guy was going to text me that week.

What I was able to contribute to the conversation was a quote that I saw on someone’s Instagram. It went something like, “How lucky one must be to have someone that makes it so hard to say goodbye” I’m not exactly sure if that’s the correct wording, but hopefully you can comprehend the gist of it.

I miss the feeling of having someone who makes it hard to say goodbye.

Ever since I’ve been single in New York City, I’ve learned how easy it is to forget about someone. The hard part has been getting to the point where it’s hard to say goodbye. They say that the recovery time of a break-up is half the length of the relationship. Well, I’ve been long past my recovery time from the last relationship that I was in.

Since living here, anyone I’ve dated hasn’t even come close to retrieving relationship status. They’ve all been cut short…by me. It’s become too easy to drift away from someone, especially if your paths don’t typically cross on a daily basis.

Yesterday, I watched a Youtube video by Buzzfeed that said that many relationships grow out of “forced togetherness”. I 100% agree. It makes sense that the more time that you spend with someone, the more they grow on you (of course, it can go in the opposite direction as well; you can end up hating each other)

The more time you spend with someone in the beginning stages, the more you get to know them. Then, when you get to know them, you can decide how you feel.

However, if you cut it short, you’ll never know if it could have grown into something more.

I think what the problem is, is expecting the magic to come first. We want to dive right into love and obtain it right away. This is one of the many problems of my generation. We want quick results.

Well, what I have learned from my past is that you fall more and more in love with someone as you spend more time with them which is why it takes so much longer to recover from long-term relationships. This is also why it’s so easy to get over someone if you’ve only been on three dates with them. You don’t really have much to lose.

I’ve been expecting the magic to come first. Instead of putting in the work early on, I just want to get to the “being in love” part because I know what it feels like. I want that feeling so badly.

Many of us have had that one person that set the standards for all of our future relationships. There’s that one person that really got to you. That one person that hurt you more than you’ve ever been hurt. That one person that you’ve been so head-over-heels for that you would do anything for them.

Unfortunately, those of us who have been traumatized by that one person have been so affected that we’re incapable of feeling like we’ll ever get to that point with another person.

This is the place that I’ve arrived to.

I don’t know if I’m just not trying, or if I’ve become jaded, but I’d just rather not put in the effort of getting to know anyone anymore. It’s not a place that I want to be and I didn’t hope to be here.

Right now, I’m just waiting for someone to prove me wrong.

23

Lately, life has been moving too fast for me to be able to sit down, collect my thoughts, and put them out in the world. I’ve been holding everything in, which has been quite noticeable through the lack of writing I’ve been doing on this blog. It seems that time goes by much faster when you’re not watching it. From my last entry up until present day, I’ve gone through enough changes for it to feel like it’s been a whole year. Now that I’m looking back, the vast collection of changes that have happened to me since I’ve moved to New York actually does add up to a whole year. Yesterday, I acknowledged the fact that I moved into this city exactly one year ago on December 1st, 2012.

A whole year of my life has been devoted to this city; experiencing it, learning from it, growing from it. This past month alone, I’ve transitioned from the very first job that I obtained as a college graduate to a new job in which I was recently promoted to in November. Within the same week of adjusting to this new role, I also found out that my roommates decided to not re-sign the lease on our apartment (my very first New York City apartment). This is a lot to digest in just one week.

In the span of one month, I’ve managed to transition into a new job, move out of my first New York City apartment, and move into a new apartment. The phrase that I’ve been using lately is, “When it rains, it pours” and I’ve found this to be completely true.

The entire month of November, it has been pouring and I just wish I was more prepared, but I guess there’s only so much you can do but roll with the punches. Life throws these things at you and that’s the beauty of it. You can never predict what’s coming next.

Most of my close friends have seen me through this time of transformation. On the outside, it may have appeared that I was keeping it together, but on the inside, everything was falling apart. Piece by piece, I’ve been shedding a lot of layers in terms of finding out how much I can handle before I completely break. I’d say that I was pretty close to breaking this month.

But I didn’t.

On a more positive note, I believe these changes were necessary. Change is always necessary. Chuck Palahniuk had a quote in a book that I read a few months ago called, “Invisible Monsters”. The quote went like this:

“The only way to find true happiness is to risk being completely cut open”

Well, I’ve been trying to find true happiness for quite some time since I’ve moved into New York City and I like to think that I’m getting a little closer with every obstacle that life has thrown at me.

I never imagined to be where I am today, at this young age of 23. I really had no idea what to expect. From observing my friends’ personal experiences at this age, I wasn’t exactly looking forward to it. A lot of the songs that were written about the age of 23 aren’t the most up-lifting, but I couldn’t understand why. Now that I’m here, I get it.

This is an uncomfortable age. They say that people in their 20’s have a hard time dealing with this period of “quarter-life crises” This is when the big changes happen; it’s the most confusing, lost, and vulnerable time of your life.

It’s exciting in a way, though; the unknown. I suppose this is also why your 20’s are also regarded as the best time of your life. Our lives are still in the making. We haven’t settled yet. There are still more surprises.

In the short amount of time that I’ve been in my 20’s, I can tell that I still have many more changes coming my way.

23. I’m ready for you.

Inevitability

Inevitable; A word that can bring either a positive or negative connotation depending on the context. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, “inevitable” is an adjective defined as “incapable of being avoided or evaded (i.e., an inevitable outcome)”

The two ways [positive or negative] that a situation can be viewed as inevitable are the following:

1.) In the sense that we are destined
2.) In the sense that we are doomed

If you are typically a person that is described as seeing the glass half-full, then you would most likely go with the perspective that the outcome of a situation was destined to happen; that there are greater forces beyond our control that holds our fate. This may be due to the belief in God or many Gods, astrology, superstition, or a variety of other reasons. Regardless, people who feel that we are destined are generally optimists.

For example, let’s say a person is unfortunately diagnosed with a chronic illness. If they believe in destiny, then they will see a silver lining; a greater picture. They will feel that this was meant to happen for a reason and they will be more comfortable with the truth.

On the other hand, if you are typically a person that is described as seeing the glass half-empty, then you would most likely go with the perspective that the outcome of a situation was because we were doomed; that there is no hope and that negative things were bound to happen as if we were the victim. Similarly, this may be due to a variety of reasons as well. These people who feel victimized by negative circumstances are generally pessimists.

Now, let’s take that same situation where a person is unfortunately diagnosed with a chronic illness. If they believe that they were doomed, they will have a more difficult time being comfortable with the truth.

The truth is this: Unfavorable things are inevitable. We cannot predict them. It’s a part of life. In the simplest of phrases, “shit happens”.

But the part that matters, that part that measures our quality of life and overall mental state, is the way in which we deal with the bad situations, the misfortunes, the hardships that we encounter. The next steps after any situation are within our control. What we make of the cards that we are dealt paves a path for the direction that the situation is heading towards.

If we choose to suffer, then we will suffer. If we choose to rise above, then we will become stronger.

Life gets hard, but it’s important to remember that perspective is everything. You may not be able to foresee or control the inevitable things, but you are able to react in a way that can turn a bad situation into a good situation.

Big Moments

Two days ago was the 2nd Annual Runner’s World Half Marathon which took place in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. A year and two days ago holds a memory that was a significant milestone in my life. It’s one of those days that you’ll remember for the rest of your life and each year will feel a rush of nostalgia overcome you on that exact day. Last year, the inaugural Runner’s World Half Marathon also happened to be the inaugural half marathon of my life. Last year, my whole world changed.

Now, I don’t mean to sound over-dramatic here, but I can definitely say that the course of my journey in life was turned upside down a year and two days ago.

Running has always been a large part of my life. Working at Runner’s World has given me opportunities as a runner that I could have never imagined. Running a marathon had always been on my bucket list. Of course, I wanted to get a half-marathon under my belt first. The Runner’s World Half Marathon was that opportunity for me.

I had no idea what to expect. I had never trained for a race of that distance before. I didn’t know how I was going to feel before or afterwards. All I knew was that I was nervous and I couldn’t believe that it was going to finally happen.

A year and two days ago, I ran my first half marathon. What I didn’t realize was that running this race would give me the courage to make other decisions that would change everything else for me. A year and two days ago was the same day that I broke up with my college boyfriend. After that, things were different. I moved to New York City and embarked on this new journey which I’m still currently traveling.

It’s amazing to look back at the course of a year. It’s even more amazing at how little we know about how drastically one moment can cause a ripple effect of bigger life-changing moments.

They say your 20’s is the time where you’re the most lost and confused. They say it’s the time of self-discovery.

Well, as I’ve written in past blog entries before, it really is.

This entire blog is documentation of this transformation period. Looking back a year ago, I didn’t realize that running this half marathon would plant a seed that would allow me to grow as a runner and a person.

This year at the Runner’s World Half Marathon, I couldn’t believe how far away last year seemed. I couldn’t believe how far I’ve come. I couldn’t believe how different things are now. Yet, I’m thankful for that moment.

I guess big moments do that to you. They make you reflect on your life. Sometimes we have to appreciate these moments. At the time, it may seem like something little, but later on it will end up being something big

As the saying goes, “Enjoy the little things in life for one day you will look back and realize they were the big things”

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2013

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2012

It’s a small world after all…

It seems, as I’ve gotten older, that the world becomes much smaller. As I begin to meet more and more people throughout my lifetime, I’ve realized that the six degrees of separation is really more like two degrees of separation.

The last place I thought I’d be saying this about is New York City. I thought that coming to a large city with millions of people would minimize the chances of me ever running into anyone I know. On the contrary, it’s enhanced the chances.

Back in my hometown, the likelihood of running into someone I went to high school with was about 80-90% depending on the day. Of course, in any town, everyone shops at same grocery stores, goes to the same movie theaters, and eats at the same restaurants. What I’ve learned is that the same can be said for a large city.

This past weekend, I traveled to Chicago for the 2013 Chicago Marathon. I went for work to help out at the Runner’s World booth at the Marathon Expo. I was so excited to travel to a new city. It’s always nice to get away from New York for a little while.

I boarded my flight on Thursday morning at Laguardia Airport. I was scheduled to leave at 9:40AM, but of course, my flight didn’t depart until around 10:30AM. While I was on my flight, I sat next to a man who was originally sitting in the seat that I was ticketed for. I kindly asked him to move, and so he did. After that, we began conversing as we waited for our plane to take-off.

I told him that it was my first time traveling to Chicago and how excited I was about going. I told him that I was traveling to work at the Chicago Marathon Expo and that I worked at Runner’s World Magazine. “Runner’s World?” he asked. “What’s the company that publishes that?” he added.

“Rodale” I replied.

“That’s funny…my daughter is interning at Organic Gardening,” he told me.

I was in absolute shock when I heard this. He continued to tell me how she also used to intern for Men’s Health Magazine in the New York office, where I am currently working. Furthermore, she happened to intern on the same floor as me while she was in New York. My level of amazement rose as he texted her and she listed names of people that she worked with, whom I know very well. I couldn’t believe it. “I somehow happened to sit next to someone whose daughter is interning at the same exact company that I work for, and used to sit on the same floor that I sit” I thought to myself.

“What a small world” he said.

I smiled and nodded in agreement.

He was holding the New York Times newspaper in his hands and flipping through the pages as he browsed the articles. He pointed to an article with a large photo of several people sitting at a dinner table and smiling.

“Hey, this guy works at Rodale,” he commented and pointed at the photo.

I looked over at the picture and was in even bigger shock to find out that it was an article written about another person who happens to work for my company and also sits on the same floor that I sit.

My mind was officially blown. I couldn’t tell if this was pure coincidence or if somehow, the universe meant for this happen. I like to believe that everything happens for a reason. We meet people in our lives for a purpose. I like to think that there is some lesson or meaning behind it. Maybe it’s because I feel that things happened to me that way. Every person we meet, we can take something from, whether it be good or bad.

When we finally arrived in Chicago, I thanked the man for the great conversation and let him know that I hope to meet his daughter in the near future. He went on to explain how much she would love to work at Rodale after she graduated college. We said our goodbyes and I went my own way.

As I look back on it and think about this encounter, I realize that one small connection could make a world’s difference. It gives me inspiration and hope that one person really can make a difference in someone’s life. It’s these small day-to-day connections that create portals, doorways, and opportunities to great things in our future.

As they say, it’s a small world after all. And you never know who you’re going to meet where ever you go.

Running and Chasing

Whenever I get into my over-analytical, over-philosophical, over-exaggerated mindset of trying to find the meaning of life, I always somehow relate everything to running. I’ve always attributed my reasons for running to the problems that I’m usually running away from. To me, running is just one big metaphor for life. Whether it be figurative or literal, I’m always running to or from something or someone.

I’m inside my head a lot. I tend to constantly read too much into things and repeatedly go over it in my mind. Whenever I find it too overwhelming being inside my head, I run. I run because it’s the only thing that can suppress my thoughts. At first, when I start to run, a million thoughts are also running inside my head. Eventually, my thoughts dissipate and my mind goes blank. Then, I’m at peace.

I wish it was that easy for me to be at peace without having to physically go for a run.

I’ve been running for my entire life. I should really say chasing.

Ever since I was young, I’ve always been impatient. I still am. I’ve always wanted things to happen right away. I’ve always wanted fast results. I guess that’s what drew me to running. The concept of time and being in control of your time.

I’ve always chased after the things I wanted because I figured that if you wanted something bad enough, you have to go after it yourself. Having that mindset has definitely helped my success in life. Being a “go-getter” is typically a good thing. However, my Mother always told me that I need to learn patience. As I’m getting older, I’ve found that to be more and more true.

There are some things that you can’t chase after. There are some things that you can’t control. There are some things that just come in time. This is a concept that has been difficult for me to wrap my head around because I’ve always attained the things I wanted by going after it. However, some of the things worth having come to you by being patient.

I don’t know how or when it’s going to happen, but I need to learn to stop running so much. And when I say running, I mean it figuratively. I need to stop chasing after the things that can’t be chased.

The Sum of My Parts

The last book that I fully read from start to finish was “Invisible Monsters” by Chuck Palahniuk. I read this while I was training for the Big Sur Marathon because I needed a hobby other than running to keep me busy since I swore off alcohol during that time period.

I hate to admit this as a writer, but I seldom read books for recreation. I know that I should in order to inspire different writing styles and learn from other great authors, but I continuously make excuses that I don’t have enough time (which is not true)

This book, however, inspired me a great deal in terms of thinking outside of the box as a writer. One quote, in particular, resonated with me throughout the duration of my marathon training and still resonates with me now.

“Nothing of me is original. I am the combined effort of everyone I’ve ever known.”

Since I’ve been home, I’ve made it a point to see old friends that I’ve grown up with from high school and college. I like to check up on people to see how they are doing. Fortunately, I’ve been able to hang out with various groups of friends from different parts of my life. These are the people who still really matter to me; who have been with me through significant points of growth in my life up until this day. I’m grateful to have them in my life and glad that we still reconnect when we can.

It’s interesting, the conversations that I have with my different groups of friends. They all know me from different time periods, but somehow I’ve always been the same person throughout

As I continue my journey of “self-discovery” in New York City, I constantly as myself, Who am I? What makes me original?

I try to think of all of the things that make me separate my from the pack. However, I always come to the conclusion that there is someone out there who is doing the exact same thing as me, except better. There’s always a faster runner, a better singer, a stronger writer. But then I stop myself and ask why I’m even comparing to other people. Regardless of whether there are people who can do things better than I can, they can never do it with my style, my passion, my enthusiasm. And for that, I can only really thank the people who have me made me the way I am. My friends. My family. My teachers. My coaches. My co-workers. All of the people who have entered and exited my life. All of the people who I’ve encountered for brief periods of time or extended periods of time.

I remind myself of Chuck Palahniuk’s quote, but in a way that uplifts me. I am the combined effort of everyone I’ve ever known. If it weren’t for them, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. If we didn’t have other people to inspire us, we wouldn’t get very far.

The whole self that is me is more important than the things that I do, where I work, the music I like, the food I eat.

As Aristotle once said, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts” and I am the combined effort of everyone I’ve ever known.