Today is connection day! That’s what I’m calling it this year, as Blue and I mark our second anniversary.
On this day two years ago, we acknowledged our mutual interest in getting to know each other better. We had been acquaintances on social media for a couple of years by then, with no more than a handful of tweets and a couple of happy birthday FaceBook statuses between us.
During those couple of years we’d both experienced our share of dramatic life changes. But even now, neither of us can pinpoint the reason or timing of the shift from “that guy/woman I never met in person although we have 50 mutual FB friends,” to “that guy/woman I might need to pay more attention to.”
Yet one day out of the blue, a tentative message turned into the beginning of a romance. And here we are, two years later.
This was a milestone week for me in many ways, including the fact I finished two 10Ks! One was in miles and the other was in words.
On Sunday I was feeling, as they say, “froggy.” Out of the blue, I declared to myself that Monday I’d run 6 miles for the first time.
This has been a goal of mine for a long time. I know many people who’ve done it, and my personal long was 5.55 miles, from a year ago. I’ve only run five miles or more a handful of times in life, and the 10K/6.2 mile mark seemed scary, quite honestly.
On my days of high energy, I’d think about tackling it, and it just seemed a touch too far. Rather than drown in a sea of what ifs, I generally stopped thinking about it as soon as I felt the telltale adrenaline. I wasn’t sure why it made me nervous, but it did.
But Sunday, I felt up to the challenge. I wasn’t positive I’d actually go for it my next time out, but I knew it wouldn’t be long now. Blue ran with me Monday morning, and when we got to my usual two-mile turnaround point, we decided to go a little bit farther. Then a little more.
“How do you feel about round numbers?” he asked, taking a peek at his Garmin. I knew we were past two, but I couldn’t gauge how far.
“I like round numbers.”
Eventually we were at an even three, which was guaranteed to get me six by the time we arrived back at the start.
As we passed the 5.55 mile mark, I smiled. I was excited to best my personal long and even more excited to know I was going to finally accomplish a long-standing goal. When we got to the start, we doubled-back a tenth or so and came back to finish the .2.
So that was the second 10k.
The first 10k actually happened the day before, on the 10th of November. And now that I think of it, perhaps the earlier achievement inspired the latter. After many false starts and absolutely zero words dedicated to the effort, I started my first novel this month.
Well, my second if you include the one I began in middle school (which my peers said was really good!).
In October, I announced my desire to be a romance novelist (among other things), and November, National Novel Writing Month, seemed like a great time to start. I’ve long been familiar with NaNoWriMo, the project which encourages authors to write a draft of a novel (50,000 words) in 30 days. Now, I don’t believe in gimmicks. And because that seemed irrational and unsustainable, I always rejected the project outright. But this month, on the first day of NaNoWriMo, I decided two things:
If I only participated a few days, I would’ve at least gotten started on my novel. That’s more than I can say for the past several years of thinking about it.
Who cares about that 50k goal? I could set whatever goal I wanted. One thousand words a day seemed doable, and again, if some days I couldn’t hit it, see number 1.
So I started. And on the 10th day I hit my 10,000th word. My first 10k!
In honor of my 10s this week, a word from B Scott:
Author’s note: In 2019, I discovered that B. Scott has deleted this epic video from the internet. If it’s reposted, I will be sure to update this entry.
Brida’s mom and dad were soul mates. Yet one day, her mom relayed the story of a loving encounter with another man. She sought solace about life, and headed to church to pray. He was awaiting a mechanic and visited that church to pass the time. The two began talking life and civilizations past (he was an archaeologist). Before long, the sun had set:
There was I, like a 38-year-old adolescent, feeling that someone desired me. He didn’t want me to leave. Then all of a sudden, he stopped talking. He looked deep into my eyes and smiled. It was as if he’d understood with his heart what I was thinking, and wanted to tell me that it was true, that I was very important to him. For some time, we said nothing, and then we said good-bye. The mechanic had still not arrived.
For many days, I wondered if that man really had existed, or if he was an angel sent by God to teach me the secret lessons of life. In the end, I decided that he had been a real man, a man who had loved me, even if only for an afternoon, and during that afternoon, he’d given me everything he had kept to himself throughout his whole life: his struggles, his joys, his difficulties, and his dreams. That afternoon I gave myself wholly as well – I was his companion, his wife, his audience, his lover. In a matter of only a few hours, I experienced the love of a lifetime.
From Brida by Paulo Coelho
I’m becoming more aware of my capacity to love. Or perhaps my capacity to love is expanding. Or both. In any case, I’m actively dismantling the fortress erected after a profound hurt. Walls reinforced by years of covert distrust. It’s been freeing – this heart opening, sharing of self.
Radical moments of vulnerability. And they remind me that love is timeless. I couldn’t or wouldn’t always admit past love. Yet my delayed realization does not diminish the love that went unnamed. I think the naming of love opens space for more love.
It is a channel for more of itself.
Or something like that.
And it’s not that I’ve found a soul mate. It’s simply that I’m learning to have more love for every day. It’s energizing – being able to love, finally. And really, being able to love first. It’s dangerous, they may warn. Why spread love that hasn’t been earned? Is this or that person truly deserving of your love? Won’t it come back to haunt you? It’s the walls that haunt, not the love. They leave you trapped in echoes of distrust, regret, anger. Poison, all.
How much can you apportion (and receive) from your cage?
I say let us craft epilogues of love. And then weave love clear through to the end. Certainly would change a few stories, now wouldn’t it?