Lost in the fluff.
So, yes, I could make this post about my weeks adventures with running and how the healing is going. I could tell you all that I am healing well, knock on wood. However, today I wanted to just write. Running is one of my loves, but my life is much more than just the miles on the road. In fact those miles on the road is often where I do my best thinking and this week was no different.
Lets think for a moment. You are hanging out with your friends when all of a sudden one of them gets up and states they have to go to the bathroom and they go on to look at everyone trying to find someone to join them. Are you the person who is a "toilet girl"? It is okay if you are. I see no harm in it at all. Myself, I am not a toilet girl and never have been. If I have to go I simply get up and go without offering an open invitation. It is how I have always been. Perhaps it is part of being an introvert. Did you know that extroverts outweigh introverts 3 to 1? So 75% of the population are extroverts compared to 25% of the population that is introverts. There are also times that each of us swings back and forth between the two categories for personal reasons. Maybe it is my introvert ways that has always allowed me to "fly by the seat of my pants" and not be afraid of my own company. This may be why I am not a toilet girl.
So why am I talking about this and why am I an ass (why I am cussing)? We are all jerks from time to time in our lives. To deny that we are on occasion jerks would not be beneficial to us. A friend told me a few months back about a wonderful book she thought I would truly embrace. It is called The Happiness Project written by Gretchen Rubin and it is her journey to a year of basically looking deep within herself and how she lived. I am so grateful that a friend recommended this book because for the past 3 years, from the time I started back to school, this is what I did. Only at the time I did not realize there was a book about this type of journey. For me it was a journey I needed to take. Mentally I needed a reset and that is exactly what I did. I found myself wanting to break away from it all. I needed silence. My spirit needed to reconnect with "me" and I needed to learn to appreciate my own company again.
So for the past years that is what I did. I have done this before, when I went away to nursing school 24 hours away from my hometown. Only this time it was crucial. I found myself turning into a person I did not recognize due to anger and hurt. People had come into my life that I had not seen eye to eye with or who did things that brought me pain/hurt emotions. I was angry and in turn that anger turned into me lashing out and joining in on the occasional gossip mills. Afterwards I would come home with a spirit full of regret and not understanding why I had allowed myself to talk about people in negative ways. Gretchen talks about this in her book, one of my favorite parts in fact. She discussed how she went on the journey of breaking away from the gossip chain and how she did not realize how much she did it until she attempted quitting it. One part she discusses is the "spontaneous trait transference" that happens the moment we start gossiping. How we immediately "transfer the traits we ascribe to a person" and this does not allow our friends to make their own judgements. Instead, our friends will unconsciously associate those traits with the person (even if they have never sat and chatted with them). I love this thought. In fact this week I thought about this a lot while out running. My daughter is 11 and the gossip is already starting in her class. I read her this part of the book and told her that in a sense if people gossip they are not being a good friend. In fact they are taking away an important aspect of their friend's life, the ability to learn on their own and be open minded.
So before I turned into a full on ass I walked away. I took a journey by myself to return to the person I knew I was. This meant being alone. It meant that when it came to heart to heart conversations or moments of frustration I turned to my husband only and discussed facts. Those people that hurt me and in turn who I had anger towards..........if I felt the need to vent I did so only with my husband and he would immediately help me get inside my head and find my calm. The journey helped me remember that to truly be a good friend to others I had to first be my own best friend. I had to be able to "let go" and walk paths on my own. There could be no fear of being my own company. Was it lonely? Absolutely it was, but it was also peaceful. I learned to be at peace with my mistakes, got rid of that anger and hurt, and accept the beauty within myself. The introvert in me kept thanking me for not pushing myself to be an extrovert just to impress others. I found happiness along the way. That happiness came from learning about "me". I learned that it is okay if I am not a toilet girl.
Sometimes in the chaos of life we have to break away. It is not only beneficial to us, but to those around us too. How can we be a good friend, spouse, mother, etc. if we are not first able to love ourselves and find happiness in our own minds? There are many moments we have to just take a break in life and go back to ourselves. So here I am three years later and I am just starting to want to get out more around others. However, now I have a "no change" rule. If I am around people I will give them "me" and no one else. They can love it or leave it. The only issue now is that for three years I broke away and was quite the loner, so now people have come to see me as that. Once they hear why I stepped away though, they come to understand. Baby steps I always say. I figure if I put enough offers out there for people to join me at classes or on one of my adventures that sooner or later people will bite. They will see that I want to hang out with them or even get to know them if I do not know them well. My reset button was hit and my happiness project continues. I breathed the old air out and let the new air in. Life is amazing.