Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Year 6

Wow. It's been six years since I posted on this blog. In truth, I had forgotten that it existed. (Google is scary - how did it know that this is me??) I just reread posts from 25-year-old me, and I'm stunned. I'm stunned both by how much progress I've made in six years, and how much is exactly the same.

In my first post, I disclosed that I decided to run a marathon. At the time, I was overweight (again), somewhat isolated, and in need of a concrete goal that did not involve a relationship with anyone but me. I studied and trained for that race with the same commitment and drive I applied to my graduate work. It was transformative. I was never athletic, and I became an endurance athlete. It affected all aspects of my life; everything seemed to improve, I was in control again. Looking back, it's hard to imagine how I fit the long hours of training into my schedule. (I'm slow, so it takes a LONG time to run 20 miles.) But I'm eternally grateful to 25-year-old me for making that decision and incorporating running into my life. Since then, I have run six marathons, an ultramarathon (31 miles+), and lots of half-marathons, plus some shorter events. I love the clarity, stress relief, and fitness that it brings me. 

I'm terribly disappointed that, for the first year since 2008, I will not run a marathon. Even though it's for a wonderful reason. Although I've fit training into a busy schedule before, this time I am making the transition from Postdoctoral Fellow to Assistant Professor - in the span of one month. I finished my Ph.D. and additional training, and I earned the position I have been working toward for 12 years. I'm also married now, and my husband might want to see me every once in a while. So I need to focus my energies on making the transition successful and as low-stress as possible. Running will help, but marathon training would put extra strain on a challenging situation. (See above - I'm slow.) I'm grateful that I will live near a beautiful park, where I can work on maintenance and speed this fall. I'll come back to the marathon in 2015.

Speaking of successful transitions.... It's amazing how similar my current professional/interpersonal mindstate is to the one I described in 2008. Apparently, I did not internalize the lessons I "learned" back then, about keeping thoughts to yourself and putting on a professional face. I could have written the same post yesterday, which is somewhat disheartening. This forgotten blog is a record of my development - how did I regress from there!??! My hypothesis is that because I developed strong, stable professional relations that were based on mutual (and explicit) care and respect, I got comfortable "being myself" again. I forgot to chain her down when I started over, and she's a little too much to handle at first. And the worse the response, the harder I tried, and the angrier and more resentful I got. 

Chains be damned! I work hard, so you should want to help me! I'm unhappy and put upon! And YOU SHOULD CARE! I can only imagine how this looked to anyone other than me.

Fortunately, circumstances have improved, and I am grateful. I learned the same lesson, only bigger and harder. Let's hope that this time, I won't forget - about the less or this blog :)

This is your life moment of the week: I'm consistent, if nothing else. Decision = take more time to reflect, so there's less forgetting.

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