I would say my light years ended on August 18, 1994, but I’m not sure that would count considering I had just turned 16 years old and some would say I was still just a kid. I guess I was? Maybe. I never felt like one after that day even though I did manage to live fairly carefree for the 20 years that followed.
Then December 10th, 2014 happened.
In the near exact 2 years since then, I have been brought to my knees too many times to count. If my light years didn’t end back in 1994, they sure ended before Christmas a couple years ago. That day, I walked alone in silence for 10 miles in flip flops. I didn’t know what else to do. I had gotten a phone call that would leave anyone speechless. After I hung up, I stood up and walked out the door in a daze. I had no idea the wrath that was coming beyond that.
My experience has taught when life starts to pummel you, she rarely stops. It’s one punch after the next, after the next. There are chunks of time where the beat downs of bad news, events, and loss come so hard and so fast, you can’t eat, sleep, or stop crying. You can barely breathe. You lose hope, feel unimaginably alone, and wonder what the hell is wrong with the world; life isn’t supposed to be like this.
But it is.
If you are an old friend or follower, or have in any way joined me on my journey since starting down this Blue Lollipop Road on October 16th, 2008, I know you’ve noticed that I’ve been promising a lot here and not keeping up on my promises over the past many months. I know you’ve wondered from time to time what’s been going on because I’ve been absent from the place that means everything to me…right here. Thank you for your check ins and notes of concern. It has bothered me a lot to be away, after all this is the one place where I feel like I completely belong.
Come to find out, I get tired, I don’t really like to or feel the need to share everything anymore like I used to, and I’ve just needed a break. Let’s call it a severe recalibration on/in each part of my life. I think we all need this after a certain number of years existing in the same, maybe not so healthy habits.
Since two Decembers ago, I’ve hovered over a friend in a coma, watched another become skeletal from cancer, lost a love that was a life changer, and said goodbye, kissing the cold forehead of the sweetest and kindest man, my favorite man in the whole wide world…as he lay in his open casket. I’m currently sending daily “fist pumps” to a sick friend in the fight of his life. I’ve paid off a debilitating debt that a past relationship left me, and I missed the chance to have a scheduled lunch date that I didn’t realize would be the last, with one of my best friends before she was gone. 8 friends and family members have moved to better places since May of 2015. To say this time has been hellacious, would be a gargantuan understatement.
And I know plenty of people who’ve had it far worse than me.
It seems that only when you get the most epic beat down, and you’re either forced to, or choose to sit in that pain- can you see what you are truly made of, and what really matters. I had always put serious blood sweat and tears into continually standing up, staying steady & energized, fighting with, dealing with, keeping up with expectations I’ve had for myself and out of life. I am strong. Well, I’m here to share with you now that the ass-whooping I’ve received during this 700+ day run recently has pulverized me. I’ve been forced to sit in my pain and have been surprised to find I was ready. It has left me away from here, relishing in days of much needed silence and self-reflection alone, throwing my endless and pointless to-do lists to the side, and not even caring if the wheels fell off the bus.
The control freak has left the building.
Turns out the wheels will never actually fall off the bus. The bus keeps going.
I took a bad spill on Tuesday this week when I was running as usual, early in the morning. I was cruising down the sidewalk feeling like a million bucks, and just a few blocks from home:
I even broke my shoe:
So graceful I am!
I fell to my knees…hard. (See a theme here?) I was up within a millisecond and kept running while my whole body throbbed. Adrenaline is an amazing thing. I knew what I’d see if I looked down, so I didn’t. I made it home to grab money, pick rocks, leaves, and dirt out of my wounds, then went directly to Target for peroxide which was out of stock at 8 o’clock in the morning. (Of course!)
Work days don’t wait, so by the time I did the peroxide pour-over at 3pm that day, the burn and white foam made me screech like a kid who’s older brother just stole all her Halloween candy. Bruised hands, knees, elbow, shoulder and ego, arm scratched with all the way up. Now I know what people mean when they say they’re sore for a few days after a car accident. I will spare you with additional photos of my current 5 day later green crusty open road rash. Ew. It definitely doesn’t look or feel pretty.
I ran again Thursday morning, I can’t remember the last time I felt really scared about anything but I actually did feel afraid to fall during that whole run. It was bizarre. I didn’t fall. Yesterday I carried the anchor leg of the Charlotte Marathon for a relay team and crossed the finish line strong. Get back on the horse? You’ve got to.
I woke up this morning late, and as I sipped coffee in quiet, I found myself wandering to the wall near my desk. I tape things there at random, things that inspire me and make me smile. My eyes went straight to this area as I though of finally writing about all this today:
Top left is me with my friends Jon and Aaron (Bubba) many years ago, maybe 1999? during a back country camping and hiking trip in Canyonlands National Park. Travel and the open road. Life was good and “light.” Top right is the Peacock kid clan, that’s me and my fantastic siblings at my sisters high school graduation. Bottom left is what I call the “original” Blue Lollipop Road. I took that photo on a bike ride with my brother outside Cafayate, Argentina in 2009. Bottom right is my fun-loving friend Maria who passed away in 1994. We had the coolest fanny packs and best hair on the way to a 6th grade field trip. In the middle is sweet Katie and I. Katie has since passed as well. We called those our “chunky” days back in 1995. Silly teenagers we were.
A life filled with joy and pain.
This world has continued to horrify and delight me. Every bit of it. I see and experience so much good and so much bad. In March of this year, I cut out the top right words from a magazine thinking I couldn’t agree more. It reads:
“We’re taught fear. We’re taught jealousy. We’re taught ego. We’re taught comparisons. We’re taught materialism. But we’re not taught love. And that’s a very important crisis to start paying attention to.”
Indeed it is.
On the left the magazine cut out reads:
To proving yourself. Especially when no one else is around.
I went to an event a couple weeks ago to listen to an author share about her life. She said she’d gotten advice from a friend who told her not tell her story from when her wounds were still fresh and wide open, but to tell once they were scars; semi-healed places with marks of life. I love that advice and that’s where I am now. I’ve had a hard time finding my feet, let alone words, I’ve needed to step back to recreate and now I move forward here again. This place is my truth.
As I sit there, still in pajamas in bed at 4:21pm on this chilly fall Sunday afternoon, I have an odd and happy sense of peace even though I’ve just written and revisited all these feelings of being ripped to my core. I suppose this peace is what you earn from being pushed through a sword fighting labyrinth and then finding your way out when there’s no other choice besides curling up yourself and going away forever. When you prove things to yourself when no one else is around. When you allow yourself to fall all the way to your knees and stay there for a while…long enough to realize everything you need to before you get up.
I miss a lot of people, and every single day. That will never change. There are so many faults in our stars. Bad things happen to good people and I hate that, but I’ve learned to accept that fact as well. This has been a bitchin’ of a couple of years, and not in the cool, surfs up, dude kind of way. After a run of not feeling excited about anything, I’m finally crazy excited about the future. I can’t wait to fall in love again, I can’t wait to laugh more until my stomach hurts, I can’t wait to travel and see more of the world (next up…Spain!) I refuse to be afraid of the next wave of whatever that’s coming my way.
If this is your first time visiting here, welcome to my story and reason for doing what I do, in life and in business.
Everyday is a chance and a choice to drive in the direction of whatever we do and do not want. If we have our health we have everything. Life is awesome until that instant that It’s not. None of us will ever know when that moment is coming, so what are we waiting for?
My heart has been shattered into a million pieces, because I’ve been lucky enough to love some very good people. Not a single regret. Take another little piece of my heart now, baby…because I might end up going away for a while when it all gets to be too much, but I will never stop loving, or showing up.
#TodayIsTheDay #Truth #LetLoveRule
*(My goal is to start writing again every day like I used to, and finally finish my book! If you liked reading this, pretty please share it, and scroll down to the bottom of the home page of this site and enter your email address to subscribe to my blog posts:)