Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Black days

Whatsoever I've feared has come to life
Whatsoever I've fought off became my life
Just when every day seemed to greet me with a smile
Sunspots have faded 
Now I'm doing time

Despite the persistent Vancouver sunshine, there has not been a lot of light in 2015 thus far.  My dogged belief that things always turn for the better has kept me going, and as someone who can suffer through long distance races with the best of them, my persistence tends to be, well, fairly persistent.

So far this year I have blogged very little, and raced even less.  Training has been consistently inconsistent, due to various personal pitfalls, some expected, mostly not.  Each time, I pick myself up, lick the wounds, and start over.  And over.

Brilliantly happy days are not so far behind that I cannot remember what it felt like to feel carefree, to feel loved, to feel fit.  And so I persevere...there is but one life to live after all.

I'm a searchlight soul they say
But I can't see it in the night
I'm only faking when I get it right

Happiness. Love. Health.

Ever present social media - the Instalife - waxes rhapsodic.  The "perfect life" is glorified, manicured, put on a pedestal.  Too shiny, too perfect, too cinematic to ever be real.

I care not for the #mylifeisthebestlookatme bullshit, and I shut those offenders out.  You don't get with me unless you have some humility about your own existence.

When you have felt happiness, felt love, felt strong, you never doubt their power.  I totally get the lure of wanting to scream it from the rooftops.  But, reality is, everyone has ups and downs regardless of what appearances may suggest.  To me, raw honesty trumps perfection, yielding a recognition that life goes both ways and can, at any moment, drastically change its trajectory.

The happiness, the love, the strength can be fleeting, and you don't always choose when they appear or disappear.  It was real, or was it?  Is it gone?  Maybe.  Yes.  No.  Possibly.  Uncertainty weighs on my mind at times, sometimes for days.  Moments can crawl by with hesitation, self-doubt, fear. And, in the fleeting absence of the things you desire most, you realize how your life transforms.  Nothing is wrong, but everything is wrong.  Those dark moments of fear, loneliness, uncertainty weigh heavy.

So I fake it, and sometimes it works. I become the very introverted version of me that is probably always there.  I bury myself in workouts and work, cereal becomes every meal, I avoid social interaction, I hunker down. I share only the parts that I want to share and hide everything else.  This is all ok, because I am human and not a screen shot - awkward, clumsy, failing, ruffled, imperfectly perfect.

In struggling (and recognizing that I am struggling), I recognize my potential to do better.  My expectations are usually brutal and self-imposed, but are at times realistic assessments of who I am and who I want to be. There is no harsher critic of me than me.  To date, the most vital lessons of 2015 have been learning to go easier on myself and learning to allow life to hurt.  Be patient, and trust that the black days will brighten in time.

So what you wanted to see good, has made you blind
And what you wanted to be yours, has made it mine
So don't you lock up something that you wanted to see fly

Small steps.  One day at a time.

This may all sound melancholy, but it is really not meant to be.  I am old enough to recognize my shortcomings just as well as I recognize my worth. I am not locking myself out and throwing away the key because I do still believe I can quite possibly fly.  Or maybe just ride my bike really fast.

Every day has renewed intention - a chance to be better than the day before, to breath more fully, to love more deeply, to forgive more wholly.  Having faith, each day, in the possibility that it will all work out.

The sun is there.  I feel it's warmth in ephemeral glimpses - the euphoric joy in racing (and sometimes inexplicably winning), the giddy silliness of a puppy, the true belief that I am somehow headed on the right path no matter how strange that path may seem to anyone but me.

Editorial note: in case you were not an angst ridden teenager in the 90's like I was, the references are to a Soundgarden song and not my own poetic genius.

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