a different kind of "throwback thursday".

A week from today, October 5, 2017, I will be boarding a plane from Nashville to Chicago for my SECOND Chicago Marathon. I'll spend the weekend with my parents, run Sunday, and then drink copious amounts of beers and eat a decent amount of pizza following. I woke up today feeling excited, energized, a little nervous, but ready. During my taper run at lunch though (as with all my runs) I got thinking...

October 5, 2016 looked a lot different. On October 5, 2016 my calendar tells me I went to the coffee shop for the take over of "Luke's" which was to commemorate the return of "Gilmore Girls". I sent a few emails that day and had a phone call. What my calendar fails to capture is that I was really, deeply sad and depressed. My heart was broken. I dragged myself to work that day and tried to find joy in the things I could, but was really hurt.

That week in October started a year of putting myself first, showing up for myself, learning a lot, and making mistakes along the way. The year also forced me to find community and find where I really belonged...which can be hard. I spent a lot of time those first few months, feeling not enough or not worthy. I felt like I was walking through a haze and couldn't totally process or feel things or moments with people. 

Soon enough as I continued to "take back my life" (for lack of a better term), I started to feel whole again and like myself. I made the right friends, had the right community, had the right people on my team, a great family, and my great therapist. While I've written about loving myself, the other night I had the opportunity to see my favorite author Brene Brown and she talked about the idea of belonging and this really resonated with me...especially thinking back to this time last year.

When talking about "True Belonging", one of the biggest pieces I took away from this talk was that we should,

Stop walking through the world looking for the evidence that you don’t belong. We carry our belongings in our own heart.

This hit home for me. I did walk around feeling like I didn't belong, especially after a breakup. The self doubt and feelings of unworthiness did produce this feeling. I felt vulnerable and raw. Seeing Brene and hearing her say this was like full circle.

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I have learned a lot this past year of putting myself first. While companionship is lovely and we are wired for love and connection, I've learned you can have that while not compromising what your priorities in life. I've learned that the people you need in life are the people who show up, physically and emotionally, and you should show up for others and if you can't, provide a reason.

Most importantly though, I've learned what I've always known, but that I am enough, I belong, and taking care of myself does not mean I am selfish, but it is critical to being my best self. I hope that if you're going through something, you know these things too. I think the marathon will be the best way to end this "year" of learning - I am ready to celebrate myself for 26.2 miles in 10 days!