“Everything will be okay as soon as you are okay with everything.” Michael Singer.
I’ll be the first to admit that I have a little social media addiction, and I’m ok with it. For me, what I have gained from social media is more than the time that I have lost to it. Lately, I have been really enjoying the Facebook “On This Day” reminders that list what you posted on a particular day in the years back. It reminds me a little of the book One Day by David Nicholls that follows a couple’s journey just by taking a look at the date July 15th in their life for 20 years. While I only repost what the Facebook “On This Day” reminder shows once in a while, I do look at every reminder it sends me.
This past week, on November 24th, I got a very interesting reminder about what I posted on November 24th, 2013, just two years ago. I love numbers, dates, and reflecting back. On this day, I had posted “8 things/confessions” that people may not know about me after a prompt from a friend who had done so in her Facebook, and then tagged commenters to do the same. Keep in mind that my 8 things were before I had a blog/online diary where I over-shared my life, so this was new information for many of my Facebook friends. Here is part of my list:
- Two years ago, I couldn’t run a mile, and now if I don’t do a long run at least once a week, I need to see a therapist. I’m doing my second half marathon in February.
- Seven years ago my favorite aunt/idol died unexpectedly during a medical procedure. Since then, I have no desire to go back to Iran again and have slowly dissociated myself from the country all together. I think if I stepped off the plane in Iran and didn’t see her face, my throat would close up. That same year on her birthday, my daughter was born.
- I have been fortunate enough to meet some amazing “regular” women throughout my adult life. I frequently develop a mini girl-crush on all the extraordinary women I meet: moms, non-moms, working, not working…all fabulous women who are putting 100% into everyday and everything they do. If I could go to lunch with anyone, it would either be with one of the amazing women I already know, or another “ordinary” woman from my past that I have met but didn’t get a chance to know enough. I wish that as we got older, we would continue to develop the uninhibited tell-all no pretense relationships that we develop when we are younger.
- A few years ago I tried writing a book and couldn’t get an agent to take it on. Now 5 years later, thanks to the insistence of a couple of really good friends I have started experimenting with writing again. If you are thinking about writing, I highly suggest taking up running at the same time. Once you get past the first 3 painful miles and clear your head, the thoughts start coming.
- I’m an über shy person, which is often unfortunately mistaken for arrogance, but getting to know other women is my passion. I went into pediatrics for my love of babies, but actually enjoy talking with and meeting all kinds of moms most about my job. I have a special weakness for two-mom families. I want to make sure that I am addressing the “non-birth mom” and the “birth mom” equally.
There were 3 other items, but these 5 certainly paint a very clear picture. I read this reminder list just before heading out for my morning run, and of course, it dominated my thoughts on my run. The themes here from a couple of years ago are so obvious and unchanged. One is that I started running and writing at the same time. Second is that running and writing is when I first started becoming vulnerable and not being afraid to show people who I really am, which has subsequently lead to the deeper connections with people that I’ve wanted to have. Third, I believe this is the first time I publicly made an admission about the degree to which my aunt’s death affected me, a theme that continues to be present throughout various blog posts that I have written.
You may recall from my blog post Mile Shortage, that I have decided to dedicate the last mile of the LA marathon to my aunt. I am going to run with her for 26 miles, and then finally take that 26-mile-marker wrist band off and move on. As this reminder list prompted me to think about this during my run, I had an ah-ha moment realization that sent me into a hyperventilating panic attack on my run. I became aware that the reason that I have not been able to let her go is because I have been clinging to something else.
When there is a loss in a family, the dynamics of a family change. Sometimes people come closer together, while other times they grow farther apart. Unfortunately in my family, the loss of this central person was so great that the dynamics of the extended family took a turn for the worse. For the last few years, I have expended a lot of time and mental energy on trying to shift things back….on trying to bring people back together…. to no avail. On this run, I realized that in order to move on, I need to let this go.
Another part of letting go will be to finally revisit Iran…..to step off the plane and not see her waiting for me…. to visit her grave rather than stay at her home. It will happen sometime in the next year or so, and I know that having my husband/rock there with me will help me cross that bridge and do what has for years seemed unimaginable. Actually, I think visiting her grave may be easier than doing what I did on my run this past week….letting go of trying to make everything ok between everyone….mourning the dynamics of an extended family relationship that was and will probably not be again…..
Facebook sent me a reminder that made me realize I need to get unstuck…I need to let go of what I can’t control….I need to expend energy where it is reciprocated….The hyperventilating panic attack turned into a grieving run-therapy session for relationships that have changed…. an acceptance….I returned home lighter….I am moving on.
**If you have not read my post on dedicating each mile of my marathon to a different person, you can read that here: Mile Shortage. A thank you to my husband who listened to me read this post to him last night…he is an under-sharer; when I question if a post is too much, I run it by him first. The opening quote is from Michael Singer’s book, The Untethered Soul …I highly recommend it.