Eight Things

“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:

  1.  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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

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Of course, I had to take some screen shots of my “On This Day” reminder.

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I do have to say I think I am a little less shy now….progress….

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Another picture of me, courtesy of my friend Christine

About Paria

Runner, mother, pediatrician, blogger

16 comments on “Eight Things

  1. There’s just so much to think about in this post…while I digest it, I’m going to thank you for your awesome quote: “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.” I saw one of my regular patients today, a precocious 6 year old asthmatic who had an exacerbation over Thanksgiving. Her mom was super anxious and we compromised–she wanted me to write a note that her daughter couldn’t go outside unless it was >40F. The little girl and I acknowledged her mom’s anxiety. I showed her a picture of me in my ninja face mask that I suggested she purchase for the little girl to wear when it’s cold out. It was pretty funny. After she left, the little girl came back to pinky swear with me…I’m not sure what we were pinky swearing on, but it was a pretty cool bonding moment. I loved it. I wish I could have a pinky swear moment with my adult friends…

    • Wendy…I love the pinky swear! I’m going to start making my adult girlfriends do pinky swears… and you and I can do a pinky swear over something in the future:)

    • You will be an amazing mom in your two-mom family when it happens…”I love your brain and your heart”…so simple and absolutely sweet…thank you:)

  2. I’m almost in tears here while I sit in Stabucks but I’m holding on so as to not turn into a snotty mess. The taking off of your bracelet at the end, embracing the loss and letting go are sooooo familiar to me. And visiting Iran and what THAT will mean to you, and…
    You are a beautiful soul and I’m so glad you over-share.
    I’m hoping the book you write someday is about your aunt.
    Xoxo

  3. This is a really beautiful post Paria. I love reading your words. Losing a family member really does change family dynamics, doesn’t it? You expect that it should bring you closer together but it just as easily drives you apart. I experienced something similar when my father passed away although it wasn’t until about 10 years after his death that everything really fell apart and it felt like I was losing him all over again.

    The other part that really struck me was this >> “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.” Oh absolutely yes I wish this too.

    • Thanks Christine….the dynamics really do change…and it can go on for years and years…as it has in my case as well. And I think the sentence about the “tell-all no pretense relationships” resonates with a lot of bloggers….as we are generally a group that like to share our lives…..

  4. Ah! So much here. I can relate to being so close to an aunt that it hurts. I try to not think about what I will do when mine is gone. It’s MUCH too painful. I don’t get a lot of FB reminders because I hardly ever post outside of my blog page. Weird, right? And yes, running and writing have so much to do with one another. I can write entire blog posts while out on a run…I’ve also had realization panic attacks. But, it’s all good. Runs are the perfect place to sort all of those things out. It’s why I keep going back, and I’m sure why you do too.
    My only wish is we lived closer. I think we would have lots of fun together 🙂

    • Running is the best place to sort things out….and when you have a lot to sort out, it helps running become a regular habit. We WOULD have entirely too much fun together:)

  5. Hi Paria, I just read your post and there were tears in my eyes. I connected to your blog post in so many different ways, first of all I lost my best friend (my mom) over 20 years ago, and I miss her today as much as the first day after her death. She was the corner stone of our family. So I totally understand how you feel about your aunt. Also I too am an uber shy person, I actually became a podiatrist because I felt I like I would be seeing a lot of geriatrics that would be just happy to talk to someone one. The last note is I agree with want to form those really close and intimate bonds with other women. I feel as we get older it is so hard to create those bonds. We do have our guards up more.

    • Thanks for letting me know you enjoyed the post….sorry about your mom… I read something in the book Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed where she said that these sort of losses will always be there and we shouldn’t expect to make them go away….that every time we have a life milestone we again ache for that missing person…..and yes if we could all let our guards down, we would all have more fulfillment in our general day to day lives and interactions.

  6. So much to comment on… where do I begin?

    Women crushes – I have so many of these, and they’re all my girlfriends. Secretly, I always think to myself after seeing someone across a room, or after meeting someone who I think is awesome on all levels is “Oh, we’re going to be great friends, you just don’t know it yet.” But my filter stops me because I think my uninhibited tell all, no pretense will scare anyone I want to be friends with…. then I’d be crazy lady who has no friends! Aren’t you glad I didn’t open with that with you? LOL! Our story might be different today.

    Write a book and self-publish. I have 2 friends who are doing it; you can too! Let me know if you need a connection, and I’ll hook you up. If you can set up a blog, you can publish a book.

    This post comes at a time as I wrap up my yoga teacher training. I’m hoping this is meaningful as my last homework assignment to turn in this week is speaking to each of the Yamas and Niyamas and its application to today. This shows me the theoretical of my writing is applicable.

    We are revisiting the Yamas (regulations of how one relates with others and ourselves) and Niyamas (observations of individual discipline). In parentheses is my interpretation of their definitions. One of the niyamas is “ishvarapranidhana”. Ishvara is Supreme Being. Pranidhana is fixing.

    Considering how old the yoga tradition is along with its texts, I’ll give my interpretation of applying this to today’s world – surrendering to the ultimate reality or the universe. Putting it in those words letting go to collective consciousness of the universe can be scary. It sounds like you have found what is not sustainable – churning and working against it – but if you lean into it, there is freedom and space. Open to what is and experience life as it unfolds before you.

    • “If you can lean into it, there is freedom and space…open to what is and experience life as it unfolds before you” reminds me of what Jake said at about closed versus open doors…. I love that. And I love tell all uninhibited people and have decided that I will continue to be tell all and uninhibited… the people that it scares away, that is their loss… the people that it attracts, that’s who I want to spend time with… Please, be tell all….xoxoxoxo

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