I got to witness my new self this week. Changes in running are just like your children growing. One is fairly unaware of the growth of your children until one day, one of them puts on last year's clothes and there, you witness the inevitable; they are changing.
Two days ago I was rushing to work as usual and realized that my hubby, who works from home, needed the can-opener for the day for his daily tuna. I had left it in the car the day before for I have used it for a food event at work. Although I was already running very late, I parked our one shared family car in the temporary, no parking zone spot for my apartment and ran to the building. Out of nowhere I hear a loudspeaker yell , "You there, you cannot park there, move your car right now." Until the moment I had no idea this was even possible. I knew about the security cameras, but speakers!? Nope. Mind you all, this was 7am and surely lots of renters on that whole side of the building were probably still sleeping. But this person did not care, I motioned to the security cameras that I'd be there for one minute, but she continued blaring her commands again and again each time more emphatically. I stormed to my car, and in absolutely blind fury I drove to the front of the building and began to loudly argue with the lady who had been making commands. It was what I'd call a total download of everything I've both felt about her and the stinking building that I've been meaning to say for some time. Oh it felt GOOOOOD! I ran up with tears streaming down my face and gave my sleepy and unsuspecting hubby the can opener, blurred out what had happened in 3 sentences and rushed to work.
15 minutes into my car ride was pure bliss, I had told her and I was still high from being "right". Then it hit me, I felt sad for her. In the midst of my unloading I had gotten pretty rotten personal and I did not want her taking my words personally; I liked this woman. Next, I could not believe what my hands were doing, I was dialing the building's front desk number and the words out of my mouth when she answered were, "Lisa, this is Miriam and I am sorry for yelling at you this morning". My words met her angry, frazzled tone as she picked up on the other side and not only were the words a surprise but completely and utterly disarming. We went on to have a very productive and calm conversation about what had occurred that morning. Years back, I would have labeled my apology as weakness. But to me, this was a way of cleaning up what I felt I did wrong. It cost me absolutely nothing to say those words, yet, the power behind them restored my relationship with a woman who at times can be somewhat militaristic, but whom I ultimately like and respect. She too apologized, but my aim or need was not to get an apology from her. I needed nothing from her to find resolution. When I hung up, it was behind me that very moment. I have zero doubt my new found abilities are due to my running. The new me is not so easily shaken anymore, so that apologies are easy. Apologies don't become the monumental loss of ego or a sign of a losing battle. My apology was not out of weakness but from a place of peace and clarity. My sanity, my relationship with her, and my morning were restored with one word and I went about my day with all that behind me.
The second incident that has revealed to me the new ME this week is not so much a story as it is a realization. In high school, college and my early days working I was always so confused as to how female friendships begin, evolve and are maintained. I wrongfully assumed that for each new friend I needed to make some internal adjustments. Then, I became the "savior friend" who needed nothing and was "all ears". Being a savior friend was too emotionally draining and I began to feel like a social service. But just yesterday I got to get a glimpse of the new ME. On the first day of little league practice I got into the most interesting conversation with another mother about raising girls, among other things. In reflecting on our conversation later, I realized I really liked talking to her and could see myself being friends just from the ease in which we could talk about so many subjects and had so much in common. So, I don't have to change any part of me to find good friends after all, in fact, I find that being unapologetically YOU is what most assists you in weeding out the "right" friends from the "wrong" friends. The new me has become pretty stubborn as I get older. I refuse to waste my precious, limited time on this planet doing or being with anyone that chips away my clarity or who cannot or will not be themselves from the get go. Sadly, the one HUGE, HUGE turnoff I encounter with women is competitiveness. The minute I even sense a tinge of competitiveness from another woman I try my best to be real around her and feel as wonderful as I can in my own skin and hope it makes her realize that all that extra fluff they are working so hard to project is not necessary here. "It's safe here, it's safe here, it's safe here" I keep projecting. The older I get the more I value my female relationships, finding the right ones can greatly improve your life. Oh what a blessing they are!!
I attribute all this growth to running of course....running has brought on the mental clarity, the confidence, the meditative-like training on those long 4-hour runs that strip away all the extra unnecessary crap we all carry around to build ourselves up. I am running an 18 miler in 2 hours and need to get a little more sleep before I go on my epic journey for the week. May you all be the best you YOU can be and may you find amazing never ending conversations with the most inspiring friends at every turn of your life journey.