Part 1: This picture symbolizes how far I have come in my journey. They say it takes five years to recreate yourself. As of October 2, 2019 I will be coming up on five years since a drastic change. I did a photoshoot to celebrate my independence and freedom of stepping out of a unhealthy marriage/7 year relationship. The last five years have had a series of ups and downs and this move to Victoria marks things coming into the place where I really want them to be.
Without further adieu here is the image with caption:
Looking out the window, she sees all the wonders the world has to offer. Looking at the glass she sees her reflection. She has changed so much. She smiles. Finally she feels at ease. The best is yet to come. #reflections
In addition to this reflection theme, I just happened to be sitting here before getting ready for hot yoga this morning. I remembered an angle/concept from four years ago and snapped a picture, then went to yoga. While at yoga, the instructor read this poem to us and it just gave me goosebumps. It ties in so well with my reflective/introspective theme and mindset of late.
“Go in and in…
Be the space
between the cells,
silence in which
Be sugar dissolving
on the tongue of life.
Dive in and in…
as deep as you can dive.
Be infinite, ecstatic truth.
Be love conceived and born in union…
Be exactly what you seek,
until there is only essence,
the All of Everything
expressing through you
Go in and in…
and turn away from
that you find…
From: Go In and In
Part 3: Cause why not? This is a picture from my first ever shoot. I absolutely loved the whole process. I knew then that I would pursue this more when the time was right.
Fives years: so many lessons, so much growth. I’m in the best place I’ve ever been mentally, physically, emotionally and as I relocate my life again to a new city, I know that I will develop the lifestyle that is right for me. I got into such an unhealthy cycle of working too much, then spending too much and then working too much because I had to. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t change a thing.
It was a blessing to be able to volunteer at an orphanage with my Mom in Swaziland for a month. To have that experience with my Mom as an adult was priceless. I loved being able to live on my Dad’s yacht for 3 weeks. It was amazing going out to sea with him: for three days we didn’t see land! I had so much fun riding the local transit. I found the discipline and determination to train for and run two ultramarathons. I did not finish (DNF’d) my first ultra in Denmark. The first distance for an ultra beyond a typical marathon of 42 km that I decided to do was a 100 miler (162 km). Ya know, just four marathons. I had a good plan and I hired an amazing coach (World recorder holder Zach Bitter). But then I got kicked in the face at work. Literally. Running shoe to the chin while I was taking off her shoes. Whiplash and a concussion had me sidelined to the couch for two weeks. Minor set back. Then while in Africa it wasn’t really safe for me to run long distances by myself outside (waist length platinum blonde hair, I mean obviously 🙄 …😬). So I went into Denmark knowing it was a learning experience. I made some crucial gear errors in not being prepared for the pouring rain. I got so cool and my Achilles started tighten up and then it started to really hurt. I thought I could walk the rest of the way but then it really started hurting while walking. So at 57 km I pulled out of the race. That was humbling. But with help from my coach I adapted my training plan accordingly. 8 weeks later I had an amazing injury-free finish at my first 100 km ultra in Arizona. It was incredible. The next day I was running down the hallway. I felt so good. I knew I would eventually come back and next time I will be running the 100 miler. I had an incredible 10 day cycling tour in Colombia. It was unreal. I cannot wait to go back. But I CAN wait. And I WILL wait. I’m 35. I have a lot of time to do a lot of things and I need to relax a little and grow some roots. (Addendum: or not I just realized that my part-time position ends in January then I’m casual – ✈️ travel nursing perhaps???) Plus there are equally absolutely incredible things available to me where I live. I don’t need to travel the world to have an adventure – I just need to travel out the door and take in the beauty that surrounds me. I absolutely love living in Canada. There is no other country I would want to call home. I am already connecting with the cycling and the ultrarunning community in Victoria. I had a massage yesterday and my massage therapist referred me to a really good friend of hers who is an RMT in the city I’m moving to and an incredible ultramarathoner. RMT ✅ Most is all I am thankful for my new found minimalistic mindset. I don’t need to spend money to store stuff to spend money to bring it down years from now. If I can do without it then I can do without it and get rid of it. This is such a huge change for me. I’m moving into a furnished bedroom in a cute house that’s 1.6 km from work. The couple renting the place have three kids who are grown. I am renting a room and a student from indian is renting another. The third room is a spare for when their kids visit. I can tell already they are such nice people. Really genuine. I feel good about this move and am really looking forward to this. MOST of all, I am looking forward to working 8-hour shifts. I have a part-time line and was offered two casual positions in the community. I like that I will have some variety and autonomy to my schedule. Working 12 hour shifts really are hard on me and I tend to overschedule myself so I am sleep deprived but I do it anyway. I didn’t realize what a detrimental effect this lifestyle choice had on me until I had 6 weeks off work after surgery this spring. Wow. All of a sudden I realized I was making a big mistake and I was stuck and I needed to make some changes. I have had a turbulent 8 months or so. Some things didn’t work out which opened the door to other avenues. Things are working out much better than my initial plan. I’m also finding what is right for me in my work and making choices based on my strengths and passion. So I decided I should rent out my condo not live in it. I need to decreases my expenses as much as I can so I don’t feel forced to work so much. I want to live! It’s taken me a while to get to where I am now. I had to go to dark places to make better choices and truly appreciate the places that ignite my spark and shine the proverbial light from within of loving kindness and calm. I’m moving in the right direction and it just feels right. I love change and I’m excited for this new chapter in the adventure that is my life. I love meeting new people! I plan to volunteer at an ultramarathon the day after I arrive. I am so excited to get connected with the trail running community and I am already getting so many welcoming messages on Strava from people who are going to be running. This year I volunteer, next year I run. 💜🏃🏻♀️💫
You know what just occurred to me? Maybe I felt like I was making up for lost time? From the time I was 23 until I was 30 I felt like I was in a cage. My wings were clipped. I felt like I couldn’t be the person I wanted to be and live the life I wanted to live. I needed a change. I was so isolated. I missed my family. They weren’t allowed to even step inside the duplex I purchased. It was a dark time. I am an extrovert and I love people. I don’t do well with being isolated. When I began free I felt so incredibly free. I wanted to do everything and anything I wanted. So I did. I wouldn’t change a thing. I’ve learned so much and I’ve grown as a human. I am a better person through everything I have been through. I wouldn’t change one thing in my life as it has shaped who I am and I’ve worked very hard to become the person I am today. My lessons altered my path to create new beautiful experiences and opportunities.