Take Me, Baby, Or Leave Me (to quote RENT)

I came across this quote on another blog the other day. I’m inclined to take it as a sign.

A little background: I had a conversation several weeks ago that convinced me that I’m just around the corner from that elusive “having it all.” The catch: I needed to recognize the signs and follow my instincts. So, yeah, seeing a quote so applicable to my life? Sign.

I’m a believer that everything happens for a reason, and that there is a plan for us – one that we may not always understand, but will be much better off once we finally accept.

That said, I’ve also been referred to as “intimidating” on more occasions than I’d care to admit. Why? I have no idea (honestly, I think I’m one of the least intimidating people in the world). Some claim it’s my looks. Some claim that it’s the fact that I have been pretty successful in just about anything I’ve set out to do. Some claim that it’s that I’m a group fitness instructor (and this one continues to stump me more than any of the others).  Seriously?

Now that I have you thinking I’m totally conceited, let me make one thing clear: I have spent most of my life feeling judged. Under the impression that I’m not pretty enough, or skinny enough, or smart enough, or funny enough, or any other something enough. I often just assume that people don’t like me, and wonder if I were just a terrible person in a previous life, and now I am left paying for the sins of a former me.

And yes, that is what has, in many ways, held me back.

And yes, I’m trying hard to stop letting it.

The fact is, attitude is everything. The way you look at a situation or a circumstance is the way that you will see it. I’ve spent a lot of time joking that I’m going to die old and alone. That my family has just stopped asking me if I’m dating anyone, because they know the answer is no.

Instead, I’m going to keep doing what I love, and doing it well. I’m going to keep positive and know that the happiness and positive energy within me is going to draw like-minded people into my life. I deserve to live my life and make myself happy rather worrying about what other people think about it. I don’t want to hold back, and I don’t want to settle. I want it all. I deserve it all. And when the time is right, I will have it all.

I shouldn’t have to justify who I am, and I shouldn’t have to apologize for my mama making me pretty, working my ass off for what I want, or loving exercise so much that I want to share it with others. You know why? Because it is the man who’s impressed by these things who is the right one for me.

Advertisements

The Countdown Begins …

Today starts what I usually think of as the longest day of the year. I leave for the beach on Friday, and it’s pretty much the only thing I can think of at this point. There’s a half-packed suitcase sitting on my bedroom floor … a few bags full of “stuff” that we’ll need throughout the week in another corner of the room … and a list of things I need to make sure I find the time to do throughout the week.

To say that I need a vacation is more than an understatement. I’ll admit it – I’m a little burnt out. Going on all cylinders week in and week out can wear you down, and I’m definitely about there. It’s taking every ounce of energy I have to do … well … much of anything right now. Lucikly, work has been insanely busy the last few weeks, so that’s made the time to my break go quickly (as I told a few people throughout this crazy busy spell, I’ve been definitely earning my vacation).

It’s not just the sitting on the beach, doing nothing that I have to look forward to – it’s the company, too. I spent some time with my mom in early June, but I think the last time I saw my dad may have been at Christmas. So the family time is definitely going to be a good thing (although, in talking with my parents yesterday, I’m a little concerned about what I’m gong to have to hear thoughout the week – apparently my dad knows about three words to Nicki Minaj’s “Starships.” I’m screwed. Last year, he was obsessed with “that song about the Fireworks” … and his twin brother knew two words from Lady Gaga’s “Edge of Glory.” Naturally, those words were “the edge” over and over again).

So, just a few more days to go! Words do not describe  how much I am looking forward to getting my toes into the sand on Friday!

A Little Reminder to Myself …

Came across this the other day (thank you, once again, Yogi Teas, for your inspired labels), and I found it particularly applicable this week.

I don’t know what provoked it, but I’ve been a little down this week. Feeling a little lonely. Alone. Ostracized. Excluded. I guess I was due for it – this year has been pretty free of lows for me.

That’s the thing I’ve never been able to quite conquer – the fact that I seem to be somewhat of a walking contradiction. I’ve never been afraid to go after the things that I want the most, but I’m consumed by fear of rejection when it comes to getting the one thing I truly want more than anything in the world. I love being around people, yet I find myself so crippled by fear of saying or doing the wrong thing, or what other people are thinking, or of judgements, that I have a hard time really being completely comfortable around anyone until I know that they are receptive to my friendship.

Much in the same vein, I do have trouble letting my guard down, and being vulnerable. Maybe it’s age, or maybe it’s just oversensitivity, but I feel like the few occasions in which I have allowed myself to open up, I’ve ended up getting hurt. I realize that pain and struggle is part of the process, but so much of me wonders why it has to be so hard for people to just be real. Say what they mean. Mean what they say. Avoid conflict. Though I’m starting to think that in my attempts to avoid conflicts, I’ve hurt myself – squandered opportunities, been passed over for someone more assertive. And that truly hurts my heart.

But I’m not going to wallow in the fallout of a bad day (which, by all accounts, should have been a great day – had I not allowed myself to feel like the outsider looking in). I’m going to use it as a learning experience, and motivation to know that something amazing is at the end of the tunnel. A reward for the struggles. To finally get that ultimate happiness that is sure to be the result of overcoming what may now appear to be impossible challenges. As much as I hate the saying “good things come to those who wait,” I do hope it’s true – because as long as I feel like I’ve been waiting, something pretty amazing has to be ahead of me.

Doing What I Love Couldn’t be What’s Keeping Me from Finding Love … Could it?

Last night, a question was posed that kind of – okay, really – rubbed me the wrong way: “Do you even have the time to date someone?” My answer: “Of course I do – I would absolutely make time for the right person.”

Now, I know you’re asking … what does this have to do with fitness? Well, fitness is a priority in my life, and between teaching five classes a week and my personal workouts, it does take up a chunk of my free time. But by no means does that mean that it is my entire life. With the exception of those five hours a week, I can be pretty flexible with my schedule. And I’m totally confident that I have the time and commitment necessary to be successful with both my fitness and the right man.

The truth is, for a long time – we’re talking (gulp … yikes) most of the last six and a half years – exercise has been all I’ve had, as far as love is concerned. (That endorphin high has to come from somewhere!) There has been a void in my heart, and instead of letting it get me down, I’ve filled it with sweat and muscle soreness. But I’ve also filled it with the love of the people who join me in class, who come to me for advice, and who have been there to push me, to encourage me, and, whether they realize it or not, help me put on a happy face, on the days that I feel crying. It’s helped me see that although I’ve been single, I’ve never truly ever been alone.

I have no problem admitting that exercise and fitness is a huge part of who I am. It wasn’t until I discovered how much I got out of it – as a former fitness manager once told me, “you were put on this planet to do this – to change people’s lives” – that I realized how happy it makes me. But could it be that the one thing that makes me happier than anything in the world could actually be keeping me from finding the one person in the world who will make me happier than anything? There’s nothing that could possible scare me more – because while I love the world of health and fitness, I know that there is nothing more important to me than finding someone with whom I can share my life and have a family. I don’ t think it should have to be a one or the other kind of situation.

Bottom line: I do know my priorities. It’s just that I’ve found myself significantly more successful on the fitness front versus the love front. But I’m confident  that there is an amazing man out there who not only understands and feels the same way I do, but will stand by me and be happy that I have been able to share my passion with other people (and who knows, maybe even give me a spot from time to time). I’m ready when he is. 🙂

The First Step: Facebook Break

I decided in early January that, for the sake of my soul, I needed to take a Facebook break. All those studies out there claiming that Facebook can breed feelings of inferiority in women? I was starting to believe that perhaps they were right on. Don’t get me wrong – I love my friends, and it makes me happy to see how happy they are. But as a single woman in her 30s (and dealing with a recent heartbreak), I knew that the only way I was going to stop thinking about why I didn’t have a fiancé/husband/baby/dream job/insert other “want but don’t have” here was to stop torturing myself by being exposed to it. Being the person I am (one who needs to feel included/loved … and likes all the “Happy Birthday” messages), I decided to wait until the day after the big 3-1.

The break started January 22. And it’s amazing not only how much longer my phone battery lasts, but how much easier it is to focus on being happy, instead of thinking about what I don’t have. Yes, my mother has an issue with it (she actually asked me how she is supposed to know I’m okay. My response: “Why would I not be okay?” And if I wasn’t, I’m pretty sure she’d hear about it somewhere other than Facebook. Although it wouldn’t be the first time we’ve heard big news – we’re talking engagements and clean bills of health – SERIOUSLY?!? – through the grapevine that is Facebook). But thus far I’ve been pretty happy with the decision.

Let’s be honest … I know I’m going to start feeling like I’m out of the loop before too long. But for now, it’s been really refreshing. I mean, let’s be real here – how many of our “friends” have we actually had a conversation with in the last decade? I’d bet it’s a small percentage.

(Note: that said … feel free to share the link to this blog on your Facebook. Just because I’m not scanning status updates every hour on the hour does not mean that I don’t want to share what I’m up to.)

Why I’m doing this …

I think sometimes we got so wrapped up in what we don’t have, that we forget to be grateful for the things we do. We become so focused on how perfect others’ lives seem, that we forget that everything happens for a reason, and there’s a timetable attached to it – and it may not be the same as the “life plan” we’ve set for ourselves. If it did, I’d be living a very, very different life right now.

I’ve recently embarked on year #31, and I’ve decided to try doing  something that I probably should have been doing all along – thinking less about when my life is going to figure itself out. It’s time (probably past time, honestly) that I start spending more time enjoying whatever life throws at me. Because at the end of the day, I may not have everything I want in my life – but what I do have is pretty great.

So there’s my goal for the next year – and hopefully beyond – to live my life, and not compare my haves and have nots to others’, and not to focus so much on what I’ve done so wrong to end up so “behind schedule.” Because I don’t think that it’s so much that I’ve done anything wrong. It may be that I spent so much time looking for what I don’t have that I stopped enjoying what I do have. Or that I spent so much time working that I forgot what it felt like to be living. Or that I’ve been so afraid of “screwing it up” that I’ve held myself back from things that may have left me exposed and vulnerable – but could have been wonderful.

I’ll admit that it scares me to death. I’m a planner. I’d love to know exactly what is going to happen every day for the rest of my life. But I know that’s impossible (How does that quote go? Something along the lines of “if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans”?) So, yes, I’m scared. Terrified. But I also know that nothing scares me as much as the thought of doing what I’ve been doing, then finding myself looking back 20 years from now, wondering what my life could have been had I stopped worrying about when it was going to work itself out and started enjoying whatever it is that fate throws at me.