Self-confidence Sunday #18

Hands Prep Stunt United Cheer Dallas#MightyMouseActivities

“Though she be but little, she is fierce.” I may be (very) tired right now, but I am strong and I am a hard worker. Things are coming together, and I hope ***fingers crossed*** that something big is about to happen for me in my career. And if not, I’ll just keep on lifting big people. =)

Self-confidence Sunday #15: A Champion Is…

Gotta get it all written down, but soon I will add a lovely (long) post about yet another ridiculous mishap related to men who pretended to have my best interest in mind…but certainly did not. Sigh. I really, really hate being hit on (and this was way more complicated than just that). More on that later though!

Life is pretty hard right now, so this is the best I’ve got for this Sunday’s post. It is a thought to which I cling tightly when it seems as though I can bear no more of life’s weight on my shoulders. [Excuse the meme’s grammar; next task will be to either edit this or find one that doesn’t butcher the whole singular/plural thing!]

A Champion is Someone Who Gets Up When She Can’tA Champion Gets Up When She Can't

Self-confidence Sunday #12

I’ve talked a lot about how the break-up affected me (although there’s still plenty left for me to say about that, don’t worry/sorry 🙂 ), but I think I hit a bit of a turning point very recently. Tomorrow will mark one month since he left me, and I’ve decided that tomorrow will also mark the day my life begins anew, the day I will let my tears begin to water seeds that, once nurtured, will blossom into grace, wisdom, empathy, resilience, and opportunity.

Losing him hurts, but not because we were perfect together and I was just blissfully happy 24/7 and thought we were going to be together forever, etc. For me, it was more the hope and the promises and the plans, the feeling of time and money “wasted,” the rejection and wondering why he didn’t want me anymore…and that Lord have mercy, I was going to have to continue missing the man.

Much of our relationship (the last few months especially, as his jobs and business hit their busy season) was marked by me missing him. It was a blessing in some ways, because when we broke up, the first week didn’t feel like that much of a difference. But what hurt when we were together still hurts now that we aren’t, and it’s a confusing experience.

I tend to cut people off after a relationship ends, in order to fully heal and move on. He didn’t want that, and his worry when we broke up was that I wouldn’t be in his life anymore. I’ll continue playing that by ear, depending on how things go for us both moving forward, but maybe that won’t be necessary this time.

As for me and the “new life,” I accidentally have a date set for Tuesday night. I thought I was just going to casually meet up with the guy after I finished coaching, but it was made clear later in the conversation that that isn’t what he has in mind. So what the heck, I’ll give it a go! I have decided that I don’t have to forego meeting new people and having new experiences simply because I am hurting. Quite the contrary: I think that is what I will commit to doing. I keep coming back to the fact that there are so, so many things in life that I have yet to experience, and I don’t want to miss my chance.

This week is big for me, filled with interviews, phone calls that will hopefully turn into interviews, coaching, that date (crazy to even think about that), events I’m working, and more. It may not be easy, but I am determined to get up, dust myself off, and begin working full-tilt at making my life the one of which I have always dreamed.

I’m Baa-aack!

This is the face of a woman who straight put. in. work. at the gym last night. Maybe it was the pre-workout (or the spinach ravioli, which was delicious), or maybe it was just time for me to feel badass again, but either way, everything went awesome last night. I felt inspired to try all these things I had never done before, along with knocking out some difficult reps of those I had (but not since waaay back in college), and was so surprised (though maybe I shouldn’t have been?) when I could actually do them!

I’ll have to take photos (or videos) of some of those experiments, but I learned last night that I could do a pike hold on the ground, and I think I’m prettyyy close to being able to do a press-handstand. 🙂 I also just got in a bit of a “flyer” mood and decided to climb on the squat racks and do cheer-esque things, since they didn’t have any stools I could use for that. No staff members saw and asked me to hop off though, so until that happens, I’ll just keep doing that sort of thing when I get in the mood.

One plus to being able to lift heavy weights and do complicated things that require a lot of flexibility and stability is that when men stare at me at the gym, it’s much less uncomfortable because they usually aren’t just “creeping.” And if they are, I comfort myself by grabbing the bench/rack next to them and throwing on more weight than they’re using, so there’s that. 😉 But it’s a nice feeling to have people come comment on what I’m doing, ask questions, etc. rather than just stare at my ass, ask me out, or ask if I “need help” with something (I don’t). I’d really love to find a workout partner, but hopefully that will happen soon!

No Greater Agony

Maya Angelou once said, “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” With this, I wholeheartedly agree. Lately, when the hurt feels like too much, I have this unmitigated need to put it all on paper. The problem is, I have to give myself permission to write about the things I want to write about and then brace myself for the waves of emotion that will come as a result. I have to admit, I am much better at weathering storms when I can stand out in the downpour alone where no one can glimpse my tears. If I write about them, there is evidence forever that I am not invincible and that things hurt more than I prefer to remember or admit.

Plenty has happened even in the past three days, and I struggle with whether or not to put it all down in black and white, a permanent reminder that I am human and sometimes weak and sad and hurting. Most people don’t see that side of me. When things get hard, I work harder, hit the squat rack, and run lots of sprints. Everyone tells me I’m so strong and that they wish they could handle life’s “minor” hurts the way I handle tragedies. But they don’t understand that sometimes, it takes more strength to acknowledge and show your weakness than it does to push through.

Maybe it will be good for me to get the feelings out. As far as S. and I go, I keep coming back to some of the wonderful memories I have with him, the way he’s made me feel…and I wonder if it’s okay to let those thoughts come up and appreciate them for what they were or if it’s better to remember that things weren’t what they seemed and try to avoid any extra mourning if possible. Perhaps I shouldn’t have let him reel me back in the other night. I suppose we both had our moment of weakness, but I certainly don’t regret it.

He’s a good man. I wasn’t wrong for loving him, and I wasn’t wrong for loving him fully. It isn’t my fault that he hasn’t learned to return that kind of love, that he hadn’t had anyone do those things for him before. But Lord have mercy, sometimes it sure would be easier to chalk all of these things up to me being stupid or naive rather than admitting that you just can’t love someone enough to make up for their lack of communication, for them lacking the courage to give of themselves as purely and freely as you. God, I just thought that he was strong enough.

I can’t hate him. He wants to be in my life (and as he said last night, he cares about how everything is going with my job search and he cares whether or not I’m off “hurting myself”–i.e. tumbling, stunting, etc., he cares about my cat and my family, etc.)…and I just have to decide what is best for me. I usually cut people off after we break up so that I can actually heal. But if there is the possibility of us rekindling something later (if we both want it, which would remain to be seen, of course), I don’t want to shut my heart off completely to him. More than anything, I don’t want to lose him from my life. His presence, his voice, just him, make me happy and at peace even though we aren’t together right now.

I think, more than anything, I need to spend as little time thinking about him as possible and focus on accomplishing as much as I can, improving myself as much as I am possibly able. Maybe that will make the hurt go away, and one day I’ll just wake up and not need (want? whatever, either way) him anymore. Either that, or I’ll simply be carrying on with all these untold stories.

Self-confidence Sunday #11

Courage is Like a MuscleToday hasn’t been altogether easy. I think I got so used to seeing him on Sundays that my heart is still in that routine. It’s the third one without him though, so maybe it will get easier soon. We talked a bit last night, and texted a little this morning. It’s always good to hear his voice.

And that’s great and all, but I think my next step needs to be to learn to bask in this pain, live in the Longing for a while, and then use those miseries to motivate myself to make my life one that I love, that I’m proud of. No matter what…even if it all starts off as a way to ease the agony of this loss.

Maybe things don’t need to be easy. Maybe I needed him to come into my life, make me happy, make me hope and dream and love and plan…and then leave me, making me feel so out of control that I am desperate to make needed changes to my life. Maybe someday, I will thank him for this.

Sometimes it feels impossible, but then I remember that I’ve done this before, it will get better, and that I won’t ever let myself be down for too long. I have books to write, a full-time job (in a new field) to find, abs to recover… You know. And just in my city, there are so many lovely restaurants and coffee shops and museums and attractions to visit! Let alone the fact that someday I want to travel the world.

I still have so, so much life left to live, with or without him; I just have to have the courage to try. And, as the meme above so eloquently reminds me: “Courage is like a muscle. We strengthen it with use.”

Self-Confidence Sunday #9

Delts Fitness Progress PhotoThis post isn’t particularly inspiring or exciting, but I took this photo last Saturday when I hit the gym and noticed that my “coaching delts” are certainly back in full-force. People often are surprised that coaching alone keeps my upper body in such good shape, but that just goes to show that they often don’t understand what goes into the job! For a great many reasons that go beyond physical fitness, I am so grateful to have the opportunity to be a coach. It makes me happy, and it flat-out just makes me a better person all-around.

Self-confidence Sunday #8

It feels like a lot of things have fallen apart in about the last 24-48 hours, so I could really use this dose of positivity today. Sometimes I have these days where it seems like I’ve wasted a lot of time in my life (making the choice to go to graduate school feels naive and misguided at times, for example), as though I’m not where I “should” be, and like I’m not as good at anything as I should be by this point.

Today, I have added some images that remind me how very happy cheering and coaching make me, how strong and determined I feel when faced with implicit challenges therein. I am reminded of the above statement: “You grow and thrive by doing what excites you and what scares you every day, not by trying to find your passion.” This week, I am determined not to overlook the day-to-day things that fascinate me and instead commit to doing things that scare me a little bit.

Coed Cheer Partner Stunt Cupie Awesome Handstand Splits Wedge Mat Gymnastics Vanderbilt Cheerleader Smile Tennessee Football

Let Everything Go, See What Stays

He and I decided this weekend to back up a bit on the “relationship” aspect of us (seeing as we have different views on what constitutes dating versus a relationship anyhow, this is probably a good idea). It takes him longer than it does me to determine how he feels/what he wants, and that lack of consensus has been stressful for us both. Whereas I’m happy just to be with him and live more in the present, he thinks more in terms of the future when asked how he feels,  what he wants, or what makes him happy.

Our different cultural backgrounds have made this really difficult at times. The American concept of a relationship is closer to what he thinks of as simply “dating,” whereas dating to me does not necessarily even imply exclusivity (you can imagine that the conversation got a bit sticky last month when he referred to us as dating but not in a relationship). In contrast, his idea of a relationship is in many ways closer to–though not quite as serious as–what an engagement constitutes here. We’ve been dating for six months, which to me is quite a long time to just call it “dating,” whereas for him these conversations have never come so early in a relationship (or whatever you want to call it…). Quite a pickle.

We had several talks about it all this week, culminating in a long one after the concert we attended as my Christmas present to him. I think it’s a good thing for both of us that we’re stepping it back a few notches and focusing more on the friendship part of us, but I’d be lying if I said it doesn’t hurt. In the beginning it seemed as though he didn’t have qualms about this, and he certainly was more ready to be dating than I was. Over time he won me over, and I felt safe falling for him. Now though…it feels like he let me fall by myself. I don’t feel like it’s really fair to blame him, and I’m not angry with him about it, but I wish we had both known earlier on that our views of relationships are so different. I wish I hadn’t let go so early, had daydreamed a little less, been less invested, less proud of who he is and less happy simply to spend time with him. I wish I hadn’t yet trusted that my heart would be safe.

I’m trying to bring my focus inward right now, to concentrate on things to accomplish and areas of my life upon which I can improve. I can run and lift and stretch and work and write and read and catch up with old friends and plenty more…if only I can keep my head above that deep blue water in the meantime. I want to simply let the hurt and anxiety go, let him go if he so chooses, and trust that things will be as they should be and that if he cares the way he says he’ll be back (which is somewhat odd to say, because I don’t think he thinks he’s going anywhere. It sure feels that way though.).

It’s just easier said than done, and I’m scared that he won’t be back and I’ll have to pick up the pieces by myself. Again. But I’m not scared of being single again; in fact, I quite like it and am accustomed to it. I am afraid, however, of the way my self-worth will suffer, coupled alongside what missing him will feel like; I don’t know if I’m strong enough to weather that storm right now without negative consequences in other areas of my life. I used to be so good at tuning out tragedy and distraction and heartbreak by working and practicing until I was too exhausted to think, but without a clear sense of direction I’m just not as driven and focused as I was back then. I guess now is as good a time as any to see what I’m made of.