I am a girl who loves mountains, changing seasons, running, true backpacking, strong coffee, and knitting with high quality yarn.

When something bad happens, you have three choices: let it define you, let it destroy you, or let it strengthen you.

The purpose of life is to discover and develop your gift. The meaning of life comes from sharing your gift with others. - David Viscott

Friday, June 13, 2008

"On the road to personal discovery throw away the map"

That taper thing is a weird one. I am a thinking addict as is, and when I don't run miles I think more. Actually, I take it back, when I run I think a lot...forget it, I am confused, I am just always rolling things in my mind, overanalyzing, overthinking, been my own psychotherapist, somebody else's psychologist, yet another one's client/patient and on top of it trying to make a plot of that book I plan to write one day...when I finally sit down for long enough to write it:) So I'll just throw out a few ideas that's stewing inside that bubble with a bunch of rarely-seen-a-brush hair pulled in a pony tail.

Opportunities are everywhere, and they knock more then once. That's because opportunity is not a random event; it arises as a direct result of circumstances and attitude. You need to know exactly what you want, why you want it - and believe in yourself. Anything is possible. Success is that moment when preparation meets opportunity. What is success for you? It is defined differently for each of us, often close enough, and there is no right or wrong - as long as you're honest with yourself about it. Because if you lie trying to brush things off and puff them up to look pretty - nobody is going to loose but you.

Once you do - figure out what you need (and very importantly - why, because just "what" will not lead you anywhere) - make a list. And when awhile ago I talked about "put it down, make it happen" - my then intention was to be somewhat serious and think about life's options. May be career change, may be relationship, may be lifestyle, may be hobby...now make a "fun list"! "The only things you regret...are the things you didn't do" (Michael Curtiz) Don't think, grab a pen and write down what you think you'd miss not doing if you were told right now you have 5 years to live? Anything at all can go here, however crazy it may sound, from jumping on a bungee rope to climbing Everest to kissing a frog to telling someone you love them. Why wait till tomorrow? Start with the small things - kiss that frog:) "Happiness is to be found along the way, not at the end of the road, for then the journey is over and it is too late. Today, this hour, this minute is the day, the hour, the minute for each of us to sense the fact that life is good, with all of its trials and troubles, and perhaps more interesting because of them." (Robert Updegraft)

You know, funny thing is, these two lists I kind of split at first in my mind, are actually one. I think I only realized it when I put each of them next to another - and it was a light bulb. Wow! Life is about passion. And at the end it doesn't matter
whether it's an "official" career or a crazy hobby you are picking up - you have to be passionate about it. So the things merge so closely, you forget which one is what. And at the end, you are passionate about something because it makes you feel good about yourself.

Every time I used to think "it makes me feel good" it sent me selfish waves. I grew up when doing anything for yourself is very bad, unaccepted idea. I don't know how was it here back then, so won't claim the differences or similarities. It took me so long to turn my thoughts around. There is nothing wrong with feeling good about yourself - because then it drives us to help others feel good about themselves too. Isn't it the Law of Universe? What is that stops you from been happy? Lack of clarity? Fear of success? Fear of failure? Fear of responsibility? Envy and jealousy? What sabotages your walk on a path to a personal discovery?

"To be nobody-but-yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else, means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting" E.E.Cummings
I am very proud of who I am. I make my load of mistakes and drop my share of hammers on my own head, and yes, it often leads to hurting somebody else in a process. But I am living my life only I know I can - and only I am responsible for. Nobody can take that away from me. And while I crave appreciation and acceptance, seeking it never tops my priority list when making decisions...

Life is a balance of things from all the spectrum of rainbow. No black and white, as much as I often "assign" the color. I often refer to life as uphill and downhill, but coming to realization it is not that simple either - it is bumps coming onto you simultaneously.
On the down part I have my Mom slipping into senile stage and on the verge of getting back to clinic, on top of physical ailments she has.
On the up part I have Stephen who had finished his 6th grade with all "A's" and only one "B" - this has never happened before! I got adjusted to my little boy been not as bright as his older brother, yet he surprised me big time, and you should have seen a shy pride in his eyes when he brought his report card!
On the down side my sister's boyfriend got back into alcoholism and she had to let him go, but not sure if she is ready, so she is struggling to find the answers.
On the up side the Massage school had confirmed 3 credits for me if I take exam tests by September (no classes).
On the low my job is extremely busy right now, yet still not fulfilling me at all, and it makes me drag going there, not to mention the summer started, and I am constantly away and feeling guilty for not putting more hours.
On the high, there is a light at the end of the tunnel and I am making small steps to changing my future and getting closer to what I would love to do with my life.
On the downhill ditch, my health is not improving as much as I'd like to, not to mention I make it worse with various things, and my training for this year is non-existent (in terms of training per se). Oh, and the never-ending saga with my ex.
On the uphill climb I love my newfound respect and love for running for the sake of pure pleasure of running, and absolutely adore my friends, who's been with me through thick and thin, who support me in any of those crazy ideas from "the list", never feel I am uncapable to achieve either one of those, and make me feel like a millionaire - what I am, because there are so many of them, and they are so preciously important.
On the bottom of my emotions is Alex...he has left home...While I thought I was ready, I bent the rules so much around to try and be his friend first and foremost understanding I was a teenager once, who experimented with boundaries and partied hard and lied a lot (with only difference is at 17 and half I finished 1st year of Medical school and worked full time to support myself and getting good grades, but I, too, didn't spend nights at home, drunk and smoked and did whatever else comes along with it and despised my parents), while I honestly told him going away from me and "hitting the bottom" is his only way to find himself, when he finally left - with a small backpack of clothes, documents (hope he doesn't loose his greencard) and a note "I love you" left on my night table...it was the hardest thing I had to accept. I know he is alive (I can check on him through MySpace), and I know he is right now still in a "what the f&^%" mode, but I have hopes...because nobody asked him to leave that note, yet he did...
On the top of my heart is a simple thing all of us long for...I am madly in love. Something I haven't felt in many many years, something crazy, that came as a tornado, swept me off my feet and overwhelmed way more than I thought is possible for me at this point of my life. I wasn't waiting for it, wasn't looking for it, in fact, didn't even want it right now - yet it happened when and how I least expected it...While there are enough things that need to be overcome with it, I am so very happy that I go to bed and wake up with a widest smile on my face...

And that's how life balances itself out:) Enjoy your weekend, because I am off to Hot Springs living every minute fully, good or bad!


Danni said...

:) Too much in there to meangingfully comment on, so just smiley face.

Jon said...

Enjoy the Hot Springs!!!!!!!!!

Eudemus said...

Great post, great thoughts. I caught a little cold after Mt. Diablo 50K, so my "taper thoughts" are not quite so profound as yours. See you in less than a week!

Rooster said...

From one "Passion Puppet" to another....Dream On and Live or as Kris would quate, "Wake up and live"!

Have fun at the hotsprings and see you the plane ride!

rick said...

"I often refer to life as uphill and downhill, but coming to realization it is not that simple either - it is bumps coming onto you simultaneously."

I recently discovered that I can both be happy and sad at the very same time and that it's ok. I don't have to be one or the other, I can be both things at the same time. To be victorious and defeated at the same time.

Happy that love has found you.

Bob Gentile said...

Opportunities are "NEVER MISSED" they just PASS us bye... and when the timing is right and we are ready to accept them, we will!!

OK Miss UP's& Down's I am bumming about Alex but Like u said he needs to find his way I guess...I wish him my very best and hope he finds what he is looking for....very cool on the note he left you, that is a good thing!!!

Carilyn said...

This post brought tears to my eyes. You are a wise woman. Sending you hugs :)

JeffO said...

At first, I thought, "Olga's going through a midlife chrisis!"
But then I realized, no, it's just regular life for Olga.
Hey, the note to mom was very significant. Guys tend not to write. Screwed-up guys write not at all! So your son definitely has his heart in the right place. He just needs his head, and needs his feet under him. He realizes no one can do that for him.
I know I can't make you stop worrying, and I can't take away the pains, but I do think you have two good sons.
I was very screwed-up. My parents were no help. I decided to "bring myself up" since my parents didn't get it right.
Maybe Alex is missing something he feels he needs and his parents can't give him.
But I'm working on my 2nd margarita - a concoction "Debra" invented as she poured it. So don't trust my opinion. I'm starting to feel too happy. Florida is treating me too nice. Maybe I'll trade MFN trail running for running the beach and surfing.

Bret said...

Wow! A New Mexico Tornado?? Find it on the trail somewhere?

Good for you!

Tell Stephen congrats, that is awesome on the grades.

Have fun at the Springs!

Becky said...

Great insight and perspectives at the beginning of the post! Wow - what a great reminder to really live every moment and to be in-tune with people & things around us! You've given me some great things to think about (and then act on)!

You have a lot going on in your life, with people who are close to you. My wishes for the best outcomes in all cases.

Sarah said...

Being in love is a wonderful thing. Enjoy! : )

robtherunner said...

I am happy for you and your new relationship. Alex will find his way in life whether it be good, or bad. At this point it is up to Alex and I know you already know this. He has a good heart. I hope he finds his way sooner than later, but he will learn a lot in the process.

Backofpack said...

Great post Olga! I'm glad for all the ups on your list, and sad for all the downs. It's true though, life is both and we deal with them as we come.

Alex's note does leave hope, doesn't it? We've put our faith in our Web and his core values, and he is doing really well in his own framework. I hope it works out that way for Alex too.

Hope you have a great weekend!

Lisa Smith-Batchen said...

have a wonderful big horn..I will be thinking about you and will talk soon!
go girl go

Larry said...

This post deserves to be printed and taped to the bathroom mirror. A lot of wisdom regarding life in your post that a lot of us should follow.


angie's pink fuzzy said...

alex, gone - ((hugs))

and love, wow, honey that is awesomely amazing. call me and fill me in :)

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