It's been a rough week and my sleep pattern is definitely off, but I am starting to settle into the reality of what's happening and my situation. The sense of calm is back, at least for now.
As promised, here's pictures from my hill repeats yesterday. This is the view from the bottom of the hill:
And here is my view from the top:
Pretty cool, huh?
Growing up in a city that was the butt of many jokes was interesting. You grow up and can't wait to leave, because you hear how bad it is. But you can't really figure it out, because you see things like the above pictures every day. And something draws you back eventually after you wander around for a while looking for something better.
What's so bad about it?
Yeah, there's snow. Everyone complains about that and stuff.
But I like snow.
Hmmm. Cross that off the list.
Well, there's that river that caught on fire in 1969.
Okay, I wasn't even alive then, so I take no responsibility for that. And that river's actually kinda cool now--still lots of work to be done, but the area around it has changed and cleaned up quite a bit.
It's not as cool as NY/LA/Chi-Town/insert-cool-and-sexy-city-here.
Agreed. But at least I can afford a house and a nice little yard.
There's poverty. Lots of it.
Yeah, that sucks. But what city isn't dealing with that right now? But, more importantly, how can I change that? I volunteer. I educate. I get kids to volunteer. I do whatever possible to try and make the situation better. Think globally, act locally, you know?
I guess I bristle a bit at the criticism. Which is weird. It's a freaking city. Why should I care if people rip on it?
Well, I guess the answer is that it's a part of who I am. So right or not, I guess I do take it a little personally. I know it sounds strange, but hear me out.
I was...I am...not the kind of person who stops traffic with their unbelievable good looks. It's just not me. I do have a good friend from college like that though--she knows who she is so I will spare her name:)--I'm not kidding...guys LINE UP to hit on her at bars. It's quite entertaining. She's absolutely drop-dead-gorgeous, and totally cool to boot.
That's not me. In fact, I got made fun of quite a bit when I was a kid. You name it.
"You're fat." "You're too smart." (I never could understand that one) "You don't have the right coca-cola shirt on--your's is generic from Sears." "You're freckles are ugly."
In middle school (aka. hell on earth), I didn't really have many friends. See, this is the age when girls that say they are your friend do weird things like lock you in a closet at a sleepover. ? But you're supposed to be cool with that. Or they just follow one girl who makes fun of everyone.
But I refused to follow that girl. So I just kinda kept to myself. I said I'd rather be alone than following some dumb mean girl. I'd cry a little at home, but my mom would tell me I was doing the right thing. Peer pressure didn't really work with me. If it was cool to make fun of someone, I was still like, "But that's mean and I don't want to do it, and for that matter, I don't want to be around you, either."
So the bottom line is, I guess for a while I felt like I was a pretty strong person, but a bit of an ugly duckling.
My mom always told me I was pretty, but that's her job because she's my mom. For a long time, I never really believed it. But I knew there was a lot to me people didn't know. I really felt that there was some beauty on the inside if people would take the time to notice.
So I was the butt of many jokes. But I knew I had potential. I just wasn't really sure how to tap into it.
This, of course, is the ongoing life process. I've always been relatively secure in who I am. But trying to tap into the potential is hard, and sometimes scary.
Case in point: this little thing called Ironman I'm doing. I really feel like I've changed so much and it's only been 5 months. It really blows my mind. This training, this schedule, this life that's going on has been affected by it and totally changed who I am. I'm seeing things in myself that I hadn't really seen before. I'm starting to understand the power of this potential thing. I don't know the end of the story, of course. It's up in the air and subject to change, because it's changing every day. But it's getting stronger.
So, to make a long story short, I sympathize with the city. It's not perfect. It's not really that cool. It's used to being an outsider and the butt of many jokes. It doesn't turn that many heads--yet at least. But there's a quiet beauty here, if you look for it. There's a history of strength through time. And for some reason, it draws me in. I see the endless potential. I see people helping, things changing, and unlimited growth.
Kinda like me.