Maybe to have a good life, a real good life, all we need to do is start to peel back the layers, so that we can become who we really are meant to be...and if we never fall down, and scrape off that first layer...would we ever know there is anything deeper?
I have lived a charmed life...relative to charmed for a modern day family. My parents are still married, but they have scars that only those who have lived through would know. I, as they would describe, somehow ended up "normal." I would guess that their version of normal would mean someone who tells it like it is, doesn't bullshit unless it's necessary to boost someone up who needs it most or to get out of trouble with the law. Normal being someone who loves openly, laughs too loud, and asks a lot of questions, never afraid to teeter between two sides of left and right, because really the correct answer is probably somewhere in the middle anyway. My parents are completely imperfect and perfect. And maybe, if we all get past that first layer...we, somehow, are able to find who we really are...that perfect mix of imperfect and perfect.
Physically, at 40 years old, I have nothing to prove. I was the high school all star...handed a full scholarship to play a sport I never really thought I would play again after high school. I was the "Spirit Queen" as well that senior year....well-liked, good grades, funny...picture perfect, but still missing something, wanting more.
And so, in college, I went on to bigger and more exciting adventures. And with some of those most amazing adventures, I had some of the most painful times. My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. I had a boyfriend who drank too much, whom I couldn't save, though I tried, god I tried so hard. I was also the three time volleyball captain who made the academic honor roll every semester. Picture perfect...minus the eating disorder I thought I was hiding. When I did finally get some help for that, I was finally really the picture perfect person I so sought after...I was in amazing shape, had a great senior year season including some all conference honors and academically, my grades were the best they ever had been. Picture perfect...
But, I still had not found myself yet...I went on to graduate school to become a teacher & earned a scholarship to work as a teaching assistant while in school. I did get a job before I even graduated with my masters...pretty unheard of these days....and was able to easily pick up a full time, well paid with benefits, teaching job at 24 years old...with a part time job as a college volleyball coach. But, I still hadn't filled that perfect mold I was striving for.
I had the perfect wedding...and I really did marry the perfect guy...he has been there for me in good times and bad times, right from the beginning, when we were just babes in college. We have three beautiful girls. We are not the perfect parents, that is for sure, but we try to love them, keep them safe, and build them up to be strong, assertive women someday. I love our life...our ups and downs, we have had a perfectly, imperfect life together...and thank god, because who would have thought we would have to hurdle cancer as well. But, like a good training program, we continue to ride the waves, weather the storm and keep keeping on with a smile of our face...even if some days we've had to fake it until we make it.
Today, it hit me...the most random unplanned moment...I had someone who I see on a regular basis at my job tell me, "you touch people"...she has been following my blog and knows my current story...3 girls, marathons, cancer...and now, in recovery mode from two back to back surgeries. I could have cried...but because I'm that perfectly, perfect strong girl, I held it together.
Sitting here now, I realize, all I have ever wanted to do is make a difference...touch someone in a way that maybe brings them comfort, relief...or allows them to unpeel all those layers they've built over the years so they could become the person they've been searching for...peel back the layers so that they too, could be perfectly imperfect and proud. I thank that friend for pointing that out to me today. And while, I have many, many loved ones, acqaintances, and other friends I could thank as well...today, I will relish in thanking myself for having the courage to be myself...too honest, too strong, too sensitive, too crude in humor, sometimes too inappropriate, and sometimes, too imperfectly perfect that I'm able touch someone...
- What started as a little experiment in blogging has evolved into my renewed love for writing the raw, gritty truth. Running has always had so many parallels to life's ups and downs. As a new cancer survivor/fighter, running and writing has continued to be there for me in my quest to always move forward, always try to be better than yesterday. Find me: http://www.curetoday.com/community/kate or on facebook: running, cancer, and everything in between or on twitter: runliftbreathe