The Page Before

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The shell must break before the bird can fly. – Tennyson

A few days ago, in passing by a friend’s desk, I noticed a book he was reading. It was titled A Thousand Tiny Cracks. Not considering his a respect for privacy, I flipped it over so I could find out what it was about. After all, it was there out in the open for anyone to read.

This line immediately caught my attention.

There were a thousand tiny cracks in her protective coating, but it only took the right one for the entire shell to fall away…

At that moment, it was no longer about the author and what she wanted to say, it was solely about me. The words were like an internal mirror and that mirror had something important to say. My experiences in life taught me to protect myself as there was no one there to protect me. I created a protective coating so I would not be hurt by someone or something and in doing so, I blocked out anything potentially good.

Although this coating portrayed one thing, I desperately wanted to not be so guarded and so protected. Deep down, I wanted to be careless, reckless, and somewhat on the wild side. My mind, however, would not let me in fear of potential threats.

With every relationship I pursued, it was if my protective coating was being chipped away little by little, but no matter what, they could not completely destroy the cage I enclosed myself in.

But something new, has surfaced in my life and it is teaching me something. It is teaching me that my life should not always be so guarded. It is ok to step out into unfamiliar territory again. It is teaching me to take risks, to put myself out there, and crack open the book a little bit more.

I am not exactly sure if I am going to open the book, A Thousand Tiny Cracks, and actually read the pages, but I am sure that I am going to open the pages of my own heart.  For so long, it has been stuck on the past, on the page before, and was too afraid to turn to the next one.

With every story, there is always a beginning and an end. I don’t fully believe that my story, my journey towards love, has ended. I think it is actually just beginning. And like the author said, maybe all it will take is the for the right one to come along so the entire shell can fall away.

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When it Rains, I Pour

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The flower that follows the sun does so even in the cloudy days. – Robert Leighton

We are all familiar with the phrase, “when it rains, it pours”, right? It seems when life throws an obstacle our way, it tends to rain an abundance of them. We never can catch a break and as a result we feel heavily burdened.

Yesterday, I ran what would be my 6th half marathon, The St. Jude Country Music Half Marathon. All week-long, the weather man forecasted rain for the event.  In my daily prayers, I prayed that God would hold the rain or shift the course it was on. After all, He parted the Red Sea, I think He was more than capable to answer a little prayer. As it turned out, it rained the whole day.

The morning started out with one road block after another. When trying to reach the start line, my friends and I hit at least 10 road blocks and were forced to abandon our car and set out on foot to the start line.  We had to run 2 miles in less than 10 minutes or we would miss the start of the race.  My friends had no problem voicing how agitated they were about the inconvenience which started weighing me down mentally.

The race was delayed around 15 minutes so that pushed the time we crossed the start line. It typically takes 30 minutes, this time it took an hour. There we were, standing in our corals, huddling with thousands of runners, and in the pouring rain. Clothes drenched, feet soaking wet, and we hadn’t even crossed the line yet.

I could have easily complained, whined, and groaned about how irritated or uncomfortable I was. I had every opportunity to. I was soaking wet, cold, my knees were hurting due to the rain, and I could feel a blister to begin forming on my toe. God had every opportunity to stop or hold back the rain and for whatever reason, He did not. I think He wanted to test our resolve, to see if we had what it took to finish the course.

It would have been easy to throw in the towel, but I did not spend all those months training for it to go to waste. I was going to finish no matter what. So I set out on my journey to have fun, to finish strong, and with joy. And with that, I did.

Enjoying the raceIn case you need a little “proof” 🙂

We are all given a specific course in life in which we must follow. For some, we have to overcome abuse, some of us have dealt with infidelity and betrayal, and some of us have had to deal with loss.  And all that remains is a feeling of defeat and a broken heart.

Our life paths are difficult, draining, often leave us injured, but if we are not careful, we can miss out on the joy that it brings. When I think about yesterday’s half marathon, I can actually say that I had fun. I ran with amazing friends and other runners who inspired me to be great, to go in for the long haul, and to not give up.

When it rains, I can either pour out negativity, or I can pour out positivity. I’m not saying I’m Suzy Sunshine all the time, but I hope the message I bring is to look at the bright side of things, see the glass as half full instead of empty.

It’s true, we will all be physically and mentally tired from fighting off distractions and discomforts. We will always have obstacles to face. But if we stay focused, with our eye on the prize, we might find the end was worth every ounce of pain and we have a little shiny medal to show for it. 🙂medalsignature