A Life That Sizzles and Pops
I wrote a post back in December about new beginnings, largely in terms of this space. I had just transitioned from Just A One Girl Revolution and in the process, deleted the vast majority of my previous posts. At that time, I wanted to dive headfirst into the new year with new content, developing workouts, sharing my workouts, and getting a fresh start after a challenging 2017.
That didn’t happen. In the moment, I had more excitement than I had in a long time. The hope of the fresh start that the new year brings felt more raw and necessary than ever. I wrote about goals for the year and living intentionally. But, the allure of the new year faded quickly. Soon, I fell back into the same grief-stricken rut I lived in since last April. I didn’t know how to break out of that. It just took time, but I felt helpless as there was little action I could take. It was a journey that just had to happen on its own.
Certainly, it wasn’t for a lack of desire, but just the ongoing sense of feeling directionless. With my grandma’s death, I lost one of the strongest anchors in my life. Finding a new normal took far longer than I realized. Even now, there are days I still don’t know what normal means now. Still, I approach each day with a mindset of putting myself back together. For so much of the last decade, I cultivated a reality that seems so foreign now. While the distance running bug is still somewhere inside of me, the thought of running even five miles in one stretch feels daunting. Someday, I’ll toe the line of another half, or maybe even full, marathon.
But, I’m not in that season now and what I finally understand and accept is that’s okay. Running is the easy example, but this stretches beyond the miles. Almost daily, I find myself examining where I have been but also, more importantly, where I want to go. While it’s still about putting back the piece of myself, as I wrote a couple weeks ago, I’m beginning to think what I want beyond the next few days and weeks. At 34, I hopefully have many decades ahead of me. It’s the combination of stepping out from the grief-soaked haze and a delayed quarter-life crisis that leads me to examine my present and my future realities. There are so many things I still want to achieve, experience, and see in this lifetime. I spent most of the last year simply existing, floating through my days. I’m ready to get back to living.
I know it’s a sentiment I’ve shared in one shape or form more since my grandma died. I surely sound like a broken record. But, grief is not a linear process. For me, part of the healing is this consistent reminder to myself. But, without realizing it, this desire suddenly makes me feel more alive and more excited for my future than I have in quite some time. The more I live into it, the more real it becomes and the more desperately I want that brightness. I want to live a life that would make my grandma proud. Even more, I want to live a life that makes me proud. A life with adventures and memories and deep belly laughs, one that I can look back on so fondly.
A life like that isn’t just handed to us. It is a life that we must create, living from a place of intention. It’s not always easy. Last night, I wasted more time than I care to admit mindlessly playing a game on my iPad. I thought so many times I about how there were so many better things I could be doing with my time. But, one game would end and I’d start another without thinking. I want more than that for my days. I took the first step and deleted the game. It seems silly and small, but it felt like a turning point.
So now, I dream about what I do want and how I’m going to get there. It’s not going to happen overnight, but the picture of the life I want is becoming clearer. With dreams of attending a game at every Major League Baseball stadium to kissing the Blarney Stone, I want to travel and experience the world. I’m no longer content to just say that I’m a certified health coach and personal trainer. I want to actually use that knowledge and my personal experiences to change lives. We only get this one life and I’m no longer content to just let it pass by me.
In her first book of essays, Shauna Niequist wrote, “I want a life that sizzles and pops and makes me laugh out loud. And I don’t want to get to the end, or to tomorrow, even, and realize that my life is a collection of meetings and pop cans and errands and receipts and dirty dishes. I want to eat cold tangerines and sing out loud in the car with the windows open and wear pink shoes and stay up all night laughing and paint my walls the exact color of the sky right now. I want to sleep hard on clean white sheets and throw parties and eat ripe tomatoes and read books so good they make me jump up and down, and I want my everyday to make God belly laugh, glad that he gave life to someone who loves the gift.”
That right there, that is what I want. A life that sizzles and pops. And, while I might need to remind myself of it on a regular basis, I am ready to start fighting for myself, my dreams, my future, and my everyday realities. I’m ready to get out of the haze and the run. It’s time to get back to a life of adventures and goals and hard work. It’s time to create those memories.