Puzzle pieces.

Currently my life feels like a box of puzzle pieces. However, there is more than one puzzle in the box and all the pieces look far too similar.  I am attempting to sort them out and put the puzzles together, but sometimes it is easier said than done. There are days I have all the patience in the world to find the correct pieces and put them in place, but most days I want to throw everything back in a giant pile and give up.

Fortunately, I am far too stubborn to give up. So day after day I keep plugging along with my box of jumbled pieces. I hope eventually each puzzle will become more clear and I will reach a better understanding. It is a slow process, but I know it will be worth it.

Right now my life is filled with more questions than answers. Some days it feels like there is some light at the end of the tunnel, and other times it feels endless. It is all about finding balance. Eventually I hope I can look back on the mangaled, tear stained pieces with pride because I made it through stronger and wiser.

Tomorrow will be a little bit easier and I will become a stronger me everyday.

Easy to forget.

It is easy to forget what those around us are facing. We are all a little selfish and forgetful. There are days that I need to work extremely hard to remember that conversations that go on around me are not meant to cause me pain. Most times when the topic hurts the most I try to pretend it is not really happening, but every once and I while I chime in to remind people that my pain is still very real.

Some days even I forget the reality of being left at the altar. Mostly because I am still not sure what the reality is, however, I am very clear on the outcome. There are still days it is strange to be alone, days that no one texts me but my mom, days that I have to remember that some things are not what they used to be. The absolute worst are the days that I need to tell someone that my life took an unexpected twist.

As time goes by things have a way of evolving. My reactions are not the same as they used to be, remembering to taking a deep breath before answering questions is a lifesaver. Some of my emotions have dulled and others are heightened. I keep praying to reach a balancing point and I am sure when the timing is perfect some form of equilibrium will be reached. Until then I face every day hopeful and willing to take on every challenge that comes my way. After all, there is not much more I can do.

Tomorrow will be a little bit easier and I will become a stronger me everyday.

100 days ago.

It has been over 100 days, 109 to be exact. When you write the number it does not seem like many days, but to live them is a different story. 100 days ago my world was still crumbling. Some days have felt like weeks, and weeks have felt like months. Some days I wondered if I would ever stop crying. Some hours I wondered if I would ever breathe again.

100 days ago I never thought I would get to the place I am now. Most days are easy the rhythm of things is more consistent, but sometimes the ghost of a memory still sneaks up on me and the pain comes. I know it will be a while before the pain disappears for good, parts of me wonder if I will ever truly be free of it. No matter how many days, hours or years I know that what I have learned and how I have grown is good. There is still a long way for me to go, but I know, without a shadow of a doubt that I can over come any challenge that comes my way.

Tomorrow will be a little bit easier and I will become a stronger me everyday.

Life of a lifeguard.

I was not looking forward to this weekend. However, I have been pleasantly surprised how much fun I have had. The entire weekend has been spent in the cement box of the pool, while outside the sun has been shining with nothing but blue skies. I will probably smell like chlorine for the next month, but it is worth it because as the end of it all I will be one step closer to becoming a Lifeguard Instructor.

When I first got my lifeguarding 15 years ago I never thought I would be here. Over the years I have become a strong lifeguard and comfortable with my skills. It is a little scary and exciting to take it to the next level. The thing I can rely on is the fact I know the skills, muscle memory is on my side. I need to get stronger at articulating how to perform each lifesaving rescue, but as with most things, time and practice is the best cure.

From day one to the end of day two I can say proudly that I am more confident and excited to take on future teaching opportunities. Tomorrow is the true test to see how well the lifeguard candidates have been instructed, I have high hopes for many successes. Lifeguarding is one of my passions and I am proud to pass it on to future generations of lifeguards.

Tomorrow will be a little bit easier and I will become a stronger me everyday.

Time Machine.

If it were possible to go back in time I would not want to correct a mistake. The way we overcome the struggles of our life is what makes us the person we are becoming. I would much rather visit a happy time. A bad point in my life will always be bad, attempting to fix it is a silly expectation. On the other had a high point can always be enjoyed again, if not made better.

There are so many amazing times in my life I would like to re-visit, I don’t know how I could ever pick just one. There were days spent hiking and summiting high peaks with friends. Lazy days wondering around museums. A weekend spend helping a former professor turned friend. Summers at camp when time seemed to flow differently. A birthday ruined by snow that turned into a perfect escape from reality. The first time I read my favorite book, or late nights with new friends freshman year of collage.

Not long after some of these points in my life the people who made them special disappeared. Somehow this doesn’t change the moment. Right now I am trying my best to only think of the good things, remembering past pain is not worth it at the best of times, let alone the worst. Fortunately a time machine does not exist so I do not have to make a choice as to where I would go, but that does not mean I can not revisit so many wonderful memories when I am feeling lost and alone.

The bad days may help define us, but holding onto the hopes and joys of the good days is what matters.

Tomorrow will be a little bit easier and I will become a stronger me everyday.

Useless Information.

It is crazy how much we learn about the person we are in a relationship with. Their likes and dislikes, habits, and an assortment of other odds and ends. After the relationship is over for one reason or another all this gathered information is useless. It is kind of sad when you think about it, when it seemed like there was no end to what you have built together, all the knowledge was priceless.

Knowing what type of movies he liked and his Chinese order was important, now it is something I wish I could forget. At times this information follows me. Last week I got a sub for lunch and it was strange not placing his favorite sub order alongside mine. I scroll through Netflix and see shows that we watched together, or ones he watched alone and there is a twinge of pain. Sometimes I turn a corner and something hits me out of the blue.

I would like to say these pockets of knowledge disappear, but I know from experience that some stick with you for years. It is amazing the impact we have on another person. Sometimes I wonder what shadows I have left on other people. I guess some questions we will never have answers to.

Tomorrow will be a little bit easier and I will become a stronger me everyday.

Before.

Sometimes I try to remember what it was like before. Before I was left at the altar, before we got engaged or celebrated our one year anniversary. Before a summer of going to triathlons. Before I met him. The end of April would have been two years together, but we actually met a few months before that. It feels like he was in my life longer then that, but he was not. Most of the memories are happy, but when I look back on them they have a dark cloud looming in the distance.

I am not sure why I look back, it is impossible for me to ever be that person again. Honestly I do not think it is possible to be the same person I was yesterday. Every day you learn and grow take in the good and try to leave behind the bad. The goal for tomorrow is to be better than you were today, to face the same or new challenges wiser. I know all of that is just a theory and it takes a controlled environment to test the validity of a theory. The unfortunate truth is we do not live in anything that could be considered controlled, but that does not have to stop us from attempting to be a better person every day.

Tomorrow will be a little bit easier and I will become a stronger me everyday.

Ice Cream.

The last few months I have been eating a lot of ice cream. I have always had it around, ice cream is a favorite of mine, but it feels like years since I have eaten so much of it. When I was a kid I could have eaten a gallon in a sitting if my parents had let me. Fortunately, I have no desire to eat that much at once now, but I do eat a few spoonfuls every night. Maybe it is my spoon full of sugar to help the medicine go down, a short escape back into childhood.

Tomorrow will be a little bit easier and I will become a stronger me everyday.

Awfully short to be a high jumper.

Today my high school is hosting its biggest track meet of the year, the Hornell Invitational. When I was in school is was much larger than it is now. Every time I walk out on the track I see it for what it used to be. Schools from all over came to run on what used to be the fastest track around.

I was a high jumper, I say that with a laugh because I am shorter than your average high jumper. This fact was pointed out to me at the Invitational my senior year by an opposing coach. His exact words were ” you’re awful short to be a high jumper.” At this point of the competition there were only three jumpers left, I am sure he was trying to psych me out. Let me tell you, the eight words he said had every impact he wanted. I missed at that height and his athlete got second.

Not only did those words throw me off-balance for that meet, but for the rest of the season and into college. When I started college I had not planned on continuing in athletics, but I am thankful I did. I will never forget one of the first few weeks of my freshman year sitting in the office of the my future coach while he convinced me to join the team. How could I have known then he would help me prove to myself that I was not too short to jump high.

My first track meet in college did not go much better than my last few in high school, but I did not give up and for some reason neither did my coach. By the end of my first indoor season I was stronger and more constant than ever. At the end of the season I got second place at the NCCAA track meet earning my first of three All Americans. I was still “awfully short to be a high jumper”, but somehow the sting of those words was lost. Many times in meets I was looked down on (literally) by other jumpers, than they saw me fly.

Words are dangerous things, we often take their meaning for granted and forget how others will interpret them. That coach did not say anything I did not already know, but hearing it said out loud and in that way was painful. On this end of the story I can say with pride “I was awfully short to be a high jumper” because now I can add to the end “but look at all I did inspite of it”.

Tomorrow will be a little bit easier and I will become a stronger me everyday.