Keep on Running

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Keep on Running

Taken over the Great Salt Lake.

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I’ve learned a lot of things this year. Some good things and some not so good things. Some useful, some painful, some horrific. I’ve learned more about myself, about others, about truth, denial, hope, trust, fear and failure than I have in a long, long time. I think I’ve been pretty good about honesty with myself. I’ve bled plenty here. Still, this is a formative time and I don’t want to let it pass without learning the lessons, however painful, that will help shape my future and, most importantly, help shape me.

There has been pain galore. Deep, searing, awful pain that matches and even exceeds the hurt when I’ve lost family members and friends. I think the hardest truths are the ones that destroy us and remake us. The problem is doing the best right thing at every step. The difficulty in seeing the right and the best is obscured by fire, smoke, ash and tears. It’s hard to accept the past choices that I’ve made, that others have made helping me to arrive at Painville Central Station.

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I’ve traveled a bunch this year and each time I travel, there has been a giddiness and hopefulness that I’ve loved. But that usually fades about 30 seconds after I get off the plane in whatever city. Because I don’t have to check in. I don’t have anyone to call or text anyone that I’ve landed safely. I have friends, but they would be puzzled or laugh at: “Hey, I’m down. Made it safely. Talk to you soon.”

I miss not checking in with somebody. I may be unique in this regard, as I know a lot of people who prefer to check out when they travel. I’ve had to come up with ways to fill the surprising void of not having to check in with anybody. It’s strange.

In February I thought that I could escape my pain by traveling. Travel has only given me distance to see even more clearly how awful things are. It’s not running away as much as it is gaining perspective. And perspective is what I’ve been lacking for a very long time.

No one likes to be told hard truths. They are, after all hard. But when you know deep inside that despite the hardness, inside that truth will be the very thing you’ve needed to see, but refused to see or couldn’t see for any number of reasons. That realization—that it was right there, if only…—will add to the hardness. But it’s there. Right there. I see it now. The smoke has cleared somewhat.

Time to act on that truth.

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Affirmation: I control who I let into my life.

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