The thing no one wants to talk about

I walked into the grief counselor’s office and sat down awkwardly on the couch across from her. I stared at her for what felt like five minutes, before she asked me what brought me in. I told her about the loss of my father. She waited for me to say more before she asked me to tell her about my dad. I didn’t get more than a sentence or two out before I started crying. “I didn’t think I was going to cry,” I said as I accepted the Kleenex box from her. I told her about my father’s work ethic and how he taught me to work hard and be nice. I told her about the daily phone calls I’d get from him, about how they were always less than five minutes and about how he just wanted to check in and say he loved me. I told her about summers in the pool, family vacations to the beach, and the endless athletic events he took me to. The more I talked the more I cried.

When I stopped talking she let me collect myself. She smiled softly at me and said, “you’re sad.”

I don’t know why this made me feel better, but it did. Because you know what, I am sad. Sometimes we get so busy with daily commitments and responsibilities, that we don’t allow ourselves to feel what we’re feeling. I am no expert on the topic, but I think it would be helpful if we all talked openly and honestly about how we are doing and didn’t just say “fine” when someone asked. It’s okay to be sad and it’s okay to not be okay.

In an effort to “practice what I preach,” I wrote this blog post. I started typing this and erased it about 12 times before I let myself finish it. It is hard to talk about loss and it is even harder to talk about addressing it. But you know what? This is real. This isn’t a Instagram portrayal of life, where you see only the highlights. This is messy and honest.

As I got up to leave the appointment, the grief counselor asked me what I wanted to accomplish. She explained that sometimes people come in knowing what they want to accomplish. I told her that I wasn’t sure and I just felt like talking about my dad and what I was feeling. That is how I am approaching this post. I wanted to talk about my experience with grief and how I think we should be more open about it. I am not writing to give advice on what you should do in a similar situation (because let’s be honest, I don’t know what I am doing anymore than anyone else), but if by chance you are going through something similar, I hope  this made you feel a little less alone.

xoxo,

CC

Advertisements

Am I laughing or crying

“Going from crying to laughing that fast and hard happens maybe five times in your life and that extreme right turn is the reason why we are alive, and I believe it extends our life by many years.” –Amy Poehler

The past seven months have been filled with some of the happiest and saddest moments of my life. My father passed away in November. I’ve felt the ebb and flow of grief. Some days it is sharp and I am filled with a deep sense of sadness, mixed with anger. Other days it’s softer and I’m filled with sweet memories.

In April, I got engaged to a man who is everything I could ever want in a life partner. He’s adventurous, kind, funny, patient, and much more. I am loved and the type of happy that is felt when you can fully be yourself. He’s been by my side during the good and bad days, and has allowed me to feel whatever I feel.

Although the past seven months have been difficult, I also know I’m extremely blessed to have the support system of family and friends that I do. I think Amy Poehler says it best when she talks about this abrubt shift from sadness to happiness, “Going from crying to laughing that fast and hard happens maybe five times in your life and that extreme right turn is the reason why we are alive, and I believe it extends our life by many years.”

I’m learning to be patient with myself, let myself feel what I feel, and embrace both of these emotions. Thanks for following along with me.

Xoxo,

CC

I love running and it likes me ok

photo (8)

A little more than a year ago I wrote a blog post about my one-sided relationship with running. That said blog post can be found here.

Believe it or not, a lot has changed in the past 15 months. Since then, I have completed two 5K races and am in my ninth week of training for a third race in November.

Although I have days I don’t feel like running and although I still don’t love treadmills, I will say this: I finally get it.

photo 3 (5)

I get why people run. I get why people spend countless hours and days training and I get why people willingly take ice baths. Simply put, running makes you feel better.

I didn’t even realize my relationship with running was becoming less one-sided until about two weeks ago. I was running on some trails behind my apartment and before I knew it I had been running for more than an hour. I looked at my iPod and decided to stop because I had plans that evening. But the point was I decided to stop, I didn’t have to stop.

photo (1)

So how did I go from rarely running to making it a part of my workout each week? Well, I started a training plan, because let’s face it, I needed some direction. Training plans for 5K and 10K races as well as half marathons and marathons can be found online.

Once I got used to the aching leg muscles and the voice in my head saying it was time to walk, running went from “the worst thing ever” to a new favorite workout.

And as cliché as it sounds, most of my problems with running were mental. When I felt worn out from running before it was because I wasn’t training and because I looked at it as a punishment partly because running laps was literally a form of punishment in both volleyball and softball in high school (thanks, coach).

With a change in attitude, proper training, and a kick ass music playlist (some favorites: Midnight City by M83, Fantasy by MS MR and Rather Be by Clean Bandit), running has become something I actually enjoy.

photo 2 (9)

Becoming aware of my body

IMG_1001

While in a Warrior 1 pose, hands stretched toward the ceiling, I was glad I had woken up for the early Saturday morning yoga class. I had deliberated pushing snooze on my alarm and returning to my glorious bed, but alas I managed to make it to class with my red yoga mat.

About two weeks ago I began attending a yoga studio near my work. The business is a gorgeous, high-ceiling and welcoming studio. At first I was skeptical when the first class I came to was a workshop and seemed to focus on the spiritual side of yoga. The classes after, improved from the workshop and I noticed my body, mind changing.

I became aware of everything I was doing. I became aware of my breathing, posture and the toning of muscles didn’t hurt either. I also noticed I was less stressed and focused on taking tasks as they came at me instead of anticipating what was to come.

Yoga has allowed me to focus on my body and what it is telling me – like if I’m trying to go too far in to a pose. I’m looking forward to attending more classes.

How to fake being a runner (read: my one-sided relationship with running)

Image

I want to like running. I really, really do. It’s a good work out. But the truth is, I have hated it most of my life.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m in to fitness and being healthy; but running isn’t part of my regular workout regimen.

I’m the person who ran the fun run, a stupid name given to an annual one-mile race for elementary students, in fourth grade and hated it.

In high school I would run for sports; volleyball, softball and swimming, but I always looked at as a chore.

My sophomore year of college I would run a mile on a treadmill before a work out, but I would feel like death afterward. I preferred the elliptical or work out classes such as cardio kickboxing to running.

While dating an ex-boyfriend who was a runner, I tried to pick it up. I would jog a mile outside my house in the country and walk in to my house with burning calf muscles.

I would talk a good game and say I was running. That ended shortly when we went for a quick run (his “quick” run was 4 miles) and he was barely breaking a sweat and I was trying to hide my loud breathing. That was the last time we ran together (per my choice, he was embarrassingly kind about it).

While I was interning in Pennsylvania this summer, I stayed in an extended stay hotel. The hotel had a gym, which consisted of a treadmill, Stair Stepper and a weight machine.

I took up running on the treadmill until one day I was running and the moving belt slid out-of-place causing me to stumble off and roll my ankle. Three weeks later I was told it was fixed. After running for 15 minutes it slid again. The machine had an out-of-order sign on it the rest of the summer.

As you can see, running and I have pretty much had a hate/hate relationship. Knowing all this, I signed up for a color run this fall; which sounds like the happiest run on earth. I plan to train and give running another chance. I mean, I do own the Nike Free shoes. Hopefully the relationship will be intimate, sexy and not as one-sided as it’s been for 11 years.

Image