I was catching up with a friend of mine last night on the phone, one who I hadn’t talked to in a while. We caught up, we gossiped, I told her about my recent “email breakup,” and she told me about her latest dating conquests. We laughed and sighed and then we started talking about Run, Selfie, Repeat. She asked me a question I hadn’t thought to ask myself, “Why share? There's a million blogs out there, why bother?” True, there are a million blogs out there. So for what reason did I decide to share my personal experiences and bare my soul to a whole bunch of strangers?
My initial response was, “I don’t know” and “because it’s fun.” But it’s actually because I had so many incredible family members, friends, and mentors when my brother died who helped drag me through that first year. I can’t imagine going through something like a loss without a support system. Grief can be paralyzing and it can manifest suddenly without warning. I used to be uncomfortable asking for help, leaning on people, or sharing what I was going through. But grief is something you can’t hide. Some days I would be sitting in class and someone would say something that would jostle a memory and I’d just start crying. I was surrounded by loving mentors who had lost friends, children, or siblings. I could walk to the top floor of our department and walk into the first open door I could find and receive insights and perspectives that may not have made everything “ok” but they helped move me forward.
Then after college I felt disconnected from that creative outlet and community. I had a really hard time transitioning. I had moved away from all of my friends and I felt completely isolated. I was living at home with my parents, living in my brother’s old room, working a normal 9-5, and was miserable. I was terrified to move to LA or NY to try to become an actor and I didn’t know what else to do. All the sudden my future wasn’t clear and it scared the life out of me. Then the guy I was seeing decided he no longer wanted to see me. I got the, “I don’t want to hold you back” excuse which ironically has been the reason for most of my breakups. (What exactly these guys think they are holding me back from is beyond me.)
But then I found running. It physically gave me a way to put one foot in front of the other. At first it was just something constructive to do after work and on the weekends. Then I ran a half marathon and felt this passionate drive. So I bit the bullet and decided to go for a full. And suddenly I found this sense of self, power, pride, and dedication that all came from running.
And so I decided that every year I am going to try to do something I told myself I could never do. Last year I ran a half marathon, a marathon, and moved to New York. This year I am trying to run a sub 4 hour marathon, I fell in love, and I want to learn Spanish. Next year I want to run a marathon in a different country (I’ve never been outside of the US and don’t even have a passport). And I want to do Iron Man in Kona before I am 30 (maybe 40, we shall see.) I’ve spent a lot of time haunted by the things that seem unattainable. Moving home was the first time I didn’t just go for something. It was the first time I convinced myself that I didn’t have what it takes which is why every year I am forcing myself to confront those fears and just dare to fail.
Life is hard. I’m only 25 and I’ve endured a couple huge and difficult cross roads. I would have never made it if it weren’t for the people around me and that is why I want to share my story. That is why Run, Selfie, Repeat exists. I want to be an outlet for anyone going through crisis. I first and foremost want to be able to make you laugh because I truly believe that laughter is the key to everything. I also hope to inspire, motivate, inform you about running (if you are so inclined to learn about it), and share the crazy things that happen to me. Life can be really difficult and sometimes you just need a nudge or reminder that tomorrow will come. Or that despite what you are going through, it may not get better, but the intensity is going to fade. I spend a lot of time hiding or concealing what I am going through. Here I get to share the things I would normally internalize. And it’s motivating. I have never felt more incredibly inspired or humbled than I do when I read your emails, stories, and comments. When I started this site five short months ago I never dreamed that you all would share and inspire me the way you do. It’s liberating. So thank you. Thank you for reading and sharing your stories with me. Thank you for your honesty and your bravery. And thank you for caring. There’s nowhere to go but forward and I can’t wait to go there with you all. Happy Wednesday friends. Until tomorrow, #RunSelfieRepeat.