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I mentioned before that I don’t typically start things I’m not reasonably sure I can’t accomplish.  So, I’ve been working on getting ready for the Marine Corps Marathon for a couple of months now.  I’ve run farther, and faster, than I ever have in my life.

This morning was something different.

For about a week now the cosmos has pointed at the potential that there are easier ways to achieve some of the emotional high points that MCM might bring (I can transfer to the 10k, a distance I am capable of today), that I am slow for someone who expects to stay away from the sweeper, that I can give my MCM bib to someone else, or say that I’ll do it next year.

Each time I remember that I don’t need to decide today and I keep doing the work.  Still, I would be lying if I pretended that each reminder that the “Exit” is so close, and so easy, didn’t weigh on me a little bit.  Most of the time I’d opt for the 10K and chillax about training – but I’m not doing it now.  I’m doing the work.

Long run today, I’m a slow poke at a short distance but it feels like a proving ground.  If not now, then when… and all that.  The radio played the song “Dumb” (main line, “I feel so dumb.  Duh duh duh dumb. Duh duh duh dumb) and then Britney Spears “Work Bitch” which I knew from Zumba and finally understood the lyrics to.

I got out of my car (I drive into town to run then reward with Dunkin Donuts) and walked a little extra while trying to find a way to start.  No need to think of the route, I have it down pat.  I just need to start.  Start the walk / run timer (no really y’all I’m not speedy, just fucking ready to do the work), and start the course thing and go.

I mainly try to dive into the void when I run, I don’t want to think and I don’t want to plan.  I get neat ideas there but mainly I rest my mind.  It is what I want out of the time:  log miles and stop thinking.  Still, when Siri told me how I was doing I’d take a minute or two to figure out if I was doing ok in the proving ground.  This mile was slower than that one, I’ve gotten a stitch and want to walk more than I have time for…

The penultimate mile is the fastest of all of them – I am surprised.  I have leg for the last mile and I try and use up a lot of it.  I hit stop and I’ve beat the time goal by 4 minutes.  I burst into tears because that is all I can do.  I try and calm down because what I want is to SOB and really, I’m a bit breathless.  I talk to my mom on the way home and cry more.

I want to message my zumba instructor when I get home.  I don’t because even I know that is odd – but when I see her in Target in the afternoon I tell her.  She is lovely and encouraging and as I turn to walk away I start tearing up again.  I’m crying as I type this.

I don’t know what the work is for.  I know why I started, and I know that I don’t need to understand.  I’m just grateful.

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I am a creative person.  Oddly so, like I assume everyone is, but after a long time of pretending I was something other than that I’ve decided that calling myself a creative person is ok.

I have not taken time to develop creative skills.  I can dabble in a bunch of ways but focusing in a way to hone a talent is something I never quite get around to – even when I have the time and space to do it.

I am intrigued by creative people.  Especially those who are thriving in the new internet age because it allows them to be really engaged with people who cheer them on.  John Scalzi, Wil Wheaton, Amanda Palmer are big names with large and engaging presences but smaller creatives like Tiffany Ard, and Kim Zoot entice me as well.  Bloggers, musicians, painters, and especially makers make me happy to be around.

It surprises me when people haven’t heard of Kickstarter or Etsy.  That is also a little bit true for Patreon.  These websites allow clear monetary support for the creatives in the world.  Kickstarter does it for up and coming projects, the patron model works differently but supports artists either by “thing” or by month.  I also eyeball micro loan sites like Kiva all the time.

I am mainly a patron.  Not completely a “high-roller and supporter of underlings” version, but dangit if you make an awesome thing I will give you cash because I want you to WIN at doing what you love for money.  When I named this part of myself I got sort of excited.  I really love the idea of being a part of someone else’s victory, I like the idea that I can be where they get a little boost that makes pushing forward a little easier.

Art happens in the creation, to be sure, but the viewing of it is also deeply important for some.  When Amanda Palmer makes a thing, I pay her.  When Roman Mars shows up on Kickstarter I throw money at him.  I own a beautiful camera obscura through kickstarter.  My favorite perfume of all time was a little solid perfume tin with a Doctor Who theme that I can’t get on etsy anymore.  I helped Reading Rainbow get into classrooms.  I’m supporting SciShow in doing great science based videos. I help Wil Wheaton pay for great production on shows that my family enjoys together.

I create stuff because I am nimble minded, but I also create stuff by adding to the tiny spaces in a persons creative mind that DOESN’T have to think about building a resume because they have an order to fill.