Saturday, June 30, 2012

Run, Kelly, Run!

Remember back in February when I signed up for the Color Run because it looked fucking awesome and I was like, I've been kind of wanting to get in shape and do a 5K and this one would be perfect? Perfect because YOU END UP BEING A GIANT RAINBOW at the end, but also because it's pretty chill. They don't even time you. A lot of people walk the whole thing. Which is good, because I started my Couch to 5K training a bit too late, thinking "it's a 6 week program, I have 4 weeks, maybe I can fake it." HA! Nope. It's a 9 week program, and I am stupid.

Fortunately, I had some sort of weird determination, and it always always helps to have a running buddy. It keeps me from giving up after two minutes. Because it's almost all mental, and my brain is a wuss. It also can't tell the difference between one minute and five minutes when it is being put through any sort of perceived excruciating activity. Running, for me, is excruciating. Because I am so out of shape, it's not funny.

The BF was kind enough to donate his time to me a couple times a week to jog with me and keep track of the stopwatch. My moment of glory was on June 24, when I jogged for fifteen minutes without stopping. My original plan for the day was to hit seven. At each minute mark, I was like, I can do this. Let's go another one. Until finally, I'd run almost half of the 5K trail. I walked for a bit and did a  4 minute then 3 minute then 2 minute then 1 minute interval taper after that, but that put me at 25 minutes of running for one session, which is more than I'd ever done before. I was so pleased with myself that I posted it on facebook. A whopping 68 people have liked that status. (That's more than when I changed my relationship status, even.) I was proud of myself. I'd made it from zero minutes to fifteen minutes over the course of five weeks. I know there are people that can run for hours without being even the slightest bit fazed by it, but for me, this was a lot.

I digress. The Color Run! I picked up a pair of bright blue shorts that are a bit longer than all my other shorts (to keep my thighs from chafing, as they are wont to do) on clearance at Target, some neon-striped knee-high socks also from Target, a couple disposable cameras (you know, to protect my trusty hot pink camera from all of the floating color dust in the air), and my super sweet shades from my BiSC gift bag (which I haven't even told you about yet, but you'll see what I mean). And, of course, a white t-shirt, as per the only official Color Run rule (you must start with a white tshirt). I was all set.

The closest ones to us initially were Chicago, Minneapolis, and Kansas City. Chicago was supersoon after Las Vegas, so that was out. Minneapolis landed the same weekend that I'm normally in Atlanta for work, so that one was out. Kansas City... well, it was right at the end of June/beginning of July, which meant it was going to be HOT, but it was reasonably close by and dammit, it was too awesome to pass up. Registration filled FAST, and my sister couldn't get into the Saturday race, so when they opened the Sunday wave, we all moved over to that one. 



I've been getting emails and I've alternated between super excited and super anxious. Yes, I know, it's a laid back event. But I've never done it before, and new things tend to cause me to fret. I'm a worrier, it's in my nature.

Then we got an email on Friday morning that they were moving the race start time up to 7:30 am due to the current heat wave that's got it's nasty arms wrapped around the Midwest. SEVEN FUCKING THIRTY. Which means we were going to have to pick our race packets up at 6am. GUYS. I have built my entire life around not getting up early. I voluntarily work later than normal people do every single night, so I don't have to come in so early. I am not a morning person. This worries me.

But, alas. I will do my very best. My goal is to run as much as I can, though it will probably be something like 10 minutes running, a few minutes of walking, 5 minutes running, and so on and so forth until the finish line. I know Calee will be running the whole thing because she's actually, y'know, a runner, but I think my sister will be, erm, intervalling it with me.

I also forgot to tell you the best part!


They added an event in Iowa! And it's not until October! Which means (a) I have plenty of time to ACTUALLY train for it and (b) it won't be hot as the depths of hell that weekend.

Anywhatsit. At the current moment, I'm probably in a vehicle down to KC, and I shall report back after the race is over. Hopefully, with lots of awesome pictures. Because, sometimes, that's motivation in and of itself.

Hi, my name is Kelly, and I'm a photo addict.

Also, I'm about to attempt my first 5K. WISH ME LUCK. Mostly that I don't get heat stroke and pass out. That would be unfortunate and also not fun. I would prefer this to be fun.

New life motto, everyone. "I would prefer this to be fun." Apply that to every single thing you do, ever. You're welcome.

Friday, June 29, 2012

I've Been a Bad, Bad Girl... err... Blogger

(Does anyone else think the name of Fiona Apple's new album is ridiculous? I'm not even sure it would fit inside a tweet. The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do. I still can't remember it without looking it up. One of my friends was kind enough to share it with me and, well, upon my initial listen, I found it to be strange as fuck. Maybe it will grow on me. I mean, I did derive some enjoyment from the lyric "I'm a hot knife, he's a pat of butter." I think, mostly, I'm just not hip enough to "get it." Alas.)

So, um, hi. How are you? Your hair looks nice. Have you lost weight? You've totally lost weight, haven't you. No? Well you look fabulous.

I've been pretty MIA around these parts. I know it's everyone's biggest pet peeve when a blogger apologizes for being gone. Like anyone should be so narcissistic as to think that anyone cares. Well, whatever. I consider you guys my friends (at least, those of you who I've had interactions with. Those of you who lurk... come out of the shadows and say hi!) So, uh, sorry for being gone. I've been a bit overwhelmed with life. As you may recall, I volunteer-coach softball in the summer, and it seems to have taken over my existence. I'm also juggling the busy season at work, family obligations, social obligations, attempting to train for a 5K, and the fact that all of my creative endeavors (including this blog) have been pushed to the back burner. It kills me to not have time to write. (As I think I said in my last post. Which I don't even remember. Because it was a small eternity ago.)

Blergh.

Anyway, this post is really just going to serve the purpose of me blowing the cobwebs off of this proverbial popsicle stand, because I've got all sorts of things to discuss. For example, Vegas, finally. And after this weekend, I will be able to tell you about my first 5K experience. And then, if you're lucky, I'll start randomly hitting post on all the things in my drafts folder and you won't have any idea what the fuck is going on because some of those are three to four months old.

Hold on to your hats, everyone.

Exhibit A, re: hats.


Exhibit B, re: hats.


I've learned something about myself over the past year or so. And that thing is this: I really enjoy wearing awesome/ridiculous/awesomely ridiculous hats.

How have you been? What are your views on hats? Or the new Fiona Apple album? Or life in general?


Monday, June 18, 2012

Disconnected.

Writers need to write.

The sentence has two meanings. The literal meaning is, simply, that if you don't write, you're not a writer. You must do in order to be.

The other, of course, speaks to the innate need to write. That need to write, to put words on paper (or letters on a screen), is what makes a writer a writer. It's more than the act of writing - it's the wrangling of words and capturing of thoughts and the emptying of all the noise and chatter of your soul into a neat little package of sentences and paragraphs. Free the thoughts so that you can be at peace, until the next wave of thoughts begin.

Either way, lately, I have failed as a writer. I'm not writing. Anything. I come up short every time I try. I start writing a post and realize that whatever I need to finish is on my other computer, so it's going to have to wait until I can get to it. Except I never do. I'm exhausted and unmotivated. Quite frankly, I think I just need to curl up and sleep for an entire day just to feel remotely human again. I've been running nonstop, and I feel guilty if I slow down. If I stop to do the things I want to do, I feel guilty for not doing other things I should be doing. I'm a grownup. I should be doing dishes and cleaning out my car and putting laundry away and combing my cat and this and that and it's completely irresponsible to read or write or check facebook/Twitter/Pinterest. Guilt, guilt, guilt. I feel guilty for touching my computer when I get home. I feel guilty for doing anything that I want to do, instead of what I should be doing or am expected to be doing.

You know what happens when I let that happen, when I run nonstop and don't take breaks for myself? I start to shut down. Pretty soon I'll be a hysterical mess buried under pillows and hating the fact that the world even exists and how dare it encroach into my existence?!

I'm being dramatic. I know this.

I feel stuck. Is it work? Is it my extracurricular activities? Is it this, is it that? I'm neglecting everything and everyone, but I can't seem to account for where all my time goes. I want to run away but I'm not sure where I'd go. I can't escape myself. There are numerous cliches that remind me of that.

So, I haven't been writing. I'm feeling the itch. One of my coworkers started a book club and because I can't say no to anything (and also because I was hoping it would force me to actually take time to read, because I miss it) and the second book is Fahrenheit 451. I was quite pleased, because I've already read it. I'm ahead of the game, right? Nope. It's been probably five years since I've read it. I want to re-read it. I've made it about six pages in and all I can think about is how much Ray Bradbury makes me want to write. I started writing a post last week (or was it the week before?) after he passed away, hoping to capture exactly how much he inspires me as a writer. I felt like his book Zen in the Art of Writing was pulled largely out of my own thoughts and feelings and sentiments. I'm digressing. But it makes me miss writing fiction. I always wanted to write a novel. Fuck, I don't even care if it's good, anymore, or even publishable. I just want to write a full story that makes it all the way to the end. Closure. Completion.

Every day I don't write feels like a day I've failed.

Even on this blog. I haven't written my Vegas recap(s) yet. I've started a Word document. I told myself I was waiting for me to get my pictures sorted and pulled together. The first half have been posted to facebook. So I could write about Day 1 and Day 2 and have the pictures to back it up.

Have I? Obviously not.

I'm tearing my hair out, with being unsettled and lost and directionless. Where do you want to be in ten, twenty years? What's your endgame? It's a conversation I've had a few times lately. I don't know. My first thought is that I wanted to sit at home in my pajamas and write books all day. I didn't even say that out loud, because it's stupid and impractical and financially idiotic and, really, I probably belong at a desk, staring at spreadsheets and answering emails. I don't feel qualified for anything other than what I already do, but whether or not it's even possible to do this for another decade is up in the air. Culture shifts, economies shift, companies change. Maybe my position won't even exist in ten years. Then what? Fuck if I know. But I know I'm not planning ahead and I'm spending most of my time just getting through each day, hoping that eventually I'll have an epiphany on where I'm actually going.

It's exhausting.

I might try doing that thing that smarter people than myself do, where I schedule a time onto my calendar each week, a time designated for writing, or reading, or fucking around online. I can schedule a time and hope that it fits into the schedule of my muse, otherwise I'll be staring at a blank screen for an hour, but I suppose even staring at a blank screen is more forward momentum than ignoring it altogether. It's worth a shot, right? I can give myself assignments. I need to write about Vegas, I need to finish and post things out of my drafts folder, I need to catch up with myself. Maybe write a bunch of short stories and then maybe once I have that arsenal, I can poke around for somewhere to send them. Maybe someone will publish one. Maybe I'll feel a little bit of a sense of validation. Maybe that will keep me going.

I need to do something. I've somehow convinced myself that my creative pursuits are frivolous and thus not to be given importance, and I'm seeing now what happens when I view them that way: I start to fall apart. Because if I'm not creating something, I'm not really living. I'm just going through the motions. And I don't want that sort of life. I don't want to stumble through it until suddenly I'm old and full of regret for not listening to what my heart wants.

And my heart wants to write.

I guess this post is a start.