Escape plans, 30, breaking down and more running.

I am planning an escape. I don’t know where I’m going to go, but I am going to go, for a handful of days, somewhere, alone.

I want to visit a National Park, but I can’t decide which. The closest, that I haven’t visited in adulthood, are as follows: Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Ohio, Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina, and Congaree National Park in South Carolina.

Mostly I just want to get lost in the woods for a little bit and take some time to just be with my thoughts and whatnot, and I’m pretty sure any of those parks would facilitate that, but I can’t decide.

So far, being 30 has been pretty terrible. I’m not ready to call bullshit on it being such a great decade or whatever, but these first few weeks have been primarily filled with rage and sadness, one half marathon PR, one speeding ticket and a lot of beers. It’s not all terrible, but it’s far from great.

I’m over on the Hooray Collective Day, writing about breaking. Here’s a snippet:

It is impressive the measures the head will take to save the heart.

It doles out reality in digestible bites, keeping the full weight of terrible things from settling over us. It still hurts, the parts and pieces it feeds us, but it holds back, the head, from giving us more than we can swallow.

It’s called denial, I suppose, that heady phase of grief that stops us from swallowing all the parts at once and choking on the full weight of the thing. It is the head’s best defense in protecting the heart, I think.

Read the rest here.

On Saturday I’m running the Monument Ave 10k, which is one of my favorite races. It’s very Richmond, an easy and flat down and back on one of the most beautiful streets in the city. There are tons of bands and spectators and great signs and there’s a costume contest and people take it pretty seriously. I’ve felt a little off since getting sick right after the half, but I’m hoping to impress myself at the 10k on Saturday and run hard, especially if it decides to rain.

Also, if it could stop calling for rain every time I have race over 3.1 miles, that would be super cool and spiffy, although, that said, racing in the rain is sort of great, and even though I will bitch about it before hand, running in the rain always makes me feel like a legitimate runner, like I’m a badass for braving some sprinkles or some shit.

Visits to the most tattooed city in the country, street art, and dining room dance parties.

First, I need to say that I’m a lucky bitch. I used to be this girl who could count her friends on a single hand and then the internet happened and my friend count exploded. It’s changed everything and it’s reminded me that no matter how alone I might sometimes feel, I’m not. I’m loved. Period.

I’m reminded of this constantly, when I write something and throw it out into the internet world and get a incredible response, when I find myself surrounded my friends who have become family as the clocks ticks down to 2014, when I find myself at brunch pouring my heart out or laughing my ass off.

Really. I’m a lucky bitch.

What I really want to tell you about though, is the time 10 people I met on the internet came to Richmond and spent the night because if there’s anything that makes me feel like a lucky bitch, it’s a house full of people, booze and tomfoolery.

First, Abby arrived. She was a super secret surprise for the rest of the group and my heart nearly burst when I picked her up at the airport because we’d only hatched the plan for her come something like 10 days before her arrival and also I love her and I miss her and seeing her made my heart get all gooey and happy. We caught up over drinks Friday night and donuts and brunch Saturday morning and then nine other people showed up and there was yelling and hugging and when people saw that Abby was here, there was also a lot of this:tumblr_muf205uTBn1r7l2fko1_400

Later, there were nachos and beers and street art  and tattoos, because you can’t come to the third most tattooed city in the country and not get a tattoo, apparently.

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One of my favorite things is helping people fall in love with this city. Richmond is incredible, really. We’ve got incredible street art splashed all over the place, one of the largest intact Victorian neighborhoods in the country, an incredible art museum, piles of history, and then there’s the food and the culture and the river. It’s a great place, this city.

After street art, we headed back to the tattoo shop to collect the rest of our group, and then headed back to my house for shenanigans. And believe me, there were serious shenanigans. We danced around the dining table and scream sang and played popcorn charades and I laughed so hard I thought I was going to either vomit or pee on myself. And that? Is how you know you’re having fun, when you fear for your ability to control your bodily fluids and when the laughter is so serious it feels like your guts are going to fall out.
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The next day, we brunched, like we do.

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And then, long before I was ready for it to be over, everyone left and I took Abby to the airport where I felt like the saddest panda at the prospect of saying goodbye to her.

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And now? Now I’m planning to drive across the country with Megan. We leave today. In like…a few hours. It’s exactly the sort of adventure I need right now, exactly the sort of get-of-town situation that I need in my life and while I’m not the one moving across the country, I’m having lots of feelings about heading west, many of which I’m sure I’ll tell you about later.

BUT, to follow along on what will likely be an excellent adventure (Megan & Terra’s Excellent Adventure, if you will), follow me on twitter and instagram, and also Megan on twitter and instagram.

{5 Points} Things That Honestly Make Me Feel Better

I’ve got all these feelings bouncing around in me and what I really want to do is have a dance party in my underwear and do that yell-singing thing I sometimes do when I’ve had absolutely ENOUGH, but I’m running a half marathon next Saturday and I’ve suddenly gotten mega superstitious about doing anything out of the ordinary, especially the sort of thing that involves jumping up and down, and underwear dance parties most definitely involve a lot of bouncing and leaping and jumping, so that shit is just gonna have to wait until I run 13.1 miles around Richmond.

I have so many things I want to say, so many things I want to write down, get out and express, but I’ve said most of them already, over and over and over and over again, and I’m tired. I’m tired of saying the same thing and getting nowhere, or, worse, climbing up this mountain of TERRIBLE AND AWFUL, only to get flung back off the fucking thing, with – BONUS – crushing boulders flung down after me, which is to say, I’m feeling crushed.

I’ve been walking a fine line between devastating sadness, insurmountable frustration and seething desperation, and so I’ve been grasping at some things to get me through, some of them terrible, some of them not. It’s a balance, this life sucking the wind out of you thing.

1. Running. I keep getting really scared that I’m going to get injured and have to take an extended break from running and that’s really, really scary because I don’t know how to handle shit without running anymore. It’s a drug, this running thing. The stress piles up and I put on the running shoes and I go and it makes everything seem so much less heavy.

2. Whiskey. Sometimes I just need a fucking drink. Sure, maybe drinking alone in my kitchen to sad, sad songs isn’t the healthiest thing to do, but it’s part of my process. I’m not driving around and I’m certainly not getting blackout drunk, but sometimes the whiskey makes me laugh a little bit louder and right now that’s precisely the shit I need.

3. Dogs. Lately, Sadie’s favorite thing is sleeping on the pillows next to my head, curled up in a tight little ball, with her dogface right next to mine. Say what you want about dogs on the bed, but I love that shit.

4. Occasional cigarettes. I smoked for 10 years and then I quit for three and I know it’s terrible. I do. I wish I didn’t ever do it, but sometimes I still really, really like it.

5. Loud music. It doesn’t matter if I’m driving to the grocery store ten minutes away or to work or anywhere, I get in the car and blast music these days. It’s nice to sing it out.

{5 Points} A Few of My Favorite Quotes

I’m also over on the collaborative blog Pooping Rainbows today, writing about The Difference.

ONE.

faultinstarsAfter I read this book, which was amazing by the way, I kept coming back to this quote, because that’s exactly the way I fall in love. It starts slowly, a steady descent, so slow that you don’t even notice it. And then you wake up one day and realize that your someone is your someone and that you are batshit in love with them. That’s how I fell in love with Andrew; slowly, and then all at once.

TWO.

SHEEPSo, you know, BE THE TIGER. GIVE NO FUCKS.

THREE.

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I found this quote on Pinterest when I was sad and looking for sad quotes to be all moody about while listening to sad music and trying my hardest to dig myself into a hole made just for pouting and feeling sorry for myself. And so I found this and I just stopped and stared at the screen, feeling like I’d been hit in the face with some truthy bullshit I should have realized long before, because yeah, the terrible doesn’t last forever. It has an expiration date.

FOUR.

buddhaMy yoga instructor said this in the middle of class a few weeks ago and I’ve been repeating it to myself every since because sometimes you’ve got to let things. Most of the time, I’m clinging to things with a death grip, whether it’s the way things were or schedules or having the perfect run and, as it turns out, clinging to shit so tightly doesn’t really help anything.

FIVE.

rango Your story is your story and their story is their story, so be present in your own story and worry about your own plotline.

What’s your favorite quote?

Hair drying, shin pains, nachos, tacos & box eating kitties.

Last week, for the first time EVER, I used my hair dryer to actually style my hair. I don’t know why it took me 29 years to use the hair dryer to do something other than to simply dry my hair, but it did and then what happened was that my hair was really pretty and I was really, really annoyed that it had taken me that long to figure out hair drying.

Since Daddy Cat first allowed me to pet him, he has become an eccentrically affectionate cat. Sometimes he acts like he might be terrified of me, but then, other times, he is ridiculously lovable, rubbing himself on my legs and feet, twirling himself around my feet as I’m walking down the stairs and meowing at me incessantly to give him both pets and breakfast. I’m really excited to finally have such a nice relationship with one of the strays, but I’m also vaguely concerned he’s going to trip me on my way down the porch steps and then eat out my eyeballs.

I came back from Texas and all I ever want to eat is nachos and tacos, which isn’t actually that different than before I went to Texas, but post-Texas I was on a full-on nacho-taco binge and I haven’t really stopped.

photo 1-1And I’m okay with that, really, because there are worse things I could be into, like meth or murder, so really, nachos and tacos aren’t that terrible in the grand scheme of things and also I run a lot, which isn’t a good excuse to ingest things that aren’t awesome for me, but it does make consuming taco and nacho calories an endeavor mostly free of guilt.

Speaking of running, I think I’m injured. I think the shin splints I thought I was for sure over have come back to terrorize me, at least that’s what I’m hoping because the alternative is a stress fracture and ain’t nobody got time for that shit.

So last week I ran a 5k and it was hilly and there was gravel and afterward my shin hurt, kind of. It was mostly uncomfortable. It wasn’t like a sharp pain, but it was just very noticeably uncomfortable and so then I took two days off and then I ran 5 with Andrew in Alabama and it was hilly and the shin hurt after a few miles, but, again, it was more uncomfortable than painful, and I, of course, forgot to ice it. Instead I got morning drunk on whiskey, like you do on Saturdays sometimes.

And then on Monday  I ran 7 miles with my friend who is training for the Army 10 Miler and then the shin was uncomfortable for the whole damn run, but again it wasn’t painful so now I’m making myself rest from the running for a bit because I’ve got the Richmond half marathon coming up in November and I need to listen to my body when it’s complaining about things, but really, I don’t want to be couched for too long because I’m pretty sure I’ll go absolutely batshit insane because I NEED TO RUN at this point. Like, there’s not an option anymore, it’s just something I need to do because it makes me feel good and it gives me time to work through things and it’s my favorite part of the day.

So what I’m saying is that I really hope my shin stops being a jerk because I’m going to lose my shit if I can’t run for longer than a few days.

photo 2-1This cat, you guys. She’s such a weirdo. She was raised by me and Andrew and not a kitty family, since we’ve had her since she was just two weeks old, so maybe her weird comes from that. I don’t know. But she’s never met a box she doesn’t want to eat. Boxes can’t be in the house more than 5 minutes before she’s sniffing it cautiously and then, once she’s assessed whatever it is sniffing kitties assess, she begins her hole-punch routine, chewing along the flaps of the box and leaving a row of teeth holes all along the  flaps. It’s ridiculous, but she loves it.

It was something like 47 degrees this morning, which means it might actually be fall and I’m in love. I’m ready for boots and for scarves and for sweaters and for hot tea and for crunching leaves underneath my feet.