It was a hard year. The hardest yet.
Last fall. Leaving Yosemite in a blur to try and soften the blows of a family emergency and my sister’s divorce. The darkness of that.
Fresno. The tears of family, the delicacy of a two year old in question in your arms. Hard. The frustration of uncertainty.
The pain of an uncertain love. Being embarrassed by the pain and hopes of it all. Dark. Pain.
Twelve job applications. No employment. Lost. Losing. No direction.
Jackson. Laying in bed, not able to get up, can’t see clearly. Physical pain like I’ve never known. Waking up in the middle of the night sweating, shaking, freezing, crying, confused.
Five minutes to get up. Ten to get out the door and into my car.
At the Emergency Care…
– You have a horribly bad kidney infection. We don’t even know how you got here by yourself.
– [trying not to cry and focus on the face of my doctor or nurse.]
– You could either just take the antibiotic for $4 or the shot for $170. We highly recommend the shot. You need to get something in your system now.
– [trying not to cry.] I just can’t afford the shot. I’ll have to just take the pill. I’m sorry.
– …We’ll be right back.
They leave the room for about five minutes and then return…
– Well, you’re in luck. Usually the shot is $170, but today it’s on special for $25. Would you like it?
– [crying.] Yes, thank you so, so much.
Georgetown. Home. Defeated. In every single area of my life. Not winning at anything.
Australia. Australia? Australia.
The. Family. From. Hell. I kept searching for hidden cameras. Not from the family, but from some kind of cable TV show. This had to be a joke.
Lonely. The loneliest. Missing everything. Everyone.
Mother/boss lost her job. Fired. What? One week’s notice? Whatever, screw you. Middle finger to this place; I want to go home.
Beat down. Defeated. Desperate for living of any kind.
The darkest time. Family, love, friends… All torn down, failed. My own doing. My responsibility for my darkness. Powerful. My responsibility for darkness in general. Crushing. Suffocating. Ready to be done. Making the decision that there is nothing to live for, nothing in myself that I want to look at… but the belief that maybe [some day] there will be something there again… and having to desperately grasp on to that.
Jackson. Home. Friends. Calling it quits [again] on a love that cannot be willed into working. Tears… always. Empty.
Too many jobs. Worn down. Good thing? Yes.
Throwing up. All night. Why? Because this is a bad year.
Finding joy. Finding light. Getting excited? Whoa… slow down.
Ear ache. Ear infection. What am I, nine years old?
More sickness. Scared.
I was ready for it to all be over. But this time it was different than that way I wanted it to all be over that last week in Sydney. I’m calling it my bad year… hopefully my worst… and I’m moving on. But there had to be something to symbolize the end. Something big.
So I ran a marathon. In Fresno. Where this all began.
I hardly told anyone. I didn’t tell my closest friends. This had to be something I did by myself. For myself.
It was hard. Rightfully so.
I had a mix of songs throughout the year to listen to. The songs started in Yosemite and ended with two weeks ago. It was powerful. You’re laughing at me, but I don’t care.
A mile for every two weeks. Running. Reflecting. Hurting.
Mile 6, thinking, “Really? I have TWENTY more miles? What the hell am I doing?”
Mile 17, the stitch. My right side, all the way down. Thinking, “Oh god. Please let this stop. I’m never going to make it.”
Mile 20, my ankle failing me. Thinking, “I want to cry. I can’t. I have to keep going. I want this to be over.”
Men older than my dead grandfather passing me. Women in metallic wigs passing me. Me thinking, “Well, this is just embarrassing.”
Finishing. Time: 4:57. Slow. I could care less.
My family there. Cheering me on. My sister, my biggest fan. Yelling so loud, smiling so big. So proud. On both ends.
I’ve never been happier.
I am done.
I’m glad to be back.
Thank you for everything.
All of you.