On Saturday morning I went for a run. It was certainly the first time in my life that I woke up the day after my birthday and went running, instead of sleeping until noon and eating a nine egg omelette. Change is good!
While I was running in Prospect Park with about 1,000 other folks, I realized two thing:
1) I needed to stretch more before I ran, especially in the colder weather
2) Over the past 5 years, I have lost faith in other people
While I can always stretch more, the second problem is much more difficult to solve. But there I was, running three miles at 9am on a Saturday, surrounded by kids and parents, dogs wearing sweaters, babies in running stroller, old people, fat guys in running tights with shorts over them, and a bunch of ladies who look like me. So I have to believe in something.
I have lost faith in other people in part because I lost sight of myself and my goals, and I didn’t stand up for myself when I really needed to. But really, in the past five years, I have truly seen both the best and the worst in other people. I have met some of the best friends I could ever have since moving to New York, and I have encountered some of the craziest loons. It has not been the best experience.
But what I really realized on Saturday is that every situation is a choice. I was running in this beautiful park because I had decided to get my a** up and be there, to be present, not just for this Fun Run fundraiser thing, but for my life in general. I can choose to see all these negatives, problems, mistakes, slights, injustices, and faults in other people–and some of them are extremely real–or I can choose to see good things, to be patient, to be a teacher to myself and to others, to be kind and compassionate, and to be happy.
I have struggled with this for so long, but I think I am done. I think I am ready to trust other people and not to hold everyone I encounter to some impossibly high standard. Everything seems to be about moderating expectations, finding the moments to choose to see things in a positive light, and just believing that good things are going to come out of my experience.
My situation is not forever, but if I let it change the way that I see the world, and the way that I feel about other people, it will change my life, and not in a good way.