What is Your Plan For 2014?

 MIZZ Claus
Q: What do a half marathon, three finals, an ear infection, a light show at Disney's Hollywood Studios, and a 4k beer run have in common?

A: They're all things I've been doing while I wasn't blogging.

This blog will (sort of) return to being about training as I transition to a maintenance training plan and talking about my 2014 goals, but for now, it's all about everything else.

Like figuring out WTF happens from here.   I have personally been on the edge of an evolution the past few months.  Lots of ideas and plans and goals up in the air about my personal, professional, and athletic life.
...or strolled
It's been a really fun few weeks, too, since my National Lampoon's Thanksgiving Vacation. I am recovering from an ear infection that's plagued me off and on since September, but I managed to knock out all my finals and carve aside some time for fun with friends. 

We finally celebrated my birthday and - I will be completely honest with you - I haven't done jack for exercise except the half marathon (which ended in a course PR but nowhere near a half PR) and beer run - which wasn't really a run as much as a stroll.  (I went in a costume that wouldn't have made as much sense in sneakers, so I wore a boot with a low heel.  Besides, I was strolling from beer chug station to beer chug station.)

And, even though a massive pile of student loan debt usually comes along with the completion of a graduate degree, I am excited to be almost done and start working on what happens next.  (Even if that's just paying the loans back.)

I step in crap sometimes, as do we all.  But, at the risk of beating a dead horse, I just can't get over how grateful I am for everything I have. It's awesome to have the support of great friends,  enjoy good times even on a shoestring budget, have a challenging job, and take advantage of the opportunity to get an education.

Me and my friend Lucy cheering on
the runners to the next beer station.
So inspirational.
Last week my mom and I got into this conversation about electronic forms of communication, like texts and Facebook and forum posts and blogging.   Mom's always known that my love of writing and online posting are an outlet for me.  I sometimes feel like the Sara Bareilles song Brave was written about people who like to express themselves like I do.

You can be amazing
You can turn a phrase into a weapon or a drug
You can be the outcast
Or be the backlash of somebody's lack of love

Or you can start speaking up

I mean, you can say what you want to say.  Maybe people love it, maybe people hate it, maybe no one cares.  But you get to put it all out there, however poorly formed it might be.    And yep, there have been times I got my feelings hurt because someone took something the wrong way. 

But, overall, I am just happy to be able to express myself.  Good days or bad.

Nothing's gonna hurt you the way that words do
When they settle 'neath your skin
Kept on the inside and no sunlight
Sometimes a shadow wins

Mom also brought up some good points.  Sometimes things are lost in electronic forms of communication.  They're one-dimensional, so people don't get to know you as well. And there's a huge potential for misunderstanding.  If your entire relationship with someone is - for example - text messages asking advice,  it's really easy for that person to get the impression that you're shallow, insecure, whiny, needy, vapid, a braggadocio . . . whatever.  And maybe you are a little bit of some (or all) of those things, but the recipient of the electronic messages doesn't get to see the genuine frustration on your face or hear the chuckle in your voice, or see the other 98% of your day where you're laughing, smiling, and encouraging others.

This same week a friend also posted about how differently people are perceived online than in person.  Specifically, she noted how interesting it is that people who have met a person face to face and people who know them only online often have differing perceptions of the same person.  I instantly thought of some people I've met over the years who had one online persona (for example, The Internet Douchewad who publicly chastises or pokes fun at others in the name of comedy, or to demonstrate authority on a topic). Although these people were often Douchewads in real life, many of them were very shy or decent people once you met them.

And, although it was a conversation about communication in general - not just e-mmunication - my roomie and I also talked about how people handle things this last week.  It brought up this point:

People have different communication styles.  It's unfair to judge people because they communicate differently than you.  If you're reticent and someone is emotional, that doesn't mean you handle your emotions (or anything else) better than they do.  Likewise, if you like to vent to friends - or a blog - while someone else prefers to keep things private, that is ok too.

I like to think I'm pretty transparent: I'm impetuous at times, maybe a little impulsive, certainly a bit sentimental or emotional, but overall I'm an energetic, curious person just trying to do the best I can.  I know I'm on the eccentric side and I embrace that.  I have a hard time deciding when to share everything and when to keep things private, so sometimes only pieces of a story come through.

I hope that comes across in my blog, but - if it doesn't - then that's the risk I take by blogging at all.

Maybe there's a way out of the cage where you live
Maybe one of these days you can let the light in
Show me how big your brave is

2013 was The Year of 40 Good Things, and my theme for 2014 is Do You, Boo. SO, I'd like to encourage you to DO YOU, too.  Think about embracing what you are - and learning more about what you aren't.  Where could we all be more authentic? More honest, and more true to ourselves? 

If that's not in your plan, what is in your plan for 2014?

Be honest, but recognize that being honest and being kind aren't mutually exclusiveJust because you choose to share your opinion, in whatever format, doesn't mean you need to turn into a Douchewad.  The next time someone frustrates you, and it's going to happen, put yourself in their shoes.  But don't be afraid to be yourself. 

And if you don't know exactly what that is yet, then maybe 2014 is your year to find out.

That, in my book, makes you the bravest of all.

Say what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly . . .  I wanna see you be brave

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