I still believe

I find it interesting when my friends tell me how optimistic and positive I am. I truthfully do not see myself that way. I certainly engage in work that requires me to be endlessly positive and eternally hopeful, and as a result have perhaps hidden my truer nature exceedingly well. As I see it,  my daily challenge is to find balance with the competing elements of my nature. To create a space that permits my multiple calendar and list making to co-exist with the "go with the flow" nature of my environment. Perhaps one of the reasons I run so much is to just get out of my head, a place where sometimes it is very sad and dark-a place where much of the time I feel like I'm "not waving but drowning" partially because (as so many of you know) I take far too much, far too personally.

I bristle when a text or direct message that I send goes unanswered.

I always rethink voice mails I have left when a call isn't returned.

I constantly wonder if anyone actually reads my blogs because no one ever comments. 

If an email isn't answered I think I must have said something offensive. 

I know I'm not alone. I read my friend's status updates and see the struggles they are also having trying to find the answer to "life, the universe, and everything." I read how they rage against the machine as they figure out their place in the machine.

And all of us feel that we are constantly coming up short. Even when we are being praised and celebrated for our achievements and successes. 

However, what I also notice, when I'm online at 2 am struggling through yet another round of insomnia, that it really is darkest before the dawn, but that dawn when it arrives is a glorious sight to behold. 

In fact, I still believe.
New day, new adventure, New York, 2013

I believe in being kind. 

I believe in respecting the differences in our natures. 

I believe in nurturing one another and providing support when needed.

I believe that we don't meet anyone by accident, that everyone serves a purpose in our lives. 

I believe in the healing power of a cup of hot chocolate. 

I believe that dancing in the rain is better than not dancing at all.

I believe that "please" and "thank you" are magic words.

I believe that there is a moment during a run when you find your rhythm and pace and there is a flow, a magic that happens, and you find that you have grown wings and can fly. 

I believe there ain't no mountain high enough, ain't no river low enough that would ever keep me from you. 

I believe that a few moments shared with someone as you walk along a street can change your life for the better if you are open to the possibility it presents. 

I wrote about this over on my facebook page, so to those who have read it before, forgive me for repeating the story. For some, however, this will be new, and I believe that we must always be willing to be open to new experiences. 

So one night while walking in NYC to meet a good friend for dinner, I stopped to take a photo. As I took the photo, I felt someone taping me on my shoulder. I turned to look into the face of an older gentleman, his dreadlocks laced with grey, and wearing a sharp looking suede jacket. He said "that shot really captures the energy of this city. You have a good eye. So many people just take photos of the tourist attractions. They forget the rest of the city is alive too." 

New York City, September 26, 2013

I thanked him for his compliment and agreed that far too often we are intent on checking off items on a list to notice that there are other list worthy items we should be noticing. I continued to walk and he and his girlfriend engaged me in polite conversation. We talked of their quest to find the perfect red velvet smoking jacket, how he and his girlfriend found each other and were still in the early honeymoon phase of their courtship, and that love at any age is a blessing and worthy of celebrating. We talked about what had brought me to New York and I spoke about my work with RESULTS, Shot@Life for UNF, and walking with Charity Miles for the Michael J. Fox Organization. As I spoke, his girlfriend gently laid her hand on my arm and said "you are a beautiful angel and the world is better for you being in it. Don't ever forget that." All too soon we came to their corner where we hugged and parted ways. 

I believe that no matter where Martin and Joyce wind up on their life path (together I hope) that they will continue to be an encouragement to others. 

So maybe what I need to do is start actually believing that I am an optimist. Because I think when you believe that the power of a sincere smile can shine light on the dark places of your heart making them shine again, that's hope. 

That's grace. 

That's faith. 

As Muhammad Ali said "If your mind can conceive it; and your heart can believe it - then you can achieve it."

"love, dream, nourish, care, laugh, smile, sing, repeat"

I believe we only get one moment to get it right, and if we get second chances I believe we should not waste them. I believe one day is all we are ever promised, and we had all better carpe the hell out of that diem. 

But I also believe I won't stop being upset when a phone call isn't returned or a message goes unanswered. But what I will do is try to start believing it isn't personal. 

After all, I believe in you. 

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