Thursday, April 17, 2014

AM~Erica is Different

So anyway...

Things have been so busy lately, I've hardly had time to think!!

It's Maundy Thursday of Holy Week. And during this Lenten season, some things have taken place that made me think & realize I'm a very different person.

Wait, wait...I know, I know. Actually we should ALL know that I am, in fact, a very different person! That's not a fact that can be hidden. But that's not what I'm talking about...
My different is different. My different is different today than it was 20 years ago!

Let's see:
* 20 years ago, right now, I was in the midst of a breakup. A very bad relationship that went on way too long. I was not in the right state of mind, and certainly did not want back in another relationship for a very long time...if ever. Yes. It was bad. Little did I know that I was just a few months away from meeting my soul mate.

* 20 years ago, right now, I had very long hair! After a series of years of crazy awful perms & haircuts...I made the decision, in 8th grade, to grow out my hair. And I did not let scissors touch my hair until I was out of high school. I was on the verge of chopping my hair off into a bob...because I could & I knew I needed a change!

* 20 years ago, right now, I was finishing up another dance competition season & getting ready for recital. Dance was my life. I lived & breathed dance...and probably should have been one who could have used dorms at the studio...if it had dorms attached.

* 20 years ago, right now, dance was my only means of being in shape. And I was! But that's about all I knew. I mean, I did some acting stuff at church & was only kind of involved there, but that was it. So that meant that if I wanted something to eat, either I wait for my mom to make it...or throw something in the microwave. Seriously.

* 20 years ago, right now, I was also working in the banking business.

* 20 years ago, I had no idea how to do housework. Well, I could do some laundry...but not much else besides that. No vacuuming, dusting, cooking...I mean, if I was forced to because company was coming, I might. But other than

* 20 years ago, right now, I'd already made up my mind that I was probably not going to have kids. Why? A high school birthing video messed with my head! I already stated that after I'd come home that day. So I had no thoughts of kiddos. When it would come to mind...I'd remember that video...*shudders*

* 20 years ago, right now, I still didn't have fashion sense. Oh...I tried...but I have seen pics of me from around then. I've come to realize it was a, "...bless her heart. At least she was trying," kind of thing.

* 20 years ago, right now, I could not find my own way around the KC area on my own! Someone had to take me or I'd freak out! I knew my way around my hometown, but not much outside of that. I had been known to pull over & cry after I nervously took a few wrong turns. Not good.

* 20 years ago, right now, I was going thru the motions of my faith. I went to church & claimed to be a Christian because it's how I grew up. No matter how busy I was (notice I didn't say "involved"), I was truly clueless. Truly.


So much has changed in this 20 years since then. I have since met & married my soul mate (my Prince Charming story HERE), had 3 kiddos, become a SAHM, not nearly danced as much, not nearly performed as much, figured out how to bake AND cook...and have even written my own recipes (cooking blog HERE), can clean only a little more, became lazy except for a few dance ministry things here & there, took up yoga & quit yoga (because I loved my instructor & realized they are not all created equally), found some fashion since, cut off my hair, and have figured my way around the KC area, oh...and became the wife of a pastor when he received his calling (my thoughts on this HERE). And I have moved out of my comfort area for a little while...but got to come back.

These are huge steps! I've been a soccer mom, a flag football mom, a theater mom; I've written a couple of plays (for kiddos), and in the midst of taking on a bigger project right now (more on that in the future). I have prepared scripts from scripture & narrated for cantatas. I've also taken on serious costuming & life celebrations, too! (read about some of those HERE) I've started dance groups & have done musical choreography. I've directed dramas & dramatic sides of church productions. I've gotten to teach dance. (my blog post about dancing HERE)

I am now a coffee snob with my hubby & grind hubby's & my favorite beans (read about it HERE). And I enjoy a glass of antioxidant-fortified Jesus water from time-to-time with my hubby. Even though I drank coffee a little bit when I was 18, and I certainly never thought I'd enjoy we are.

I have ridden in a NASCAR, I've gone white water rafting & horseback riding in the mountains. I have gotten to watch my kids stand in the ocean...

And I am much stronger in my faith & in my Christian walk. Not in the religion...but in my beliefs & my own personal testament. I can become overwhelmingly emotional just by reading a line of scripture or a hymn that hits me deeply.

I have gotten to see my kiddos accomplish so much. They are very different children with their own interests...and I love watching them excel at the passions they have! I have been moved to tears so many times when I get to witness them do what they do best...on their own.

We are getting ready for a graduation even.


Now is a reason why I reflect on so much of this: the where I was at to the where I'm at now...

This will be a HUGE step for me to even say...but yes...I did hit a milestone recently. When I talk about 20 years ago...well...that's when I was newly 20. I'll let you do the math from there...

Even though that day & weekend were completely filled with so many other things, and I'm not a big celebrator of me, it was fine that it was just another day. No big whoop. And I'm serious when I say that! I get really weird about it... My hubby was just hoping to work in some dinner after a very busy day. And I had to pick. Bleh...

So, on the way home from having Teen Girl's last Coterie meeting of the season (about that HERE), I decided on a dinner place, called hubby to tell him...and continued on home...
...just to find cars parked up & down our street...and I realized they were for our house!
Oh hubby & Teen Girl (and the boys) are SO sneaky!!

When I realized they were, in fact, for our house...I just looked at Teen Girl. She looked at me, semi-smugly, and said, "Ummm...just look surprised. OK?"

But the fact was, I recognized only 1 car at a quick glance. Truth was...I had no idea who was waiting on the other side of that door! But it was a lot like Romper Room (who remembers that show?) when they pulled out the magic mirror:
I started pointing out all the sweet friends, life group members, family that were there. I really had NO idea what was happening! And dinner was not my restaurant choice! But that was not a big deal as I was only trying to pick a place. It was buffet style. And I got to have shrimp!

And they were all, at least seemingly, very encouraging & supportive of my new endeavor.

I know putting it this way might sound like denial of sorts...but it's not. As you many know, I have taken up running. Now, here's the denial that's not really denial, but more of a mindset change: it's NOT a mid-life crisis! It had nothing to do with age or where I'm at in life. It literally started with this motivation, HERE!

My first post run after less than a mile. But I made it!

And I've been sticking with it for 2 & a half weeks now. I've signed up for a race at the end of August. It's the Blacklight Run 5k in KC. And as I hit that button to make the registration official...I knew I was in for sure. No turning back. Keep moving forward...
And? I get to run on a team with someone who got me I'll see another of them out there! I know there's others I know doing this & hoping to get some more onto the GLOWden Girls team! *shameless plug*

I was also told about the free 5k here! It is to be happening WAY before I figured I'd be ready, but I thought that I could make it a "test run" (yes...slight pun intended). Well, I've already hit my goal of 3.1 miles now! I can't believe it, myself! So...I signed up for it. I know I won't beat myself up if I walk any of it since it's a free run. And I won't feel bad if I end up laying on the side for a while. Did I mention it's free?

After 2 weeks...this was taken post run.
It was emotional...I surprised myself hitting the 3.1 mile mark!

I have gotten running shoes, a great tracking app on my phone, assembled (and still assembling) an empowered playlist for when I'm out there.

My awesome Saucony running shoes

Never have I gone running on my own...nor have I ever thought running 3 miles would be OK! Even if it was Rule #1 for Columbus! (that's a Zombieland reference, folks)

It's the first time I've ever been motivated to run! I would be graded on the 1 mile in school. But that's really it, I think. I've done a couple other walks & things...but I was still in high school when those happened. For the 1st time, I'm OK with this. I have goals, I have motivation. I also have incredible support! Like from my hubby. That's a big deal! He & a couple of friends have been serious boulders for me in these last couple of weeks...

Even if the encouragement comes with a little bit of ribbing, probably even 3 weeks ago, that you would not see me running. However..."something has changed within me. Something is not the same..."

These last 2 & a half weeks have been quite emotional as I keep hitting landmarks in my journey. And I'm looking forward to more goals being set...maybe even Race for the Cure. I've been wanting to do this one for years. This may be a bucket list thing I can finally cross off the list.

And I want to thank all of you for the support you've given...whether you're a runner or not.

Here's what's going on:

I am different.
My kind of different is different.
My kind of different is different than it was 20 years ago...

What will the future hold?

Stay tuned...

God Bless, AM~Erica

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