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More Than: Liane of RFW

March 26, 2010

When Heather asked me to write a guest post for her series, I needed a bit (okay, a lot) of prodding… The idea of writing a post on any topic related to healthy living of any sort terrifies me. I tend to stick to the super serious things like shoes & wine on my blog (which I’ve just started, so totally a blog newbie!) and leaving the heavy stuff to others 😉

Heather & I were having an email discussion about high school reunions and the emotions they stir up, all those old insecurities coming back to the surface, and somehow we end up morphing back to our high school selves. Most of us can probably agree as time marches on, we resemble less and less of that person we were back in high school. Through life experiences, we’ve grown, matured. But it seems that there’s always that part of us that still holds on our teenage angst and insecurities.

My story isn’t so much about high school, but the people I’ve grown up with outside of school. I’ve lived in the same town my whole life, growing up in a smallish suburb, surrounded by the same group of families, all of us kids growing up together. I had a great childhood, nothing at all to complain about, but I never really felt I fit in. I had a quirky sense of humor; would rather bury my nose in a book or perfect a recipe than the video game tournaments going on; a good student who loved math and languages more than gym class; a super klutz which, coupled with my very un-athletic abilities, made me a horrible team member on any sports team while everyone else was a superstar athlete.

While most of them have remained in that same suburb, marrying in their early 20’s, started families, I moved out of the area. I live about 45 minutes away, so I’m in the same vicinity, but for years I had major anxiety every time I returned for the variety of social functions that crop up on a regular basis. I’d spend the drive out psyching myself up for what lie ahead, trying to stop the rising panic within myself as I imagined the conversations that lie ahead. “And, are you dating anyone special?”, “Oh, you have another new job?”, “Still single?! If you want kids, you better hurry up!”. Ah yes… the fun of being the only single gal in the whole room!
About 3 years ago, on the way to yet another social event, I had an epiphany… Perhaps my own doubts, insecurities, and attitude were making these events difficult to endure. Maybe, if I thought of things particular to each person and engaged them in conversation about those topics, we’d spend more time talking about things we had in common than on those we didn’t.

So I gave it a shot. To the gal who had completed a half marathon, I talked running plans. To the gals who are vegetarians, I chatted recipe ideas. And, (let’s be honest, we all secretly love smutty celebrity gossip), I spoke to our shared love of Johnny Depp, the cuteness of celebrity kids, the TV shows we all watch. Instead of dwelling on what we didn’t have in common, and for me, having anxiety thinking that not having things in common meant I was lacking in some area (see, MY insecurity!), I embraced the things that brought us together.

It’s not to say that I don’t ever have those insecurities reappear, but I have a way to address them now. I embrace the notion that, although our life choices have all been different, it doesn’t make it, and me, any less important. And that in reality, I do myself more harm by focusing on the things I can’t control, than on things I can (like, my attitude for instance). Reminding myself of all the shared times we’ve had that have helped to make me the person I am today. In a crazy way, they are part of me and always will be. A large part of my journey to healthy living has been learning to embrace all the quirky things than make me… ME! I’ve had to learn to focus on the positive aspects of life. It’s hard to look in the mirror and make an honest assessment of yourself, but you learn a lot, uncovering your strengths, and, while I hate to admit it, I do have weaknesses and I need to work on those too!

These are the people I share common life experiences, values, and family. We’ve shared broken hearts, side splitting laughs, weddings, babies, and everything in between.  As years march on, I appreciate my upbringing, and those who had a part in it, more and more. When I do move away, which will be very soon, I’m going to miss these crazy, anxiety induced social events and the friends that attend them. They always remind me, that while my teen years might have been a struggle, I’ve emerged a stronger, happier, confident adult. 

Oh and it totally cracks me up that of all of us, I’m the one to have completed a half marathon. I dare any of them to call me un-athletic NOW! 😉

 

liane 2To learn more about Liane you should visit her blog.  You can also keep up with Liane’s 140 characters-or-less thoughts by following her twitter feed.

Liane and Heather are running a half marathon together this fall [if by together you mean on the same day but thousands of miles apart, then yes, together].

Heather suggests you check out a few of her favorite of Liane’s posts: here, here, here, and here.

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