This thing happened today. I went running. outside. in March.
That wasn’t all though: I went running and it was sunny and I threw my shoes.
I guess… I should explain.
When I was growing up, my mom used to yell at me for crossing my arms. “Defiant” is what she called it. “Don’t cross your arms in front of me, young lady,” I can still hear her say. It was apparently a sign of disrespect, stubbornness and a whole lot of sass. I tried to get out of the habit over time (the arm-crossing, not the sass :) ), except when I wanted my mom or another adult to know I was mad, then I would cross my arms more often. It was sort of my own childish way of slamming my bedroom door, but in front of their face.
Eventually, I outgrew that surly teenage, cross-your-arms-defiantly phase and started learning how close minded I became in that position. Overall, crossing your arms seems negative to most people anyway. I tried to stop.
Well, lately – and I’ll be honest here – I’ve figured out that ever since I moved back home in September, now 6 months ago, I’ve been walking around from job to job, room to room, day to day with my arms crossed.
It’s like I’m a teenager again and my parents have forced me to go somewhere and I decided that if I have to be there, I certainly will not put on a happy face for it. I’ve moped through days sad, upset and with a whole lot of sass. No, I didn’t want to be here and I wanted everyone to know just how miserable it was for me. I’ve been unwilling, defiant, arms-crossed and close minded about this season I’m in.
I lived in a place of paradise with a dream life, next to the ocean, and consistently sunny days. It was a season of adventure and newness. It was a season I looked forward to until it changed. And when it did, when things stopped going my way, my arms found their way back into that comfortably negative pose.
I’ve learned along the way that you don’t make friends when you say No to every invite and you can’t leave your house if you never open the door.
It’s like this season I’m in is where I make decisions that will change my future. It’s where the rubber meets the road, except not really. It’s more like where the rubber gets thrown out on its ass and decides to change. The moment of truth – if I was going to continue to cross my arms and not enjoy my future (whatever it holds) or learn to accept it – wasn’t waiting around any longer, it came with a vengeance, demanding a decision.
Today, you must decide.
So, back to today, where it’s the first, 45-degree day on the opposite end of winter and my running shoes are lodged in the back of my closet, way in the back with the rest of my optimism.
I looked out the window for what seemed like ages. Do I dig my shoes out or leave them there for another day when the sun returns? And then I made the choice.
I grabbed my mismatched socks and my $12 Target Kids running shoes (suck it to everyone who’s ever laughed at my infantile shoe size) and I opened the door.
I stepped carefully over melting snow and waterlogged drains. I slowly and metaphorically uncrossed my arms, taking in every ounce of sunshine I possible could and happily welcomed the positivity.
Today, I chose the future.
It doesn’t have to get to the place where the rubber stubbornly meets the road. Instead, the rubber can decide to get up on its own, open the door, and say “Hello” to the road ahead.