On being a runner

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

(not the athletic kind).

unrelated photo of my new pedi because I hate blogs without pictures

I've been a runner since probably as long as I can remember or at least definitely since about sixth or seventh grade. I'm a highly sensitive person (HSP) which means I'm deeply impacted by stimuli, both external and emotional. I'm also a melancholic-sanguine (crazy face) and I'm an INFJ/ENFJ, depending on the day. My earliest memories of being upset involve me crying uncontrollably and my parents saying, "Katelyn. Calm down. Stop crying." And I remember saying, "I don't..(sob)...know...(sob)...how."

In 7th grade I was convinced that I wanted to move to New York to pursue my acting career, although I really did like Chicago so it was still on my list. In high school I ruled out colleges that were too close to home. After hearing person after person asking me "What's your last name?" or "Who are your parents?" or even guessing my lineage by looking at me, I wanted somewhere where I could be anonymous and clear my own path.

I moved to Milwaukee.

This is where things get hairy.

I had a terrible terrible freshman year of college. I was homesick. I was dealing with raging undiagnosed depression. I called my mom every day and cried. I was in a very serious but unhealthy engagement. I wanted to be home with my fiance and my family.

I left Milwaukee that May and cried tears of joy that I had finished the semester.

But damn if things weren't already broken between me and my fiance, and my unhappiness in Milwaukee was probably just a symptom rather than a cause.

I broke off the engagement and our entire relationship the day before I moved to my alma mater (I left Milwaukee for rural Missouri). THE DAY BEFORE. Because I'm a runner. I thought a clean break and I'll be okay. 

After college I moved to Florida. I hated it. I moved to Georgia. I loved it. I moved to Illinois. Missouri is next on my list.

Meanwhile, I found myself back in my hometown, where patients figure out who I am. Where I've been in the confessional and I have watched the puzzle pieces fit together as the priest remembers who I am and who I dated.

Today I listened to a podcast. Twice.

Fr. Mike Schmitz talked about Brene Brown's (can't figure out the accent mark, so sorry) work on shame and guilt. I realized that I tend to run from things or places because of shame. I easily find myself succumbing to this idea that, "This is who I am. This is how people see me. I cannot change it." Guilt, however, is more productive and enables me to say, "I chose wrong, but I have the ability to choose better. I have the power to choose. I have the power to change."

For so long when I've seen or been in my hometown I've felt at odds with myself. Though my circumstances have changed I've found myself succumbing to the idea that I am still who I was when I left my fiance almost eight years ago. The reality is that I am not the same! That was a long time ago! People don't actually care very much about my dating history! and most importantly: I have the power to choose. I have the power to change. It's okay to plant some roots and to let my guard down. It's okay to like who I am. I'm not who I was then, and I have nothing to be ashamed of. 

Rising Strong Trailer from Brené Brown on Vimeo.

PS Shout-out to my sweet parents who have had their hands more than full with this complicated first-born and (probably thankfully) only girl. We're all still trying to figure me out, and that's okay.

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