Run For Your Life!

So my very first post was about running. Ever since then I have absolutely fallen in love with running. However, I’ve also fallen out of my regular running routine on multiple occasions.

On January 1, 2015 I decided my New Years Resolution was to run my first ever half marathon. While this seems like a normal goal for someone who loves to run, this absolutely scares the piss out of me. (Literally. I actually pissed my pants mid run a few months ago. Totally embarrassing! Why am I even sharing this information?) I figured, “Well Olivia, running a full 26.2 being at the top of your bucket list, you might as well train for a half.” So I did. I started! You want to know how long that lasted? RHETORICAL QUESTION: Vague answer: Not very long. I bet you saw that coming from a mile away. (Horrible running joke. I’m not a comedian. Get off my back.) In late January, early February, my life took a drastic turn, which I won’t share many details about. BUT. I moved to a different, yet super familiar part of Los Angeles – Hollywood. Don’t start “ooh-ing” and “ahh-ing.” It’s not glamorous. It smells like piss and shattered dreams. Anyway, this totally threw off my mindset and hindered my goal. I’ve lived in what’s actually “Little Armenia” for about 4 months now and (as mentioned above) am way below my goal of running the Los Angeles Rock n Roll Half Marathon. It’s a super cool race with music and fun energies for all. Who wouldn’t want to go!? But that’s not the point – I’m behind my goal for many reasons – one in particular that I don’t share with anybody. Trust me, we’ll get there before this post is over.

You may recall from a previous post that I took at 10K training class my final semester of college. It was the greatest class I ever took in college. It gave me a goal to look forward to reaching that wasn’t graduation! As I walked into Robinson Hall the very cold winter morning of Spring Semester 2014, I was so tired excited to run the farthest I ever had in my life – 6.2 miles.

Two days later, in -1° weather (this isn’t a joke) I show up to class for training buried in sweats and gloves to run 1.5 miles around campus. I wanted to give up! After all, I had just got back from visiting my family in LA on Christmas Vacation. I ran in the mountains with perfect weather. The weather gradually got better but I can honestly say that training absolutely sucked! Was it worth it? Yes, absolutely. Not to mention it was a great accomplishment considering what I had been through previously. (Still getting there.)

That Spring I had accepted running as my new hobby and had absolutely fallen in love. Anxious? Go for a run. Stressed? Lace up, bitch. It’s running time! Too much homework? Go for a quick run, your motivation will come back. Any other problem? RUN! And don’t stop until you have a solution. Is my point coming across here? Running was my therapy, my version of a “crazy pill.”

So here is where things get informational. A little too informational but I have come to accept my flaws while choosing to grow and learn from my past experiences. Thoughts that very well flood still my mind today.

For quite some time, longer than I’m willing to share, I struggled with an eating disorder (ED) – Anorexia Nervosa. My life had become this vicious, exhausting, damaging cycle of restricting then bingeing, restricting then bingeing, etc. I won’t go too far into specifics but I had lead myself down this winding path only to discover that an image that I wanted felt like I absolutely needed was not only impossible to achieve but would eventually kill me. I had literally lost all control of my own thoughts – I had become obsessed with food, calories, and a number on a scale.

Some family, close friends and co-workers began to ask questions and make remarks –“Are you losing weight?” This one really brought a sparkle to my eye. Eventually the remarks took a turn for the worse. “Are you doing/feeling okay?” “Is everything okay?” “You should eat a sandwich!” and so on. With confidence I would always say I was fine but behind closed doors, I was a wreck. The fall semester was a rough one – 18 units and an ED getting in the way of everything. That semester I locked myself in my room away from my friends, sometimes my classes, and more importantly, food. In all the years I struggled, I had never been this obsessed with my image. It got to a point where I restricted so much that I was constantly light headed, nervous, stressed, and hungry.

About 6 weeks of absolute chaos had passed, I started going to therapy once per week. Just a few sessions in, my therapist had recommended I see a doctor. This. Broke. Me. Immediately I had a teary eyed appointment with a doctor who had sat me down and asked me several questions about my eating habits, anxiety and depression. After what seemed like an eternity with my new doctor who I would also be seeing weekly, I was put on an examination table, tears streaming down my face, to check my heart for any possible damage. What followed next were basic procedures like blood tests and such. I hated that. Not as much as I hated myself for opening my mouth/getting into that situation in the first place. At this time I called some of my family to explain what I was going through. Hearts were broken and confusion set in.

The end of the semester approached and I was behind on school work. I had to ask several professors for extensions on papers, projects, even tests. Some granted it, others didn’t, even with the proper medical paperwork. It was a nightmare. Everything got done and I made pretty good grades considering I had just been through my own personal hell!

Finals were over and I had arrived in LA with my family that December. Hearts had started the recovery process but there was still some confusion and worry. My habits had shown improvement and I enrolled in a running class. Of course, everyone (my doctor and family) had thought I was making an iffy decision and was told to be smart/safe with this class. I was nervous but wanted to find something different to focus on. And that’s just what I did. While in LA, I started running short distances and felt pretty okay with doing so.

So here we are back at that cold day in January – Day one of training. (I just Tarantino-ed you all.) The day that I would one day learn was the day that saved my life. Throughout my training I had turned all of my negative energy into positive energy – energy to run, to tell myself to crush a run, to cross a finish line. Furthermore, running gave me confidence, a goal, and most importantly, an appetite. I knew that the only way I could keep running was to fuel my body. EAT! Eat like you’ve never eaten before! (Bad pun. Fuck.) You get my point.

I was an eating machine. I was running…far! I was in love with running AND eating. I finally loved myself and my ability to run – I was alive and well!

As for my current running goals, I’ll get there! The road I have just started down has been a little crazy/emotional/WTF but I’ll fix it. How? I’ll let you all figure that out – see paragraph five (5)! I’m still determined to run a half marathon. Maybe not the one I’ve had my heart set on but one that will be perfect for my needs.

I’ve always heard the saying “Run for your life!” but I never thought it would/could be so literal. To whoever coined that phrase, if anyone even did, thank you. It literally saved my life.

That’s my story. I am not ashamed of it. Love every difficult situation you’re given. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger!

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You Have A Right To Choose.

I’ve always heard of “giving the cold shoulder” but I never knew that one day I would choose to do so to a person who is supposed to be so important in my life. But that’s the thing, sometimes what’s supposed to be isn’t necessarily what is. How unfortunate. But sometimes that’s just life.

I don’t normally like to put such personal information on the internet – my Facebook and Instagram are full of daily photos but none of them hold anything too personal. However, this topic is something that has been on my mind for majority of my life and at the moment I don’t see a stopping point in my near future. This (okay, I’m being too vague here. Give me a minute.) is something that only I have control over. It is my decision to continue walking away or turn around and walk down the same rickety path. For the umpteenth time.

Judge me and my life by this blog and see how much I really care. Everyone has issues – different issues. Nobody is perfect. (This is the point where you choose to keep reading or not.)

A lot of people know that I grew up with a divorced family. I lived with my mom and siblings and would go to my dad’s place, wherever that was at the time, every other weekend. Well, it was more like some weekends. Whenever he had the “time.” But not everyone knows THAT. My parents divorced when I was 5. I didn’t really understand what was going on at the time but as I got older I started to put the pieces together – the puzzle became easier and easier. Mom and dad will never be together again. When I was 5 I thought the whole weekend thing was fine. It was kind of like, “Okay, dad has his space and mom has her space. I live with mom because she’s the mom. I get it.” When I got older, into middle school or so, I began to realize that my parent’s weren’t divorced because they wanted their own space; they weren’t meant for each other. My mom had her goals and my dad had his very different goals. Sounds simple, right? There’s more. Just before I started high school I figured out, with a little help of the man himself, that my dad has a drinking problem. I was so upset. He was sent to detox for quite a while and when he got back, I was under the impression that we would be a happy, still separate, family again. I suppose we were even though visits remained irregular. But that was the norm.

When I got to college everything was “normal.” By normal I guess I mean going well – he wasn’t drinking, we had a good father/daughter relationship, and that all that really mattered to me. I thought, “This is it! There is nowhere to go but up.” But boy, was I wrong. The alcohol eventually came back and communication became less frequent. After an awkward Christmas of the same old, “I’m sorry. This is the last time” speech, I was getting fed up. Why is it that something, a liquid, could be more important than your mother, your children, or even your ex-wife? This is where the puzzle pieces REALLY began to fit into place. My father had an addiction. An addiction that made his “goals” partying and drinking with his friends. Not to care for his wife (when they were married), his children/step-children, or even respect his own mother/family.

The end of college was the breaking point for me. No, literally. Graduation day was the day I decided I’ve had it with the broken promises and lies. We had very minimal communication because of his phone, or lack there of/care to contact me when said phone worked. This resulted in graduation invites not being sent to him. (How am I supposed to contact someone who falls off the face of the earth so frequently?) I was cursed out and told that I think that I’m better than everyone. BY MY OWN FATHER. Who has done nothing but break promises and choose substances and other people over myself and his other children. Why should I allow that to happen? Well, I didn’t. The last thing I said to him was, “Do not do this to me. Not today. I do not deserve this.” And that was that. From that moment on I have not responded to him. I get frequent text messages saying “I miss you,” or “I love you.” I have never once received a message saying, “I’m sorry.” Nor have I responded. He hasn’t even tried calling. In all honesty, I don’t think I would even answer if he gave me the time of day to call.

DETOUR: I AM NOT WRITING THIS FOR SYMPATHY. THERE IS SOMETHING BENEFICIAL THAT WILL COME FROM THIS. I PROMISE.

Growing up I was taught to honor my father and mother. A classic rule from like, forever ago. (Yes, the Ten Commandments. Religious or not, that’s a very important life lesson.)

99% of the time that I actually do receive messages from my dad, I feel an overwhelming sensation of guilt and find myself wondering, “Do I text him back? After all, he is my dad.” But then I start thinking deeper and ask myself whether or not he deserves it. It’s been almost five months since our last interaction and I can’t let go of what happened. Is this wrong? Am I holding too much of a grudge? Seriously, this is a situation that only I can choose what is right. But what if my idea of right is wrong? It’s possible.

All I’ve wanted, from age 5 until I was probably 18, was a close relationship with my dad, for his alcoholism to vanish, and most of all, for him to apologize to my mother. And really mean it when he says it. Furthermore, an apology to the rest of the individuals who have been hurt by his addiction. These are only possible if HE really wants it.

A person who wants the best for themself will achieve just that. They have to want it, be driven and committed to achievement. Living a happy, healthy life sounds so much simpler than being lonely 24/7.

Everybody is driven in some way and we’re all driven to accomplish different tasks throughout the course of our lives. There are always going to be bumps in the road. It is very important to remember that those bumps are not mountains and no bump is the exact same size as another. We can all conquer the bumps if we try hard enough. There is no better feeling than getting over each and every bump!

My current “bump” of what to do/how to deal with the relationship with my father certainly FEELS like a mountain. I want nothing more than to be happy with my decision but the “what ifs” are far from comforting. How is one to completely give up on their parent, whether they’ve been a prominent role in life or not? I’ve learned that the decision is totally mine. Sure, I can ask for advice from others, but I’m the one who has to live with my conscious.

For now, I’m choosing to stick to the cold shoulder. Why give in to someone who hasn’t proven to care about others for 20+ years and doesn’t know how to apologize. My mother has taught me to never let anyone walk all over me, be strong, and stay true to what I believe in. (Amongst a million other valuable things!) When it comes to relationships of any kind, I believe in trust, care, there will be conflict (yes, this is inevitable), resolution should follow (whatever resolution it may be), and most of all, love. There has been little trust, care, and resolution with higher levels of conflict and love. And THAT is why the cold shoulder is my decision.

Note: Thoughts are welcome. Tell me I’m wrong, tell me I’m right, tell me something I’m missing. My ears are open!

Extra note: Thanks to my support group. You know who you are.

Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes.

It’s been far too long since I’ve updated my blog. I’d like to say it’s been for several good reasons; graduating from college, moving halfway across the country, and starting a somewhat real adult life. Life has changed a lot and I’ve learned so much these past couple of months that I would like to share with whoever is willing to listen/read.

Before I continue I’d like to issue a warning: Some of what you’re reading here might be a bit of a repeat of a previous post. Got it? Good!

First off, I graduated! 17 years of school has come and past and I can honestly say it sounds a lot cooler that it actually was/is. Sure, it was great to walk across a stage for my family to see as well as walk through Memorial Campanile, which is as traditional as it gets at the University of Kansas. But in all reality, the hype was much better than the real thing. Maybe I was just ready to be done but who really knows if I don’t? Don’t get me wrong, earning my degree is by far the coolest thing I’ve done with my life. It was fun at times and will definitely get me places in the future but I’m so glad I’ll never have to attend another lecture or write anymore research papers.

After I graduated I killed a little time with my awesome, huge family in Wichita, ran a Color Me Rad 5k with my bestest friend/big sister Miriah. It was kind of a tradition but more of a “going out with a bang” before I left the state. (I left with less of a “bang” and more of a “puddle!” Go ahead, call me a cry baby. See if I care.) So that gets me to the move. I left from Wichita to drive all the way to Oak Park, CA with my Mom and all my belongings packed up as tightly as possible in my tiny clown car. We did it in two days. One stop in Albuquerque to sleep and then we hit the road again.

Those two days were some of the best I’ve ever had in my life. Better than the day I went to Disneyland for the first time, better than my first basketball game in Allen Fieldhouse, and even better than the day I graduated college. Why? Because it was much needed quality time with my Mother. We hardly listened to music. Instead, we shared stories and laughs, stopped for gas or a restroom if we really needed it, and even made sandwiches in the car! Basically I wanted to get here quick and cheap and my Mom was very supportive of that. We talked about everything; good times we had in the past, things we hope for the future…basically like we weren’t going to split off in the next few days. (Side note: I would be lying to you if I said I weren’t sitting on a couch bawling my eyes out as I type this.) Although my Mom and I bicker sometimes, she is my everything, my world, and I miss her more than any words could ever express. That sounds silly because I was away for four years and for some of that time she was here in California living her life. Basically what this paragraph is saying is that I had to learn to let go (not fully) of all of the people that mean the most to me, my family, in order to chase my dreams. This great bunch of goofs I call my family have been present all 22 years of my existence and it’s a really odd feeling to be the only one so far away in an unfamiliar place. I’ve never felt so alone in my life.

However, I’m not totally lonely. I was extended a very generous offer that I’m so thankful for. Just a month or so before graduation, Reid’s parents extended me the offer of a lifetime – to live with them until I could get on my feet. At that point Reid and I had only been together for under a year and I thought he was totally kidding when he said, “My parents said you could live here as a transition.” I’ve never had a family, that isn’t my own, open up their home for me to stay for an unknown period of time. I’m so thankful for the Nelson-Clow family! They’ve basically accepted me as one of their own and it has made my transition less painful. I have a family here in California and it’s very comforting.

On August 1st Reid and I will move into our very first apartment together, another change. I’m so excited yet very nervous at the same time. Moving from the land of cheap everything to California, where everything has a higher price tag, has really taught me the value of a dollar. (Okay, not that I didn’t fully understand that already but it’s different out here.) I’ve paid my own rent and utilities for the past three years but let’s be real, rent in Kansas is only a small fraction of what rent is here. I’ve begun to spend wisely on food, clothes, and recreation. I have to because sustaining life is number one on my to do list of life. Second is chasing my dreams in order to actually catch them! I’m looking forward to moving, figuring out life a little more, and hopefully doing something like making new friends in the large city of Los Angeles.

That will be something for me to figure out and maybe write about next time. Until then, embrace all the changes in your life, small or large. Don’t be afraid. All change is good; you kind of just have to figure it out as you go! I’ll be doing the same.

Isn’t life cool? (:

That’s all for now. I hope you enjoyed it.

S/O to Davie Bowie for the title inspiration.

-Liv

Living Life Vicariously…Through Technology.

Hello again bloggers and blog readers! It’s been a tad bit difficult to keep up with this aspect of social media, however twitter and facebook continue to remain at my fingertips at all times. How sad is that? Its like no matter how much my real life is in play, I always find some way to avert myself from the real and focus on facebook, twitter, instagram, snapchat, youtube, vine, (did I miss anything?), gaming, or even texting. I really have an issue with that.

The more I think about it I realize that the way we communicate with one another comes mostly through technology. Most of everything we do is through a computer or phone screen. Not only communication but also work and school. Computers and other technology have been created for human convenience; no more hand writing things such as notes or reminders (of course, its all based on personal preference) when you could type it and or set an alarm to let you know when to ex: brush your teeth, cook dinner, or go to an appointment. Okay, maybe some of those are a little over the top… Regardless, we are so VERY reliant on technology that our brains have become somewhat incompetent to remind ourselves, how to write or address a letter, etc. Such a shame.

The other day, while browsing through my instagram feed (big shocker there) while walking through campus (even bigger shock…sarcasm), I found this picture:

image.png

I was blown away. Immediately I hit the home button of my phone and turned the screen off only to put my phone as deep as I could back into my teeny tiny purse. What has life come to? Looking around there were hardly any groups of people walking together. Mostly everyone walking around had their face glued to their smartphone, listening to music as they walked or talking on the phone. Suddenly it was like I felt all alone in the middle of campus which was swarming with students who were mostly looking at their phones – not watching where their steps were leading them. I would be a hypocrite to say that I have never done that before or even to say that I don’t still do it.

It’s a scary SCARY thought that we could all be missing out on opportunities simply because we are so glued to our phones, computers, or tablets. I mean, maybe I’m missing out on something this very moment while sitting here typing this somewhat hypocritical blog on my computer, eyes glued to the screen only looking away to check my phone. (Imagine that.)

Personally, my life changed the instant I got my iPhone. It was like a whole new world opened up in the palm of my hand; I now owned a teeny tiny computer – facebook, twitter, and instagram were my three new constant obsessions. I had easier access to update my status, post or edit photos, chat with friends, and tweet whatever random thought that would come to my brain. I can guarantee that I’m not the only person on the face of the earth who had this same experience. So let’s think about this, what kind of events could we all be missing out on simply because we can’t stop looking at these tiny boxes of light and distraction?

Bulding in real life (IRL) relationships with old and potentially new friends, maybe some are missing out on just leaving the house, getting exercise, or ruining current relationships. Who is really to say? (I mean, I’m just a 22 year old who likes to talk about crazy topics like my opinion really matters.) We don’t know what we’re missing if we simply miss whatever it is. Life has no rewind button.

Why is social media so important? Does it really matter who sees your friendship with your best friend, boyfriend, or family? Is it really necessary to show your religious and or political beliefs on social media? It’s your business which some people really don’t need to know. Let’s be real, most people don’t creep on our social media to “oooh” and “ahh” at what we’re doing. A lot of the time it’s to get into business where we don’t belong or compare how bad someone else’s life is to our own. We’re some awful creatures sometimes!

Now, I’m not saying that social media is ALL bad. Of course it’s great to keep in touch with friends and family who may live in a different area of the country than you do. That’s one of the few positives that I can see from it.

I’ve really kind of strayed away from my original idea of this blog (that happens a lot) but at least it all still ties together, right? Right.

Life moves incredibly fast. Please don’t get old and think, “I wish I would have done (insert a desire here).” Maybe you’re missing opportunities simply because you’re on your damn phone or computer. Nobody should live their life with their face completely glued to a screen. Get out of your room, out of your house, and make some real friends. Don’t fully rely on technology to find friends, get a job, or entertain yourself. There are so many options out there. LOOK AROUND. REALIZE WHAT YOU’RE POTENTIALLY MISSING!! Go on a date, talk to that guy/girl that you may not think you would have a shot with. Get to know them on a personal level, IRL. Not URL via facebook, twitter, and especially not instagram. Ride a bike, fly a kite, learn to rock climb; whatever it is, get out and do something! Put your phone down, and live your life. Take chances, challenge yourself in any way you can. Just get off your phone, and LIVE!

Ferris Bueller said it best:

Ferris Bueller

He lived one kick ass day without fully devoting it to a computer or a phone (I’m fully aware of the different era) [minus the hilarious phone calls and changing his academic records. Such a genius.].

What I’m trying to say is take advantage of your life. You only get one! Do something crazy (within reason). Technology is mainly a distraction. Live your life. Love your life. Embrace the real! I’ll be making some adjustments myself.

-Liv

California Here We (I) Come…

It’s been way too long since I’ve written a blog. Boy, has a lot happened since my last post. Spring break, saw my boyfriend, had a nephew turn 6 (HOLY CRAP!), I turned twenty-two, earned good grades on some midterms/papers, and broke a few running PRs-distance and time (in no particular order). Life has been treating me pretty well!

As most of my family and friends know, I will be heading out to California on (approximately) May 25th or 26th to begin working for BlueCat Screenplay Competition. It is a 24-hour drive that will be split into two days. Not only is this a huge drive in terms of distance, it’s a drive that is literally driven by my hopes and dreams. I will become more of an adult in/around Los Angeles, CA than I have my whole twenty-two years of life spent in Mount Hope/Wichita/Lawrence, KS. The thought of becoming an adult absolutely terrifies me.

When is it unacceptable to run to mommy for everything? (I’m fully aware that every mother will say, “never.”)

I’m not only scared of growing up. No way. My biggest concern in leaving the place that I’ve called home my whole life and more importantly, leaving my family behind. They’re my rock; they keep me stable when my life goes out of whack. What happens when I move 1,600 miles away? Skype and phone calls just won’t cut it!

Don’t get me wrong, I’m so excited to be following my dream of pursuing a film career in California but I’d be lying if I said my feet aren’t getting a little chilly. (Not in the way that socks would help.) I know, there’s a great job waiting for me, why pass that up? The more and more I think about it the more upset I get. I’ve come to realize that my life motto of “letting go” is about to be in full effect. I’m going to have to let go of materialistic belongings, the college town that I know and love so much, and to a certain extent, my family and friends. Of course I’ll always be connected with my family but there is a sense of having to let go of the sadness of leaving them and cope with the distance. It sucks but it’s reality.

While I spend these next two months in my home state I need to enjoy the little things. I could probably write an enormous list but for times sake, and the fact that nobody really wants to read a list (unless its from buzzfeed), I’ll just list a few things that I know I will miss the most…other than the afore mentioned friends and family.

Feeling all four seasons. Yes, I know that I complain about winter, snow, and ice but damn it, it’s all so beautiful. Fall is the best because of the colors, sweater weather, and the scents. Winter is…cold. But beautiful when you look out the winter. Spring is pretty tight because all the flowers and trees come back to life! And the running weather is spectacular. Summer. Don’t get me started on Kansas summer. The grass is always a fried yellow color regardless of how great of a sprinkler system you have, you can break a sweat stepping outside for a quick minute, and on a much lighter note, some kick ass fourth of July celebrations complete with illegal fireworks (did I just say that?) and delicious home barbeque. (Yes I’m fully aware that these two things can happen anywhere. Get off me.) Anyway, my point is there are four distinct seasons here; three awesome, one not as awesome. You get it.

Open spaces. You know, a large yard to play tag in or whatever you like. The one I grew up with took several people to complete yard work and had more than enough space for a potential trampoline, pool, and a corner to camp out in and there would probably still be a little bit of room left. When my sister moved to the LA area she was baffled about how tiny the yards were if you even had one. I guess there’s always hiking…

SNOW DAYS. Need I say more?

All the beautiful scenery. Sure, it may be wheat, milo, and corn crops (I could be wrong, I’m not a farmer.) but the reality of being surrounded by farms really is beautiful. Nature is beautiful so why not embrace it while I can? Even after the fields have been plowed the emptiness is still breath-taking. Personally, it’s helped me put the world’s size into perspective. No matter how many miles my eyes can see in the country, there is still so much more beauty that awaits. Don’t get me wrong, I am pretty excited to see the daily beauty in California, i.e, palm trees, the beach, etc.

Lastly, the traffic-or lack there of. I can drive 30 miles away and literally make it there in 25-30 minutes (Depending on if I speed. Which I never always do.) I hate being in the car for even a short period of time. Driving to and from my internship this summer took me about 45 minutes every morning and evening. While I hated it in the beginning I did get used to it. But nothing beats being on a four-lane highway (not a freeway) and going 75-80 the whole way to your destination. While using cruise control.

I realize I will be moving to a heavily populated area and believe it or not, this small town girl has always dreamed of living in a big city. So bring it on!

My time here at the University of Kansas and in Kansas in general is surely dwindling away right at my fingertips. Today, April 1, 2014, I have approximately 55 days until my whole life is packed up into my tiny BMW and I establish a new home in the Los Angeles area. Kansas may be the only place that will ever feel like a real home to me but I’ve realized that I’ll never know if that is  100% true or not unless I try. From here on out I will be enjoying every little bit of the place I claim to hate so much.

This place will forever hold a special/warm place in my (sometimes cold) heart. I mean, Kansas is all I know. So this is a pre-mature goodbye to Kansas, steady rain, the snow, brutal cold, 118-degree summers, and tornadoes. Instead I’ll say hello to earthquakes and daily running weather. Oh and not to mention, I’ll have my Reid there for support. So that’s an added plus. (: Catch ya on the flip side, Kansas. Hellooo California!

Letting go is always hard but most of the time it’s to find something bigger and better for your life. In this case it’s to follow my dreams. If that’s not a good reason, I don’t know what is.

I’ll end with this link and of course, a Rock Chalk Jayhawk! Kansas will forever own my heart.

-Liv

The Misfit(s).

Do you ever want to let the world know about something but there’s always something getting in the way? Maybe it’s embarrassment, fear, or you’re just plain ashamed. Well here’s the thing; I’m slowly but surely learning to love my life whether it’s my rocky past, totally weird present, or blurry future. I’ve come to terms with the idea that the future can’t be predicted, the present is a precious gift, and the past can’t be changed. That’s life. You have to move on, deal with it, get over it, and any other way you can say just to live life and be happy. Everyone has rough patches, awesome moments, and occasionally those little “bleh” periods.

So I’m sitting here typing and preaching (I swear there’s a point). This post is about a personal topic that’s always tugged on my heartstrings. Growing up I always knew that I was kind of different. (Weird, not normal, odd, strange). Or as my mom would call it, unique.” (I’ll take that!) But I wasn’t the only one who recognized that I was a little different, a little weird, or a little odd; my peers noticed it too. This all began around the third grade. How old are you in third grade? I don’t remember. Anyway, yes, my classmates and “friends” definitely noticed. In my brain it wasn’t a bad kind of different. Just different. I was cool/content with it but I vividly remember that other people weren’t. This didn’t stop for a long time. No, it lasted up until high school started.

I don’t want to pull the whole, “I was bullied” card. But. I’m going to. Kids are f*cking mean. I don’t know if they mean to be, if they think it’s okay or funny but it’s the reality of kids. Just to clarify, I was never physically beat up or anything. It was all just emotional. I know, I know, if nobody even put their hands on me, why even bring it up? Well that’s the thing. Emotional bullying is the same damn thing, if not worse.

I won’t be giving a detailed play by play of every little thing that happened (but yes, I do remember who did what and what grade we were in) because that would take way too long and it would be petty of me. Having said that, all names will be kept to myself but there will be a few actual events spilled. But only a few. Maybe only a couple. It depends on how much I can think about it without bringing tears to my eyes. While I still get sad about it all, I have learned to deal with it. My past has fully shaped me into the person I am today, the good and the bad qualities that I possess. Let this be clear now that I am NOT asking for sympathy nor an apology from anyone. This is simply to continue to remind myself to let go, move on, and that everything, good and bad, absolutely happens for a reason.

Growing up I never had a steady group of friends. At least that weren’t boys. For some reason I’ve never really clicked with girls for longer than a few weeks at a time. I learned this in the fourth grade when I was “tossed” from one small clique to the other. [Side note: my class from kindergarten to the eighth grade was approx. 16 kids.] And if I wasn’t in with the “popular” girls or the “slightly popular” girls, I was chillin’ with the boys which is where I found my lifetime best friend Colton. (Later I learned that with the boys is the best place to be. Less drama.) I said I wouldn’t get specific so, I won’t. But when you feel unaccepted and cry to your mom every day at home or cry on the walk home about not fitting in, you begin to wonder if you’ll ever actually be accepted by anyone, you wonder if you’ll ever have friends or even deserve them. At least I did. [This was literally my life.]

This whole back and forth bull sh*t I was going through also lasted until I went to high school and found nicer/truer friends. But it didn’t stop at that. There were rumors, false accusations, and the ever popular, being dropped from a clique at any moment for no particular reason. Bitches. In the fifth grade it was rumored that I had “a dick” (are you f*cking kidding me?), the eighth grade I supposedly “called (girl name) a whore” and her parents came to my home to yell at me and tell me I was a bad kid. My mom put an end to that quickly by telling the mom to quit (literally) pointing her finger in my face. I was also called a goth” for expressing myself through punk rock music, wearing band tees, Chuck Taylors, and painting my fingernails black. Has anyone ever heard of expressing yourself!?

While this all sounds pretty intense for middle school girls, I’m happy to say that it did die down in high school. I made friends within my own “cliques” such as cheerleading and band (yep, I’m a nerd.) My friends really weren’t part of a clique though. I generally made friends with different types of people. It was so nice! I felt accepted. The cheer squad was a whole different story. Most of the time we were at each other’s throats but in the end we were still friends. Sometimes the estrogen levels got a little too high! 😉

Upon coming to college friends haven’t been an issue. Sure, there are times where I still feel like something is lacking but I think the real problem is getting too comfortable with where I am to appreciate the good that’s going on.

I joined a sorority freshman year and found it wasn’t for me. It felt a little too (I don’t mean for anyone to get offended here) “clique-y” for me. The whole sisterhood thing is really awesome and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss it but like I said, it just wasn’t for me. I found my very best girl friend Kim at work and I’m so blessed that we’ve never had a falling out!

Life is a huge learning lesson and I think I’ve said that as the ending of each post but I can’t express how much I live by that idea. Through my childhood hardships I’ve learned that there will always be people you don’t like and people who don’t like you. That’s just how it is. I’ve also learned how to choose my friends and weed out all the people who don’t care as much about you as you do them. More importantly, I’ve learned to accept my weird. Embrace it! Be who I want to be and enjoy what I do. Be happy being myself. After all, I’m stuck with me until I die! To everyone reading: young, my age, or old, always remember to be yourself. You were born an original. Don’t die a copy.

-Liv

Running; whether it’s your mouth, your life, or a mile…you’re always doing it.

Today I want to talk about running. No, not complain about running, just simply talk about it. (By talk I mean write…) Before and during my first two years of high school I absolutely hated running. You could tell me to “run to the kitchen” and eat a donut and I would probably want to slap you in the face. Running just wasn’t for me. Not even close!

Once I got to junior year of high school something knocked some sense into my tiny peanut brain. That something was my friend Alex (Lauren). I had given up one season of cheerleading (football season) so we could be football managers. Why? Because why not? Try new things! Upon wintertime I was back into my cheerleading element and Al came with me. (It was awesome!) When springtime was rapidly approaching I had realized that my previous springs were wasted doing nothing but going home after school and eating my life away. While I wasn’t fat or over weight (THANK GOD!), I realized that I wanted to do something. Something to get me on my feet. Alex had a desire to run track so I figured I might as well give it a try. I mean, would it kill me to participate in daily physical activity that doesn’t involve moving my hand from plate to mouth? Probably not!

I still remember the first day of track practice. We were told to run to where coach Goeckler was and then back to the high school for uniform checkouts and then we could leave. Little did I know the run was going to be more than a mile long. Let’s just say that I wasn’t the fastest. Oh no. I finished DEAD LAST! It was so shameful; I felt like a failure. But it wasn’t enough to quit. I love to challenge myself so I told myself to keep on keeping on. Unfortunately, that only lasted for the semester. Senior year I decided to skip out on running track and focus on other things. Honestly, thing that I don’t even remember what they were. No big deal.

When I got to college I still had an interest in running and had not really progressed. Running a mile or even a little more wasn’t an issue. (I’m speaking of outdoor running here) Anything more than like, a mile and a half was considered a death sentence. Especially in Lawrence. If you’ve never been here, this will be my chance to explain to you what it is like in terms of topography

[Small Blog Detour] Kansas is normally described as flat as a pancake. There are two exceptions: The Flint Hills (which are really boring) and Lawrence. Lawrence is a place where your last choice of vehicle is a manual and just about the only place in Kansas where parking involves your parking brake and ensuring your tires are at an angle. University of Kansas women are usually known for having nice legs and butts. I mean, come on, we walk hills every day. It only makes sense. Might I add that you can’t show up to class without breaking a sweat from walking there…unless you’re lazy and take the bus. But Whatever.

So anyway, before I get off track, Lawrence is full of hills, which makes running outside a challenge. It also makes a simple walk a terrific workout. (Score!) Oddly enough this has fed into my running interest. Why? I couldn’t answer that question honestly. Maybe it’s because I want to be more of a badass but nobody can really say.

Of my almost four years here in LFK (a popular Lawrence nickname short for “Lawrence F*cking Kansas”), I have really come to love running. So much that I discovered dreaded bursitis in my left knee. But that hasn’t stopped me!

I haven’t become the person who gets a run in every day. Eventually I will be. I am determined to find that. Currently, and all throughout my college career, I have worked 30 hours per week and attend school full time which ranges anywhere from 15-18 units. There really isn’t much time to run when work is from 8am-5pm and majority of film classes are at night. (Does anyone else understand why I hardly have a social life!?) My life really is busy for an undergraduate. Any-who, this semester has been a little different than the rest.

I had the opportunity to take a one-unit course that is a 10K/Marathon training class! I know, the goal of a 10K sounds pretty large for a girl who says she’s slow at running and can’t go very far. Like I said, I’m looking to push myself. Furthermore, I am looking to gain the full runners’ mindset and love running even more. This is something that I have wanted for years and have never given myself the chance to work my way into it. Instead I advance at running a mile or two at a time and then think, “I will never get past 4 miles. Ever.”

COME ON, OLIVIA. ROME WASN’T BUILT IN A DAY!

Therefore I will not be able to complete a 10K without training, even though I have done so with several 5K races in the past. I also will not be able to complete a marathon without training. It will take time, training, and strength. More importantly, self discipline so I don’t mosey my way off track! A running goal isn’t completed in a day; you complete it day by day. I am more than willing to work toward my goal and eventually cross “Run a Marathon” off of my bucket list.

So here is to my first 10K and many more after that. Here’s to running farther than I ever have before. But more importantly, here’s to learning what it takes to be a runner!

-Liv