18 Months

I woke up this morning with the anxiety-laden realization that, as of May 1, I am exactly eighteen months away from turning forty years old.

Sure, I’m anxious about this, which is a mix of social training and pressures from external forces, but in reality, I’m also anxious about it on the inside.  My body is not that of a twenty-year-old anymore, and hasn’t been for exactly that amount of time.  I have been rather abusive towards the flesh I’m in, bouncing up and down in weight and size repeatedly over those years.  I’ve flung myself from calm repose to panicked insanity more times than I can count, and through all of that, my body has taken on the scars – externally and internally.

This morning, as the weight of all of this pressed down on my flabby, fatty, man-boob chest, I decided to face it down with a walk.  I needed to clear the air, clear my mind, and just get out there and press the pavement for a bit.  Walking, as always, seems to have helped me clean out the cobwebs and set me up for some productive thoughts, increasing with each stride and milepost I passed.

I am going to set up a personal fitness challenge for each month.  For the month of May, to mark the start of my eighteen months of crunch time, I’ve set a goal to walk at least 100 miles.  Walk, run, skip, hike, or whatever movement with my feet underneath me – but a 100 miles by May 31.  I did some quick math, and that works out to twenty-five miles a week, and if today’s walk is any indication of the speed and time that will require, I can do a five-mile walk in just over an hour.  I now, as of today, have a loop that is measured out for me, and that I can do, and add in variables such as taking different side-streets, adding in a stop for coffee or the bathroom, or even run at parts.  What I need to do now, though, is commit to doing this five times a week.  My days off, Monday through Thursday, will allow for this to be a morning ritual.  What I do need to do, though, is pick a day during my work period – Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, to complete one more loop.

I can do this.  I can fight back the urge to just collapse at the end of a day and say goodbye to the world in it’s entirety.

Alongside this walking goal, I’m going to pay closer attention to what and how much I eat.  Right now, even though I’ve had spurts of “healthy clean eating,” basically, it all breaks down at least once or twice a week and I reach for the pizza, peanut butter, or beer/liquor.  While I could promise myself that I’m going to not do those things, the reality is I’m not going to give them up.  I enjoy them too much.  What I can do, though, is mitigate them and their caloric grandiosity by countering those richer days with leaner days.

What I don’t need to do, though, is make this whole experiment stressful.  The other night, while Ray and I were having a “reset conversation” about the state of things in our relationship, he called me out on my obsession with my weight and size.  It bugs him that do it.  It bugs him to hear me go on and on about how fat I am or how weak I’ve become.  The fact is, he loves me in all of my various states and shapes.  He is supportive of me and my efforts without castigating me when I slip and fall.  He’s the first person to offer a glass of wine after a long, awful day, and while I know it’s not the most healthy way to deal with that kind of stress, I will not deny the deliciousness that is a fine red wine.

I can do this.  I can find a balance.  I can make the next eighteen months count.  I can make them as enjoyable as I dare.  I can’t wait to see where this takes me.

Finding Footing

I’m in the last few days before I begin work.  I have six days, to be exact, and it’s this last push, this last week or so, that I’m finding myself clawing at the doors of this house, this life.  I want out.  I want to be on my own, and in my own space, doing the things for me that I want to do for me.  I want to be on my own bed.  I want to start making my own paths, setting up the world around me in my fashion.

I have already begun the process of making a social network around me.  With each connection, more and more roots are being put down beneath me.  I can feel it.  When I’m walking back to this place of temporary shelter after a night of laughter and carousing with these fellas I’ve met, I can feel this wave of peace come over me time and time again, complete with a smile of satisfaction and, finally, feeling like I belong somewhere.  These guys have been nothing short of angelic to me.  Their generosity has blown me away at every turn.  When I start to feel badly and make mention of how I need to make it up to them somehow, every single one of them brushes it off and tells me not to worry.  They are making an investment in a friendship, in me, and that means so damn much to me, especially now, when I am going out of my mind with the wait.

I will say, I wanted this in Denver.  I wanted to have a walk home in the middle of the night where I felt like I had a place, had my feet beneath me, and was where I needed to be.  The fact is, I never had that there.  I never allowed myself to slow down enough there, or make the kinds of connections I needed to make in order to enable more growth.  By the time I did finally start to make any connections of merit, my heart and mind had checked out of Denver, with an eye towards the Pacific Northwest.  I have no regrets for moving here, apart from missing those whom I grew close to back at 5280′.

I have started planning out what my next three months might look like.  So far, it’s a loose sketch of budgets and plans and all of those little details that need to start falling into place once I start working.  I won’t be able to move into my own place right off the bat, and that was a big pill to swallow, but I can and will find a quality roommate.  I’ve had a couple offers made already, which means the world to me, as they are from people who simply want me to be happy and in a place that I feel comfortable in.  Still, I need to fine-tune things, set dates on calendars once I know what my pay schedule will be like, and focus on getting settled in at my job first.  Once that’s up and running, I can manage the move, manage the logistics of getting my few items from point A to point B, and really, finally taking a step forward again.