I got the perfect first kiss when I was 12. A red headed boy 2 years my senior had a crush on me and we talked all time. This guy was a hunk. In shape, great smile, and friendly to just about everyone. I was amazed at how much people loved him, and how he loved others. I always admired him. How typical middle school, right? I clearly remember the few moments when he wrapped his arms around me tight and even shook when he bent down to kiss me. I got the pleasure of watching him smile, and for the next few months, I got to watch and feel him love me. I got to support him, and in turn I got support and fantastic hugs. That’s when I fell in love with giving myself to others to see them be happy.
I’m theorizing, but I assume before this point I was quite selfish. I didn’t care much for the well-being of others (aside from the formalities I was raised with), and I loved to hear my own voice. Changing this, changed everything about me, I started watching the people around me, and I started analyzing whom I might want to be connected with.
High School came next and I moved countries. A bit of a shocking change, and I went from the loud, fast speaking, in your face teenager, to the quiet kid in the back who didn’t want to work in groups or make friends. I didn’t have anyone to care for, so I lost my direction of what I was doing.
Freshman year I met the boy I’d date for 2 years, and it was pretty alright. I fulfilled my desire to take care of someone else and I was able to use that to interact with others. I used it to my advantage in joining the Marching Band and eventually working my way to Brass Captain, meaning I was in charge of 40 something high school boys with loud metal instruments at every rehearsal, performance or football game. Yeah, fun job.
My senior year, the boyfriend had graduated and I was left alone in the Marching Band. I started to taste what I could do by myself and come February of that year, I was ready to be by myself, and do things my way. That changed everything, let me give you a list and pictures of the things I’ve done since:
- Auditioned to the ASU School of Music with 10 days to prepare 20 minutes worth of music and successfully achieved admission.
- Received a full ride scholarship to ASU, and Barrett, The Honors College.
- Got hired at a medical office, call center, as an independent Drum Teacher, and I’m currently working at a music studio in Phoenix teaching about 42 kids piano.
- Purchased my first vehicle before starting college.
- Convinced Herberger to send me on an all expense paid trip to Michigan to participate in the Emerging Creative Students Summit.
- Rebuilt a large part of my friend circle.
- Dyed my hair the opposite color of what it really is- (I do regret some of the hair choices made)
- Finish an entire TV show
- Participated in the Mesa Street Pianos Performance with Emily Bear.
- Applied and was accepted to participate in the Herberger IDEA showcase.
- Went on a couple road trips by myself.
- Allowed myself to go on a couple of dates.
- Decided I want to be an astronaut.
- Met a man that likes to run.
Now let’s talk about this man – my man – that likes to run. He’s an ambitious companion, and I very much enjoy his company, kisses, and humor. He makes me happy but more importantly he’s pushed me past my comfort zones and now I’m making progress in things I never thought I’d set foot in. My favorite part is that this is all unintentional and all he’s doing is trying to invite me into part of his life. It just happens to be so foreign from my experience that a good chunk of what we do is completely new to me. I’m inexplicably drawn to him and curious about his lifestyle, friends and habits.
And suddenly, guess what happened.
This figure stepped into my life that I naturally felt the desire to overly care and love for, and right on cue came panic. I knew a wave of guilt and dependency was gonna hit me soon after figuring out what I was doing. The last thing I wanted to do was give up on him for something I was doing.
So, I figured I needed to do something, spend a little of the energy I was willing to spend on him, on me. I wrote earlier about my inspiration to Run 2 Miles, and it’s been my outlet since. I’ve now doubled my distance and I’m running my first race on the 4th of July, in 100 degree weather. This is something I’m doing for me. While making the transition from treadmill to track, I was on lap 22 of 30 and thinking to myself “I’m never going to make it”, thoughts of who I could finish this for came into my head and then I had to back track and say to myself “No, you’re doing this because you want to. You’ve done much harder and had more painful experiences, this is something you can handle”. And I finished.
I’ve been having to shift my mindset to be okay with spending time on myself, appreciating the things I do, and doing things solely because I want to, and think it will benefit me.
I think it’s a good compromise. I get to do a few things for me here and there, and I get to keep my friends the way they are.