Last Saturday, I finally got a chance to run with my old running tribe, the Charm City Run ultramarathon training group. Man, it was great seeing all those familiar faces. And there were many new faces who I haven’t met before. Our goal was two hours or at least eight miles. This run took a lot out of me but in a good way. It’s been a while since I climbed hills like these, and my legs ached from it. But damn, did that feel great! The trails have changed over the past few years. Trees were down in some places, some of the water crossings seemed a little different too. But I recognized so much, and I felt the trees smiling down on me, saying, “welcome home.”
What I loved most was catching up with old friends. Many of whom I’ve lost touch with over the years, except for keeping up with key moments on Facebook. One of the topics that came up was about the ending of relationships. Something that I’m oh too familiar with.
I don’t remember everything I said, but I remembered everything I felt and thought when I shared some of my experience with the breakup with Ultra kid’s father and the devastation I felt for months afterward.
On Valentine’s Day of 2020, he came forward with it. It wasn’t working for him anymore. I was utterly stunned. Where did this come from? Why were there no conversions of issues before this? Weren’t we happy?? In my mind, I thought I had provided a safe space for open communication, and we seemed to talk through everything together. But I was wrong.
Many of the days and weeks that passed after were a blur. During the day when I had to face people, I put on a brave front when I could. At night, I cried that snot dripping ugly cry, as my daughter slept in my arms, telling her how sorry I was that I wasn’t good enough to make him stay and that I was unlovable. I told her I would do everything to fix it. I had convinced myself that this was a phase, and he would come around if I could be the person that he needed me to be and that I could make our family whole. My heart ached to be on the trails for hours at a time so that I could sort out the grief and fix my head, and I couldn’t find my way there. And I so desperately needed to be there – the only place that I knew could heal me. I blamed myself for everything.
Then the pandemic hit, and we were in isolation.
As I look back now, I see that 2020 was the year of clear vision. The pandemic forced me to focus on myself and my situation. It took me a long time, but when I found out some truths that I didn’t know about, I knew that the breakup was a gift. He wasn’t the person I made him out to be. I was so in love with the idea of having the family I longed for, for a long time that I ignored red flags. I should have trusted my intuition, and I didn’t. Shame on me. Most of all, I should have never thought that I needed to change who I was for someone to love me. I am not to blame for what had happened. Neither of us is to blame. The relationship was karmic and we weren’t meant to be forever.
What we had was beautiful and amazing and gave me the most incredible miracle in our daughter. It had also taught me lessons in self-worth and self-love. And it brought me down to my fucking knees. Sometimes you don’t realize that you need to be broken to become better, stronger, and wiser. But when you rise up from the destruction, you begin to see that the pain of a broken heart is necessary to level up to your highest potential. You learn to see through people and trust your intuition. And through a lot of healing, I have clear vision of patterns I needed to break, clear vision of who he was, clear vision of my path, and most importantly, clear vision of who I am.
I am worthy and I am lovable and I deserve better. We all do.
Running on the hills at Cromwell Valley Park was very satisfying. I felt that I was coming back from a long crazy vacation that changed every aspect of who I was.
It was healing.
It felt like home.
And most importantly, it made me happy.
“And I’ll rise up
I’ll rise like the day
I’ll rise up
I’ll rise unafraid
I’ll rise up
And I’ll do it a thousand times again
And I’ll rise up
High like the waves
I’ll rise up
In spite of the ache
I’ll rise up
And I’ll do it a thousand times again”
Rise Up, Performed by Andra Day. Lyrics by Cassandra Monique Batie / Jennifer Decilveo