Turbulence and Self-Reflection

And so we come face to face with yet another Hump Day. Anyone freaking worn out yet???

Something I’ve painfully discovered during the last seven weeks since IRONMAN is that these blogs don’t self-author, my dog won’t entertain herself, my laundry doesn’t clean itself, and my groceries won’t cook themselves. Life, apparently, takes a great deal of effort, energy, enthusiasm, and tact. No wonder we’re all exhausted constantly.

School started this week. No, you read that correctly. School is IN SESSION this early in August. The year is coming full circle as the seasons of change come whipping in from the east. I’m sitting here writing down my thoughts, pining away for last May to relive graduation, June to tear through IRONMAN, and the rest of summer to enjoy more Aces, camping, and shenanigans with my friends. Embarrassingly enough, that barely happened and certainly not on the level I would’ve hoped. And here comes fall.

A year as crazy as this has got to be chock full of changes. Twelve months full of weddings, unexpected treats, fun discoveries, and the occasional tearing of the heart strings. It’s hard to fully grasp what has occurred this year. I’m sure many of you have had similar experiences. Perhaps you feel a tad lost or completely disgruntled. Or maybe, just maybe, you’re one of the lucky ones who are just having the best year of your life and nothing can slow you down.

My weekly routines have changed drastically. I have my swim schedule carved into stone, as well as my meal times, the rest of the pieces seem to fall in where they may, but it’s exhausting trying to handle it all. I honestly do not understand how I survived grad school followed closely by a 140.6 mile race. I tip my hat to you parents out there. That thought is just overwhelming at the moment and I just had the busiest year of my life…

So pressing forward to the last four months of the year, what does the new me look like? Well physically I look the exact same, although my sister insists my hair looks lighter. The innards, though, are very different than they were on January 1, 2013. I feel the same, but then again, I feel completely different. I don’t quite feel transplanted into someone else’s body but my interests, desires, and ideas aren’t the same Russell I used to know (be). Odd years are just my thing. For reasons unbeknownst to myself, the stars align when I’m an even age and incredible things happen. Despite some of it no longer being applicable, my blog from 2011 on self-reflection still remains accurate to a frightening degree. What good is living without the self-reflection?

I wish the comparison to the old me was as simple as being able to say I’m just grown up now. While that is true, I’ve been an adult for a while. That does describe the general train of thought I’m feeling though…

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I feel a tad bit lost, sort of alone, and very confused. Great things have happened this year. Heck, phenomenal things have happened this year. 2013 has thoroughly trumped 2011 as the year of my life and it all happened so naturally. I’ve attended more weddings than any human should have to in a single year, climbed more mountains, and pressed on in ways in which I hadn’t planned on. I’ve watched people come and go, longed for reunions with old friends from early college and middle school days, and yet still something is amiss.

A recent discussion brought up the analogy that I’m like a caterpillar that has been transported into the body of the Hulk and hasn’t adjusted to the new body frame, larger limbs, or other physiology. Instead, I go crashing around and through things trying to re-identify, reorient, refocus, and rediscover who I am, flailing through life and tumbling around wandering. The act of identity transformation, much like change, is never an easy thing, especially when it is drastically disorienting. One’s identity is not something to be taken lightly, and huge, drastic changes in that identity are bound to be something that upsets the boat. Perhaps the boat isn’t sinking, but it’s certainly filling with water. Good thing I enjoy a solid swim…

Frankly, I have no expectations for the rest of the year. It will just have to take its course, as it always does. The great brings the not-so-great, and the fun brings the unfun, to no one’s surprise. A life in flux is a normal life. So what’ll it be? Changes and craziness or same old same old? Guess there’s no choice in the matter.

My plan is to finish the year strong, no matter what that entails. I welcome a challenge but don’t welcome a change. I’ve gotten better at accepting change throughout this year, and boy what a lot of changes there have been, but maybe 2014 will be a better year for acclimating to change since 2013 hasn’t brought me fully up to speed.

Picture credit 1. Picture credit 2.

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