Saturday, October 11, 2014

The Night Before the Race - My Half Marathon Story

I have sat at my computer something like 347389749374893 times this week in an attempt to write this post. This will likely be the hardest, yet must invigorating post I will ever write, but as part of my half marathon journey this is a must. 

So it here it goes. My half marathon story. 

Some people deal with their deepest issues, past heartbreaks and pains by getting back into the world and praying that things work out themselves. Me on the other hand, well - I retort. I hide myself away from those closest to me and take it all in day by day. I get lost in a sea of physical activity, reading and writing and work through everything I need to mentally before I actually get out there, reconnect and re-establish myself in the world. 

So what has led me here? 

Well first, let me appropriately introduce myself to you. I mean I am about to get super personal, so why not put a description to the writer and give you all the raw, true and crazy details. 

Name - Arti Kashyap 
Age - 32 (and yes i just wildly admitted that on the inter-web  - age is just a number remember)
Hometown - Toronto, Canada and the world 
Current Location - London, UK the centre of the universe 

Okay now that we have established my bio data, shall we continue? Let's rewind, to just a little over three years ago. I was me. Living crazily, you know travelling the world, working mental hours, running my own business, dragon boating, yoga'ing and of course social butterflying. Life was good. But given my age at the time I was getting the talks about needing to settle down - a thought I am still establishing in my mind. I was ready, but also a bit all over the map. I was struggling with my future and that dreaded time clock all of us females feel we need to live by and was just trying to get every drop of life in before well the inevitable. 

I wasn't sure what I wanted and I was struggling, but somehow in the midst of it all I met "him". 

He rushed in and with out me really knowing what I wanted, I got all caught up. I became the opposite of what i was and gave up much of what I loved and for a long time I thought that, that's what falling in Love and settling down meant. You know - you lose yourself and find a new you through someone else. I was happy and God damn, I was living the most beautiful love story, even if I was sacrificing who i was. So why should i have had to think twice, when no matter how independent woman I claim to be, I really did / do just want my Cinderella story. 

But it wasn't the fairy tale ending I dreamed of. I went through all the motions that you would have and got really close to that happily ever after and then just like that it was done. The perfect love story ended. And it ended with out the proper good bye - you know the lack of a discussion, things still needing to be exchanged and most importantly the proper explanations and respect that was deserved. Instead a heart was broken and I say a heart, because it was mine and truth be told I really have no idea what "he" felt or if he felt anything at all. But the ending burned and took a woman who had completely lost herself and placed her back into the scariest place of all - the entire world. 

So there I was. In an apartment that was mine - but full of remnants of him. And i had two choices - run like I always had or get up look in the mirror and face it all head on. So based on where I was and the age I was, I somehow got the courage to opt out of my old routine and vowed that I would face it all head on - full frontal, no matter how tough it would be, I had to. I wanted to make sure that my 30's and beyond were representative of all the things I had lived and as a result had learnt. 

And with that I am pretty sure I started my own little "eat, pray, love" journey to finding me and my place in this crazy world all over again. Now I didn't take a year of my life off, but I sure as hell went global to work through all the kinks. Things started in London and then Paris and then Chicago, San Diego, back to Chicago, all the way to Botswana, Ethiopia, Seychelles, South Africa, then back to Chicago, California and finally London.

The final London trip did it all in for me. It was done. My fate, my future and my location in the world at least for now had been decided. LONDON would be my new home town. And so after that final trip, I returned home, back to that apartment that still reminded me of "him" and packed it up, sold things off and closed that chapter in my life as I boarded a plane with a one way ticket to my new life with promises of NEVER RETURNING BACK to the point at which i would lose myself again. Because the minute I landed in London, I didn't have anything holding me back from just being who I had found along this crazy year long journey. A woman that I actually was completely in Love with. 

Arriving in London was great, but this whole life change was also hard. I mean, I remember finding my perfect flat, falling in Love with it and than laying in it the first night bawling my eyes out and clinching on to my childhood stuffed animal because I was overwhelmed by all the change. I couldn't believe that I ended up here, especially after everything. I mean it was crazy to think that three years ago before "he" even appeared, London was the place I dreamed i would be.  

So i guess in reality dreams do come true and that sometimes we just get distracted for bit, but somehow always end up where we are meant to be. And now that I have set up my life - you know the flat, the social circle, the planned trips - I must get back out there and let go of all the fears I have of letting it all get turned upside down again and just live and love. 

Now I also don't want you all to think I haven't tried along the way - because I have. I just was never focused or in the right place for it. I wanted to get me all sorted out and be in a place where no one would feel like I needed rescuing. As much as I want my Cinderella story - I want it to be about being swept off my feet and not being saved from a drowning river. I also wanted the chance to really figure out what that checklist was for me, with out anyone making me feel like I should take what I can get. And lucky for me, my year long journey caused me to cross paths with someone I never thought existed in this world. Someone who just, well made me feel like who I was and what i wanted wasn't really abnormal after all. This new "he" gave me faith that I could have it all if I wanted with out compromising who I was for a second, even if "he" may never really know what he did for me. 

So now that I have all the ammunition, faith and belief in what i want - it's time to get over the fear and take the box around my heart out and just dive into it all. After all isn't that how love stories are meant to happen?

So for me this half marathon journey has been a celebration of how far I have come from that dreaded night coupled with the mental challenge that I have needed to work through to help me find that inner naive 16 year old  that believes that fairy tales do exist.

And there you have it. 

I didn't face some terminal illness, or something even worse to all of you in cyber space. But I believe that everyone's cards are dealt differently and for me this could have been as bad as it will ever get and with that I needed something to get my out and back into life - My Gobi, my half marathon. 

Thank you ALLLLL out there for sharing in my story and most importantly for cheering me on through the inter web. 

Here's to hoping I run through the finish line, instead of being carried on a stretcher - Half Marathon i GOT YOU!!!!!

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To new posts about finding love and my happily ever after and all that madness in between :)

- A 

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