Tag Archive | relationships

Little Spirit

Every now and then someone can say the smallest thing to trigger the most sensitive nerve. It’s like a tiny paper cut right on the most delicate part of your ego and it makes your brain explode and your soul implode and your skin feel like an ill-fitting coat. They didn’t mean what they said to have such weight. But that’s what we always take for granted, isn’t it? The weight of words? We must be careful and speak considering the nerves in the cross-hairs of our words. We’re all fighting blind, and as we speak we never know when we’re going to hit one.


But only malice, even the most diluted dose, can throw punches. You can speak anger. You can speak pain. You can speak frustration. And you can do it in such a way that will never strike the nerve of the other person, as long as you consider them. Are you opening your mouth to speak your truth, however painful, with the intent of making yourself clear and your relationship stronger? Or are you speaking to hurt? Perhaps you are annoyed. Perhaps you don’t like this person. Perhaps you find them ___(insert pejorative of choice). If you speak from that place you will strike a nerve. Eventually. It will happen. And nerves damage. The more you strike them, they damage irreparably.

But I’m just a stupid girl who cares far too much about rules and says silly things. I’m ridiculous, and trivial, and annoying in my hang-ups. I’m not cool, or sexy, or appealing in any way shape or form. I’m something to be tolerated, never invited, never welcomed. I’m put up with. I’m often forgotten, and the ways in which I combat invisibility are shallow and predictable. And unoriginal. I am a hack. I have no talent. I have nothing interesting to offer, or interesting to say. Ever. God knows I cannot write. Who do I think I am? I could stay in bed for a month and no one would mind. Some people might notice I wasn’t around, but they wouldn’t much care. I care too much about things that don’t matter. I don’t know how to hold onto someone because eventually I’m found out. How annoying I am. And fat. And weak. And did I mention annoying? I’m always found out. 

One little sentence triggered all of that for me. One phrase, said casually. All of that. Like stepping on a land mine.

It’s in there all the time you know. It’s in most of us. The scared little spirit that’s just waiting for the world to find out we’re a hack. It’s in there and it is so sensitive. And when this spirit is poked it’s usually told that it’s being too sensitive, and it probably is when weighed against the objective bluntness of the weapon, but being too sensitive is its entire purpose. This of course only causes the little spirit to feel more sensitive. And dizzy. And horrible.

Stranger still is that I’m fairly certain this sensitive little spirit is best friends with the most brilliant part of ourselves. Little spirit is a sentinel for our creativity, our ideas, our potential. He keeps the channel open, but must remain vulnerable to do so. He is a brave one. So easily wounded. I wonder at his resilience. It is not endless, I know that. Poke the nerve enough and eventually it will die to mitigate the pain. With the death of our little spirit comes the collapse of the tunnel leading to our best selves. We must be so careful with each other.

Time to go to bed and maybe cry. Crying seems to comfort my little spirit, and like a shot of Novocain, soothes the nerve.

You might be wondering who it was that said such a thing. Perhaps no one. Perhaps this entire story is made up. Perhaps. Either way, don’t worry, it wasn’t you. Or you. (Or you).


my running valentine

Trolling through Pinterest today, I came across this hilarious pin:

It, of course, reminded me of Brad, because it’s 100% true. The times we’ve shared running have been adventurous, hilarious, challenging, and meaningful. Kinda like our relationship. Two years ago I published a post called “running is for lovers” in The Happiest Runner on Earth. Here we are 2 years later, still running strong. In honor of Valentine’s Day, and the best running partner around, I’d like to share that post again. So here it is. This should illustrate once again just one of the many reasons I love you Brad Light. Happy V-Day:

running is for lovers

originally published September, 2010

As I reach the end of this formal training regimen, I reflect back on the memories made, miles accrued, asphalt traversed, hills climbed, and calories burned. I have to say one of my favorite things about this adventure (start heating the fondue pot because this is going to be cheesy) has been the time I’ve spent with my beau, Brad.

Prior to this training process I was very much a solitary runner. I enjoyed running by myself and cringed at the idea of “running clubs.” Yuck! Who would want to talk to run with people?! I considered running my own personal time of the day, a time to get in the zone and focus on myself, a time when I wouldn’t have to worry about making small talk or chit-chat, just run out whatever bothered me from the remains of the day. I still enjoy running alone sometimes for these reasons, reasons that are completely valid; but now mostly I look forward to sharing the experience with Brad, it’s true. I see a parallel between the runner I was then/the runner I am now to the person I was then/the person I am now. Before love, “I am a rock, I am iiii-iii-i-sland. And a rock feels no pain, and an island never cries.” In love, I am more of an atoll, and Brad is my coral reef. Alright, I don’t know what that metaphor is all about but you see what I mean, maybe.

When we first started running together, he would talk, I would listen. I wasn’t in good enough shape to talk and jog. I was trying to focus on breathing and maintaining consciousness. Brad however has always had pretty amazing lung capacity so he can talk and talk and talk no matter how fast we run. So we start our jogs and right away I say “Ok, tell me a story.” He giggles, knowing that I can’t converse but I don’t want to shut him out by listening to my headphones. I will be honest, at first I wanted so badly to fall back on my crutch, my old friend the “shut-out-the-world” iPod. I abstain, and decide I’ll give this whole “couples running” thing a try.  So again, I ask Brad for a good story. Who can remember a good story when put on the spot like that? Brad can. Somehow he always comes up with a good one. Like Owl in Winnie-the-Pooh, always some random story right up his sleeve.  I love listening to Brad’s stories while we run. It’s like my own living iPod. Ahh, to interact with people. What a concept.

As the weeks pass I find myself able to carry on basic conversation during our runs. Not chit-chat, mind you, I can’t be bothered. Isn’t that the best thing about love? Not having to chit-chat anymore? Meeting someone to whom you can actually say what you mean and mean what you say? Meeting someone who doesn’t care if you let out a little gas, emotionally or literally, in the middle of your workout. Brad still does most of the talking but at this point I’m able to provide insightful albeit succinct commentary.

Nowadays I’m at full-on conversation lung capacity as long as we’re running 5 miles or less. During a 3-miler just this morning Brad and I got into a somewhat heated debate over our definitions of ignorance. Who knows if we would have even started talking about it had we not been running. The dialogue isn’t always intelligent. Sometimes we just laugh, at who knows what, but we laugh. Or we go on adventures. I would have never run through cow pastures and made faces at bulls, or ran up a trail in Catalina to find the most beautiful sunset view I’ve ever seen, I would not have done these things had I run alone. Not to mention that I likely would not have pushed myself faster and faster and actually reached conversational lung capacity without Brad’s flash speed to challenge me.  It’s just pretty amazing the new things one discovers when one has another set of eyes to see the world through. Things I’ve learned: it’s fun to accomplish something, but boy is it tons more fun with someone you love. Run with someone you love. It will push you in directions you otherwise may not have wandered.

And here are some B&B Disney pics to get us all in the mood for Sunday!

wheel of death