jillianduch
Eighteen months or so ago I was in a dark place.

I was recently divorced and felt I had lost myself so long before that I didn't know who I wanted to be. I had spent a lot of time blaming my problems (with a certain amount of justification) on my ex. I was so ashamed I had allowed someone to treat me as he sometimes did. Intermittently, I missed him and the (very unfulfilled) dreams I had for us.

So, I did what I do almost every day. I wrote a to-do list. But this was a master, six-month to-do list. You know, obvious things like: Figure out what the heck is wrong with your 401(k). Those things are supposed to increase in value. Buy a couch, because your living room looks freakishly empty without one. Somewhat depressed because you gained 20 pounds during the 2 years you were married? Lose it! Drag your behind out of the house whenever possible because you've been spending too much time moping and watching TV.

I'll admit, there were some bitter entries. Such as: Go on vacation to visit Maria in Greece because your stupid ex-husband refused to go on vacation with you unless it involved a bowling/gambling trip with his hometown friends who were at least 20 years his senior and drank beer as if American water was poisonous.

The last one goal was to successfully complete another 3-Day walk. My first 3-Day was a somewhat jilted attempt at having a life outside work and my miserable marriage. I feared it had twisted my family's collective arms pretty far into donating to the cause. I ended up puking three or four times before I learned how to properly hydrate myself while training. And I never really got the whole blister-prevention thing.

I'm not sure if that's really what it looked like to the rest of the world - I wasn't miserable all the time, or anything - but my first 3-Day offered one example after another that something was wrong even if I didn't know how to fix it.

So, I got divorced, crewed in the 2008 Chicago 3-Day and vowed to do it up for a 2009 event. I started my fundraising efforts for 2009 not long after the 2008 event was over. I knitted scarves and made notecards to sell at craft shows. I promised myself I would host an event. This was going to be another thing to cross off my master to-do list. And another sign I could resurrect myself from the half-life I had lived as an unhappily married person.

But, to tell the truth, none of that seems that important anymore. As the wine-tasting started a few weeks ago, I looked across the room and kinda of giggled on the inside. Like, wow, this looks pretty good. I think it might be successful. Here I am, barely an adult, and this all is a rather adult-like thing to do. I had ideas, implemented them and hopefully they will bear fruit. If not, I had fun anyway.

When I remembered my original goal, and the negative and insecure sentiments behind it, it just didn't fit anymore. Kinda like old bar shirts from college that you loved at the time but now kinda wonder why no one told you they were rather trashy and stretched out. Certainly nothing that made you look sophisticated.

So, don't get me wrong, I am going to be bursting with pride when I finish this walk in October, but it won't be because I believe I somehow proved to the world that I am an interesting, happy person with personality and interests and things to discuss. Strangely, when you actually believe that about yourself, you don't feel the need to prove it.
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