Career Change

IMG_4422It might be time to edit my website…

I’m no longer coaching college lacrosse. For the last 10 years it has been my life, my everything, my first true love. But about 2 weeks ago I met with my athletic director and it was decided that this might not be the route I should take.

I’m not upset about this. I’m excited, I’m seizing opportunities left and right, I’m ENJOYING this stress-free time. I no longer need to censor and edit myself, I can finally go out in public to places where if someone sees me acting carelessly it doesn’t reflect on some other greater entity. There’s no more perpetual worry about what my players are doing or acting, did I respond to the recruit, what events am I signed up for. I feel a tremendous amount of relief.

I’ve been applying for jobs in new career fields. I had a phone interview today with an insurance company. I’ve never really worked in finance, but I didn’t hide it and they seemed more interested in my personality than my experience. They told me to call them back if it’s a job I’m interested in pursuing. I interviewed yesterday with a non-profit. I want to learn how to grant-write and help create a better place for people to co-exist in. I have an in-person interview on Thursday. I’ve been offered a handful of writing freelance jobs. Finally using my master’s degree the way it was intended to. Finally, I am working as a group fitness instructor and really taking the time to expand my knowledge and skills by reading more and more about fitness trends, techniques, and concepts.

I am happy. I am relaxed. I am excited for this new adventure.

My cortisol levels has decreased tremendously too. I can tell because my belly is flattening out, and my skin is clearing up. Yeah, I’ve managed to lose inches since departing Huntingdon. All this sudden change has been interesting to say the least. In addition, my boyfriend is deployed so I’m by myself here in Alabama. But my support system has been coming through. I’ve been running with a running group. Going out with my kickball teammates and friends. I feel like I’m living a life that I was supposed to be doing and it made me think about the first season without George.

I believe the luster began to wear off the moment he died. That 2014 team is forever my favorite because they saved my life. They gave me a purpose. But most importantly, they inspired me to find new passions, to find meaning in all of the madness going on around me. And college coaching, for right now, is not my purpose. Maybe I’ll move back towards it at another time, but it’s time for me to figure out how to build my own nest.

Reinventing in Southeast

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It’s been so long since I’ve updated this thing! Someone recently asked me why I hadn’t and I mentioned that nothing too exciting or out of the ordinary has happened so no need to update. But I think there’s a lot. What would have been my two year anniversary just came and went a week ago, and during the time I had recruits at Huntingdon. It was a good distraction, but just like most anniversaries, the lead up to it creates the most anxiety. The days leading up to September 19th were grueling, but when the 19th came, I felt good. Relaxed. Happy. I thought about George, I missed George, but I also remind myself how the love I have for him still has helped me improve and better myself. I’ve said it once and I’ll always say it, I am so lucky to have experienced a love like his. I can only wish when I leave this earth someone loves me as much as I love him.

I’ve been in Alabama for 2 months now, and I LOVE IT! In New Jersey there was this cloud of death and sadness that hovered around me. No matter what I did, I couldn’t shake it. I played by the grieving handbook and didn’t make any major life decisions in the first year of widowhood, but when this opportunity came about I did think it was George pointing me in the direction to reclaim my life. And I think I have. When someone dies, no one can prepare you for the financial aftermath and I was lucky to have support of my parents, and to have a great emergency nest. But the reality came that Drew paid me really poorly, and I never was able to recover financially from George’s passing. I was scraping by. Being down here for 2 months I’ve already rebounded back, and though I don’t think money provides happiness, it does provide security which helps with overall happiness.

In New Jersey I learned to cope with the emotions of losing George, but now I’m learning how to live without him. I am so glad I took this risk to move to Montgomery, because I feel so free and independent. There was an adjustment period, but it was because the culture and people of the South are so different than the North. I’m coaching the sport I love, interacting with passionate and determined young women, meeting all sorts of people from different walks of life, and last but not least, I am teaching spin classes at a gym nearby and every time I am on that bike, I know George is smiling at me. Life it good here in the gump. Plus I met a sweet Air Force fellow at the dog park, and Bodie and his dog have become best friends while we started dating. Can’t really complain. My bouts of grief only last minutes now rather than days. That’s one thing worth noting.

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I was eating a carrot

Holiday Distractions

I can’t believe I haven’t updated this in almost 2 weeks. This holiday season has been INSANE! I feel like I’ve been caught in this whirlpool of activity every day. With the semester coming to an end a lot loose ends with work had to be tied up, which makes the days fly by. I’ve been working on my team’s winter lifting packet, which I’ve been doing to see if the weights and lifts are doable. I’ve actually really enjoyed using myself as a guinea pig with that because personally I think they’re relatively easy, but I also think running 8 miles is a cake walk.

This time last year I have a filmy remembrance of the holidays. I only went to one holiday party at my former bosses house and I just recall afterwards I probably shouldn’t have gone. Well I went to it yesterday and seeing everyone again from then to now and they were just in awe of my transformation. I also had nice arm candy. It really is staggering how much things have changed in a year besides the obvious. The hardest thing about this entire journey is accepting George’s death and then moving forward. I didn’t fear change, but I did fear stagnation.

I wasn’t the most social person when George was alive. I was very fickle when it came to parties and attending events. One day I would be all about it, and then the day of quickly back track. After the last week of classes, I decided to commit to attending SantaCon in NYC. George LOVED dressing up as Santa and he usually would attend and try to convince me to go. Which of course I would protest profusely. Well, I headed to target and bought an elf costume, and hopped on the train and went to SantaCon this year. I went for George. He was my motivation and through the drunkenness of college students and hostility of shop owners, I had a marvelous time. I loved seeing all the costumes, from the creative to the “called it in” outfits. That day was just so perfect and wonderful. From there out, I had a plethora of holiday parties I had been invited to.

Every day this week I had a holiday party except Thursday. I cannot remember when I was invited to so many, but I think a large portion of it might simply be I never really wanted to go to holiday parties. But this year, I wanted to be festive, I wanted to enjoy myself, I wanted to be gregarious. Most importantly I wanted to show myself how far I’ve come in this first full year without George. This whole thing sucks, and I get that it’s unlucky. But I find myself to be very lucky to have loved someone so deeply that even in passing they still impact me daily. Think about that for a second. Yeah, losing him was the worst thing imaginable, but how he still inspires me is simply tremendous. I just hope when my time comes, I can have the same affect on someone’s life.

George was and is larger than life.

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The best day of my life happened a year ago

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Last year, on this day, George and I drove out to Canton, Connecticut to Bridge Street Live for our wedding reception. It was a 6 hour wedding reception with a live 80s cover band, White Wedding. We had a buffet and open bar.  I demanded the bar serve Budlight Limes, but I only had two drinks of vodka and red bull so I could dance all night long. I wanted to remember everything about that night. I want to travel back to that day.

George looked so handsome, and was radiating when he walked into the room with his friends and family. People travelled up from Maryland and as far west as Ohio just to be there for our evening. When our song They Might Be Giants- New York City started playing we hit the dance floor and neither one of us stopped grooving. We just grabbed each other and got lost in the night with people we love.

It was the best day of my life.

We always talked about which anniversary we would celebrate. We were originally to marry on October 19th but eloped on September 19th upon hearing news of his health. I said we could celebrate both, because why not? Today I was surrounded by the people I wanted to be with in order to help keep my mind off of my loss. I spent the day with my lacrosse team and got to coach them in our Fall play day. It was beautiful and crisp outside. It was peaceful, and when that first whistle blew and we scored in the first 14 seconds, I was just so happy. Everything those girls were working hard at for the last 4 weeks showed in just the first 14 seconds of the game. And they didn’t let up until the final whistle. They made me forget what I lost, and once again I come out feeling so inspired by them to be better and continue to work on myself so I can continue to grow and heal.

The best day of my life was last year, but I was happy again today. image

Alone in the summer

When George and I first started dating, it was in the middle of summer. Summer was always exciting because it was fun exploring the city together and never have to really worry about if it’s jacket weather. With him passing away in the winter, the weather matched my mood. As I started to turn my life around some bit, Spring was just around the corner as well. Now, with Summer in full bloom I feel a bit more optimistic and hopeful.

One thing about this journey is I’ve really had to learn to enjoy my time alone. In the beginning months, being by myself was maddening. The quietness of the room, where laughter and conversation once filled it, was more deafening than a jet engine. I began to start dating in the beginning of May to fill my time. Was I ready? I don’t know, but it accomplished one thing and that was to occupy my mind and distract me from the perpetual loneliness that greeted me the moment my apartment door swung open. Except now I thrive in my lonesomeness. I WANT to be by myself. Does this mean I’m at peace? Is this the acceptance part of grief?

What I’ve noticed is that there’s an undercurrent of sadness in my days. Mornings are not as brutal as they have been. I wake up between 730-9a every day and the first thing I do is take Bodie out for a long walk while listening to music. There’s a calmness that comes with it. The sadness lifts for those moments when the sun is beating down on my shoulders and Bo is trotting next to me. Maybe it’s George smiling down. I think he’s proud of me. I think he would be happy with how I’m getting by. He would hate my music choices though.

Today when I was lifting I was looking at myself in the mirror like a conceited jock, and I cannot stress how happy I am with my ongoing goal of losing my widow weight. Yesterday (Sunday) I ventured to Morristown to go to NBD gym where one of my former players gave me the biz on working out. I cannot wait to go back soon. If you’re in the Motown area, you need to check it out. It’s friendly and vibrant. I’m hoping to be teaching some Spin classes there once I get my certification. One of my many summer goals besides rebuilding my life, recruiting and being happy.

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