This is something I hear often, especially at this time of year. I am from a blue-collar hometown (Pittsburgh, PA)-it’s a place where even the millionaires mow their own lawns and take out their own garbage.
And, it’s not uncommon as we move through life that we shed our skin and and adapt to new circumstances and maybe lose sight of who we really are in the process.
The past 2 years have been rough for me. In this economy, it’s no surprise. Job changes, lack of finances in an expensive city, and loss of self-confidence have plagued me far too long. I’d lost my optimism and positive outlook and hope in myself.
Then, I started going back to early morning bootcamp workouts with my friend Greg and I saw people who I haven’t seen for years. And, I ran into people who remembered me as this bad-ass who could keep up with the front runners sprinting up hills and do ‘real’ pushups. There, I saw a woman who remembered meeting me in 2009 after one of my yoga teacher trainings.
She exclaimed “You’re the yogi!! I remember you chanting all of the time and showing us yoga stretches!”
In my early morning haze, I’d forgotten having met her and certainly don’t remember having made any impact on her after running hills at 7am….but, I must have.
Then, this past weekend, I co-hosted a clothing swap. This great, stylish chick came and it turns out she remembered me from my Fillmore days and even had attended one of my ‘Evil Twins’ birthday blow-outs.
When I look back now, I remember this amazing life lead by an optimistic, energetic girl who believed she could do anything!! – run marathons, teach yoga, work a conservative day-job and a bad-ass night job with ease.
Now, during the holidays, I’m reconnecting with my old friends and family. Flights to Pittsburgh are too high, so I’m not able to be with everyone face-to-face which is super-sad for me.
Instead, I end up having long phone conversations with friends and family from home-telling stories of drunken exploits at Midnight Mass, to watching Steeler games at D’s hot dog shop to running in our Annual Eggnog run (climbing 36 flights of stairs at the Cathedral of Learning at the University of Pittsburgh).
And, in those stories, I remember how much good energy I have coming my way from old friends. How many people would adapt their holiday schedule, sometimes missing out on other events, just to spend time with me and hear my wacky stories? Quite a few, it turns out.
Connecting with my Pittsburgh people, even over the phone, reminds me of who I am and where I came from.
Luckily, I’ve found some amazing beings here on the West Coast-people who support my wacky adventures and don’t bat an eye when I carry my Terrible Towel and wave it during a race. And, surrounded by those good people, I’ll call my family in Pittsburgh on Xmas day and I’ll be telling the truth to my dad when I tell him I’m surrounded by the people I love.
So, maybe I have the perfect mix. East Coast family and friends who’ve given me a solid foundation to build upon to allow me to pursue my dreams here in the West.
2012 is looking pretty good already…..