Sunday morning, I pulled into the parking lot at Chestnut Ridge Park not feeling like my best self. Luckily for me, I was spending the morning with my friend Mary, who is wise and fun and silly. We ran the lower loop. We walked a few hills backwards and went off road where Mary described how her grandmother taught her to go downhill sideways, only to fall and slide as she touted the benefits of this type of balance move. I had to hug a tree because I was laughing so hard. By the end of our workout my backside was sore from the hills and my core was sore from laughing. And all was right with the world in that moment.
My plan today was to recount that fun and silly episode. But, truth be told, I’ve been in a bit of a funk, the likes of which come after placing a check mark next to a major life goal. It’s a difficult kind of funk to talk about because, as much as I love to talk and write, as much as I embrace all that is wonderful about words, I don’t have an accurate way to describe what I’m feeling and why I’m feeling it.
And then it hit me today when I opened up my Facebook feed. It was a year ago today that my friend and co-worker, Allen Wilson, passed away.
November and December have been difficult months in recent years. I’ve lost two fellow sports reporters who taught me not just about the business but how to love and laugh and keep perspective even when the job gets crazy and beats you down. It’s the time of year I lost my grandfather. It’s the time of year when my grandmother left her home in an ambulance and lived the next six months in hospitals, nursing homes and finally hospice.
I don’t do very well with endings. I don’t want the story to end.
On Saturday, I had the opportunity to attend TedX Buffalo Women where the theme was “the space between.” So I sit at my desk this unseasonably mild December morning, thinking about the space between these stories. I have a strong dislike for this space, for this pause in between stories. It is too quiet. It is too still. It forces me to face who I really am. What I really want. And, most dreadfully, where I am not living up to who I really am and what I really want.
I am living in the space between right now. There is a gap between projects. There is a rest in training. There is a feeling of loss. But the space between also gives me a chance to remember. To celebrate. To feel and to dream. This is the space which prepares me for my next step, my next project, my next goal. This is the space to see that the story doesn’t end. Instead, I’m in one of those “choose your own adventure” books and have merely paused to decide which storyline to follow next.