The other day, Geoff philosophized that midlife crises happen because you reach an age where people start dropping dead every time you turn around.
Great way to start off my new blog, huh? Hi, welcome, thanks for coming. Stick around, it’s gonna get weird.
His theory was an answer to my random question of “do more people die as you get older, or does this just seem like a really bad year?”. Geoff is twelve years older than me, and while 95% of the time I don’t notice the age difference, occasionally I will ask for his wisdom from having experienced a decade of life more than I have. Occasionally, I will also poke fun at him by reminding him that I totally could have been the flower girl during his first wedding, as I was only 8 years old at the time. But that’s neither here nor there.
Geoff’s answer to my question was not at all what I expected, but it made perfect sense. What could be a greater push to change the path you are currently on, to pursue something completely different out of life, than the stark reminder that life is not limitless?
Now, before I scare you away, I promise this is not some profound (or depressing) blog post about death, and I assure you I’m not having a midlife crisis. Not yet at least. But I will tell you that in the last year and a half, a lot of people in my life have died. Some of them friends, some acquaintances, some family members that left me gutted. Some had long battles with cancer, others were completely unexpected. Most of them were young. And none of it felt fair.
The loss of these lives didn’t spur some sort of enlightenment or awakening in me, rather, they emphasized something I’ve felt in my soul for a very long time: life is short. Your time here is limited, so make it count. I won’t wax poetically about “doing only what sets your soul on fire”, because let’s face it: we are all adults with responsibilities and hopefully contributing members of society. Taking my car to get the oil changed or paying rent are two examples of things that certainly don’t set my soul on fire, but are things that need to be done none the less.
Rather, I’ve always felt that what our society deems as conventional, what our culture has pushed to be the “American dream”, simply isn’t the dream for everyone. Not for me at least. And for many, many years the fact that I didn’t have – nor even want to have – the fancy wedding, the big house (with an even bigger mortgage), the new cars or latest iPhones (and all of the typical debt associated with them), the career climbing the corporate machine ladder, and my seat on the sidelines with the moms of the elite travel soccer team…left me with a feeling of shame.
That’s right, shame.
Why didn’t I want those things everyone else wanted? What was wrong with me? Why couldn’t I be like everyone else, why couldn’t I figure out how to do what I was supposed to do?
Over time I began to wonder, do these people, the ones “doing it right” (according to societal and preconceived notions), actually want these things either? Do they truly feel that success is having a big house and being able to fill it to the brim with stuff, or do they do that because that’s just what we’ve always been taught to do? Do they believe that the latest Michael Kors purse or shiny new Mercedes makes them happy, because that’s what society has taught them, or does it truly bring them joy? I don’t know. And further, I don’t want to judge other’s versions of happiness.
I just know that was never mine.
But I noticed another trend in the “American Dream”, and that is busting your ass doing things that make you miserable, to pay for the things that don’t necessarily make you happy, but you are convinced you need. And this cycle of working for the dream that may or may not be yours keeps so busy that you don’t have any time for the things you actually love. But it’s OK, because it’s all done under the presumption that “one day” it will all pay off and you’ll be able to actually enjoy life. If you play your cards right, that will be somewhere around age 60.
If you make it.
But the thing is, every time I turn around, people aren’t making it.
Oh man, this is getting deep and philosophical. Sorry. Let me get to the point:
A lot of people in my world have lost their lives far too soon in the last year, and it has caused me to shift from feeling shame about how I have chosen to live my life – which is relatively unconventional – to feeling completely unapologetic and at peace with it.
WHAT THE HELL DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH BIGFOOT?
When I started blogging years ago, I never expected that one day it would be my job. It was always a hobby. And then as opportunities arose, I assumed I was just lucky. I wasn’t a writer! I just happened to be in the right place at the right time. I got into blogging before everyone else did. All of these were excuses I used to cover up a combination of imposter syndrome and shame. Because the viable career I was building for myself and for my family was unconventional, and people weren’t shy in letting me know that.
Yet, viable career it has become. And I’m no longer ashamed. Because this? It’s what sets my soul on fire.
My blog, Relentless Forward Commotion (formerly known as Run Faster, mommy! if you go way back…) has been one of the greatest blessings in my life. I joke that it’s my “third child”, but I’m not entirely sure that I’m kidding. It has grown from nothing to something that I’m incredibly proud of. But it has grown into a very focused niche. As most of you know, running has truly changed my life. It is a huge part of my identity.
But there’s so much more to me than that.
I also love mountains, and lakes, camping, and riding my bike, road trips and the ridiculously tacky, giant things people put on the side of the highway encouraging tourists to stop and take photos. I love classic rock – real classic rock, not just the stuff the radio stations claim to be classic rock (I’m sorry, Nirvana, but you aren’t cutting it), eating outside at a picnic table, and laughing really hard. I love trying new adventures, especially when I’m unjustifiably terrified, like the time I was scared Geoff was going to flip our canoe in 6 inches of water. “You know you can just stand up” he said. Oh yeah.
I also really love to write.
The recent and seemingly constant reminder that life is so short has pushed me to start chasing other things as well. Running will never NOT be a part of my life, and please don’t get me wrong – Relentless Forward Commotion is not going anywhere. Quite the contrary, I have big plans for that space.
But as the adventures that just don’t fit in with the running and ultramarathon niche continue, I find myself wanting a place to write about them. I also want to write about, well frankly, whatever the hell I want to write about. I want a place to write things that don’t have to fit into a niche. Post titles that are actually just Gordon Lightfoot lyrics, because sometimes that’s how my brain works. I wanted a second space to share all of the stories and thoughts that are constantly swirling around in my brain, and not lose the focus and upward momentum that the Relentless Forward Commotion running community has become.
So here we are.
What does the title “Bigfoot Search Party” even mean? I don’t know. I really don’t, which is part of the fun. I actually bought the domain name 11 months ago, and have been sitting on it, waiting for the right time. It could be an allusion to something deep and meaningful: a search for something more out of this life, the hunt for something bigger and more meaningful than ourselves.
Or it could simply be because I have a somewhat hilarious obsession with Bigfoot, his buddy the Yeti, and let’s most certainly not forget their Christmas cousin the Krampus.
This is my place, my project, to write about burning vegan marshmallows over a campfire while listening to John Denver sing over my cell phone (what a time to be alive!) This is my place to share crazy stories, because as anyone who has met me in person can confirm: I’m never short on stories to tell. Maybe there will be some guest posts and product reviews along the way. Or one of Geoff’s infamous “Fod Bloogs”. Or maybe we’ll even partner on this project one day. I’m not sure.
But that’s the whole point – I don’t have to be.
I look forward to the journey and community this new space might create. Thank you for joining me on this new adventure. I can’t wait to see where it will take us.
12 comments on “Death & Vegan Marshmallows.”
OMG! This makes my heart so happy for you. Looking forward to more of your ramblings, creativity and writing!
Love it. Keep being you.
I love this blog. So funny. Thank you for sharing. Geoff is a lucky man.
Cool! Excited for you, we share some very similar thoughts in life. Glad I’m not alone ❤️
I’ve been around since the run faster mommy! days, and I can’t wait to read more from you on here. Looking forward to seeing where this takes you!
This is awesome! More places to read your stuff, i love it!… My husband and I are about to downgrade our house, we grew up the same as you thinking we needed certain things to be happy, to have the dream… but we’re finding our own unconventional dream now… This post is everything I think and feel, again this is awesome!
LOVE. Can’t wait to see where this takes us.
Me too! Thank you for your support Christina!
So we can get the crazy off the wall, living out loud, stuff that really matters here? Yusssssss! I’m in!
This, indeed, is THAT place. Welcome 🙂
But like…do we get to go out and hunt Bigfoot because I thought you were inviting me to some wild adventure group.
Why do you think I’m constantly running around in the forest, day and night? 🙂
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