Monday, June 24, 2013

The Warrior

Wow, I can't believe it's been almost a year since I wrote something on this blog. I guess things have been busy. Or I haven't felt much like writing. Yes, both of those.

Thoughts about a blog post started coming in as I was reading my new favorite book, Carry On, Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton. It was chosen by my book club and I'm so glad it was.

Glennon is my new favorite person and she has been added to my very short list of non-family/friend heroes. Before this new addition, my one hero was (and is) Molly Barker, founder of Girls on the Run and all-around amazing woman. I've written about her a few times (here and here, to start) and had the pleasure of meeting her for the first time when we were starting Girls on the Run of Montgomery County many moons ago. Once we were approved to start our chapter (or council, as they are called), we had to go to Charlotte, NC for meetings with the higher ups of the organization, get trained, meet other new councils and have a nice girls' weekend. We were doing a coach training and playing some ice breakers. When it was my turn to say something, I mentioned how the trip to Charlotte for this training was the first time I had left my then baby Keller for more than a few hours (he was about 14 months old at the time). I cried, of course, and Molly cried along with me. It was just a moment I'll never forget because in most situations, that would have been super awkward and I would have been mortified for crying. But in that moment, I was accepted. My feelings were accepted and welcomed. Great, great moment. Over the years, I've met with her a few times and I feel like my life was definitely enhanced by her presence. Granted, she probably doesn't remember me but I remember her.

Glennon reminds me greatly of Molly. Glennon has lived her life, as she puts it, protected by her many superhero capes. You know, the capes we put on to hide ourselves and our true feelings: the "I'm perfect" cape, the "I am fine!" cape, and so on. Just like Molly's Girl Box. You know, the box we're put in throughout our lives. We have to look a certain way, act a certain way, but we can't be too pretty or too smart, among other "can'ts." The Girl Box sucks. Anyway, after the living the majority of her life hiding her true self, her true feelings, and pretending to be someone everyone wanted her to be, Glennon found herself a decade-plus into bulimia, alcohol and drug addition, scared and newly pregnant. She was faced with a choice: continue the downward spiral into oblivion or get better, remove the capes and become a mother. She chose the latter and now, another decade-plus into sobriety, motherhood and marriage, she shares her stories with us. And I relate to her on So Many Levels. From the issues with food and substances (which is why I'm an anal runner and nutrition freak now!), to pretending to be someone others want me to be, I just feel like she speaks to me. What she shares, I feel. To know that it's ok to be who we are as long as we're truthful.

Between Glennon and Molly, both of which I follow on Facebook and Twitter (the links from their names lead to their Facebook pages if you're interested), I get daily, multiple daily, reminders that I am enough, that it's ok, and together, we can do hard things. And while I may seem to be handling things well on the outside, there are times when I'm in the fetal position on the floor wondering how this all happened to me. Trust me. I am. We all are. And it's ok. And I know that the gifts I have are enough. And you are enough. And together we can do hard things. We just have to show up.

People, man or woman, I highly recommend Glennon's book. I highly recommend following Glennon's blog and Molly's blog. They are smart, insightful, hilarious women. Their words will delight you and pull at your heart strings, but it feels good to actually feel.

Carry on, Warriors!


cherylopal said...

you rock jenn! and I keep thinking about coaching for girls on the run but get a bit selfish with my training- could I manage this fall or am I as busy as I think I am?

Jenn said...

Thanks, Cheryl! And you would LOVE coaching GOTR. It's such a blast. I think you can do it with some shuffling. There are so many schools in MoCo with programs, I'm sure you could find one that fits your schedule. I coached at Ronald McNair ES in G-town and their schedule was Tuesday mornings and Friday afternoons (I think, it may have been Thursday afternoons). And that was nice to do it before school, though I don't know if that's an option for you. If coaching doesn't work, you can always be a running buddy for the 5K and run with girls that don't have anyone to run with. That alone is an inspiring experience. Whatever you do, any role with the organization is helpful and appreciated and fulfilling. Have fun!

Anonymous said...

The world is so beautiful, and so freakin' small! I love that I personally know and admire both you and glennon, and that I count you both among the warrior mamas in my life. so awesome!

Anonymous said...

The world is beautiful, and also so freakin' small! I love that I personally know both you and Glennon, that I'm lucky enough to count you both among the warrior mamas I admire and trust, and that you've found one another (even in a small way). Awesome.

Jenn said...

Kelley, you know Glennon! You are such a lucky lady (and an awesome warrior mama, yourself!).