Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I Finished Something!

Today was the last day of school. I walked out of my business class, glad to be heading home, and realized that suddenly, I won't have homework anymore. I won't be in class three days a week. I can come home and relax, I don't have a million deadlines hanging over my head (from school) which means I can start knocking stuff off my list of other obligations and projects! (After I take a 10 day vacation in which I do nothing but hike and sleep...)

For the last year, my schedule has been insane, up at six, school all day, giving massage until 11 at night, home to study until 2 or so in the morning.

During the ski season, I was on the hill the four days I wasn't in school, and struggling to find balance with my kids while training to pass my level 3 exam.

I knew it would only be for a year, and I suspected that I could do it, if I had help and encouragement and support.

A few other wrenches were thrown in the mix unexpectedly, a bad car accident in October, the repercussions of which I am still dealing with, the fact that going through a divorce with Tom was harder than either of us expected, even though we've been apart for almost two years now.

There were a few broken bones in the mix, a torn meniscus, a broken heart... there were adventures and summits and successes, articles published and mountains climbed and stairs skied and steeps as well.

There was body work and unfolding, there were tattoos and self realization and healing and growth. Friendships were forged and strengthened, and my path, always becoming clearer, seems crystal clear to me now.

To suddenly realize, as I zipped my backpack for the last time today, that I've been trying to graduate from college for nearly twenty years, and today, I did it, was something else.

Yes, its a one year vocational school. Its not a four year program. But its something.

This year, I proved to myself that I can, that I have the capacity, in spite of the odds, to prevail. I am capable of starting and finishing something without shelving it and coming back to it later. I am capable of saying no to things that pull me off my path, I'm okay with honoring my path so that I can accomplish something, without fear of disappointing others.

I finished. This year, I accomplished four big goals without pause. I graduated from school. I was published in a magazine. I passed my level 3. I was hired at Aspen Mountain.

And most importantly, I found a way to grow into the beginnings of who I might become, and that person is capable of loving and giving to my kids without limit, and that feels really good.

Its almost shocking to me to look back at this year and realize that it happened, that it went well, that I didn't drop out or change my goals, but that I made the map for where I needed to go, and with A LOT of help and support from my family and friends, I did it.

Part of me feels a ping of regret that I didn't know this about myself sooner, I wonder what I could have accomplished if I'd known how to be strong enough to stay the course, in skating, in acting, in sculpture, in painting, in climbing, in medicine...

But what I realize now is that all of those experiences in my life were leading me to today. I use things I learned in all of those fields in my massage and coaching practice every day. I wasn't able to finish before because I wasn't able to see myself, to be myself without apology, but with compassion for those around me and for myself.

As I've traveled this journey for the last three years, and the last year, especially, I've learned that there is a way to care for the people in your life, nurture them and love them and give to them, but not to the detriment of your dreams. Finding that balance allows me to give as much as I can, and still have enough to take one more step up the mountain for me.

Thank you everyone for your love and support and belief in me, I can't wait to get my diploma on Saturday and then live the next chapter down in Aspen!!


Liat said...

I loved this post! It was a very beautiful look back at an absolutely unbelievable year. What you have done makes me believe there is no limit to the possibilites in the world - that when you are connected with yourself and your path, you can't help but create the world of your dreams. Thanks!

The Catharine Chronicles said...

You know what this means, don't you? It's going to start a trend. Next thing you know, you'll be starting something else, and finishing it. Then, another thing started, and subsequently finished. We'll try and gently point out the pattern to you, but you'll tell us not to worry... that you can stop finishing things any time you want, you're completely in control.

And we'll shake our heads, and simply enable you to continue starting stuff and finishing it. Because we're co-dependent enablers. And that's what we do.

They write books about this kind of thing. Just ask Oprah.


Anonymous said...

its too bad you didn't say anything about the friends you made at school, the friends that helped you through so must not care about them as much as they thought!
-"bring It!"

a said...

Dear Anonymous, I'm sorry you felt slighted. I think if you read through it, you will see several places where I thank my friends. For instance, this place: "and with A LOT of help and support from my family and friends, I did it."

I struggled long and hard about what to say about my friends at school, and decided in the long run not to post about my experience in detail there, because its over, and I don't want to open those wounds. I personally thanked several of my friends at school, they know how I feel, and I kept it off my blog because I didn't want to offer a venue for those who insisted on dragging this out to talk and bash and make it, once again, about them.

I'm glad we all made up and got along. But I also know everything that was said about me when I was gone, by people who professed to be close friends of mine. Many people came up to me and apologized for jumping on the bandwagon of one person who was jealous, bitter, and angry, and they apologized for their actions and the things they said.

Quite honestly, the hurt feelings that happened, that were so personal and injurious were unfortunate. But I didn't impose those on the person that was hurt so badly. She chose to be angry and take my situation as some sort of reflection on her own situation.

I'm glad to be done, I'm glad to have survived it, I hated what happened, and was hurt quite badly by the things that were said. And yes, I know all what was said.

But I dont' like to carry stuff like that around with me. People have their reasons for feeling upset and hurt, some people need to hang on to ideas of whats fair and to show their band aids to the world for sympathy, hanging on to their hurt. I'm not interested in living my life that way.

I am grateful for the good friends who came to me, who talked it out with me, and who were willing to forge new friendships. And I'm grateful to the ones who couldn't do that, because I became a stronger person by deciding to come back to school anyway and sit through that daily pain, with my eye on the prize, and do it anyway.

The Catharine Chronicles said...

Did you ever know that you're my hero?




SkiingandTheWorld said...

Yeah, gotta say the "comment" from Anonymous is a pretty lame cheap shot and a real lame way to speak out. Got something of real substance to say, then say it...being a "keyboard tough guy" means gutless in my book.

OOORAH Kate...ignore the tosspot and just keep being true to's all that really matters anyhow :-)

a said...

Wow, thanks you guys. :-) I feel much better!