Here we are, through March 2020, where most of us probably feel like February was four years ago instead of four weeks.
Our lives have been turned upside down, and let me tell you, this weekend was one of the hardest times of my entire life. I don’t think I’ve experienced sadness or anxiety like I have since I was a little girl trying to figure out my childhood that forced me to grow up and take care of myself much faster than any five year old should. Saturday I took a 48-mile bike ride just to wear out some of the nerves I was dealing with. After working so hard the last couple weeks helping my company transition an amazing, beautiful community to being a completely remote one with the same amount of compassion and love, I found myself absorbing the reality of what’s happening in the world right now hit me like a ton of bricks.
And I can’t even get a hug.
The last few years have been a symbol of monumental growth for me. I left an emotionally abusive marriage and job, and was determined to keep my niceness and kindness without being a mat people walked all over. And I honestly feel like I achieved that. However, maybe for the first time, this extrovert can really feel the other side of the introverts equation by not being able to surround myself with people. But when my morning workouts, my community, and the trails I have found solace in have been stripped away, and everything healthy I’ve surrounded myself with has been taken from me, it’s hard. How is what’s going on right now a reality for any of us?
Part of my growth was in part due to becoming more vulnerable and being able to embrace being a real and authentic person. I became a trusting person that so many beautiful people not only shared their deepest secrets with me, they’ve also taught me so many lessons on life, courage and tenacity. For that I will forever be truly grateful. I also find strength from every single one of these people and their stories will keep me moving forward while navigating this situation. The picture above are most of the thank you notes I’ve received during my two years at Alchemy, and they give me purpose to keep doing what I can to make our community thrive…I’ve also had so many give me the nicest comments and love today while I was writing this too. It’s appreciated and was needed.
I’ve also been dating and putting my heart out there not wanting to be single while also being so comfortable with being single and waiting for the right person to come along. Everyone tells you it’s important to be able to be happy with yourself. And I’ve done that. I’ve grown professionally. I’ve traveled solo locally, nationally and internationally. I’ve also been OK with getting lost in the woods for hours and hour and hours by myself when my adventure girls aren’t around for a hike or a road trip. I’ve found love and community in my friends and the amazing professional community I’ve been treated so well by, and can’t begin to tell you how thankful I am for. I’ve also been told things like “I’m too old” or “too professional” or “not datable because I recovered from knee surgery too fast.” I’ve been fighting the bro culture and finding ways to diversify tech while trying to find a place for my heart to land. I’ve put my friends and community first, in hopes with patience the right person comes along, and now I can’t have them either…in person that is. Where the beauty of the energy is.
I’ve learned, for better or worse, to always be strong, whether it’s while teaching a group fitness class while my life is falling apart and being the motivator the participants needed, or by holding space and giving advice for any person that needs it. Lately, it’s been to show people through a computer screen that Alchemy Code Lab is still going to be the caring and wonderful community we’ve been known as even if we can’t come together in person for a little while. I’ve hosted online networking events lately that I’ve actually cried my heart out after because it breaks my heart that we can’t come together in person right now. And because I can’t hug all these wonderful people that are learning to do something so hard right now while navigating this very hard thing we’re all experiencing.
I’ve also been extremely jealous, something I try not to feel, of all the people who have been quarantined at home with family and loved ones while I can’t see anyone that I love in person right now. And it’s saddened me that everyone is talking about how to survive being at home every day with your children and loved ones when some of us long so much to have that obstacle. Then there’s the guilt I feel and the sheer sadness for everyone who is out of work, the small businesses affected, the unknown that any of us face. And I continually find myself looking for the silver lining and being thankful for what I have.
I don’t know about you, but I’m going to fight for the Portland I know and love. I’m there for everyone in my community. I’m learning to continue to workout and do healthy things for myself as I have in the past even though I need to exist in my 483 square foot condo by myself. Any one of you can reach out to me. And let’s come together as a a solid community, treat everyone well, love the people you have, and let’s please, for the love of all good things, come out of this stronger than ever.
Thank you for listening, and please take care of you, do good things for yourself daily, be there for your loved ones, embrace the people in your lives with all your heart, and find ways to be happy. And, thank you, from the bottom of my heart for being part of my community.
Hugs and love… me.