I wish I could hug her. I wish I could whisper in her ear that she could do it. I wish I could tell her to listen to the whispers in her heart. Those whispers aren’t secrets. They are your passion desperately trying to guide you down your life path.
When I was 19 years old I moved into my first apartment. I went to school, I worked, I paid my own bills and paid my own bar tab. I thought I had conquered the world. I choose the path that seemed obvious. I did what was expected. I got married, graduated, moved to support my then husband’s passion, got pregnant, and ignored every single whisper in my heart.
I didn’t want a teaching licenses, but it was practical for someone who did want to be a mom. I really wanted to write. I didn’t want to move to Alabama, but it was practical to follow a guy I convinced to love me. I really wanted to pack my things and just keep going. I ignored every single whisper in my heart.
When I was 19 and smitten with a guy from New York City who was on a path to be a pilot, I internalized everything he said. Between classes, working and too many nights at the bar, I’d suggest we’d go for a run. I saw people running all the time and my heart whispered Go Run. I ran track in high school. I should keep running. Let’s run to Town Point Park, I’d suggest. He always responded by saying it was too far away. We would never make it. It was impossible. What I heard was that I was incapable. Why try when I would fail?
Yesterday I parked at Town Point Park for my first run through Norfolk since I moved away over ten years ago. I ran through downtown towards my old neighborhood in Ghent. I ran towards my old apartment thinking there was no way I’d reach my destination. I was only running a 45 minute easy run, and it was an impossible distance away. I arrived in front of my apartment in just two miles. When I looked at my garmin and saw it took me less than twenty minutes to run from the park to my apartment, I was dumbfounded. For 15 years, I have believed that it was an impossible distance. I even believed it as I headed out for my run yesterday.
TWO MILES! TWO FREAKING MILES!
Two miles isn’t impossible now nor was it impossible then. It wasn’t my exhusband who let me believe it was impossible. It was me. I internalized his response. I made it about me. I took his words, and I told myself I was incapable. I chose to ignore that whisper in my heart.
As I made my way back to the park, I smiled. I can’t help but love the 19 year old me. I can’t help but love the path she chose. It’s because of her that today I know that the whispers in my heart can’t be ignored. It’s because of her that I had the courage to rewrite my life story at the age of 26 when I got divorced.
Because of her and a run I had determined I was incapable of running, I now have even more determination to turn those whispers into a roar.
…chase that dream job. Turn your passion into your life
…get to Boston
…show your children that the world is there for them to conquer it
…Love bigger than you ever thought possible
These are the whispers in my heart. These are my truths, and I will chase them. They may not be my final destination, but I won’t stop chasing them because I think it’s impossible. I won’t ignore them because I think I’m incapable.
When I sit across the dinner table from my (second) husband and my children and my eyes sparkle as I talk about my passions, their eyes sparkle back. My husband says Of course you will do it. Cole says I know it will happen. They believe in me as much as I believe in myself.
The best gift I can give myself, my family, and the world is to know I’m capable. The best gift I can give is to honor the tiny whispers in my heart. They aren’t tiny whispers because they want to be ignored. They are tiny whispers because they are my deepest desires and honoring them takes courage. It takes faith. It takes believing that I am capable.
In another ten years, I don’t want to take another trip down memory lane to realize it was only two miles! Two freaking miles!