The future and Tracy Chapman

I’m dedicating this one to Tracy

Do you all remember earlier this month when I wrote about feeling restless coming into March? Then I was thinking it would be a boon to my training, a burst of energy that would help me to run all of the miles (which was working fine until Marina got sick, I had to shift my focus back to nursing her, and then had that talk with my manager) and generally come alive in the springtime. I felt a transformation of some sort coming and I couldn’t wait for it.

Then in mid-March came The Talk. I did sense a change on the horizon, but I wasn’t thinking it would have to do with employment and having to jump back into the job market at the same time the news keeps going on about a recession and inflation. I’ve had a few moments of worry and feeling stressed, as well as shaking my head after my most recent grocery store run. Who knows, maybe my bill being what it was will be the motivation to start intermittent fasting again and I can get some abs in time for swimsuit season. You gotta look for the silver linings somewhere, knights and dames.

Yet in spite of the occasional worry or stress, I’m not scared. I don’t think I can get scared anymore.

The other day Mom and I were having a chat about the news, the economy, how much food costs and general angst in the world around us. She made a comment about what it would take to “finally get a break around here.” I don’t have an answer for that and I’d be leery of anyone who claims they do. My grandma and I were talking later on that same night and she made a comment about no one in our family having good luck. Personally I don’t believe in luck – either good or bad – so I’m not able to agree with that assessment. There’s a very real part of life none of us can control, unless we’re determined to be miserable and drag everyone else down with us along the way. I’ve written in previous blogs years ago in being a firm believer in the words of the late Anna Nicole Smith: shit happens, and you live.

I don’t say this to sound self-pitying, but since childhood, my life has followed a pattern of happy periods marked by abrupt, drastic disruptions. There’s been no other way to get through them but going forward and at some point making it back to saner pastures. I can’t see this current disruption of getting laid off by May 18th any differently. It’s not pleasant, but then again, there’s a lot in life that isn’t pleasant. I guess we need those challenges to make us be grateful for when all is right and cushy in the world.

But just because I’m not scared doesn’t mean I haven’t been facing the “what ifs,” as well as dealing with a resurgence of old thoughts that aren’t even relevant to the job search but do a great job of bumming me out. One of my solutions to calming intrusive and unproductive thoughts is listening to music. I stumbled upon a playlist that included some Tracy Chapman. I can’t tell you how many times I heard “Give Me One Reason” and “Fast Car” playing on the speakers at work downstairs, which I am more than okay with as those songs are both classics. The former is a wonderful almost-broken-up song, and the latter is about dreams for the better in the current crappiness.

You all can probably guess which one I’ve been listening to on repeat.

You got a fast car/I want a ticket to anywhere/Maybe we can make a deal/Maybe together we can get somewhere

You know how they say your 20s are like your 30s with money if you don’t have kids? That is true, but there’s an additional layer in that statement. I moved to Columbus when I was 23, soon to be 24, for a job I thought was a dream and honestly turned out to be High School 2.0. With job-related issues and woes, I can easily feel 24 again, sitting in an office getting what was the biggest shock of my life at that point and feeling completely powerless.

Maybe we’ll make something/Me, myself, I got nothing to prove

But I also know I’m not that naïve 24-year-old. This time around I’ve got the experience to know what to do, how to save myself. And part of saving myself doesn’t include being too focused on how anyone else might judge my situation from the outside.

You got a fast car/I got a plan to get us outta here …. Won’t have to drive too far/Just ‘cross the border and into the city/You and I can both get jobs/And finally see what it means to be living

If anything, getting the news from my manager was the kick in the pants I needed to start implementing the IRL plans and moves I’ve been debating for a bit. Patience may be a virtue, but it’s never been my virtue and if not now, this year, then when? How much longer am I really supposed to wait? And admittedly, how much longer do I want to wait while it feels like everyone else’s life gets to move forward? Do I really want to stay in the same spot forever, just because it’s what I’ve known for a long time?

So I remember when we were driving, driving in your car/Speed so fast it felt like I was drunk/City lights lay out before us/And your arm felt nice wrapped around my shoulder

And I-I had a feeling that I belonged/I-I had a feeling that I could be someone, be someone, be someone.

So much of my adult life has consisted of falling forwards after the “shit happens, and you live” passes. Every job I’ve lost has led to another that made more money in saner pastures. The heartache of being rejected and breakups has taught me a truth that stung in the moment – and sometimes still stings – but ultimately provided me clarity of “here’s what’s out there; watch out for it if you don’t want this in your life.” Disappointments and unpleasant revelations have also shown me the direction I need to go to achieve peace and purpose, so I would be stupid if I spent my adult life trying to ignore or avoid them at all costs.

I don’t have time to be a wuss. I’m 31, and when the universe tells me loud and clear it’s time to change something, I’m not going to ignore it. It’s time to fight for better, at work and in my life. It’s been a slow process, but I’ve spent my adult life working and fighting and healing to become the woman I’ve always meant to be. I’m not letting yet another hiccup derail that. The time for being passive is long dead.

You got a fast car/Is it fast enough so you can fly away?/You gotta make a decision/Leave tonight or live and die this way

I don’t know what my future holds, but I do have some firm plans. Come hell or high water they’re going to happen. The future as I’ve always dreamed it is around the corner, and there’s no way I’m going to stop running now. Shit’s happened. Now it’s on me to live.

I appreciate you all who stop by my corner of the internet and hang out with me as real life has its ebbs and flows. I also appreciate all of you staying with me when the topic has nothing to do with running. I’ve never wanted to be pigeon-holed into just one topic, but now that I’m looking over it, a little pigeon-holing might not hurt. I’m The Broad Running Broad, for crying out loud. I need to get back to writing about training plans and giving you all advice nobody asked for, but will still read. Which I thank you for.

Yours in life, reading and running,


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s