Home > Career, Challenges > Hopelessness and the Washington Monument

Hopelessness and the Washington Monument

Washington_Monument_Dusk_Jan_2006Last night, I had a hopeless moment as I was running past the picturesque skyline of Washington, DC. The city is so impeccably designed, that sometimes it feels like you are traveling through some sort of movie set. You are constantly moving and the buildings just get grander and grander, until you are in front of the Monument itself. In all its’ glory, it should evoke some sort of awe and wonder – and it definitely does. It also makes you think of your size, and the size of all of the problems in your life and if they are really big or small.

Career problems, family problems, friend problems, problems that you can see within yourself. Their size is all measured as you are jogging past the monument, trying to keep your breath even and ignoring the pain in your knee and shin. This was me yesterday. I was a ball of anger.

Runners World Magazine recently had a spread on how running while stressed is actually a bad idea because of the risk of injury.I bet I was a walking risk last night. I had had one of those days where everything was negative, or at least my view on it was. It had started at work, but it had lingered in my 10 minute walk home, and remained as I begrudgingly put on my running shoes and headed out the door.

My husband can always tell when I am frustrated, and usually he knows it has something to do with work, and he is usually the voice of reason and positivity in the throes of a negative panic.

We go for the run because I am training for a half marathon, and because without running I most definitely feel worse. Running takes me away from the things that I am dwelling on, and gets me out of my neighborhood. I never run with music, so it gets me more into my head, or at least just the sounds that my body makes.

Last night those sounds were angry. As we ran along the mall, past the Monument, and towards the Lincoln Memorial, I couldn’t handle the silence between us. I knew that I was angry, and that the thing in my heart that I just couldn’t say was: Am I really where I need to be at 25? Do I make you proud? Am I moving in the right direction, or is my life a perpetual treadmill.

Instead I remained quiet until I erupted into some bitchy remarks and snide comments about how positivity is too much of a challenge, and that there are no things left to write about. Maybe this is too vulnerable a blog post to be considered “career related.”

For me, not much else makes or breaks me than the worries in my head about my life’s direction. It is the difference sometimes between an amazing run and a bad one, one with knee pain, and one that is pain-free.

All the time my husband runs beside me, waiting for me to come out of my shell, or off of the rage treadmill I have been on.

He definitely doesn’t have all of the answers – and most of us out there really don’t. We have ideas and we have theories, but mostly we are mirrors to each other. My husband would be a very good mirror if it were a career path.

When we read these blogs and we connect with people in a virtual network, we are really saying “Yes! I have also been where you are, and have been on that run, and have felt those things too.”

For me, the blog is becoming a mirror of the way that I feel about things, and most importantly, is allowing my head to figure things out for itself, so that I will be much less torturous to be around on those runs.

When we got home, after a brief continuous rant, I realized that we weren’t running anymore. We were in our studio apartment, and that the emotions and the frustrations were feeling quite suffocating in here. We weren’t under the open space of the monument, and so our conversation ended. Maybe no less closer to the answer, but certainly a lot more ready for the next race.

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Categories: Career, Challenges
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