I spent a lot of my workday in front of a screen. And while this idea overall bothers me (I would love to eventually one day have a career that allows me to step out from behind the screen and interact with others more), I come across a LOT of amazing articles, blog posts, and good reads I feel are shareworthy.
I summed up a couple worth your time, below.
1. An Open Letter to Outdoor Women on Independence and Bad Relationships
Katie Boue’s “Open Letter To Outdoor Women On Independence and Bad Relationships” is a great read for anyone who has lost themselves in a relationship before — or really, for anyone who needs a little reminder of the value of doing things for yourself. This isn’t simply a concept that only applies to the outdoors. Yes, camaraderie and togetherness is wonderful. But there is strength in solitude, as well.
2. 50 Ways Happier, Healthier, And More Successful People Live On Their Own Terms
This list is not new, but I wanted to include it because I often find myself returning to it when I am feeling overwhelmed with my life. While I think a few of the author’s suggestions are extreme (no way am I giving up coffee), I continue to return to this post, and find comfort in its content — especially the below “rules.”
- 6. Make a bucket list and actively knock items off
- 16. Say “No” to people, obligations, requests, and opportunities you’re not interested in from now on
- 26. Stop obsessing about the outcome
- 29. Make friends with five people who inspire you
- 35. Make a few radical changes to your life each year
- 36. Define what wealth and happiness mean to you
- 47. Become good friends with your parents
- 50. Spend time reflecting on your blessings at least once per day
3. Dear Younger Me, By Lauren Fleshman
This letter to Fleshman’s younger self dives into the complicated relationship between eating disorders and distance running. While this concept is nothing new, I’m glad it is getting recognized more widely, because it is still frustrating to see this trend grow with women beyond high school and college competition. We all have our struggles with body image, but more than ever it’s important to recognize that we need to fuel our bodies properly to get the performance we seek and strive for. Running is a crutch for many things — bad relationships, clearing our minds, feeling stronger and more powerful— but it should never be the method we use to “punish” ourselves, or a means by which we harm our bodies. Another important point Fleshman makes is that our time on the race course is NOT indicative of who we are as people.
I need you to know, you have always been more than a runner, more than your times, more than your state championships, more than your school records. But you will get confused. You will forget. Luckily you will have teammates and family and friends who remind you. You will go on to do almost every single thing you could have dreamed of, not in the way you imagined, not on the timeline you imagined.
4. Walking Off Heartbreak on America’s New Sacred Trail
Maybe it’s because I have my own special stories associated with heartbreak and athletic feats, but Elisabeth Kwak-Hefferan’s “Walking Off Heartbreak on America’s New Sacred Trail” struck a chord with me that made my heart break, yet gave me hope for new beginnings at the same time. Kwak-Hefferan details her journey to seek answers and asylum after a traumatic divorce, documenting the ways hikes like this — or pilgrimages — have been traveled in the past.
“You should go out there with the intention to introspect.”
I have been planning a solo day long bike trip for a few weeks, seeking the kind of transformative alone time Kwak-Hefferan speaks of in this post so desperately. Reading this article gives me hope that while I may not find out exactly what I am looking for, at the very least I hope that being alone on the road and with nature, will bring me closer to answers than I have ever been before.
The struggle between good and evil is another topic Kwak-Hefferan turns over in her mind throughout the piece, and this anecdote is one worth mulling over:
I’m still turning the dream over. It reminds me of a parable I once heard. Sometimes it’s attributed to the Cherokee, but no one really knows. In it, a wise grandfather tells his grandchild, “Inside of us all live two wolves. One wolf is evil, full of greed, anger, selfishness, lies, and pride. The other is a good wolf—joy, kindness, peace, truth, and empathy. These wolves are constantly fighting inside us, ripping at each other’s throats for control.”
The grandchild asks, “But which wolf will win?”
The grandfather smiles and says, “The one you feed.”
Main image via Pexels