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I ran a 5K today.

I haven’t exercised consistently in around two months and the last time I tried to go for a run, after about a quarter of a mile, my neighbor’s dog bit me in the ass. It’s OK, I didn’t get hurt, so you can laugh now.

So, if you get the gist, I’m horribly out of shape right now. So the fact that I finished when I did (I would assume around 40 minutes, which is the same time it took me when I was in shape) is actually great. I did better than I thought I could, especially being out of shape and low on sugar.

But here’s the problem:

I could have done better.

One of my friends posted this article from Psychology Today a few weeks ago. I read it and, at the time, I wasn’t convinced. I could see what they were saying, that the way girls are wired and the way we are raised forms our opinions of ourselves for the rest of our lives. If we understand things quickly as little girls (our innate ability), we sometimes suffer and do not learn to problem solve like many little boys do. I could understand this concept, but I rarely gave up in school because it was too hard. I was the type to give up because I was bored.

So, while I found the article interesting, I just couldn’t get on board.

That was until today and I started to think–what if it isn’t just the way that I think about knowledge? What if it’s something that could apply to every facet of my life? Maybe I don’t always let it, but it has sneaked in. It sneaks in when I stop writing something because I think, “What’s the point anyway?” (I fight this one tooth and nail.)

It sneaked in today when I was running and was “too tired” and walked. Many of those times I could have kept running. Or I could have walked for a step and run immediately after. But something in me snaps. If I say, “I can’t,” then, obviously, I can’t.

Right?

Wrong.

This is where, two miles into the 5K, I realized that maybe my parents caved one too many times. I realized that I cave into myself too many times. That if I think, “I can’t,” I say, “I can’t.”

Nine times out of ten, I probably can.

So here’s to a year of “can”s, like “I can be a better person,” and “I can finish my book,” and “I can run a 5K without stopping.”

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In the past year I’ve been in a writing group that crumbled apart, a local writing group that I ran a meeting for but had to take a hiatus because of some Bigger Life Shit, missed the National Book Fair for the millionth year running, and who knows what else. Ray Bradbury died–that’s the worst of it all, right?

But that’s fine. I’ll find my way back to the writer’s group I was in or maybe even another one. I’m enjoying myself at www.scribophile.com. I might even finish NaNoWriMo this year.

I’m sending things out and getting things published.

In two weeks, at Frostburg State University, they’re doing an Indie Lit Festival. I’ll miss the first two days (unfortunately, I need to get a paycheck to pay my bills), but I’m thinking I’ll go up on Saturday for the book fair and panels. It may just be the shock of camaraderie that I need.

You have to understand that I grew up in a world where the Internet existed for, now, a little over half of my life. I’ve been told it existed when I was younger, mostly in the form of dial-up chat logs. I didn’t have a computer then, so I know I’m using the wrong terms. Feel free to correct me if you know what I’m talking about. But as far as I’m concerned, the Internet started when I was 11.

I believe there’s an age range of maybe 10 years where our experience with the Internet and with computers is unique. Maybe it’s just the 80s kids.

I was maybe 9 when I learned to type on a computer. We didn’t have one at my grandparent’s house, and if we had one at my house, I didn’t know about it. Our first computer at home was an old one, and all I can remember is that it wasn’t a Gateway and I always wished it were because that’s what my friend’s was, because of the speckled cow spots.

But I learned to type on a computer in typing class in Elementary school–I was 9 and in the fifth grade. This was back when all of my papers were written by hand and I was more interested in pulling crawdaddies out of the creek and frogs out of the storm drains by people’s basements than being inside.

Sometime in sixth grade–when I was still coping with the fact that I had painstakingly learned cursive but never used it–teacher’s started requiring that we type up our papers. Crazy–I know. I didn’t type particularly fast and hated homework that took too long; this was back in the days when Math was as much fun as English. So I had my mother type my papers up for me, as I read them aloud.

Then everything changed. Read the rest of this entry »

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