Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana

I’m tempted to consider 2013 as somewhat unremarkable. I lived day by day, and all those days steadily turned into more considerable measurements, like weeks and months. Sometimes I stop and have to force myself to remember some of my adventures:

  • I became a full time nanny for two girls. The job was never difficult, but there was no margin for error. I would often listen to them both crooning along with my music in the backseat of the car, and I would be overwhelmed with both the privilege and the weight of the amenability placed upon me. I was also paid to do things like paint toenails and go swimming.

931255_10201332564819121_69668754_n 1006307_10201819895802091_1725123220_n - Copy

  • I traveled to Las Vegas, and hit up a few of the famous attractions, like Ceasar’s Palace. My Uncle treated me to a fantastic little upscale gem of a restaurant called Noodles, with authentic Asian food/soups that tasted perfectly balanced and divine. I sampled my first ever shrimp in my perfect bowl of pho, and yes, I liked it. I drove two hours south and made it to my old roommate’s wedding, meeting up with another roommate, Nicole, in Kingman, AZ, and it was absolutely perfect. Her mother had died of cancer only a few years before, so Jessica paid the perfect tribute by having her mom’s dress altered to wear down the isle. It was almost as flawless as her.

998711_10151726734535629_962591087_n

60745_10151726742930629_366575033_n

  • I visited the Grand Canyon. It’s so vast you lost depth perception (woah, I sense a powerful metaphor there…). And yes. I wore a dress and sandals to the Canyon. The only think I anticipated traversing were well maintained cement paths. I packed for Vegas and a wedding. You can imagine my shame as my uncle helped me down cliffs and rocks because, you know, IT’S THE GRAND CANYON. THERE WAS HIKING. GO FIGURE. But I’m not upset about it. Not at all. I could only stare wistfully as a group of backpackers we had sat by on an overlook continued their descent into the canyon. Some day, my friends. Some day.

View this post on Instagram

Canyon Pointers. #grandcanyon #arizona

A post shared by Lucy (@lucyanna____) on

21099_10201168430635869_338182923_n

  • While I was Vegas, I finished reading To Kill a Mockingbird. All credit goes to my friend Emily for insisting upon applying myself in succumbing to this famous work of literature. After I finished, I had to take some time and process the whole thing. It was such a delicious book.

546076_10201132831145904_1711085692_n

  • I actually got out of the house and enjoyed some of the attractions Seattle has to offer. I took roommate number 3, Rebekah, downtown. First photo is the first Starbucks, and second is the Chihuly glass museum. I was prepared to be unimpressed, but the sculptures were staggering. I was completely won over. Next time you find yourself in the Emerald City, stop and take a look.

73785_10200647127083606_2032892255_n

525550_10200665492302725_1228449961_n

  • Oh yeah, and I totaled my first car. I won’t show you a picture of the metal heap that was once my primary mode of transportation. Instead, I’ll share a photo of the license and registration I purchased a mere three days before. I had been driving with Oregon plates illegally for a year. I finally drag my but into the licensing agency, and whammy.

1013437_10201570813575191_451429248_n - Copy

 

  • Remember me telling you about the car accident? Will that occurred 2 days before my little sister’s wedding. While driving to it, actually. I was the Maid of Honor, and it was awesome.

1170740_10202045586084207_1640522804_n - Copy

 

  • I assisted in teaching Sunday school for the moth of August at my church. Not only did we read out of my favorite book (the Bible) and partake in my favorite snack (goldfish), we made some pretty sweet crafts, too. I give you Goliath:

1010472_10201861322477732_1400693537_n

 

  • And speaking of church- I attended my first ever Women’s Retreat. I almost wussed out, but two ladies from my church agreed that we should request each other as roommates, so it was settled. It was good for me to be immersed in so much feminine company. The lovely lady sitting beside me is none other than Emily, the same woman who convinced me to read To Kill a Mockingbird.

429863_10201359994344842_985298656_n

  •  Weddings, weddings, weddings. I think I’ll go hide under a table until everyone is done getting married. And if that savored strongly of bitterness, it’s all for show. I love weddings, and I would rather splurge on a ticket to be a part of a friend’s happiest day than to wander alone on some tropical beach. And that’s what I did. Seattle to Orlando took all night, I felt like death warmed over, but it was all worth it when Christi hugged me, warmed up a bowl of delicious soup her fiance, Mikey, had whipped up, and sat and chatted as he steeped me a much needed cup of tea. It was worth it to hold onto more Ecola friends who had only just moved to Georgia, and who’s wedding Christi and I had been in the year before. It was worth it, all of it, just for these moments:

1016591_10201501508882617_1291013776_n - Copy

 

1001165_10201501507322578_2016849864_n - Copy

 

9093_10201630745473451_1481681120_n

  • And while I was in Florida, I ate my very first Chick-Fil-A! And now I experiencing a piercing and constant dissatisfaction in the chick-Fil-A-less land which is the Pacific Northwest.

1010655_10201506335483279_610908338_n

  • I went to my first ever baseball game with Sydney, and the Mariners lost. But that hardly mattered; to me, it was all about the experience. I ate an overpriced hotdog (denied myself a beer), sat on uncomfortable metal benches, and inquired incessantly about the rules. I think I’d like to do it all over again, too.

561847_10201140626300778_1917879825_n

  •  Someone handed me this while walking to the bank one day. I think it speaks for itself. I still have the dollar, too, and I don’t think I’ll ever spend it.

547493_10201145358939091_718727413_n

  • I wore this trusty companion out this summer. I’m currently searching for a replacement. We’ve come far together, through thick and thin, the highs and lows. It rested so comfortably in my hands that just holding it open before me served as an anchor, it’s weight and texture was so reassuringly familiar.

1095040_10201942713592459_56868052_n - Copy

  • I learned how to milk goats. That pail of milk down there? That’s mine. Well it was the goat’s and mine. I feel like gaining a skill such as this one is significant.

1003922_10202148757143419_174364765_n

  • I made some quality friends. The best, really. We met for a walk around Greenlake, and I parked on the wrong end. I figured I’d just walk to meet them, being ignorant of the fact that the trail is almost 3 miles around, which meant I ended up walking a mile and a half before I reached them. And, get this, I was wearing The Sandals. You know, the very same ones I wore to the Canyon. In this picture I was smiling to keep myself from crying. Seriously though, I love these ladies. Left to right: Jen, Hilary, Myself, Emily.

1380720_10202355460550875_913015081_n

  • I took many selfies with cats.

1469937_10202919142122562_843375128_n

  • I hung out a lot with these goobers. My sister and her husband have provided me with many adventures.

936517_10201909807169819_1626765369_n

1016866_687350311305039_896504140_n

  • And I said goodbyes:

1238158_10202364147608046_243060056_n

Day 9

Why do I always save this for 2 am? Why.

The other night I was ranting to my sister.

Last week they had to talk to me at work, and assigned me a captain to ‘get me better trained” and “up to speed,” because the manager, Brian, had given them instruction to do so, most likely because someone had talked to him about me.

7 months. I’ve been working here 7 freaking months, and I need training. It’s just a job, sure, but there’s just something about failing at going into mission, being away from all your family, friends and church, not knowing what to do with your life, and then your work. Work. 7 months, and I still don’t have it. A lot of it had to do with poor training to begin with, but then there was a part of me that knew without a doubt it was also just me. 100% Lucy, and it wasn’t enough, and it got to me. Deep. As I found myself making even more mistakes that night, I nearly started crying. I just didn’t know what to do.

And oh my word I found myself getting so frustrated with myself, and I started thinking of a story shared with my coworker, Shane. At my last job, when I lived in Cannon Beach, I had dropped someone’s debit card into the gap of the counter, and the customer was vacationing and planned to return to Canada the next day, so getting it out wasn’t an option. My boss had to bring a buzz saw and literally cut the counter away to get the card. Shane said they must’ve not wanted me to come back, and I told him no, they did. In fact, they’d hire me again on the spot if I wanted my waitressing job back. I was good at my job. When I walked in the door they felt relieved because they know I knew what I was doing. I was competent.

And every single day as I walked to work, I would pray and ask God to make a servant. To make me useful and a blessing, and to watch over me at work. Every. Day. And I haven’t been doing that at all lately, and It as just overwhelmingly frustrating that I can’t do a simple thing like go to my job without praying first. I mean, I fail at everything unless I bring it to the Lord. I can’t do it on my own, and I wanted to scream for struggling with such simple things. I know I asked God to make me a prayer warrior, but it totally and completely sucks to feel so useless.

That’s when my sister began to laugh. “I do it myself!” she said.

In my house that phrase is synonymous with my 3 year old self. It was my mantra through physical therapy and rehabilitation.

I do it myself.

Alright God. I get it.

Lord, you are far to good to me. Thank you. Please help me. I need it.

This maturing thing never seems to get any easier.

September 30th

My toes haven’t been this shade of…magenta since I was twelve.

My cousin turned the fine age of 10 today, and I was invited to her Birthday party. I went shopping and picked some things I thought a prospective 10 year old would like, discovered I’d probably keep them for myself if it weren’t her birthday, wrapped them up and the next day I was at the party.

There were cupcakes, small, round ham and cheese  sandwiches, grandmas and little girls. We made ducktape flip-flops and gave each other manicures. Afore mentioned Birthday Girl, Torie, asked me if she could paint my toes:

Me: “Yeah, you can paint my toes.”

Torie: “Yay! How about this color?” She proceeds to offer me the most blatant shade of hot pink my eyes have ever seen.

Me: “No.”

Torie: “Oh, mm..” With a concerned expression she carefully places the bottle back in the plastic storage bin that contains all the hues and flavors of polish to satisfy a young girl’s heart. I immediately understand that I have transgressed in a most unforgivable way.

Me: “Torie, you pick whatever color  you want and that’ll be great.”

And while I don’t extend a willingness to accept hot pink (my moment of sacrifice had not been inflated to reach the epic), I did sit on the floor and watch her transform my clean, trimmed nails to magenta paint chips. I stared at them reflectively, the color coaxing out old memories of sleeping over at my grandmother’s: wheat thins, the smell of Sam the Labrador, bowling ball trophies, a giant water bed, going out for pancakes, and nail polish. I remembered the time I loved nail polish, that long neglected era of growing up when I appreciated bright, bold things.

Torie then asked about my fingernails, and I surrendered only to flesh-tone.

I changed clothes when I got back home, and so disconcerted was I at the sight of my own toes that I put on socks. I feel like I’m 10 myself, every time I see them. A kid. Carefree.

It truly is the little things that get to you.

15 Minutes

I’ve got 15 minutes until the cupcake shop closes, and I’m kicked out.

You know what I think is amazing? That we don’t matter (No, not like that. Don’t be silly. Sheesh).

Our good works don’t matter. Us being perfect doesn’t matter.

Us making mistakes doesn’t matter.

It’s God. Our holiness and righteousness is completely and totally dependent on God, and He never fails. God, the one that makes us beautiful, righteous, unified and sanctified never fails. We rush about like so many little ants, moving our motes of dust around, and God is there saying, “I’ve got it. I can handle it. Relax. Trust me.”

I never have to worry about my righteousness, because it’s possessed by God, and He never fails. I’m never going to be trapped by sin, or left unable to pick myself up, because I’m walking hand in hand with God, and God never fails me. How many times do I have to say it.

It only hit me just this morning, praying for a friend who’s struggling with some sin in their life. I was interceding on their behalf, and it hit me in the gut like a sucker punch, but not unpleasantly. Their righteousness, my righteousness, is not dependent upon my piousness or spirituality. It’s dependent upon God, and He never fails me.

Oh, this is good.

 

 

Arise, ye sluggard.

Sunrises, I’ve come to realize, are greener than sunsets. I’m fonder of the later, usually.

A friend from the East coast called my at 6:58 and told me good morning. It was his part in getting me out of bed, and it worked. I rolled out of my ridiculously warm and snug nest of covers, changed into shorts and slipped my tennis shoes on. I set my ipod to my worship playlist and headed out the door to run.

All my life sunrises have mocked me; “Haha! Loser. You’re watching me because you’re awake. And tired. And not in your comfy bed. Score one for The Sunrise.” My outlook on life in those moments was fairly bleak. I had no idea why people got up so early to watch them. Sunsets always seemed far superior in their colour and depth. Sometimes when I wake up too early my stomach is possessed by debilitating hunger cramps. Sometimes they’re so bad I can’t even eat, because I start to feel sick. It’s all pretty ridiculous. It’s cold in the morning, and wet. Sure, the birds are chirping, but they chirp during the middle of the day, too. Guh, it’s like you’re the owl from Bambi, and all the inane chipperness is abrasive to the thick wall of disregard and, yes, contempt.

I made my (very) short round about the neighbourhood, I crested a hill and came down around the corner. My chest burned from the frigid air I had to take in, and my hands had turned red and also tingled and pricked in an unpleasant way. I was gingerly trotting over slick moss as I made my descent, and dodging some sort of willow like branches at the corner near the bottom, and there it was.

I don’t know what was different about this day.

Imagine you are married to someone you despise. Every morning you bury your face into your pillow and shrug the covers over your head, and ignore him disrupting your sleep as he prepares for the day at an unholy hour. Every morning it’s the same. You live separate lives, from the moment you part ways, and you’re content with it. But one morning, while the room is still dark and silence pervades every shadow, you open your eyes and there is his face, and he’s staring at you, watching you as you slept, and in a moment you see all the light and colour and life in those eyes, the unfailing devotion. You see and you know the gift you have beside you, and an unconscious smile plays on your features.

At the bottom of that hill, when I saw that sunrise, in all it’s paleness and green-ness, and light, that’s how I felt. I smiled suddenly, and my first reaction was to stop and look in wonder at what had been made for that day. And I felt my mouth form “Thank you, Lord, for making such a beautiful day.” I was simply happy and grateful for the day the Lord had made, because it was good. He had given me this gift day after day, unfailingly, and I finally realized its worth. He had given me a day. And it was good.

I left with the conviction to leave my curtains open, just so the sunrise could reach my face every day.

 

To be heard

I write in order for my voice to be heard. Not the voice that comes up through your throat, but the one that weaves and wanders through your sleeping dreams. The voice that tells you why you like sunsets and the feel of cool sand beneath bare feet. The one that whispers softly in your ear of love, blushing cheeks, and the reason for a sigh. The voice that sings with the winds of a storm, and pushes you to dive from perilous heights into crystal azure waters. A voice that resonates with the unambiguous laughter of a small child. If I can capture one story of that voice, but one murmur, I know I have not scribed in vain.

It’s happened

Some of you might not understand what I’m feeling, I think. Not at all to say that I’m unique, or that I’m set apart in my experiences and perspective. No.

I think I feel like I’ve joined the ranks.

Sometimes when I lie in my bed, in the dark, I start to remember faces and people, places where special things happened. I remember the sensation when you finally look someone in the face, and you understand them, and you like who they are; that singularly rare moment when your reservations about a person cease to matter. I suppose you might call it respect, or regard, but it goes deeper. For me it’s crossing over to joyfully putting them first, because their friendship is more important to you than being right.  And then those relationships grow and build into something that affects who you are, and they start changing you, moulding you, and you begin to change from what you were into something better.

I have a loyal heart, curse the touched thing. I know myself well enough to say that with complete freedom. I try to keep it from remembering all that has happened the past two years, because when it does it begins to ache, and I can barely stand it. Sometimes I am beside myself by how much it can hurt. I, the stoic, grounded, administrative young woman, who is flying off and leaving everything behind for what’s beyond the fence, am sentimental. There was a day this summer when all I could do was go to my bed, and curl up on it until my heart had it’s way, and pushed out its fill of tears.

And the thing is sometimes I feel like I’d rather they be tears of pain, because at least those are the kinds that can be dried.

I know what it is. As young as I am, I know understand how it feels to look back at all the glorious, beautiful moments in your life, and to know that they will never be back. I know what it is to miss someone, or something, or some place so intensely that something in your chest tightens unyielding and hard. The ‘vanity of life,’ and the brevity of our existence dilemma. The cosmos is crying out to its maker to make it well again, and I know that what my God has in store is far greater, and it’s perfectness far more vast than I can even imagine. But right now I can only know the good I have experienced and seen, and, quite frankly, it takes my breath away.

I have tasted a portion of God’s goodness, and it has brought me to my knees; I cannot fathom how I will be able to stand it all unpolluted in eternity.

So that’s what I think about when I turn out all the lights, and I lie in the dark alone, trapped in my reality of the life I can live in this body. I can only trust that all good things He put in my life were not in vain, and that He has something better. I know it sound silly, but the last time I felt this way was when my childhood cat died, and I knew I would never see him ever again. People, I was told, go to Heaven. But the placement of a pet’s soul is a tenuous subject that never offered me an answer. And that is what I fear now. That all those memories have died and are gone forever, and I will never have them back. In the blink of an eye my life will pass away.

But, after all is said and done, I thank my Lord with all my heart. That He has placed people in my life who provoked all these wistful feelings makes me feel blessed beyond measure. Every time I open a door, and the people on the other side exclaim, “Lucy!” I am torn between sincere joy , and bafflement at God’s goodness to me.

So there it all is. I hope all the people who have made me feel this way these past few months have a chance to read this, because I think they will know who they are in my story.

I can only hope that others can know what I feel, for themselves.

 

Home again Home again, jiggity jig

There’s a window in our kitchen that faces North.

Our kitchen is painted an aquamarine turquoise, with one Tuscan yellow wall. The window frame is wooden, and is painted white. On a shelf on one side a Christmas present from seven to eight years ago has stretched it’s modest vines from its tiny ceramic pot into a veritable jungle. There are three mason jars; one is filled with blue sea shells from my parents honeymoon, and the other two are housing avocado saplings. Their roots are tangled and knotted inside the glass, the water murky and brown, while the rest of them grow straight and vibrant green. A tin bird ornament rests on the one to the left.

There is a humble cactus in a broken, hand-painted mug that was made in Italy. There is a small, vintage cream saucer that is shaped and painted as a monk. A set of unpretentious chimes hang, along with a hand carved, wooden star that has been painted gold. Quotes are tacked to the left, one is taped to the glass.

There are two porcelain hands. One is purely decoration, the other for holding rings. There are two plastic figurines from a farm playset of a steer and a woman holding a bucket. Their paint is cracked and thin, worn.

Another plant is reaching out of an old plastic peanut butter container. I don’t know what it is or where it came from, but it’s there, and it’s living.

The window itself is dirty. We never dust it, and there are cobwebs in every corner. At night, moths rest on the glass, seeking warmth, and you can see their delicate wings splayed gently to the light. Tiny spiders weave tirelessly, and crawl across invisible homes. Their threads are incomprehensibly thin and exquisite, naked to the human eye.

Everything is how it always was.

Brushing my teeth tonight, I finally understood how beautiful life can be without anybody even trying.

 

 

 

 

I post in which I first start waiting eagerly for something else.

I’ve had a quote running through my mind for the past few days:

“The region where there is only life, and all that is not music is silence.”

I was pondering this to my self on a walk home, letting it roll off of my tongue a times (I often I forget that people can, and do, see me when I talk to myself in public areas). I was wondering is that sentence could be true.

One of my biggest areas  of growth, and struggle, has been with my tongue. Knowing that my heart is revealed by my tongue terrified me. Terrifies me. At times I’ve felt words slip out of my throat like cockroaches through a splintered, shadowed and parched ground. I felt ugly, and I was ugly, and I was making the world around me ugly. One word, a suggestion of a word, has been the shovel of my pit. I’ve set words free from my heart that I immediately have tried to pull back, but seed of those kind always find a home and germinate. I have so many regrets and so many fears every day that I walk this earth. And the only way I can cope it to not speak, but pray first. It is only after speaking to the one who created my mouth that I find peace. I hate my mouth. I hate my tongue.

Back to the walk, and the quote.

I could barely imagine. The Tongue, something that has failed to be controlled or bridled since the birth of man, producing music. The quote is speaking of Heaven, of course. Walking home that day, I imagined a world were everything that came out of my mouth was good and pure and righteous and music. And everything that isn’t those things is silent.

Silent.

Everything that would come from my lips would be God glorifying, perfect, necessary and worth hearing. I would not need to fear opening my mouth, because I would have no fear of regret.

And it was in this small moment of contemplation that I grew more excited than I ever have been. for Heaven. For Home. Of course I didn’t understand it in so many words as I have presented now. But truth can be known and experienced in the briefest of moments, and I had mine. I want to go to Heaven.

I want to sing.

What I like to call a ‘Calvin and Hobbes’ moment.

I love this comic. Growing up I collected almost all the books, and I rationed them out to my siblings carefully so as not to lose track of them. Here I offer you a strip:

Anyone who has ever ready the comic is familiar with the Calvin’s father’s dry conveyance of the phrase “It builds character.”

When I was a kid, I didn’t quite understand or appreciate the meaning of the word ‘character.’ All I knew was my dad made me work hard, too, but I griped and complained far less than Calvin, if ever. My dad never allowed us the indulgence of whining in his presence, and we couldn’t exactly hold it against him because he was always working just as hard and harder.

When it comes to things like work, whether it’s weeding, washing dishes, taking an order from a rude customer, taking out the bulging garbage that no one else notices, stacking mounds of firewood, whatever, I’m good. I never developed the habit of having a bad attitude, so it’s not my first reaction to fall back on.

All this to say, sure, I’ve developed some character over the years that a good portion of the population lacks.

I went running today. I usually skip out on running when it rains, but today I finally realized it always rains on the Oregon coast, so I might as well buck up and go at it.

The left side of my body is smaller than the other. When I tell people this, they almost always casually dismiss the information by saying everyone’s bodies are like that, it’s a common fact, and that their own feet are half a size different from each other, and that it’s normal for your dominant side to be stronger. I usually just nod, and refrain from pleading my case any further. Growing up I often strove to keep up with other kids as I hopped through a pile of fire wood, walked across a log, standing on one leg. I still remember the remark my cousin made concerning my poor balance when I was struggling with a playground structure with a moving base.

Running tonight, I could feel my gait’s lopsidedness. I had a very difficult time of making smooth strokes with my legs, and it seemed every step was a struggle. Half way through my route, I noticed my right shin and calf had grown tight and hard, the muscles on that side having to make up for the lack of height and strength on the left side. The right side of my back was, and is, cramped for the same reason from lifting dishes at work. I could feel my right leg working it’s share and more, compensating for it’s smaller half. Muscle cramps have been a constant companion all my life. My left side cramps because it’s weak and unused to hard work, and my right side cramps because it has to do more work than it was designed for. Often times they cramp at the same time. It’s like a terrible tug of war with my body. I remember a time when I was 5, and I had curled up in a fetal position on the kitchen rug, sobbing, while  my mother got asprin because my legs were burning.

It sucked. As I felt my body warring with itself, not reaching it’s full potential, I had enough of it.

And that’s it. I realized today, while running in the wind and rain, that I had a choice. I could ditch all of it and stop. It would be easy. I could just not continue in anything I found physically demanding, and I would have a perfectly good reason to do so. And everyone would understand, for the most part. I had an excuse.

I found this post on the blog, Commit to be Fit:

“Adversity can play a big role in teaching a person to appreciate the things they have in life. I mean, how can you take pride in your accomplishments if you never struggled to achieve anything… (On biking to work) It wasn’t anything I’d call pleasant. I had a 20 mph head wind blowing into my face for my entire ride out to Good Thunder the other day, plus I had to deal with my fair share of horizontal rain while biking up the River Hills Mall area later in the week. I won’t lie: I probably directed an obscenity or two toward Mother Nature when the biking got tough.

But I made it to where I needed to go. And because I had to endure the elements to get there, I had a much deeper appreciation for the destination than I would have had I simply driven there in a car.”

And in the pouring rain, while me body cried out, the Holy Spirit started working a change in my heart.

There’s a lot you can be a good sport about on the outside. I have character, yes, but there’s a place in the heart that God pays special attention to. You can put on a good face, but bitterness or ungratefulness has a way of seeping in, of taking root, and God always know when and where to find it. And then, to Him, the outside ceases to matter.

I realized my frustration and excuses were only holding me back from what I could be. I know that I can be a runner, and reaching that goal would be at last twice as satisfying as it would be to someone with a body that functioned perfectly. Like the widow who only gave a mite, but she gave of everything she had. And you know what? That was enough for the God I serve. He doesn’t care if I can run a marathon, only as long as I give what I know is my best. The day that I put limitation on what I can do, is the day where I stop being an effective example of Christ.

I began to ask myself, would you rather have no legs at all? No. Well, I guess there’s nothing to complain about. hrmp. Well.

And I knew that voice was right. I remembered that I could walk, that I could run, and that my left side didn’t stay paralysed in that hospital bed all those years ago. I remembered that my life was a gift. Not something I deserved, but something that was given to me in stewardship, and God was letting me do with it as I pleased. It’s very much up to me to decide what I could and could not do. The eyes of the world are watching me, and I don’t want to sell the faithfulness of my God short.

So I kept running, despite the pain. And I will keep running.

Because I can.