I am in training again. This time, for a couple of half-marathons coming up in April. Always seem to be pushing myself - striving to be better. But, I tell myself, at least it's in "healthy" ways.
I mean, I could be in training for a chicken-wings-eating contest. But, I'm not.
It was in this latest bout of training when I went for my "long run" over the weekend. It gave me a chance to catch up on some really good old alternative music - among my favorite kind.
I realized about halfway through the song "Jane Says (live version)" - worth a listen for the steel drums alone - that I was enjoying the mention of my middle name: Jane.
This is notable because I have spent the majority of my life wishing I had a more exciting (exotic) middle name. In fact, for most of my childhood, I had myself convinced that the "J" actually stood for Jessica-Jordan.
Why? Because I felt like what it was just wasn't special enough.
It's indicative of how I have spent the majority of my life running away from who I am afraid I really am: Nothing special. A nobody. Never going to matter. A "plain Jane."
And so a "healthy" addiction was born: A quest to prove to everyone (most of all myself) that I am anything but plain. Was I pretty? Never pretty (or thin) enough. Smart? Not as smart as that other kid. Athletic? Puh-leaze. Just not enough, that's all I was really sure of.
Thus, in order to prove that I am worthy, that this small life means something, I have always felt I needed to become the opposite of what I feared I was in my smallness. Be Somebody. Achieve. Prove I Matter.
My dad likes to say that when you get tired of suffering, you start asking questions. These questions for me started many, many years ago. But as a typical "Show Me" Missouri girl, I have to see and experience it all for myself. On my own timetable.
In time, and in my times of wilderness, I have discovered who I really am, and learned that I actually do like that girl. In fact, I love her. So I will choose to do things that show that love; choose actions and behaviors that nurture rather than abuse. Most of all, take this self-acceptance and understanding and turn it outward into expressions of love and nurturing for all those around me and anyone I touch through my communications.
What I know now is that I am a nobody. But I am also A Somebody. I am making a difference - but I am also not really all that significant in the scheme of things. And it is because of who I am, not what I do. Actually, by doing less, I find I can be more.
It's just me, plain Jane. And that's OK with me.
For tips on how to get better health and need the health care system less, check out: The New Prescription: How to Get the Best Health Care in a Broken System by Dr. Cynthia D. Haines, M.D. (Dr. Cindy Haines) and Eric Metcalf, M.P.H. This is a book about getting what you really want: better health on your own terms.