My Time to Shine … or Not

by Jane Moneypenny

(I start this with the note it may go contradictory to my last post, kinda.)

“So, Jane, how often do you go to Houston?”

I look over at a grinning drunk Jason. He’s swaying a little bit, bouncing on his heels, both from exhaustion of the morning’s Tough Mudders’ race* and the amount of alcohol that has been consumed since then.

I explain that I had just made a resolution to go to Houston less, having spent way too much time there in the last year. In the big scheme of things, Austin is a far much cooler city and my visits only occurred because of big events and good friends.

A sad look passes over his face, “Then how come I never met you before?”

Twenty minutes later, his friend asks me the same question, word-for-word. I give the same answer and he looks thoughtful.

“Well, that’s a shame.”

My friend Hunter tugs me over and kisses my forehead.

“Thanks for dealing with all of us, especially since you don’t know any of them.”

I smile, nod and wonder if this will always be me: Right in the middle of the action, but quietly so, pushing others along.

Will I always be the girl driving the drunks home even though I never drink? Will I be the person holding their hair back while they throw up, being a strong shoulder, but forgotten and ditched the next morning when the other person is sober or happy again? Will I always be pushing my friends to do bigger and better things although no matter how hard I try, I feel like I’m always short? Encouraging them to date more when I can’t seem to get there?

Some of this frustration comes from falling off the bouldering wall a few weeks ago and twisting my ankle. I already had a fear/hatred of it, but was determined to make it up at least once. And I did, but right when I let go to touch the top, I knew I was going to fall (for the record, I touched and then fell). My spotter was not ready; the mat wasn’t over enough and she didn’t push me onto it, so I hit the edge of the pad, knees punching my chest and rolling over onto the ground. Gasping for air and withering on the floor, all I could think was “Damn it, will I always be a split second short?”

I already dealt with this when I returned from Kilimanjaro. But things still keep falling out of my grasp. Apparently I need to go back and re-read that post myself and re-listen to some Billy Joel. As I mentioned in the last post, my parents have instilled this determination in me to always keep going because there’s no option for failure due to full belief in me.

When will it be my time?

*Before you get excited, I didn’t even come close to thinking of participating in that. My absolute hatred of running sealed it.