Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Sobering Solitude

"What I must do is all that concerns me, not what the people think. This rule, equally arduous in actual and intellectual life, may serve for the whole distinction between greatness and meanness. It is the harder, because you will always find those who think they know what is your duty better than you know it. It is easy in the world to live after the world's opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great person is one who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude." -Ralph Waldo Emerson

For the past week, I have wanted to be alone. I feel like I have nothing to say which is very unlike me. Maybe because I feel like the more I share with others', the more ammunition they have to hurt or judge me.

A few weeks ago, I was on a long ride with someone and she asked me how many hours I worked on the farm. I replied, "Yesterday, I only had to work for two hours. It was an easy day." She broke out in rant about I'm a better athlete than she is because I don't have a real job. She has a desk job from 8am-4:30pm. It makes her angry that I'm lifting weights in the morning when she has to go to work. It makes her mad when I say my house is dirty because I should have time to clean it. It makes her mad that I have the time to cook meals for my family. She told me she rants about me to her husband. I was shocked. I didn't know what to say. I couldn't believe the amount of hatred spewing from her mouth. I said nothing, just listened and continued riding my bike.

She's continued to belittle me and my work to other people. It's shaken me a bit, I started to question if I am good enough. If my work means enough. If my job is real enough. I'm not going to even go into all the stuff I do on the farm on a weekly basis because it will make me feel like I'm trying to prove myself. I'll just say, my job never ends. I don't get to leave the office at 4pm. My work is always here, even at 3am if a goat is in labor. I don't complain about it because this was my choice.

At first, I was very hurt by the comments. Why would a so called friend say such things? Then, I was very angry. I just kept thinking about beating her races. Now, I just feel sad. I feel sad for her because she must very unhappy with her life. She must be unhappy with the choices she has made. Because quite frankly, where we are in life today is from the choices we have made in the past. The next time she says something cruel like, "You have time to cook because you can go to the grocery store everyday." I won't attack her but I'll ask her a simple question. "Do you feel better about yourself when you belittle me?"

I guess this experience has changed me. I'm the type of person that would share my thoughts, feelings and dreams with others. Maybe I was naive and trusted too much. I went for a two and a half hour bike ride yesterday by myself. Normally, I would dread a long ride alone. I would be afraid and lonely. My ride alone yesterday was great, I was with nature. The sights and smells kept things interesting. When it was time to meet up with the group for another hour of riding, I wasn't excited like I thought I would be. It can feel like a challenge to talk and share myself. I'm tired of opening up and being vulnerable. Because in the end, like on race day, I'll be in the game alone.


24 Comments:

At 8:56 AM, Blogger Flatman said...

Its very unfortunate that your "friend" acts and feels this way about you. On the other hand, you are absolutely correct in that she must be very unhappy in her own life situations. It is not your fault she is where she is at in life.

Please don't feel like everyone is like this. I have met some wonderful people through my training. Most people involved in triathlon are so supportive. You may have just found one bad seed in a bunch.

Give others a chance and don't seclude yourself from others just because of one bad experience...

Hope your next training partner is a gold mine of friendship and encouragement!!!

 
At 10:23 AM, Blogger Jill said...

I would say the woman in question is jealous. Jealous that you are able to organize your life in such a way that you can fit in your workouts in the morning. Jealous that you do not have to sit behind a desk 8+ hours a day. Jealous that you are happy with your choices in life.

Jealousy is an evil emotion and warps that person's view of the situation.

You are doing wonderful in your training and life. Do not let someone else's unhappiness bring you down.

 
At 3:42 PM, Blogger DaisyDuc said...

I had come across your site through some mutual blogger pages and I must say that situation is really sad.

I have just started training for tri's and I have been overwhelmed by the supportive nature of the tri community.

I commend you on your ambitious half goal and wish you the best of luck in finding a more positive training partner!

On a side note, love that you have a different occupation. I grew up on a farm and know it is not easy!

 
At 3:47 PM, Blogger nancytoby said...

Ack, doesn't sound like any kind of a friend to me!!

Riding alone rocks, just as long as you know you can change a flat if you need to. :-)

 
At 9:14 PM, Blogger Jessica A. Freas "Freeze" said...

I feel your pain honey! I agree with Jill. She does seem jealous (I think I know who you are venting about) and it's sad. I am also right there with "Flatman" b/c I have been doing these races for several years and the PEOPLE are a HUGE reason why I do them! I have made some great friends b/c of them... just like you! Hang in there and remember "Winners make things happen. Losers let things happen." You are a winner in my book! Keep it up and remember, stop and think about it at times... it's really funny if you think about it. It's your life! Live it how you want and enjoy every minute of it!

 
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