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Monica Bielanko
That's What She Said
Just A Junk Drawer Dream
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Monday
Nov062006

What Am I Running To?


I spent yesterday alternately cheering, crying and feeling ashamed. I've lived in NYC nearly two years now and I haven't yet seen the marathon. Until yesterday. 26 miles! Five bridges, five boroughs, and more than two million spectators. What an amazing demonstration of the very best in humanity. Family members running alongside disabled loved ones, strangers cheering on runners (and rollers) whose names were printed on their shirts in black marker.

A marathon. I guess that doesn't mean a lot to someone who has never experienced something like it, myself included. What? It's running. What's the big deal? I certainly wanted to watch a few runners go by, but wasn't planning on standing in the cold weather for two hours screaming myself hoarse, cheering on ever single person who looked tired. But I did. It was one of the best things I've ever experienced. People from all across the world; men, women, old, young, disabled or not - all of them set goals, trained and followed through. What an amazing feeling of accomplishment and pride they must experience upon crossing the finish line. I want that. I want to feel like that about something. And the crowds. Thousands lining the streets of my Brooklyn neighborhood to cheer on complete strangers. It made me proud to call myself a New Yorker, ashamed at my laziness and lack of willpower. If a dude without legs can drag himself 26 miles on a skateboard and I can't even drag myself once around the park what does that say about me? Nothing good, I'm afraid.

Why can't I follow through? My whole life, I've never stuck to anything I set out to do. Fitness regimens, excercising, eating properly.. and not just goals from the healthy front. I make goals to not swear like a longshoreman, be a nicer person, have sex every night.. but inevitibly I fall short. Why? Because it's too HAAARD. What a waste of space I am! It makes me hate myself for wallowing in depression and then feel more depressed because I hate myself.

But those of you who suffer from intense depression know. You know the feeling of clinging to the floor , unable to speak or move or even breathe. The black hole you fall into, ripping your fingernails to the quick trying to climb out.
"You have the greatest life!" Well intentioned people tell you. And that makes you feel worse. You MUST be a fucktard of epic proportions if your life is so good yet you can't cork the wine, turn off the sitcom and drag your fast spreading ass cheeks off the goddamned couch already. But I can't blame my laziness entirely on depression. Sure depression can be debilitating, but at some point I need to stop lying to myself. Stop justifying my shortcomings with depression and just get myself together. This not-having-a-job thing has affected me negatively much more than I've been willing to admit. Until now.

And it's not only that. It's sorting out my future and the fact that I want to have babies with a talented musician who doesn't have medical or dental and will it be up to me forever to get the big money job with the insurance? And and and and. Is that the trade-off to being married to a creative guy who wouldn't know a 401K if it french kissed him in a bar? I have no idea what having a Mom at home would be like. I wanted to be a stay-at-home-Mom. I wanted to be the great family organizer. To cook dinner, plan activities and spend my days with my babies. Woman's movement. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I am all about equality in the workplace but that doesn't mean that I want to bulldoze around some office wearing ridiculously high-heeled shoes and uncomfortable ensembles, toiling for prestige or the almighty buck. I wanted to work, work, work until I had babies and then make a living writing from home. Increasingly, I am realizing that little dream is just that; a dream.

AAAANYway. If you'd like to view the photos click here. I even managed to snap one of The Iron Man himself, Mr. Lance Armstrong.