Valentina

#OneStoryAtATime

#beirutmarathon2017 #run #lifechanger #LifeIsaMarathon , not a race ūüôā

(Wondering why my last series of posts & those to come are entitled in people’s names? Feel free to visit this: https://wegrowthroughothers.wordpress.com/2017/08/31/life-is-a-marathon-not-a-race/ )
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Our Sunday 24km long-run; yes, at 18km we were supposed to be tired, but seeing the above, you start understanding the motivation we get from each other .. It’s like Magic #foreal

I Miss you my people ‚̧

I have a lot more people to tell you about in my marathon undertaking, especially these 2 weeks!

Mini-confession:

I had a kinda weird week to be honest, feeling a little off, a little sleepless, and a little swamped or overwhelmed with life, those have-to-dos of life that often overwhelm us till we forget to look at the bigger picture of life, the bigger purpose of why we are here Рthe people around us.

A piece of my mind tonight, as i cozy up in a newly-discovered little tea place, which i only discovered last week for my new thing,

Colouring ūüôā They say it’s a therapy you know? For me, doing it last Wednesday just calmed me down, it slowed down my whirlwind..of life. Loved it.

Piece of my mind tonight:

Never underestimate your existence in someone’s Life.

It takes 1 word to change someone’s day or perspective, just like it takes 1 person in one’s life to inspire, to help accomplish a work in progress, a path, a project, a dream ..

1 can be a really big number in 1 Life ūüėČ

 

And here’s an example Why: Valentina

So i joined the marathon and the 542 Team this past July; one thing this really changed drastically in my life, is the use of social media.

I’m not a fan, or wasn’t until this happened.

With our every Sunday long-run,  distances become longer but photos taken of us onto the marathon association become more numerous, catching us at every angle and smile!

So, we been posting lots online, which actually multiplied the number of friend requests i received..honestly, because i also encourage lots of members not on our team on those long runs – genuinely because it keeps me going – i practically know everyone by now and it’s been contagious!

Okay  so, with this social media Рstampede hehe well, i got a friend request from a certain Valentina..

(PS: i usually prefer to respect the privacy of my subjects hence i omit certain details in photos or typing).

For some reason, looking at the friend request aroused my curiosity, partly perhaps because the name was Italian (non-Lebanese) and partly because i felt something was behind this friend request, #cantexplain.

So , I messaged her, asking if we knew each other or if we had met..

She replied with her story that she is also registered in the Beirut Marathon, that she runs, etc..

We had found common grounds across borders, only because of this 1 undertaking i took on this past summer,

which at the time seemed more for personal reasons rather than being there for others; nonetheless, here we were.

We became facebook friends, but now…very good friends is more like it because well, the messages we are exchanging, the sharing of friends we are having as she meets my running buddies and teammates through our photos first and then through adding them on facebook and chatting with them herself ..have just been WOW ¬†and #surreal.

Have a look at few thing she shared with me, those things that kick-started a genuine, beautiful friendship:

Valentina is Italian; she has had this dream for so long, and that is:

Visiting Lebanon, the land and country she’s madly in love with, and running the Beirut marathon.

She is no runner, or was not, until this year, as she explains, she went completely “crazy”-determined and planned on making her dream a reality.

She has had challenges, physical ones mostly, as she’s had to re-adjust her eating habits a lot, as well as her watch her nutrition and monitor the intake of carbs, proteins, etc..

Also, she was running alone.

Today, my people, truly it has been beyond beautiful to see her messages, her sharings, her postings, her messages, all of which just make HER and US here see,

You can make a difference in 1’s life, with the littlest to the largest things you help them in.

Our support was only online, minimal, you might add probably useless for a physical-effort which you’d expect to need to complete 28 and 30km.. and more in time.

Yet,

my whole team, our idea, our runs, our photos, now include her, at heart, until she’s here in October, when we already planned team hikes and outings for her to see the beauty in Lebanon and have memories.

More so, my running buddy, up in the photo, Abbas .. he will surely have a post about him for you to read through, but for now, i must tell you:

this week, he called me over the moon.

I said what’s up, he said,

i am on cloud 9; i am walking in my hometown tonight near the sea when i started thinking how You Joy, how our team, and how Valentina have dropped into my life like in a parachute, like angels who came down just for me, to make me happier and fill my life…”

I was speechless on the end of the line.

He rocked my world. I had rocked his. Together, we also each rocked Valentina’s world. Also, Valentina rocked my world. She made me believe in bonds being formed cross border as genuinely and as beautiully. We know her now more than anything, we really do because as i am discovering, in

#Running, you have only one personality, the Real You and all those who run, are happy, they are truly giving, caring, alert to other’s abilities and needs.

And that’s just been 2 months in all this undertaking.

Cannot wait for more. Yes, runs are getting tougher, but so are our bonds and mental support, truly, has proved to be 70-75% of the run v/s 25-30% for physical readiness and fitness..

 

I hope this inspires you  the way it did me.

Please be safe, you re 1 person, but a whole lot in some one else’s life, your son, ¬†daughter’s, either parents’, your friend’s, your teammate’s…

With all my love,

Joy

Sept. 16, 2017 at 9.29pm

(going to sleep early tonight for our 5am 26km run tomorrow Sunday!!)

‚̧

 

 

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Nobody Trusts? Reversed Living Metrics

I miss you my people. I mean it.

My day’s lesson:

The worst case scenario is that no one trusts […] everybody is suspicious“, ¬†[if/when you are kind and selfless]

#reversed #metrics
Today, it’s called #human #development ? Loved the vid, had to share.

 

#kindness helps you live multiple lives, instead of one, which is basically only yours.

With kindness, you get a piece of everyone’s lives.

Don’t you be scared to be “human”, the world is upside down, not you for being the way you are, being a “human” i.e. a compassionate.

 

I miss you my people. And I mean it because ..

I have been tied up with work commitments, leaving me to arrive home late, like you probably, with eyes too tired to open, let alone to look at a screen even if it’s for the one thing i love MOST: talking to you here, instead of to myself or overthinking on my own.

I hope you feel the same, cause this is our no judgment space, as always.

I think of you here, ¬†often, and of my not being here every day, especially ¬†to legit-ly meet you my new, recent followers and those who have met me through my beautiful new blogging friend Alara Karis:) and catch up with you my beautiful, most unique friends I’ve had in this life, really.

Never thought blogging would help me meet people and get to know them the way i do today and the way we make each other feel through our likes and/or comments.

This platform is by far the most generous: never failing to provide me (and you i hope) support, discretely or explicitly or both at once. It never failed to make me feel safe in my sharing, in listening, reading my thoughts,, giving, ¬†generously time among other things, and never failed in helping me find at least one blogger, “like-r” or comment-or who understood exactly where i was coming from..

All my love,

Joy

June 14, 2017; 10.13pm

Ever Lost a Best Friend?

Mariah.

She was a Mariah; a childhood friend. I lost her in grade 6 or 7. We were friends since kindergarten. Today, without knowing, we share a network of people we each met separately through university and workplaces basically. What a small world huh?!

[What about you? Please feel free to type¬†in a relevant name…:) ]

I never thought i would actually talk about this one day … but here i am letting it out cause it has been on my mind, and because I¬†am always truthful in my thoughts to you my people for one simple reason:

I know that deep down, each of us has been there, done that, or dealt with a “moving on” from one phase to another in this life, whether it was a phase or a person.

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This has happened such a long time ago when i was like 13 or 14 years old i think, maybe a little younger: I lost my then-called “best friend”, “truly best” friend.

It’s not like i’m traumatized by that, at least not that i’m aware of its effect on me lol, but in the past 2 weeks, she has been popping right in front of me in different places, which¬†got me thinking, and checking out what she’s been up to through social media channels.

We are not friends on fb or on social media, as i recall fb was non-existent when we use to sleep over each other’s etc.

And as it turns out, friends on my platforms have friends who are common friends with her, so it wasn’t such a hard job to find out where she’s been and what she’s been up to.

We go back to kindergarten. We use to hang out with each other all the time. Our parents became friends because we were inseparable . She was really where I would spend most of my time.

She was there when that girl in class was so jealous of me and we use to plot against her haha. She was there when I¬†had my first sense of fashion, and she even got influenced by mine. We also did have that jealousy phase between each other. I use to come tell mom about it and the latter would just sit with me, explain how at our age, we are building our personalities and we do these things, we get jealous, we get irritated at times, but after all, she use to say,¬†you are good friends, that’s what matters most, right?

And i’d just pack up my honest, simple heart, and meet her the next day, hang out as we claimed to our parents we were “studying together”:D

*i smile at the thought of how we’d just hang out and watch teli, or gossip a bit about stuff¬†or what party we’ll be invited to.*

Then, one day out of the blue, been¬†years together, she’s diagnosed with Diabetes. At the time, yes it was treatable and all, but, it was still something that altered your lifestyle, something that would make you think twice about going outdoors to bike or whatever because an injury for a diabetic person is tricky, or dangerous. Not as casual as it is today with all those high-tech, easy to carry, use and measure equipment. Times were different then really on that aspect, even though i am only 27 today, things jump started quite a bit since my teen years.

Back then, it also meant needles, and her responsibility to keep balancing that insulin level, detect hypo-or hyper-glycemia and keep a candy at hand just in cases..I know, no matter what she thought, it was hard on her. I don’t recall us talking about it, or how she dealt with it… for all i know she may have just surpassed it better than i’ll ever know. But, what i seem to remember – which honestly i have no idea why i remember all these details now that i decided to blog about it “shortly”- is that around that same time diabetes came up in her life, we had become a more “open” circle, where more, different friends came into our friendship.. Things were already changing on the friends front at the same time as her diabetes then.

I was feeling uneasy, hurt and cut deep, as now my one on one time, my “own best” friend as we saw it at that age, was preferring to spend more and more time with these new friends. Besides the fact that i was and still am a generous person who invests i others, especially friends, she was everything to me…

but apparently, not so much in hers? She was choosing to spend time with those friends who in my head, did not know her as much as i did. I liked them, but to be completely honest, i kind of knew that we were different, like, i knew, at 13-14 years of age, they were not my tribe, not those i’d entirely click with.

They chased things that did not really tempt me, read or followed news i was not entirely into or even slightly now as i try to recall, but it was fine with me, i could be a good sport and learn a bit more about what interested them.

But god knows how much i tried to play along. I wasn’t annoyed by them, but i just felt they were different. In their hearts, we carried still the same innocence and good up bringing, but in their heads, in our heads:

me and them- things were different, priorities differed, shallowness differed, what we wanted in life differed even at that age… and so, Mariah and I .. we began to drift apart.

It was a slow process, she became more friends with them slowly, then her mom also became friends with their parents who also led quite a different lifestyle than ours at home..

Now, what I draw from that context today is:

Holding a grudge really does nothing but shrink your world in this life you lead.

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A few months back, I bumped into her at a beauty salon. I was in a different room, but the corner of my eye caught her. I realised then, i am not someone who carries grudges or who ever aims to carry one against whoever it was.

Since then, look at me, having you people here, my people on my good day email chain, my huge circles here in lebanon to the uk, to canada, south africa, the netherlands.. to around the world where my friend now are.

Life ladies and gents.. leaves no man behind,  NO MAN BEHIND:)

Also, Not all people are meant to stay in your life: today i look at her, her circle of friends, her life, and I just don’t feel i belong there:)

It takes time to accept, but it will come, have some faith!

Like, i bet every one of you has a certain person or group of persons who they think they like, or they think ouh wonder what it would feel like to be part of their group, but then, you realise you wouldn’t be wearing shoes you are comfortable in every single day, or every single night you hang out with them.

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PS:

I’d love to dedicate this¬†blog post to E., whom i had promised to email yet still did not..and for other reasons she told me about;) Hope this post gives you a breath of fresh air by the time i reply to your email legitimately;)

With all my love,

Joy

Apr.27, 2017 at 12.39am

I Have a Friend

[An attempted, simple poem i ventured into, instead of a traditional piece of my longer messages tonight. Hope it conveys virtues you see in friends of yours:) ].

I have a friend.

He is nothing like anyone I knew.

He is bright, vulnerable too

He’s had a broken heart,

.. a heartache I probably will never understand fully or as deeply as he feels it

I have a friend.

He’s had his share of fake friends,

Fake people, empty circles ..

Others who have let him down, big time

He has his weaknesses, trust issues, his thoughts on his last day here

I have a friend.

He has a depth of understanding one cannot but fall in love with

He says everything you do not want to hear.. annoyingly, yes, but only if you didn’t know him

He sees in a situation everything you do not see,

He makes you feel like you want to smash his head at times, oh

He loves arguing, but he’ll make you love it

He’ll make you scratch your brains, push a change of heart

I have a friend.

He cheekily loves being right, duh, who doesn’t?

He imposes himself at times with others,

And you could hate him for that,

Yet, in other times he does not,

If you closely notice it, he leads teams

He takes people with him on the mission, dream, drive,

His enthusiasm reveals a beautiful love to live, one he sometimes does not see cause he’s too busy living it so awesomely:)

But he has lived, felt, seen, experienced,

I have a friend.

He has  been on the dark side,

One I may never fully know a lot or all about,

One that’ll push judgement at times,

Alas..

The people he trusts..Oh, their well being comes before his own,

Few these are, but lucky and privileged they sure are to have him,

To have his sweetest heart:)

He loves movies, and their jargon(A),

Educates you about them¬†knowing you’ll barely memorize the tips haha,

He lacks a hobby, as like most of us, he lacks the ‘time’

He’s such a good listener,

An attentive sometimes speechless scholar,

I have a friend.

He captivates you with how he balances his words sometimes

He is ambitious, dangerously but beautifully ambitious all at once

He plans, plans, I hadn’t seen anyone who plans as sharply

I have a friend.

Trust worthy as he is,

You open up, little by little

But you think he can’t see that,

He keeps asking for more, to know more

Yet, it seems like he’s giving less? or at status quo, but only in some ways, on some days

In other ways, if you’re sharp enough to spot it,

He gives.. a lot

He is practical, sometimes very realistic it hits you;

I have a friend.

It is said he lost the belief in words and expressed emotions,

Why would he express them, when he did once when it counted the most?

Words can all go away someday, as we have all experienced, sure

Words had betrayed him with an agonizing act,

Years went by, and when no one expected it not even himself, he rose again.

I have a friend.

He attempts at anything more times than any one could imagine,

But sometimes his attempts to seize the future today..trick him,

He forgets to live the Now, to express the now, to love what’s on the table today

I have a friend.

He does not express his feelings a lot,

In¬†fact, he probably rarely does “like you know it”;

When you call him up after a week or two, you scold him

His actions or distancing will push you to do just that, yea!

I have a friend.

He listens, and listens a bit more..

You feel a sincerity emerge through his listening,

You start learning about his respect to you, to your words,

Their weight on his life, their effects on his life, their meaning

Apparently, it’s another nontraditional way he expresses He cares

You speak up, hang up,

You cannot but understand now: this is how He cares

If he trusts you, he offers a lot, actually: everything

I have a friend.

A child’s heart in a grown man’s body, the kindest that is ūüôā

His help, simple connections, practical chats, thoughts, solutions, insights

His real alternatives are on the table,

For you to choose from.

I have a friend.

He allows you to start over,

He has his off days, eves, and nights out ‚Äď but don‚Äôt we all sometimes?

You know what? They pass if you admire and respect him enough for what he is today

When you think he’s being distant,

He does not apologize or make you apologize,

I have a friend.

He simply offers you pieces of his world,

For you to use if/when they help you

He has no time limit on those pieces offered,

 

And then I learned, and I still learn, this is how He cares.

 

My people,

This was inspired by chats and meetings lately with J. my friend; Remember:

Do not judge someone for not expressing or reacting to things you express

People are not always identical to you in their emotions

Look for alternate ways they use to show you something,

See what if they really try to offer something, in ways they are comfortable:)

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Sincerely,

Joy

Started March 18, 2017 at 5.27pm;

finalized March 29, 2017 at 1.14am