The other day, I took a long walk with my friend Anne. It was a beautiful morning in Montecito and we walked along the water and we marveled at the scenery and how lucky we were. I especially appreciated it because I hadn’t been able to walk very far after my dumb dancing /walking exercise accident. We did a loop, where we walked along the beach, around the cemetery and eventually through Montecito and then back to my condo. It was probably two and a half miles, maybe three. As we came around to the main street, which is Coast Village Road, a women about forty flew by me in her running shorts, running shoes, arms akimbo, doing her morning run. All of a sudden, a vision crossed my mind and I could see the picture very clearly.
I was in New York. I was in my forties and had just separated from my then husband. I had sublet an apartment and I was lonely as hell. It sounded glamorous on paper. I was dating. I had a couple of friends that were great to me. We went to Elaine’s all the time in her hey day, but still, everything was strange. My kids weren’t there, nor my friends and I would come home every day, much to my horror, to a pink satin couch! I had painted for many years and was scheduled for two exhibits in New York. It should have been a very exciting time for me but I had made a very huge life changing decision and it was hard. All I could think of was "What have I done?"
The only thing that kept me sane was running. I ran for my life (it seemed) every day. I ran around the park, I ran on Madison Avenue, I ran wherever and whenever I could. One day, I went flying past a little hunched over older lady. I came to a stoplight and kept running in place as she slowly walked up to the same stoplight. She looked me up and down and said to me, not unkindly, “I used to be you”. At that time in my life, I thought to myself, I doubt she had been a runner. She had probably always been slow and older. I wish I could find her, forty years later and tell her I was sorry I had doubted her. Of course, she had been young once and had probably ran marathons. How on earth would I know or ever guess that one day, I would not be running, and would be gloriously happy to walk around this loop. How could I have guessed that? In my mind's eye I was never going to be older and would certainly not be curtailed in anything I liked to do. Who Knew?? Not me.
So when that young woman flew by me on Coast Village Road, I almost said to her "I used to be you”, but I doubt she would have believed me!!!!!
One of the benefits of growing older, we get aha moments and suddenly, it all begins to make sense.
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