Eat, Pray, Love; Run and Jump: Part 1- Italy

Holy smokes! It’s already MID OCTOBER (wutttt) I am finally slowing down from the rush of this summer and would like to share some thoughts from all the places I’ve been.

Since June I have experienced the extreme spectra of emotions from shame, disappointment, loss, to joy, celebration, and satisfaction. Let me share a few thoughts I’ve had during the summer.


There is a brazilian author named Paulo Cohelo, who famously wrote a little novel called “The Alchemist.” Most people I know have read and loved this story, if you haven’t read the book I suggest you do so. I kept thinking about it at the end of all my trips this summer. I had literally traveled most of Earth searching for something I felt was an answer. Seeing that if perhaps I left where I had started I would be able to find some sort of missing piece all along. If you know how the story ends then I think you will be pleasantly surprised that my experience was very similar to that of the shepard boy…


After accepting defeat at trials in June, I knew I needed to sort out a few things in my life. I let the Paralympic Games become too big of a thing; the ONLY thing in which I was really working towards… maybe even living for. To have that one item in your life, fall through the cracks of your hands is a feeling I wish for no one to experience. It is a let down that hits you for what feels like a perpetual eternity with torrential waves.


Failure. Pathetic. Delusion.


These were the manipulative thoughts I let hit me every time I thought about it. I saw it all the time on social media, and even felt in the moments I helped my boyfriend get ready for the Olympic games.


I pushed everything out of my life besides making Team USA for the Rio Summer Games and I was left with nothing but months of time to either continue to feel like crap about it, or reflect, recharge and start over.


I took up a last minute offer to travel to a family reunion in Italy. It was under extremely different circumstances from any other reunion I had attended in that I was traveling to meet up with the group after they had already begun all the activities; but also that I was going into a post-very-messy-divorce-situation with my dad and his new girlfriend.


Italy was wonderful. It was confusing and painful to see all the change and hurt that has already left scars in our collective life. It was frustrating to watch family members enable some unfavorable actions of others; but I was empowered this time to be able to see the difference. That is a gift. This year was a notable reunion as “the kids group” (my generation) is now officially larger than “the adult group.” Not only did we grow larger as families have expanded- we grew so much closer. I was able to open up this weird, vulnerable side of myself where I haven’t felt comfortable to do at home, with friends, or with anyone other than this family. I connected with people my own age, distantly related, but drawn together by blodd and through the generations before us.


It was like being in a world lost in ambiguity. It was exactly what I needed.


I cannot thank my family, my cousins especially for letting me in, and sharing their stories with me. We made a pact this summer, for the rest of our lives. To do our best, treat others as right as we can, try to do better, but more importantly, FORGIVE those before us.


That is a promise I intend to keep.



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