Sitting with My Back to the Room

Right now I’m in a large restaurant, sitting alone towards the far corner with my back to the room. This is profound in ways that could seem minor, but aren’t to me. You see, I don’t sit with my back exposed, unable to see what’s going on around me.

I feel like this represents a shift inside me. My shifting, changing outlooks, positions, this is nothing new. But somehow what I’m feeling now is new. Perhaps it’s the result of the intense focus I’ve been putting on my health and body.

Last night at the track, in the dark, on lap seven I experienced what Nathan has called “the gazelle feeling.” As I rounded the corner a burst of energy exploded inside. And for a full straight, I flew. It was as if my feet weren’t touching the ground. That’s never happened to me before… an euphoria from pushing my body further and harder that I believed possible.

I called Nathan afterwards to share my joy. But he was distracted, focused on work, and the conversation left me feeling empty and alone. He tried to sound enthusiastic. He really did. But what he truly wanted was for me to stop talking so he could solve a major work issue and go to bed. And that’s okay. I don’t need to depend on him for my happiness.

Over the years with lots of trial and error I’ve become pretty good at seeking out my own happiness. And in this moment of my life I feel strong. Unbelievably strong. Things have happened that have pulled back some of the curtains in my mind. I’m not interested in free and easy sex. It leaves me emptier than I was before. I feel gross and disgusting afterwards. I don’t fault myself for seeking that out in the past, but it simply isn’t good for me anymore.

So is it this strength that causes me to choose the seat facing away? It is what’s allowing me to pick at my salad, blind to room behind me, and write this post without feeling the hair on the back of my neck stand up? Perhaps. Whatever the cause, I’m so very content with who I am and more accepting of my unconventionality than I ever have been before. And my willingness to step outside the traditional, the norm, the expected, may just be what results in my contentment being long-term rather than fleeting.

back to the room

24 thoughts on “Sitting with My Back to the Room

  1. Those moments on the track are wonderful. They prove that progress is being made, Your body is changing, growing stronger. Congratulations, you will have many more.

    Having your back to the room is a sign of strength, that you don’t need the room’s validation. You don’t need the smile, the wink, the admiring glance. You have those things inside.

    Be strong
    Stay strong

  2. This shift sounds so very good. To feel this kind of inner strength and contentment with who you are is certainly an achievement. It’s something I feel that is a great thing about growing older, that I just feel comfortable in my own skin. It’s comforting to feel that. And that feeling you described when you were running? Oh man, I love that. I don’t run, but I get that feeling at the gym. Damn, it’s good stuff.

  3. Quietly reading the inner you now more than before. Too often many are concerned with the journey, without taking any notice of the path they are taking. I’m smiling at your thoughts and I hope that light continues to shine within….

  4. One of your best pieces noodle . Some times the most lasting impressions can be created by fleeting but passionate moments :)

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