Forget Expectations and Just Show Up…Perspective from Sarah (IND)

This morning NP global is highlighting November Project tribe members from around the world by letting those members tell their stories from their perspectives. These are stories about the human condition in all its forms and facets. Of course many, like ours, showcase how November Project has impacted the person’s life and their journey.  As we learn about these amazing people, we bring to the table a heavy hitter of an individual named Sarah Myer. You Indy folks may have heard of her, perhaps even met her! Sarah is a force in Indianapolis. When she’s not at her day job as the Director of Marketing and Public Relations for the Indiana Sports Corp, she’s shaping the city through volunteerism, board membership, and sheer charisma. Which brings me to a solid point; Even charismatic badasses have concerns about going to NP for the first time.  Sarah shared those fears, but she got over them, decided to #justshowup, and has been making waves within our ever-expanding NP waters ever since. Here again is her story of how November Project and the Indy tribe (YOU!) helped give her some perspective during one of the toughest periods in her life and into today.

“The only expectations you should live up to are the ones you expect of yourself.”

I started going to November Project in March of 2016- just five months after my ex-husband and I decided to get a divorce.

If you’ve ever been through a divorce, you know how hard it is. It’s really, really fucking hard. And if you haven’t been through a divorce, trust me- it’s really, really fucking hard. One of the hardest parts of divorce is one word- failure. You feel like you’ve failed as a human being. No one gets married assuming, ‘Yeah, this is fun and all, but it’s probably not going to last my WHOLE life.’

When that engagement ring gets on your finger, you immediately start thinking about the wedding day, the house you’ll live in, the kids you’ll have- your entire future. Well, that’s not going to happen anymore. Not the way you expected. And what will people say? What will people think of me now?

Then there was November Project. When I started, I was probably the slowest person there. Now you can definitely take the workouts at your own pace, but I so badly wanted to be out in front. I actually spent the first three months of November Project dreading it each Wednesday morning. I loved the workouts- I had never felt more challenged. But I didn’t want to be last. I mean, what would people think? Did I even deserve to be there?

It wasn’t until the beginning of summer where it all clicked. I was getting better, I was getting to know more of the tribe, I was probably in the best overall shape I’ve ever been in, and I didn’t need to be out in front. It actually became clear to me that people didn’t care how fast or slow I was. Because I showed up and put in the work, that was enough. I gradually became more comfortable in my own skin and ok with the direction my life had turned. I felt myself being so happy for others who may be getting married or having children, and I was completely fine that my life was not the same. I started finally forgetting about what I thought others’ expectations were of me and started living my life the way I thought was best for me.

So what is the connection between my divorce and November Project? It all has to do with how we perceive others and ourselves. Think about it- we spend so much of our time comparing ourselves to others that sometimes (actually a lot of times) we forget how unimportant that should be to our own happiness- and how much it can take away from our own happiness. Now, especially with social media, it is so hard not to compare ourselves to our family, our friends, and even people we’ve never met. We assume these expectations that we think others have of us that really do not matter.

If you don’t have the baby announcement or the really adorable engagement photos, that’s ok. And if you can’t run a marathon or didn’t play a college sport, that’s ok. We define what makes us happy. We define our failures. We define our successes. And they’re probably going to be a lot different from everyone else’s definitions, and well, that’s ok too.

For me, November Project did something pretty amazing- it helped me to stop worrying about others’ expectations. And honestly, when I stopped worrying so much about others’ expectations, I was able to start living my life.

My marriage did fail. And I’m not winning any races. But that doesn’t mean I’m a failure. I’ve learned. I’ve become better. I keep trying, and I keep going. And I show up.

I’m Sarah Myer. I’m 32, divorced, I live by myself in downtown Indianapolis, and the most I’ve run in one race is four miles. I am strong, I am smart, I am confident, I am beautiful, and I am so fucking happy.

Originally post: November 14, 2016

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