top of page

Why I'm Not A Runner

On Tim (the Uber driver), goals, and utter confusion


If I started a marathon, I think I would never finish.


First of all, my knees would surrender immediately. Beyond that, though, marathon runners know exactly where they’re going and how to get there. They are equipped with a path and finish line from the beginning.


If runners are toy trains on a track, I’m a toy train in a pinball machine. Better yet, I’m a fruit fly in an abundant, rotting garden, or a motorcycle weaving through traffic. Perhaps I’m the needle for some intricate embroidery. In any case, I’m anything but linear.


Runners, then, do what I don’t: begin with the end in mind. And- for those who read Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People- apparently they’re right for it. This book is practically the Bible of the self-help world, so its emphasis on the goal over a dynamic journey shocked me. As if I needed another reason to loathe self-help books…but I digress.


The other day I found myself talking existentialism with an Uber driver. Tim (the Uber driver) wondered aloud what might compel someone to want to stop living… to which I answered “how fortunate are we not to know.”


He then told me what he loves most about life: the present is forgiving. When we are alive, in Tim’s eyes, our chances to succeed, love, change, choose, and persevere are infinite.


As I search tirelessly for internships, explore career paths, and attempt to answer the infamous “what do you want to be when you grow up” question, I am reminded of our focus on an end. I feel a looming pressure to decide right here and now who I will be, what I will do, and how I will do it.


I feel rushed like my future will be at my door tomorrow--a knock followed by a husband, children, job, insurance and other adult responsibilities I don’t yet understand. Next week I’ll be gray…and days later planning my own funeral. Am I adaptable, anxious, looking too far ahead, or not looking far enough?


So, while I understand that these are the questions of emerging adulthood, my focus on today feels overlooked.


Instead of forging an adequate answer, I remind myself of Tim and the beauty of the present. I replace the intimidating questions about the future with a simpler one about the present: am I content with today? What brings me joy and purpose right now? What am I learning, how am I growing, and who am I meeting?


And, most importantly, why don’t I start there?




Me, just now, doing something that brings me joy today...AKA writing what you just read

6 Comments


lwandeti
Feb 07, 2023

Amazing writer!

Like

alexamora18
Dec 24, 2022

This was awesome Jenna— needed this reminder ❤️

Like

nicweberja
Dec 24, 2022

Very insightful And beautifully written!❤️

Like

kudsuemsn
Dec 24, 2022

You are not a runner because you are a writer. Always giving valuable lessons. 😍 love it

Like

isabella11005
Dec 24, 2022

The most insightful thing I’ve read in awhile

Like
bottom of page