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I finally finished the race.

I’m sorry, I just had to bask in the glory of that one more time.

Prideful? Incredibly, but I ran 13.1 miles so I’m going to be a bit proud of myself.

And to be perfectly honest, this race meant more to me than “I’m so hot I make steam look cool. Look at me! Look at me being awesome!”

Yes, I am terribly self-involved. Writers have always been self-involved. Why do we put thoughts on paper? So we can show those thoughts to other people and have them tell us we’re brilliant. We may feign modesty, but ultimately we want other people to love and adore us. If they don’t it’s a hard hit to our self-esteem which results in us taking to the drink or the cocoa puffs. I myself prefer the cocoa puffs. I have a strange addiction to cereal.

 Oh vanity, thou art a pretty and fickle mistress.

However, this race meant more than blog fodder or having people congratulate me. That’s not to say that having writing material or constant encouragement didn’t feel good. Believe you me my heart grew 3 sizes every time someone commented on my running time or told me how funny my blog was. (See, terribly vain.) Despite all this, before the half-marathon, I still felt like a fraud. No matter how many times people told me how great I looked or how my blog made them laugh, I still saw failure. That’s because in my head 40,000 compliments + 1 failure = 1 failure.

This blog started because I was an overweight college grad fumbling through life with no kind of direction. I’ve heard people talking about feeling uncomfortable in their own skin; I felt uncomfortable in my life. For some strange reason I thought I would be farther along in life at 22, and so when I wasn’t where I thought I would be, I felt like I had failed. Anyone with a modicum of common sense will understand that the average 22-year-old may take some time to get on his or her feet, but I do not have a modicum of common sense. I do not even have an iota of common sense.

I’m brash and moody and easily pissed off.

I’m a petulant child when I don’t get my way.

I’m easily hurt and prone to bouts of depression.

Am I painting a vivid picture for you?

Reader, more than anything, I needed a win.

Ok, yeah I didn’t win the Disney Princess Half-Marathon, but I finished. I started something and I finished it. Now I can change the equation: 40,000 compliments + 1 failure = 1 accomplishment.

One year after starting this blog, I’m a slightly pudgy graduate student that ran a half-marathon and knows what she wants to do with her life. I finished my first year of grad school and teaching. Do you know how good it feels to accomplish something after feeling like a loser for a year?

 It feels – pardon my French – damn good.