This morning I was at the Girls on the Run of WNC Fall 5K… at least for a little bit. If you aren’t familiar with Girls on the Run, it’s a non-profit for 3rd through 8th grade girls that weaves training for a 5K run with fun, experience-based lessons that improve self-awareness, build a collection of positive experiences and inspire life-changing confidence through accomplishment. In short, it’s awesome. I wish a program like this were around when I was a girl. But since it wasn’t, I feel the best I can do now is volunteer and do all I can to help ensure that it stays around for other girls.
I arrived at the volunteer tent to check in, when an unrecognizable voice behind me asked where to put the magazines. I looked down and saw a stack of Breathe. Strange. When I worked for Breathe, I was the only one who came out to events like this. And the new Editor-in-Chief lives in Charlottesville. “Who brought these?” I asked my friend in charge. She told me… and I burst into tears. I have not involuntarily burst into tears in public in I don’t know how long. But they just started flowing and wouldn’t stop. It was humiliating. I was just glad that the woman, who I now knew was indeed my replacement, had walked away and didn’t see my hysterics.
I thought I was over losing my job. I am over losing my job. I just wasn’t expecting to see her. It’s like having a husband that leaves you only to marry a younger, prettier, blonder woman, and then running into her. And of course she was setting up shop at the tent where I was slated to volunteer. They offered to move my post, but I decided that I could handle it and wanted to be the bigger person. (Bigger than what or who, I don’t know.) So I met the new editor, who was as nice and sweet as she could be. I have nothing against her… it’s not her fault I was let go.
I was feeling better until I realized that the majority of my duty at our tent was handing out copies of Breathe. “Ooooh, what’s this?” a woman would ask.
“We’re a healthy lifestyle magazine for women,” I’d reply. “I mean they are…”
What was I trying to prove, really? That I was a glutton for punishment? I finally decided that I could not, in fact, handle it. For the first time (and I’m sure not the last) I made an excuse to my tentmates that had to do with Jed and hightailed it out of there.
I apologize to my fellow volunteers for flaking, but I think anyone in my position would have done the same thing. Although most people who have been in my position are fictional characters in sitcoms and “quirky” independent films.