Day 1: The 1st Day. I was told to unplug. Relax. Slow down. It’s only day one. 8:30am I roll out of bed. Show of the Day: Scream Queens (and I watch the whole last back half). Maybe unpack a little. Peak out the curtains at the outside world. PJs are the clothing of choice for the day. Is it time for bed yet?
Day 2: Groundhog Day. I peak out to the street outside and scurry back. I think I saw my shadow. Does this mean 6 more weeks of winter? It must mean at least 6 more episodes of TV. I turn on my new best friend, and decide it’s time to find an “American show”- I land on American Idol. It’s the farewell season, so it seems like a good time to finally watch the show.
It’s suddenly 4:30pm and I realize that I haven’t had fresh air in 2 days. I should go outside. Derrick has told me I have nothing to be afraid of. Be careful, but Philly is a safe city. Okay, I can do this. Just go out. Then, I find half a birthday cake from Derrick’s birthday in November. It’s been frozen, so it should be okay right? This seems like a great excuse to stay inside- examine the cake. Eat the cake. Find another excuse.
Back in Toronto, or even when travelling, I’m outside exploring without a map, ready to get lost without a fear or worry. I’m looking at my fitbit saying “I’m getting to 10,000 even if I have to walk around the kitchen for 1800 steps!” I love to move, I love to be active. Something else is going on here. I’m lacking energy. I’m sleeping a lot. I have no interest in calling home, yet I feel totally lonely. Derrick is late getting home from work again, and I just sit here. I’m feeling low. I need to change something. I’m not only lost in this new city, but I am realizing that “Mike” is lost. Who am I without a career, without a community, without defined goals?
Day 3: The Idol auditions continue. I think Harry Connick Jr might be my new celebrity crush. And I’m putting it out there now, Jenn Blosil could take this thing- there’s an endearing quality about her quirkiness and her voice is a-amazing! Shelbie, and this Jeneve character- I’m watching you too. Enough about Idol (go Jenn!)- What else today? Maybe a run? Uh, maybe tomorrow.
Day 4: It’s Time. 15 hours of Idol auditions are finally wrapping up, and it’s after lunch. The sun has yet to set. I’m not getting distracted with another box, or another piece of cake. I’m doing this- I’m going out. I google runs in Philly and came across this site: http://www.phillymag.com/be-well-philly/2015/04/12/running-trails-philadelphia/ The Ben Franklin Bridge doesn’t look too far from home. I pull out my new headphones, charge my Nike watch, and sync up my iPod with a new album. I message Derrick “I’m going for a run to NJ!” I plug in and head out.
I actually lose track of the time. I zip up through Head House Square, and Society Hill. I pass a few museums, and even the Liberty Bell. I keep going. There appears to be a sculpture of a lightning bolt and key- I’m at the Bridge- it doesn’t look too long. I will go across, and come back. That’s pretty good for today. I make it halfway and stop for a photo. This Bridge is a lot longer than I realized (I guess it’s 1.5 miles-who knew!). I keep going to the other side, jog back across to Philly, and head home.
At home, sweatily I sit down with a protein shake and another piece of cake. I turn on Idol and smile. I did it. I left the house. And I’m okay. I can do this. Sometimes the biggest obstacle isn’t the door in front of me, but the door in my mind. Sometimes it’s both. I found the obstacles and the excuses were easy to let build up. There’s too much cake in the world to make this an easy thing. Instead of peaking through the crack, or shying back- put on your favourite tunes, a pair of shoes and run through that door!
And the next day, I did it again. I left the house. I’m ready to start getting lost.
Song of the Day: One Republic-Arty Remix Featured on my new running album, Now That’s What I Call a Workout 2016