Adapted and Evolved

Oh goodness, I feel like I have so much to write about so bear with me if you end up reading this! I’m going to try my best to stay focused, but my mind is all over the place (in the best way possible) at the moment, and I WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT.

Complacency is a weird place to be stuck when you are a person of extreme nature. I want to live and breathe and run and laugh or I want to disappear eternally, that’s it. So when I was in the middle for a short period of time, I decided to bust out of that rut immediately. Other people’s “calm before the storm” is my “panic before the chaos.” Chaos is familiar and exciting and productive for me, I don’t mean it in the traditional sense. This type of chaos is generally cultivated as a result of being meticulously organized and paying attention to detail. On the contrary, too much control will turn it right in the opposite direction. I’m starting to master the art.

There were all those meds, on and off and back on again. There were all those jobs, taking up literally all of my time. Then there was the business of maintaining terrible body image and hating myself and yadda yadda yadda. Overall it was a little negative, but even more so, it was boring.

I posted on Facebook about how “why won’t the world just let me do what I want and quit school and make food for people and be that obnoxious person who shoves Paleo down people’s throats ’til they realize it’s right.” Well, a month later, it seems I got what I wanted. Bonus: it came with a really sweet dog. P.s. I don’t care what you eat, but I will enlighten you if you inquire.

withnail!

I took this photo yesterday with Withnail as we walked through a forest for nearly two hours in 30 degree weather. I was happy, and I felt supremely alive. I embraced the cold air on my face, and I smiled hard when Withnail would be randomly compelled to jump into a giant pile of leaves. Tiny little snowflakes blew through the air, spaced far apart from one another. You wouldn’t even notice them if a big one didn’t occasionally fall onto your nose and melt. Not every day is as perfect as yesterday, but I find that moment of the melting snowflake every single day. For my health. And it works.

When I’m in that moment, it’s hard for me to comprehend how I even got here. I’m not particularly lucky. So many people come from my past and make that past their future. It’s not very mysterious why that happens; it happens because it’s easy. I got what I wanted because I worked for what I wanted.

I mean, I got hired by someone I met on OkCupid and again by someone I met on Reddit (can I get a millennial of the year award already? I think I’ve mastered the internet…), but online dating and message boards can be surprisingly fruitful for new career paths. I ended up doing meal prep for someone and managing social media for a new app called myPaleoPal. THIS IS WHAT I WANTED. I get paid to cook and Instagram and walk this dog. I’m kind of living the life right now.

Last year at this time, I was dying. I can’t reiterate that point enough. I remember waking up on Thanksgiving and the number on the scale. This Thanksgiving, I won’t weigh myself. I will be taking up a slightly more significant amount of space at the table this year, but nobody will notice besides me. My family won’t frown at me and call me “too skinny,” just to say nothing else to me the entire evening. I will not throw up ten times in the middle of the night. I will not be considering going to the hospital because I am experiencing the most intense physical pain I have ever felt. I will not keep anyone up until 6 am on the phone with me because I genuinely think I might die. Nobody will text me the number for suicide hotlines over and over.

That was my rock bottom. It wasn’t the beginning of my recovery, but it was the defining moment of illness for me. I wasn’t too fat to be sick anymore. I shivered and convulsed and bled and cried the hardest I have ever cried.  I was thankful for nothing at all.

In 52 weeks, my life and my entire being has been overturned. I’m not petrified by all of my fear, I’m not crippled by my pain. If I’m not really feeling it, I do what I have to do, I get outside, I drink my coffee, and if I still feel a little sad, I get back in bed with a book and wait for it to pass. My body is a vessel, it is not who I am. This was the end-all. I am a person and not a body. My work makes me happy, the food I eat fuels me, the way I move makes me strong. I don’t give a shit about the way I look because the way I feel proves to me that for the first time ever, my body is not under immense physical stress. It is not easy. I choose recovery a hundred times a day, but it has become second nature. It is no longer daunting to put in the effort to maintain my freedom, it no longer occupies hours of my day. I’ve adapted and evolved.

pigs

What is holding you back? Why aren’t you happy, and why aren’t you changing it? It starts with you, and it bleeds into every other aspect of your life. Tomorrow is really not the time, today is. And one step forward means as little as one step backwards – not at all. Keep pressing on. Being human is incredibly difficult and exhausting, but that is the worst excuse in the world for turning away from something. Loving yourself is worth more than anything in the world even if it is a challenge. There is no such thing as physical health when mental health is being ignored, and I feel as though so many people think they might just be an exception to the rule. You are not. You are beautiful and wonderful and you can do whatever you want if you just believe that. It’s a cliche, but it’s true. There’s my story, there’s my two cents.

I’m all bundled up to spend the afternoon running with Jennica who will be (once again) leaving town tomorrow. I’m cooking dinner with my incredibly beautiful and supportive sister who has made me more proud than I’ve ever felt in the past month. She is accomplished and strong, and she is making really important decisions right now. She calls me for advice and she makes weird collages with me. She is my best friend in the most genuine sense of the term. I have never seen someone evade negativity the way that she has in her lifetime, and she inspires me to keep on being who I am every time we speak. Later, I will be budgeting for the Pittsburgh Vintage Mixer tomorrow which is going to be a very, very dangerous venture for me. Lastly, my childhood best friend got engaged to a wonderful man I also have the pleasure of calling a friend, and I’m filled with joy! I can’t wait to start wedding planning (GLITTER!)

Have a fabulous weekend all!

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