Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Standing Outside the Fire


"Life is not tried it is merely survived
If you're standing outside the fire" 
~Garth Brooks

I survived the weekend (the wedding), as well as moving, training for the new job and all the other craziness that has been thrown in my direction in the last two weeks. I survived all of the busyness, changes in routine and even the food with my health and sanity mostly in tact. I survived.

But I am not meant to just survive; to squeak by on the skin of my teeth and that is exactly how I have been “living”.

I want to thrive. I am meant to thrive. I am so much more than how I am living right now.

In the past few weeks I have moved into a new apartment with John and we are starting the next chapter of our lives together. We are planning our wedding and our future and I couldn’t be happier about it all. I’ve started new jobs, two new jobs to be exact. Jobs that although right now are part time, can lead to careers. (at least one of them) Two jobs that make me happy and that I look forward to every single day. After spending so many years doing things that I hated (read as engineering) it’s been such a relief to find my niche and realize that I can make it work. I have found places that I can use my passion, hardworking drive and desire to help, work directly with people and children, as well as make a difference. I can be me, without reservation or apology.

At the wedding this weekend I was surrounded by people that I have grown up with; people that consider me a part of their family and have since I was a child. Although stressful, I didn’t worry about what other people thought of me or trying to please those around me. All of the other bridesmaids knew that I wasn’t “girly” and came to my aid to help in whatever way possible. Everyone knew about my clumsiness and I was congratulated for not falling down while walking through sand in heals. Jokes were made in good fun and not in judgment. Overall, it was an amazing weekend. I was myself.

I have spent so many years trying to remain small in all ways imaginable, from my body size to my personality; to keep quiet and not be noticed. I have hidden my “bigness” from others and myself because of fear; fear of rejection as well as people not being able to handle it. The eating disorder has been my shield and has helped keep everything at bay.

Yesterday while sitting through work orientation and training I was reminded of how lucky I am. While touring the labs of the blood bank I was overcome with gratitude. Despite all that I have been through medically between cancer and anorexia, I am still here. Not only am I alive but I am decently healthy and capable of anything.

I desperately long to live the life that I am meant to live, with no ifs, ands or buts. No apologies or reservations. This doesn’t include the eating disorder, people pleasing or trying to remain small and be whoever everyone else wants me to be or sees fit. This doesn’t include staying quiet in fear of being noticed or agreeing with others in order to keep the peace. This doesn't include doing everything for everyone else while ignoring myself. This means letting go of everything that has been holding me back. This means being me, without trying to tone myself  down. This means using my personality and life experiences to give back to others and make a difference in this world. This is what freedom looks like for me. 




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