Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Full Circle

"Well, I've been afraid of changing
'Cause I've built my life around you
But time makes you bolder
Even children get older
And I'm getting older too"
~Landslide, Fleetwood Mac

Four years ago I was starting a summer that was bound to be wonderful. I had two jobs; coaching swimming and head lifeguard at an aquatics camp. Jobs that were right up my ally and had me doing the things that I loved to do.

Except that summer wasn't wonderful. It was far from it. I relapsed horribly into my eating disorder. Although that summer is now a blur, there are a few things that I remember; 15 hour days in the sun with no rest, swimming miles and miles, internal debates as to whether I would allow myself to have a few cups of the camp fruit juice for lunch, no boundaries, no breaks and constant trips to the scale. I loved being around children and coaching, but I just didn't have the energy to truly enjoy it.

Fast forward to the present.

In about two weeks I will start a job at the YMCA, as head lifeguard and a swim instructor and I am super excited. Not only will I have a new job, but we are moving to Tampa, about 2.5 hours away from Gainesville and definitely out of my comfort zone. As we prepare to leave, I can't help but feel like my last four years in treatment and in recovery have prepared me for this.

I have been out of the pool and away from coaching since that summer 4 years ago and yet when I jumped in the pool a few weeks ago, it felt like I had never left. It felt the same, yet was completely different.

I am not the same. Thanks to my hard work for the last four years and the support of some amazing people, I am a much better version of myself. Despite being way bigger in a bathing suit, I feel way more confident in my body and in it's strength and resilience. Although I am still a hard worker, I know how to say no and have learned that I am way better at what I do when I am taking care of myself properly. Instead of being driven by the desire to lose weight, eat less or be praised for my ability to push myself to the extreme, I am driven by my passions for making a difference and love for children, along with the strong desire to help others.

Although I have been nervous about the move and the job, I don't think I could be any better prepared. While I am sad to say goodbye to Gainesville, the place where I have lived for 10 years, in my heart I know that I am ready to move on. I know that this is the best choice for me and my family. I know that my recovery is strong and I can handle the things that life will throw at me, without needing the old destructive coping mechanisms. I know that I am not perfect and will make mistakes and I'm cool with that.

Yesterday as I heard the Fleetwood Mac song "Landslide", I couldn't help but pause and take it all in. I feel like I have come full circle and I am doing exactly what God intended me to do.

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