"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.