I love the person I have become because I fought to become her.
And I'm still fighting ....
Sometimes the journey of the last 16 months is difficult to put into words. In fact, a lot of times it is. But, I am going to give it my best shot.
On a regular basis I have people ask me questions about the enormous changes I've made in my life or, if they've recently entered my life, people have trouble believing how much of a different person I was. Sometimes it's strange to me to think back and remember that so many people that are so important in my life these days weren't around me two years ago.
My life has done a complete 180 in the last 16 months. I've fought for every single thing that has happened, that I've achieved and milestone that I have experienced.
As I'm sure we all have, I have fought many lifelong battles with myself. I definitely think the most significant battles I've fought have occurred within the last year and a half of my life. I could have just kept going on with life the way it was at the beginning of 2013. I was sad, lonely, felt disconnected, wasn't overly happy at work and had just lost my passion, my happiness, for living life. It would have been easy (so to speak) to keep living that way. It would have been the easy way to go.
Instead, I decided to fight. And, that meant taking a lot of scary steps. Recognizing I needed help and reaching out to get that help was the first and most significant obstacle for me. In general, I think asking for help is difficult for almost everyone. We all want to think we can do everything on our own. I'll be the first one to tell you, this adventure is something I never could have done on my own. I'm still getting help. Just in different ways.
I had to make the decision to fight my way through the grocery store (and, yes, I'm serious when I say fight),. I chose to battle exercising. Try new things, be sore, laugh at myself, go to the gym instead of taking a nap, and so much more.
Most importantly, I decided to fight myself. That may sound weird. But, if you know me at all or have read this blog, it makes sense. For so long, I retreated inside myself. It's where I felt safe. It's where I still feel safe. But, everyday I fight to take another step towards my future. Some days are better than others. However, for the most part, I love taking those steps. They make me feel brave. And smart. And like I have accomplished something I never thought was possible. Happiness.
I have days that I want to give up. That I want to be able to eat whatever I want, just lay on the couch and sleep or not try to figure out what those darn recipes are talking about. But, then I look at everything I've fought for, everything I've achieved, everything I've accomplished and I snap out of that mindset pretty quick.
The best part of this whole journey? Now, I get to help others. Most of the time I don't even know I'm helping someone else. In fact, I still find it bizarre when people tell me I inspire them. I mean, who would have ever thought the quiet girl who walked with her head down in the hallway at school, preferred to read books than to play outside, the one who always wanted to (and still does want to) blend into the background / not be in the middle of a crowd. and the girl who never wanted to go out would be the one who, in her mid 30's, finally found herself. And now enjoys being around people.
I have many daily struggles with all of this. But, they get easier everyday. And they are a little less heavy on my shoulders every night when I go to bed than they were when I woke up that morning.
Although she still doesn't take credit, I have one person to thank for all of this. I found a quote earlier this week that I sent to her because it immediately made me think of the impact she's had on my life and continues to have on a daily basis. It said - "My friend gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person. She believed in me". If Renee' hadn't believed in me and everything she says she knew I could do, I don't think I would be where I am today. I'll always be fighting for the life I want. And working to step outside my comfort zone. But, I've learned I have to take it one step at a time. One day at a time. And, know what? That's okay. We all move at our own speed. And so, this seems to be an appropriate way to end this entry -
The key to victory is believing you have a life worth fighting for.
I do. And so does everyone who reads this :)