Am I the BIGGEST LOSER?? *sadface*
I thought it was important to share my thoughts with you on this matter because in my opinion much of the quarterlife crisis is about the perception of success. Be it in our relationships or our career, we have all measured ourselves by the achievements of other people. We wonder, will it be my turn soon? Will I ever be featured in my Alma Mater's magazine? Am I inspiring others and living my best life?
I was all wrapped up in my thoughts this morning when I got off work..stuck somewhere between jumping off the curb and trying to slit my wrist with a nail file...when I got an overwhelming feeling of joy. I realized that I do have something major to celebrate. I am healthy. But more importantly, I am clean!
In earlier posts and in my book, I touch on the fact that I have had a history of addiction. I haven't gone into much detail here because, I mean we are all adults- we all know what addiction means. My substance of choice isn't really relevant -as much as how I allowed my addiction to control me and my relationships for over half my life. I was secretive, and destructive. I was a liar and my emotions were volatile. I was irresponsible, impulsive and depressed. The people I kept company with only reinforced my destructive behavior, but I won't entreat them here...because they were products of my desire. Metaphorical nails to my magnet. No one really noticed what was going on because they didn't know what to look for, but I knew, and now that I'm clean I can see the difference.
I know its corny, but I actually tape the Biggest Loser every week. I watch all two hours in a trance like state. Its my favorite show! The Biggest Loser is my favorite television show for a lot of reasons, but primarily, because it's merit based. Meaning that there are no ridiculous, underhanded alliances involved. Either you loose the weight or you don't. Watching the show has inspired me greatly and not just to loose weight but to love myself enough to make life affirming choices for myself. Now when I make decisions about what to put in my body, I am more discerning. So, I gave some stuff up. I gave up Coca Cola *tear* and fried food for my complexion. I stopped drinking so much because I sincerely believe that a sober mind is a healthy mind. I even learned not to replace my urges to relapse with food and have only gained back 5 lbs of the weight I lost during my fast. (Shout out to Jillian Micheals and the "30 Day Dread"... i mean Shred and Keri Hilson for that "Pretty Girl Rock" song). Yes, *nodding head* I am certifiably thick and fine!
I even took an inadvertent hiatus from the club because that environment doesn't resonate with me like it did in the past. No judgement though, because on my bearthday, I plan to shake a tail feather on somebody's dance floor and I may even have a celebratory shot with my red wine. So, #dontjudgeme!
. . But my point is, I am changing my life. It's no secret that my desire is to be an author. But behind that motivation is really a motivation to help people by giving the "unknown" and "unseen" a voice and a spotlight. No one expects the Delta with a master's degree to be gay or struggle with addiction. The same way no one expects for young people to silently measure their personal worth by comparing their relationships, careers, homes, and cars with that of their peers...but we all know it happens. Many us, even against our better judgment find ourselves trying to live up to some fairy tale standard rooted in tradition and normalcy. But the truth is, we all have a different path and which is more there is something to be said for the process and the preparation. What I have learned through out this process of "creating me" is that this path is mine to walk and I don't get to take mental or emotional field trips to other people's path.
In the past, I have been extremely successful in the eyes of the world. I have held national offices, won poetry competitions, directed districts, made really great money, worked for major companies and garnered the respect and admiration of hundreds of people. But in the midst of all that, I was broken and depressed spiritually. And now that I am standing at the summit of my largest obstacle, I understand why things had to happen the way they did. I needed to loose some things, some habits, and some people in order to prepare myself for what I really wanted. Today, I am proud to say that I am happier, healthier, and more stable than I have ever been. And I have to be healthy in order to help.. or to heal.
The Biggest Loser has taught me that sometimes you have to overcome yourself before venturing out to conquer the world. For some people that process starts with something as simple as knowing what not to put in their mouth. But who among us can say that losing hundreds of pounds isn't a feat? Especially when those pounds are almost always representative of some deeper psychological issue. In the end, all of our bad habits, and unhealthy lifestyle choices are dead weight! I love the metaphor of 'loosing" because when you think about it, loosing something means you have no memory of where you left it. You know you had it, but you no longer have the ability to use it again. When something is lost...its useless, and if you want to find it, it will take work. Take a moment and imagine a habit that you want to overcome. Put it at the end of this sentence; I LOST MY ______________. Doesn't that feel good? Sometimes you have to "loose" in order to "gain."
So even if you haven't landed the perfect job or prince(cess) charming hasn't rode in on his/her platinum horse just yet, remember you are still valuable, beautiful, priceless, relevant, and successful. Have faith that the path you're on is the right one. Use this time to hone, perfect, and nurture the work of art that is you. Make healthy choices, eat good food, create, express...and loose your desire for all that has ever held you back in the past. Commit to becoming a world class loser! This way when the awesomeness you have been manifesting comes knocking on your door, you will be ready inside and out. The process may not be easy and some people may seem to get there before you but...
...never underestimate the magnitude of YOUR progress.....
Robert Frost has a poem called "Stopping By the Woods on a Snowy Evening," It's one of my favorites. In it, he details an evening walking in the woods with his mule. He is admiring the beauty of the woods, when he remembers that he has other plans that prevent him from staying longer. I wanted to include the last few lines of the poem, because they do a great job of capturing the subtle beauty of sacrifice for something greater.
"The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep"
It's great to admire the achievements of other people and even to congratulate them on all that they are achieving...but in the end we have to keep walking, keep moving, keep progressing...because we all have promises to keep..to ourselves and to the universe.
What are you willing to loose?