Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Letting go...(an oddly serious NRR)

Letting go....

It's easier said than done.

I've spent much of my 31 years being tightly wound on the inside.

Do better, do better, do better.

I didn't need a parent, teacher, financial adviser, career counselor, nutritionist, or preacher to tell me to do better.

The toughest critic and most demanding coach has always been myself.

Why are you spending money?
Why aren't you running faster?
Why are you acting selfish?
Why are you not eating more vegetables?
Why are you defying authority?

I held tight to the bounds of OCD and subsequently depression when I was 11 years old.  8 was my magic number and for one long summer and fall, it obscured any and everything in my life.  When I began sorting my feelings out for my parent's divorce and regained a healthy chemical balance in my brain, I could let it go.  There was no better feeling than the day I didn't have to brush my top teeth 8 times.  I could brush them 13 times or 0 and I still went on living, world still intact.

I held tight to the bounds of anorexia when I was 15 years old.  I was never overweight, but the vanity of pubescent life struck a too-far chord with me and the couple of extra pounds I lost snowballed into an eating disorder.  From 130 pounds to a low of 83, I demanded that I eat less and burn more calories.  One day, on the idea that I deserved to live, I let it go. And finally, years later, when I stopped taking mental notes of calories in my head, I was truly able to live my life.

I held tight to the bounds of financial anxiety.  To the point that I would suffered panic attacks in the months leading up to my wedding.  How could I be so excited about starting my life with my best friend and be physically distressed about money? The smallest nuance could set off the feeling that I literally wanted to crawl out of my own body.  When I turned over the daily financials to my spouse, knowing that I would still have food on the table and shelter over my head, I learned to let it go.

I held tight to the bounds of career expectations.  I had failed my dream of becoming an obstetrician. I held a bachelor's degree in biology from Emory University at 20 years old and struggled in my early 20's to find a footing in life.  I was too proud to attempt a second shot in a "lesser" position and dismayed the notion of becoming a PA or a nurse.  Ironic, because now I'm too lazy to pursue a graduate education-I enjoy my free time too much.  I ended up at Williams-Sonoma and worked so hard to be perfect in every aspect of my job that I became downright miserable.  I was too invested in work to enjoy my life and let it go last September by switching to another retailer.  My skin cleared up, my demeanor changed, and I actually had time to pursue projects outside of work.

Most of us live with the angel and the devil in a constant battle on our shoulders.  Outwardly, I force myself to project more of the devil because my angel is annoyingly, haughtily in pursuit of perfection.  And there is no such thing. 

I think of all the time I've wasted suffering the what ifs? both of the past and the future instead of just allowing myself to let it go. 

Quit worrying about eating a second brownie, buying a t-shirt you don't need, leaving work 15 minutes early, drinking a beer before 5pm, doing absolutely nothing on your day off, running 8 miles instead of 4, running 4 miles instead of 8, etc.

I don't want any of this to be a sob story--I own my life choices, good and bad.  My life has been pretty darn exceptionally good.  But as I continue to meander the path of life, I want to constantly be enjoying the right now and only anticipating the future, not fearing it.  

Okay, okay, enough with the heavy s***.  I promise to be back to pictures of food and fun and stories of puppies and unicorns next time!

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