Sometimes if I sit with myself long enough, my mind will linger to my past pain. Not too ruminate or to dwell. But to do a temperature check:
Does it hurt as much as it used too?
What comes up for me as a I reflect?
As I reflect and feel, what are the things in my life that I need to put more intentioned focused attention to?
What needs are not being met and what needs to shift to address that?
Facebook reminded me of a picture I posted a year ago. I was thin, pail, and there is sadness in my smile. I think of how far I’ve come since then. How much happier I look in pictures now. While I take joy and find comfort in reflecting on my resilience and my progress, I still grieve for the years I spent in sadness. I am sad for all the ways I did not take care of myself and with that, love myself. I look back on some of these pictures and remember that I was a shell of a person. Wasting away.
Someone told me recently that I’d put on weight in the last year “but don’t look bad.”
It kind of stung. But I don’t care as much as I might have used to. I looked back at these pictures of me 25 pounds lighter a year ago and remember that I went 6 months without buying groceries. I think about how far I’ve come with disordered eating and self image. I think about how I literally fought tooth and nail for the woman I’ve become.
My transformation is not from under weight to fit. My transformation goal is not from my current weight to fit.
My transformation is that I literally learned to love myself. Do you understand how revolutionary that is? A year ago I could barely stand to look in the mirror. A year ago I could barely have a conversation with my mom. A year ago my friends could barely call me a friend because I was so deep in this rabbit hole. A year ago I wasn’t buying groceries and now I meal prep. A year ago I spoke with meekness and now I speak with conviction. A year ago I could not be myself and now I don’t know anything else. I know what I need to feel loved. I don’t tolerate any disrespect or devaluing of my humanity on any axis, race, class, gender, upbringing, and in any realm, personal or work.
I am thankful for the catalysts to healing in my life who pushed me to be unabashedly and unapologetically myself. Thank you to the women and men of color who showed me the beauty of being myself. The joy to be found in freedom of expression.
I could not paint or write or draw a year ago.
And in two weeks my art will be on display. Do you understand that this temperature check recalibrated my spirit? If you do, then congratulations. If not, your healing is moving at its own pace. You will find it in your own time.
A young cynic with a big heart