2017 to 2018: from passive to active
Hello guys, whoever you might be.
I want to get real with you right now, because what's the point of this if it's not truly authentically me?
I’m writing a cliche, 2017 recap, but I think it’s important for me to do so, and hopefully, you’ll see why.
In 2017, I was promoted, lived with one of my best friends, did a fitness competition, went on countless trips with friends, and landed a job in Boston, which, happened to be my life's dream.
In 2017, I had the toughest year of my life.
While so many amazing things happened and I am so incredibly grateful they did - I want to share some other things that happened.
I want to share that underneath all of this Instagram-worthy news, underneath all of this picture perfect-ness - I was hurting, and pretty bad.
And some days, I still am.
I want to share this, not to gain attention or to make you feel sorry for me, but to help anyone else that may be struggling, and to remind you that what you see on the surface is never the whole story. Selfishly, I am writing this so that I can learn the lesson I need to learn, once and for all.
In 2017, I had the toughest year of my life.
I have struggled with my relationship with food and exercise, which was brought on by an onset of anxiety, for about 5 years. This year, I hit the worst of it - falling deeper and deeper into the demons in my own mind. For quite some time, I was completely alone in my thoughts, struggling with bad habits formed as coping mechanisms on my own.
My hard exterior that screams independence and sarcasm was filled, on the interior, with a broken soul - one that didn't know how to feel - one that turned to food, control, and obsessive tendencies in order to prevent the need to feel at all. One that was completely disconnected from mind, body, soul, others, and herself.
Here’s what I did this year:
I hit rock bottoms and so decided to slowly let people into that part of my life, though never feeling truly, truly understood by the absolutely incredible people in my life that tried. Sometimes, I still don't.
I admitted that this was bigger than something in my control, that I had some issues I needed to sort through and that there would be some bad days still ahead.
I thought I was better, and I would relapse again.
I cried, I laughed - I was every sort of crazy you could think of.
I wrote things, I came to new realizations on my quest to get better, and then one day I gave up, because, I was tired of coming to realizations and then forgetting again - of being let down by my own mind again.
I struggled with who I was, what I wanted, and what I knew. I struggled with where I was going and everything I thought to be true. Some days, I didn't recognize the person staring back at me in the mirror.
I lost all trust in myself.
I apologized to others for my presence, I pictured myself in a month from now, a year - I hated who I was right then, that day.
I was deeply lonely in my own thoughts. I tried to put myself on controlled plan after controlled plan - sometimes, I still do. I was never happy with anything I had chosen for myself in life or anything about who I was.
I tried to change who I was, I ran away from everything that was me. I ran and I ran and I ran. Ran from relationships, from trips, from the green grass I already had. I ran so much, yet I was so inactive in my own life.
I forgot how to live presently, to not think about what needed to be done or what food was in front of me.
I forgot how to live.
You wouldn't see this, though, with my daily Instagram posts and my ability to put on a happy face in-person.
No one really saw this, only a select few could sniff me out, or maybe, only a few had the courage to tell me what they really thought.
"You need some self-love," was something I often heard.
And they were right.
Because going through all of this forced me to start hating myself for it. Which, perpetuated the problem, as you can imagine. I hated myself for not being able to fix it, for being so effed up - for not being allowed to live.
Now, do not get me wrong, I had an amazing year with amazing experiences in which I was able to be present and live for the moment - and I have my wonderful friends and family to thank for that. And to all of you, I am so so grateful.
I had an amazing year in which I was able to keep this in the background and still accomplish much of what I wanted to accomplish.
On the outside, that is.
But now, it is time to accomplish what I need to accomplish on the inside. To free myself from the constraints of my own mind and to, just, simply, live.
No more plans, no more control, no more constraining my life to something I don't even want to live.
No more perfect.
No more passive living.
In 2018, I am active. I am actively engaged in my life. I am present. I am here. I am showing up. I am here for you, I am here for her, I am here for him, I am here for me.
I am here, and this time, I am planning to stay.
Because for so long, I wished for something to come and "save me" but the truth is, nothing will. The only thing that can save me, is me.
And now, I have to learn. I have to learn so much about who I am and who I want to be. I have to learn to form relationships, to be vulnerable, to feel feelings - to not obsess. I have to learn everything, all over again.
I have to re-learn me, or better yet, I have to unlearn everything that I and my surroundings have taught me to be true about who I am and what I’m supposed to be - so that I can just, simply, be.
It's okay, because I know I will come out on the other side better. Or at least, I can hope.
I’m not there yet, and I don’t know when I will be. But I do know that I need to stop running. That a job, a place, or a body will never solve this - that only I can solve this.
And I have to solve this, because each and every day that I don’t, I am ruining my life. Slowly but surely I am losing everything that is “Stasia” and dissolving into the background of my life.
I don’t want to be in the background, I want to dance on center stage.
Not today, not tomorrow, and not years from now.