Four years later.
Writing this from a very eclectic coffee shop in Pärnu where I decided to escape for a couple days because I was able to get bus tickets to and back for a total of 2 euros. Yep, I was shocked too. I also found the BEST Airbnb for such a good price that this little trip was CALLING to me. Seriously guys, I can't emphasize enough how many times people turn away travel because they immediately think it is too expensive. Play around with dates, times, different locations, anything, give it a chance. I wanted a little 'retreat' to myself because the past month has been around people, wonderful people at that, but the little introvert part of me was craving some 'me' time. Is anyone else half extrovert and introvert? It's the strangest combination and I feel like many people are either one way or the other. I always thought I was introverted, but over the past 2-3 years have realized I am not at ALL. Introverts get all their energy from being with themselves, I can't do that. Extroverts get all their from others, which also is not quite me. I am somewhere in the middle. I crave others around me to fuel my energy, but I do have many moments where I just want to be with myself. If you're like me, you are not alone. It's a confusing blend being half and half because sometimes I have NO idea what I crave or what I need. Sometimes I think I want alone time, but actually I need people around. I am one of those people who probably won't yes to some things, but if you drag me out, I will have a really good time. Many people probably do not think about these things, but you're looking at someone who thinks more than she should.
Being on my own these past few days has of course made me reflect a lot on myself and my life. I was walking along the frozen beach and so many thoughts came to mind. This blog in a way is like a diary and it feels good to put things down. I write not just for myself though, I write for others too. Even if only ONE person connects with something I wrote, that warms my heart like you wouldn't believe. I know when I read others' writings and I resonate with something, it feels like a weight lifted off my chest. I feel more connected to this world and to others.
I was thinking a lot today about who I am now versus four years ago. For those who haven't read my "life story" then you may not know that I suffered with a lot of identity and insecurity in the form of an eating disorder. Four years ago I was a terrified little girl curled up on the couch, no will to get better, fingers and toes ice cold from starving myself for reasons many won't understand. I am waiting for the day that eating disorders will be taken more seriously and not 'he or she just needs to eat a sandwich'. The best way I can describe to people is like this: we all know that alcoholics drink to cover up pain/memories/anger/ and other things as a defense mechanism, well eating disorders are like that. We aren't necessarily focusing on the food, but the reason we are starving ourselves or eating to a point of sickness is because we are trying to numb ourselves as is an alcoholic when they drink immensely. I know I wanted to numb myself. I realized I was afraid to feel uncomfortable emotions such as sadness, anger, anxiety, anything that was complex. I was afraid to grow up. Starving myself and making myself 'tiny' was almost a way for me to numb myself into oblivion. I became a robot. I felt nothing, yet deep down my soul was screaming for help. It wanted to feel. It wanted to experience life and all the uncomfortable things, but I was so scared.
Where am I now?
Some people go on and on about how much they have changed and how that 'older me' is no longer there and that they do not exist anymore. Well, I am here to break that stereotype real quick because guess what?
That scared little girl is STILL here four years later...
But, she does not consume me anymore.
I know, I know. This all sounds like I am crazy and have a million people living inside me. But really though, try to understand me for a second. We all go through phases and identities in our lifetime. Think of who YOU were four years ago. Were you really insecure? Too controlling? Anxious? Worried all the time? Not able to take risks or take things seriously? Remember that? Now think of yourself now, is that person still inside you? Do they take over in times of stress or vulnerability?
That is what I am talking about. Four years later, I am a bold woman. I am full or words. I am full of emotions. I crave to see the whole world. I am strong mentally and physically. I love to laugh and I laugh a lot. I have a vague path for my life and I know what I want. I want to write a book. Create a podcast. Create videos. Give a TED talk. Teach yoga. Create a brand. Drink as much coffee and tea as possible. And so on.
BUT, there are so many times when that scared little girl still tries to override me. In times of stress, she creeps in and tells me to hide. My anxiety gets the best of me sometimes and I will always live with that, but it does NOT have to define me. The bold woman I have become knows the difference from the past me and now me. Most of the time, she wins.
It is not about ridding ourselves of our demons or our bad habits, it is about learning to live WITH them, but not having them tell YOU how to live.
I am a bold woman. I am full of fears, but I try to face them. I am sensitive, but caring. I feel more connected to the world and myself. I am stubborn because I know how I want to be treated and what I feel. I would rather feel pain than be numb. Four years have taught me that numbness is not the answer. Whatever it is that you grew from over the past few months or years, do not let go of it. Listen to it, but know the past from the present.
See the darkness in the distance, but notice the sun forcing itself in.
This life is yours, my friend.