Friday, March 16, 2012

Reflections on a Changing Life

From moving twice in the past three years, including one cross-country move, gaining and then losing about 70 pounds, friendships and relationships that sometimes ebb and sometimes flow, there have been plenty of changes in my life. There have been new hairstyles, new phases, new projects, and even recently new clothes, which is always pretty exciting.

I've been working on a blog project, a post that shows my weight gain and then my weight loss in pictures. It's pretty powerful to work on it, and it's brought me to tears of sadness and then tears of joy more than once. This is the first time I've seen the whole experience laid out before my eyes, and it's a lot to take in. It's also brought back a lot of memories about the times when those photographs were taken. There were some joyous times and there were also many times when I remember feeling very lost and dark. I'm so excited to finish it up and post it, though. I've made many dietary changes, and I've also tackled a lot of inner demons and pent up problems, which I think had as much impact on the weight loss as diet, if not more. I'm incredibly proud of myself for tackling such hard work.

I feel GOOD about myself. It's been a long time coming but I can say right now that without any other conditions, I love myself and feel good about who I am. As my depression and weight gain started to subside I started feeling like this, but it was in fits and starts, or with conditions. I loved myself for being a good wife, a good mother, for having fabulous eyebrows, for making good choices in food, for being a birthing goddess. I felt like I was making huge strides in self-acceptance but then I could be so hard on myself in other ways.

Lately I've had a lot of revelations about how I am a WHOLE person. Maybe this seems silly and basic but it all seems to be coming together in a way that just makes sense and feels right. My mothering and my eyebrows and my marriage and my weight loss and my prowess in natural birthing are all tied up in one bundle that is me, and they're bundled up with things that might be embarrassing or upsetting or awkward, and that's okay. I accept all of those parts of me because they're all me, they all make up my journey and my experience. I can't fully own the joyous parts of my experience, like the weight loss that I've been feeling pretty great about lately, without also owning the parts that might be uncomfortable. This has been a big and important understanding for me to reach, and it really feels empowering.

I've been making a very conscious effort to live life one day at a time and to consciously enjoy the journey. I guess that this is something I've been working on for as long as I've been struggling with depression and weight, but I feel like for a little while now I've finally gotten it. Everything seems to be falling into place somehow. Which is funny, because in reality if I break it down and examine every little thing that could be stressful or difficult, there's still a lot that has yet to fall into place, but it doesn't worry me. It's like I've managed to find my zen, or maybe it found me. 

I'm not worked up about keeping things that I enjoy exactly as they are, and I'm not resisting change when there are indications that it's time. I'm living day by day and I'm loving it. I'm turning 30 later this year and I take great care of myself, so I expect to live a long and full life with many beautiful experiences, and many sad and painful ones along the way as well. Change is the nature of life, and I've been realizing that I'm willing and able to really, truly embrace all of the beauty that is a part of the whole journey.