Let’s Cut the Crap with Some Updates & Real Talk…

Hi. *waves awkwardly* Yeah, that seems like a good place to start.

This morning it occurred to me that I’ve been radio silent on here for almost three months. That’s a new record. One I’m not thrilled about…but the break was necessary.

Here’s a thing you should know: I wasn’t being my authentic self in the posts I was writing. It happens. But that doesn’t make it okay. And it’s not the writer—or person—I want to be.

On this blog, I preach about self-discovery, self-care, self-acceptance, self-love. I get on my virtual soapbox and pound the keyboard with messages like, “You’re more than just a body. And don’t let our culture tell you otherwise. Be unique! Be diverse! Be weird! Society could use more free-spirits like you.”

And yeah…that’s cool and stuff. If you believe it. If you live it out. Which I can admit was not the case for me. After all, what benefit is a motivational speech if my own words never transcend the computer screen and saturate my heart?

They mean nothing. They ring hollow. They sound fake.

So it took awhile, but I realized this. I came face-to-face with the denial and deceit. And it just plain sucked. But I couldn’t maintain the facade anymore, so I made a choice. Until I could write the truth, I wasn’t going to write. Zilch. Nada. Period.

In case you’re wondering, here’s what is true…I am not healthy. I don’t have a balanced, sustainable grasp on fitness and nutrition. I restrict food and workout obsessively. During the past few months, I almost fainted three times. I punished a body I was supposed to be caring for, and it collapsed under the abuse. I was reckless and self-absorbed—with no concern for the ramifications.

But I have to tell you: that’s no way to live. It’s exhausting, isolating, confining, disengaging. There’s no spark of interest, excitement or spontaneity. The world has no color. Only shades of black-and-white. I figured this out…and something had to give.

So I’m trying a different approach. One I flirted with in the past but never surrendered to. I’m choosing to accept my human frailties. To affirm they exist. Not use them as justification to hurt myself. To change what needs changing, but extend grace in the process.

I’m doing hard things. Scary things. Painful things.

Last week, I ate a doughnut—my first since around age 12—and went into panic attack mode right afterward. But I survived the trauma. A few nights ago, I cried when faced with a slice of Domino’s pizza—and I’m talking ugly tears. But I ingested it. Every carb-loaded bite, and I’m still here.

This sounds melodramatic. Oh trust me, I’m aware. But it’s the journey I have to walk in this particular season, and if it seems theatrical, crazy or ridiculous…that’s fine with me. The goal is honesty which sometimes feels more like absurdity. But I’m through pretending and performing. Right now, I just want to be human.

Flawed. Broken. Erratic. Unsure.

But not beyond repair.

eating a doughnut

the infamous doughnut, you guys. smiling on the outside, convulsing on the inside. it’s how I do.

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Just Some Pre-Marital Musings

getting-married

image courtesy of The Knot

Less than one week from now, I’ll be attending my own wedding. Two days from now, I’ll be boarding a plane for said wedding destination. And that’s more information than my brain can absorb at the moment.

I don’t respond constructively to change. Never have. And this arguably is the most monumental change I’ve encountered thus far in my 25 years. Becoming not just someone’s partner, but their most significant relationship on earth—hello…pressure!

Now is a good time to state for the record that I’m a perfectionist. Like the most perfectionistic perfectionist you’ll have the discomfort of meeting.

I think too fast, and I think too much. I enforce impossible standards and crave the competition—the intoxicating rush—of pushing harder,  going further, reaching higher, being greater. I use independence and individuality as defense mechanisms against the indelible wounds that trust can leave behind.

Nobody’s gonna tame this free spirit or crush this spitfire persona. That’s been my attitude for longer than I care to admit. Not exactly the conditions you’d associate with marriage material.

But I’ve realized something: when I approach the altar next weekend, I’m changing more than my last name, street address or relationship status on Facebook. I’m casting aside over a decade’s worth of deluded—and because why pretend otherwise, isolating—thought patterns.

This union doesn’t just signify a circumstantial shift…but a heart shift. Or in my case, overhaul.

The guy I’ll soon call “husband” is about a hundred traits I don’t deserve. Patient. Gracious. Romantic. Sincere. Devoted. Understanding. And then there’s me. Compulsive. Rigid. Obstinate. Snarky. Unemotional. I’m a complicated wreck of a human, but he accepts those complications without hesitation.

My anxieties have driven other men away, and still he remains. My sarcasm would be a deal-breaker for the average person, and still he forgives. My stoicism can alienate even the thickest skins, and still he gazes past the facade. These barricades don’t dissuade him, so why this power struggle to relinquish them?

That’s the million dollar question—with a deceptively basic response.

I’ve never considered myself lovable. Which makes receiving love an awkward proposition. But only two options remain: force him to the brink with my neuroses…or invite him into those chaotic, imperfect spaces most people don’t know exist. And believe he’s prepared to take that plunge.

The decision is mine alone. So, from this moment onward, I’m choosing “door number two.” Because a wedding passes in just a blur. But a marriage—that’s for life. Might as well make it meaningful.

Thirty Things to Do Before I Turn Thirty (Well…Here’s Hoping, Anyway!)

Two weeks ago, I turned 25. Cue the quarter life crisis. I’m supposed to be adulting now, but instead I’m just over here binging Netflix.

Turns out, “halfway to 30” doesn’t mean “existential questions answered.” Shocker. Guess I’m still the clueless human I was at 24.

Alright…so, my twenty-something years are numbered. So, I’m nowhere close to nailing down my purpose—outside of moscato and HIMYM. So, life hasn’t taken the course I once assumed it would. So what?

Age doesn’t have an expiration date, and 30 isn’t even that old. Besides, five whole years stand between me and the Big Three-0. Five years of adventures, opportunities, aspirations and undertakings. Five years to define (and re-define) my goals. Five years to make. it. happen. 

On that note, you obviously know what’s coming:

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Drumroll, please…

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Phew…that was one monster post. If you stuck it out, thanks for being a trooper! Now, what’s on your “30 Before 30” bucket list? Promise I won’t steal your brilliant ideas—unless I need more inspiration when I turn 40!

The Weight of Change & Other Random Musings

Hey, remember me? Yeaaaaah…probably not. Can’t blame you though—after all, I’ve been off the grid for almost 3 weeks now. And what caused this “blog-cation,” you might ask? (Fine. Maybe you don’t care, but just humor me…)

During the first half of July, I was wifi-less in Northern Michigan, revving up for a milestone that closed the chapter on life as I’ve known it—my twin sister’s wedding. I’m convinced there’s no relationship on the planet more complicated, volatile, freakish or inseparable than a bond shared by twins. It’s an unfailing constant. A profound connection. A safe harbor that sustained whatever curveballs I faced growing up.

But now she’s got a new Number One, and I’m struggling to accept this imminent shift in our relationship. And the struggle is real. Case in point…observe the most pitiful walk-of-shame executed by an MOH in the entire history of marriage:

walking down the aisle

image courtesy of Christa Breaugh Photography

Yup, not my finest hour. And you thought I was exaggerating. Don’t get me wrong though—beneath all those agitated, conflicted emotions jostling inside me, I realize that some transitions are not just inevitable and necessary, but positive and beneficial too. Life wasn’t meant to remain stagnant, complacent or even familiar. You gotta disrupt the status quo to find inner strength, resilience, maturity and personal growth.

I could resent my sister for yanking that “twin security blanket” out from under me. Or I could support her along this exhilarating adventure into the next phase of life, while trusting that our bond will endure…regardless of its changing dynamics.

I choose Door Number Two. Besides, soon I’ll be joining the Wifey Club (T-97 days), at which point, I’m gonna need her support—just like she needs mine right now. Perks of a ready-made sidekick since birth.

One who never leaves me hanging on the dance floor…

dancing

image courtesy of Christa Breaugh Photography

Who might’ve rigged the bouquet toss in my favor…

bouquet toss

image courtesy of Christa Breaugh Photography

And the garter toss in my fiancé’s favor…

garter toss

image courtesy of Christa Breaugh Photography

And who deserves all the blessings that positive change can offer…

first dance

image courtesy of Christa Breaugh Photography

Even when it’s diffcult for someone else. Temporarily, of course.

 

Happiness. Simple as a glass of chocolate or torturous as the heart. Bitter. Sweet. Alive.

                               —Chocolat by Joanne Harris