So…I guess I have to admit it. I’m having a quarter-life crisis. And since I plan on living well beyond 120 years old, it’s safe to call this quarter-life… maybe even premature. Whatever.
When I originally entered my twenties, my goals were simple. Get my doctorate in music history, take over the world, become President. Boom.
That’s not how it happened… at all.
I got pregnant before time to even enter my master’s program and, while I hadn’t even considered having children – children were the kind of thing that seemed cute… from afar – I had to immediately change the way I approached both parenthood and motherhood… and had to leave music history behind. Started a business in technology – always good – but it wasn’t my first love, music… which is always bad.
After the relationship with the father of my child had failed, it was time to move on… and I essentially gave up on both dating and marriage. I was young, I had goals and I wasn’t completely convinced that I couldn’t achieve them even with the little one. I wound up falling in love with my best friend, and my whole world changed the afternoon he showed up at my door and proposed to me.
Everything I originally thought of myself has changed. I mean, I feel like so many people think that weight loss journeys are this myopic thing that consist of “Eat less! Move more!!111ONE” but for many of us, it isn’t. I’m a completely different woman from when I first started this blog, and the things I’ve committed myself to have changed. The things (and people) I’ve found that are committing to me and positioning themselves in my life have changed. For goodness sakes, within a few weeks, I’ll be a certified personal trainer. Do you know how different this is from what I originally saw for myself?
I’ve been having this battle in the back of my mind every day for the last month… and it finally culminated into a full on tear-fest in the middle of the Apple store in Chelsea. In the middle of looking at the accessories, I saw this.
…a portable blood pressure reader.
I took it off the shelf, sat it on the table, and stared at it. At least two of the Blue Shirt Boys came up to me and asked if I were okay… and I responded with a “yeah,” but my eyes remained transfixed on this box. Why the hell does this box mean so much to me?
And, strangely enough, I started thinking about my purpose. My purpose. I accidentally stumbled into doing this blogging thing. This was my space. I chose to share it. Actually, I didn’t choose to share it – my dear friends shared it anyway, and it just started to take off on its own. People don’t agree with – or like, hello hello hello – everything I write, but lots of people don’t even come here for me anymore, anyway. So many people come here for each other. Because helping each other is something that’s been a big part of who I am ever since I was young, doing my own coat and shoe drives in my neighborhood… it’s always been who I am.
I’m lucky to be able to share this part of my process of growth and development with so many people. I’m lucky to be able to share who I am and how I’ve learned to live healthier and happier and more sane and more sustainably with so many people. I’ve been supported through my journey, and I’ve given space to help others help others. Maybe that’s my purpose? Maybe that’s what I’m supposed to be doing?
But this part… this is too easy. I’m a writer… if I could write 10-page papers the day they’re due and still get an A back in college, I can write 1500 words every morning and not think twice. That’s not my purpose… it can’t be. I knew that. That’s why that box with the heart rate monitor made me cry.
If my purpose is to help teach healthy living, and I am getting all the certifications – supported by my readership, mind you – and the education to do it right, then maybe it’s time to start taking my efforts from behind the computer. Maybe, juuuust maybe, it’s time to start taking to the streets to help people. Maybe it’s time to try to bring the resources to the places that need it most – the people who have spent so much time living one way, that they couldn’t fathom living another way.
Maybe that means hosting free fitness classes in the park, or trying to secure sponsorships to bring play equipment to schools who otherwise couldn’t afford it. Maybe that means going on foot to get better food in our schools, or host nutrition classes for parents on how to pack healthy lunches for their kids or encourage them to add healthy options to their at-home dinners. Maybe that means begging these companies to host free screenings for people to learn about their health and take more proactive approaches… or maybe that means I need to buy that monitor and do the screenings myself.
I don’t know what it means, but I know that my bawling in the middle of the Apple store made many a Blue Shirt Bandit rather uncomfy. Ed, alias “The Mister,” gave me a hug with a look on his face like he knew the moment I was having, and realized I just needed to “have” that moment. I’m sure the Apple employees believed he was breaking up with me over the Harman/Kardon speakers or something. No, just having a mild quarter-life crisis.
I’m sure you’ve noticed that posting has been rather light over here the past few weeks, and that’s because I’m spending so much time studying up for my certification exam that’s coming up. I’ve decided to take some advice from the great Prophet, Ma$e, and just breathe, stretch, shake and let it go. I’m stressing over my future (and, in a lot of ways, my present) because I feel like I know so little about it. I feel like, if I can at least know what I’m dealing with, I can at least exercise some control over myself and my efforts… but maybe that’s not what I’m supposed to be focused on.
Each moment that I sit down at this keyboard to write, I’m gifted with the opportunity to help someone, point someone in the direction of a different resource, give someone a differing perspective on something, embarrass a troll, upset the balance, challenge a stigma or stereotype or even save a life. At the risk of sounding egotistical, I’m damn proud of what I’ve done here. For a while, I was feeling like I’d outgrown it, that maybe the blog no longer served its purpose for me, but the reality is that the purpose of the blog didn’t shift – I am just growing and changing in ways that I was reluctant to embrace, and it became evident the more that I tried to write about my personal experiences.
…but writing about my personal experiences, the self-reflection, the self-compassion… those were all key components of my success! Looking at who I’ve become and being afraid to embrace that? No one benefits from that… no one learns from that.
My journey has changed. It’s not the girl on the quest to lose 150lbs. It’s not the girl in the throes of emotional eating struggles. It’s not the girl struggling to understand why it was so hard to eat [what I considered to be] healthily. It’s not even, really, the girl championing the cause of “fat acceptance… because I’ll never be a single-digit dress size” anymore. (Don’t get it twisted – I still support the idea of people choosing what size they want to be.) It’s someone building muscle, training for her first race, losing a few vanity pounds, becoming a personal trainer and a nutritionist and writing 1200 words every morning to help people get where I’ve been. It’s someone who wants to be on the cover of a major magazine showing women that yes, fit is sexy and easily attainable.
So…does that mean more daily or weekly recaps of my exercise and food routines? Maybe. Does that mean I need to go back to sharing my personal stories and emotional battles and less of these freaking infographics? Maybe. Does that mean it’s time to start hosting some pretty awesome events to get people to come out and work out…and maybe have their blood pressure taken and get some other awesome figures about their health? Maybe.
I just hope you’ll stick around with me to see it all happen. I mean…at this point, if I could get on national TV once, who’s to say I couldn’t do it again?