I’m finding that it’s hard to write about myself. About my story. I have passion and heart and things that motivate me to action, so why is it so hard? I’ll be real honest for a sec, sometimes I try and make my story seem like I have it all put together…like I’ve got everything under control all the time…like I haven’t made mistakes or choices that sometimes I wish I could take back. Sometimes I put on the good ol’ “happy mask”; that mask that attempts to cover up the struggles or hardships or hurt. All those things that can make us, well, authentically human.
Sometimes I don’t feel like my story is worthy of being told. A story made up of heartbreak and of choices that were a million times harder than choosing a college major (and I switched majors 3 different times). A story marked by insecurities, by sin, by worth found in numbers on scales and letters on test papers.
But now let me be even more honest with you. When I take a step back and look at the full picture…the raw picture…I also see a story of someone who loved and lost rather than someone who didn’t love at all. I see someone who takes risks even if that means falling on her face (maybe multiple times…in a row). I see someone who now gets to use those past scars to help other men and women, regardless of what their story is.
Which brings me to where I’m currently at in my story. I get the opportunity to work with people who are in treatment for eating disorders. This is an area that is close to my heart because I too have struggled with and later overcame an eating disorder. Placing my value in what my body looked like, and finding connection and control in my life through obsessing over food and exercise…this truth alone was enough to leave my comfort zone in the Midwest to make the journey to Eugene, Oregon and take this job.
And it’s been a journey out here that’s for sure. One that’s challenged me, pushed me to my limits, and brought me to tears multiple times. But also one that has taught me so much about myself, about what I want in this life, and about the things that truly matter and the things that really don’t. My hope is that I’ve been able to use my story to impact at least a handful of the people I’ve been able to work with… that I’ve been able to help them see that their pain and struggle can become joy and victory.
What’s the next step? Hopefully something in the health and fitness field, maybe PT? Maybe OT? Hopefully a move back to the Midwest, running a marathon, taking a mission trip to Africa, and learning more about photography. I just want to help people. Help them see what love really looks like, what genuine connection really is. I’m trying not to look too far ahead though, because I’ve learned that when I do that (and I do that too often), I forget to be present and enjoy this season of life. A season that is unique and will be unlike any other in my life again.
So for me “taking today” means putting God first. It means embracing everything about who you are and what you’re story really is, not for what you wish it was. It means learning and growing from those difficult moments in addition to the wonderful moments, because both of these have made you stronger and made you exactly and authentically who you are.
For me taking today means taking risks. It means not being afraid to step out in faith and fight for what you believe in. It means keeping your family first, even if you’re 2000 miles away. It means finding lessons in the hurt and being ok with saying I’m sorry when it’s necessary. It means not being afraid to ask for help when you need it. And it means seeing every single day as a blessing and as a day you’ll never get back.
For me, taking today means accepting your past and your struggles, and realizing that maybe before you’re even fully aware of it you can use it to make a difference in other people’s lives.