Reflecting on this past year (as today is my 24th birthday), I realize 23 has been very good to me.
This is not to say everything was perfect, but it was the fastest I have developed as a person and the best I’ve felt in my own body and mind because I continually stepped out of my comfort zone.
I have felt more satisfied because my happiness does not depend on a number on the scale or the time I have when I cross the finish line of a race. Self acceptance and relationships with family and friends are my main sources of happiness now–and it stems from introspection, challenging myself, and breaking away from the perfectionist mindset. I realized Rachael needs sass and opinions and mistakes and to stop saying “I’m sorry” for everything; and that because of it, Rachael is doing–as my college coach (Woj) was happy to say–“a lot more living (not just being alive).”
Kurt Vonnegut is quoted as saying, “I urge you to please notice when you are happy”–and how powerful these words are when we see that we can predict future happiness by noticing when we are happy from day to day. Happiness is more sustainable if it comes from being happy with who we are.
Yes, I still have bad days. Yes, I’m sure there will be hardship in the months or years ahead. But in this moment—when I know and trust myself—I am simply happy with being, with feeling like I am learning and discovering myself and my relationship with others.
Accept challenges and discomforts in your life, because it’s the only way you’re going to change and grow. It will move you toward the path of self love and acceptance—and that is the greatest achievement anyone can have because it touches all parts of your life.
That, my friends, is genuine happiness—and I want you to feel it with me because it’s a wonderful spot to be and the eating disorder has no place in it.