So here's the truth- as I reflect on the completion of my latest trip around the sun, it's amazing how different I expected my life to be and even more amazing how much BETTER it turned out. Nothing in my life turned out as planned and now I'm so grateful for that.
By this time in my life, I expected to be engaged to an investment banker who sipped dry martinis, played football in college and summered in the Hamptons. I was obsessed with having a life that looked perfect. Until recently, I was convinced that if I had all the external trappings of a happy and successful life, I would be happy. However, I also knew it wasn't exactly cool to be outwardly desperate for a perfect life, so I pretended to be coy about it. That not only made me a slave to social media but also never satisfied as I was never present for my life. Instead I lived in a perpetual fantasy.. "when I have, fill in the blank- a boyfriend, more friends, a thinner body, a nicer wardrobe- THEN I will be happy."
Thankfully my life fell apart rapidly by the end of college, which landed me in a position to get sober and find recovery from my eating disorder. At the time, this was the worst thing that could have ever happened to me. My life was over as I knew it and I had many moments where I couldn't imagine living without drinking nor was I interested in living that life. I remember having to actually grieve the loss that I would never be able to meet a cool handsome guy over drinks at the Plaza or go wine tasting at a picturesque vineyard in Napa with my beautiful girlfriends. The truth is, having my life fall apart, having everything I knew and wanted stripped away from me was the best thing that ever happened to me. To be the epitome of a cliche of my generation, I'm going to quote J.K Rowling: "rock bottom became the solid foundation from which I rebuilt my life." So that's what I did. Stone by stone and brick by brick.
The last few years have not been easy or simple (more on that in other blog posts to come). There were honestly many days where I wanted to give up, probably did on some level, or even made things worse. Self sabotage is a huge part of my story and something that still comes back to haunt me sometimes. However, when I look back now, I wouldn't trade any struggle, stumble or misstep. They all led me here....exactly where I'm supposed to be. And the life I have now, the one where I'm a therapist and yoga teacher who spends her free time reading self help/ spiritual books, talking to my parents on the phone and attending personal development programs (all very UNCOOl), I wouldn't trade for ANYTHING. I never imagined I could be so fulfilled and my life being so meaningful. The greates gift of my recovery today is not my boyfriend, job, or vacations I take, the greatest gift is that I can sit outside on a beautiful day and smile at a stranger. I can look my barista in the eye and feel connected rather than wanting not to crawl out of my skin. I have peace today, and I wouldn't trade that for anything.
So here's my wisdom this week for you...life will DEFINITELY throw you obstacles. Things will absolutely NOT go as planned. I'm sure my life will keep not going as planned too (don't you worry I have not and will never arrive). At the time it may feel as though the world is against you... and in those moments all you can do is surrender and keep the faith. You don't need to understand what's happened or why. Lean into the discomfort and trust that the universe has your back. Not just that, but I have a sneaky suspicion that the universe has a better plan for your life than you do!