Wednesday, February 24, 2016


Today I spent 20 minutes staring blankly at myself in the mirror, convincing my reflection that even if the lady at the doctors office told me my BMI is too high I'm still worth something to someone. I'm still pretty. I'm still every bit as funny and interesting and kind and a good person as I was two years ago.

Today I spent thirty minutes crying about the balance in my bank account. Because after skimping, and saving, and trying and clawing and climbing up a never ending mountain, its still not enough. And somehow that is always my fault. I don't spend all the money. But I'm blamed for all the things we can't afford.

Today I spent an hour crying because I feel unimportant again. I feel small again. I feel like a girl trapped in a room, trying to make herself smaller and smaller so that she disappears. This isn't a new feeling. This feeling creeps up on me every few months, right when my good mood is in full swing. I go from standing tall, proud of everything that I am, and suddenly I am crumbling. I fall apart.

And right now I'm falling apart. I hate being an adult. I hate being alone. I hate feeling like I'm screaming and waving my arms and no one notices me.

I AM important.
I AM strong.
I AM an adult.
I AM good enough.
I AM NOT worthless.

I think.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016


The worst thing that anyone ever called me was "anorexic". Not because there is anything inherently wrong with being a person with a serious disease, but because a girl took it upon herself to eliminate every other thing that mattered about me and judge me entirely on the way my body looked. And if you're wondering, yes. I was tiny.

My bones jutted out at odd angles, my head appeared too big for my body and I was barely there. But I wasn't anorexic. I was malnourished. I was the girl who ate scraps off of everyone else's plates because she wasn't fed enough. I was the girl who got to grandma's house on the weekend and ate too fast, then felt sick. I was the girl who tried to hide lunchroom food in her locker and take it home so she would have food for dinner. It worked until a chocolate pudding exploded in my backpack and I got in trouble.

In my life I have become judgmental and harshly critical of others. I cannot decide where this trait came from, because I was the victim of endless criticism from my peers growing up, and I promised myself I would never become the mean girl. But I did. And I wrestle with that endlessly. As much as I try to change and be understanding, there is a part of me that still sits there and picks people apart.

However, I don't know where this judgement is leading me. As soon as I say something negative about someone, whether they be a stranger or an acquaintance, my mind starts to immediately try to justify why they may be the way they are. Just as I was too thin because my mother barely fed me, the person who is chronically late for appointments may be working, or having to find care for their child, or dealing with a crisis at home. And then I sit there and beat myself up for picking on someone else for something they can't actually control. So is being judgmental a weird form of self-torture for me? Is it my brains way of reminding itself that no matter what, I'm still just that little girl on highway 7 who wonders what it would be like to eat a full meal for once?

I don't know.

For so long I have tried to leave my past self in the past. But if I want to grow as a person, isn't it important to embrace what happened to me as a child and learn from it and become stronger from it? I have never thought of being an abuse survivor as a hindrance of any sort, but I have come to realize that maybe it is. In trying to ignore every bad thing that ever happened to me, I have ignored a piece of myself and become the exact type of person who aided in causing me so much grief in my childhood.

I'm not a bad person by any means. Sometimes I'm just not a NICE person. And that sucks to come to terms with, because admitting fault is never fun. But I am here, flaws, and scars, and everything, ready to embrace a better self.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

To My Coaches, Teachers, and Directors -

This weekend I watched a group of kids that I helped coach nail a routine we had been working on for two months but then had to rewrite and relearn ten minutes before performance time. They stressed with us, had a brief moment of doubt, but then went on to the mat and took third place with a routine that was nothing less than stellar. I was so happy for them overcoming what must have seemed like a major hurdle for a group of 8-10 year olds that I cried. And so did my head coach, and their parents. That pride was unlike anything else I had ever felt before. I felt so happy my heart melted and I couldn't hold back my emotions. It was too great. And I realized, that that feeling, that insane pride and emotion watching my athletes succeed, was why everything that might not have been so great about the whole experience was SO worth it.

But then, there was a secondary emotion that came through on the way home. A feeling of intense gratitude for every coach, director, or teacher who has enabled me to be successful in some way, both as a student, and as the adult I am today.

So, to all of you, I want to say thank you. Thank you for putting up with me. Thank you for teaching me the value of hard work and dedication to a larger goal. Thank you for understanding my perfectionism, and my adolescent mood swings, and my inability to just roll with the punches. Thank you for staying late to calm my fears and teach me choreography, over, and over, and over again. Thank you for forcing me to throw my back handspring, over, and over, and over, again, even when I was crying because it just wasn't going to happen, and then celebrating with me when it finally did. Thank you for teaching me to do my eyebrows,  how to stretch my back for a scorpion, how to not look like I'm mid-stroke when I wink, how to open my mouth right when I sing, how to breathe mid-note, and how to sing, act, dance, cheer, and run through the myriad of illnesses that I somehow contracted, whether real or imagined.

I am sorry that I never appreciated how hard you were working for me specifically, until it was too late. I'm sorry that I threw temper tantrums frequently, was never satisfied with anything less than perfection, and stormed off when I didn't get something right. I'm sorry that I fought learning how to properly do an octave jump, and hated the thought of a back walkover out of a queen's chair so much that I whined to the director until it got changed. I'm sorry that I was a diva, a brat, and sometimes just plain rude.

But what I hope all of you leaders in my life know is that in my life there are so many times when I have thought of you. There are so many times when I have looked back on advice you have all given me and used it to succeed as an adult. When I have felt like quitting, I've remembered someone telling me to "prove them wrong", another person telling me to just try again, countless people telling me that nothing is perfect the first time. And some of you are still coaching me, teaching me, and having your lessons finally hit home after all these years.

So to the countless people in my life who have held one of these roles in my life, thank you so much for everything you have ever done for me and continue to do for me in my life. Out of all the people in the universe, I was lucky to be blessed with your presence and instruction.