Growing Pains...For some of you that are closer to my age...you may think of the TV Show with Kirk Cameron and Alan Thicke...
Before I start...I have a confession...this blog post will most definitely be the most difficult post for me since I started this Journey. I am posting this because I think it is profoundly important to my moving forward in this process...but truthfully, I feel a bit sick... Truthfully, I am a mess as I write it!
I really find myself wanting to apologize before I even start...I am not sure why...maybe because it is so personal or maybe because I am just afraid...
Regardless, in order to be completely true to this process...I am going to move forward and write (so that I can move forward...:))
So I have shared quite a bit about my experience last Saturday. It really still feels so surreal. So much of it keeps replaying in my head. Such a perfect experience...every moment. One of the happiest moments I have had in a long time!
I guess I need to say something about the months leading up to last Saturday...NEVER did I think that I would have that opportunity...really! I hoped I might get 5 minutes with Kerri and Misty someday that would hopefully provide a moment to thank them personally! As the months have progressed...being able to connect with Kerri via Twitter and Facebook...made me feel like we had a connection even if it was all in short sentences and emoticons. For me...the fact that she took any time to acknowledge my Journey was a gift...a real affirmation for me!
So once I realized that I was going to actually meet her...and spend more than 5 minutes with her...well I began to really think and prepare for that! When I say prepare...I just really wanted to make sure I made the best of that time. In case I never got that chance again.
However, I also was preparing for a physical mini-goal that I thought would be the most difficult of all the previous mini-goals...I was right...though I grossly underestimated how right I was! So I physically pushed myself for the 6 to 8 weeks prior to climbing the dune.
Now combine that with ALL of the other unbelievable changes that I have experienced over the past 10.5 months...Losing 60lbs, seeing an almost complete eradication of my diabetes, lower cholesterol, decreasing debilitating migraine headaches, new found energy, and of course growth in my faith by seeing the wonderful proof of how much God loves this fluffy girl...well... I guess you could say I am experiencing some overwhelming changes, feelings and growing pains.
This is worth saying again...It has been more than one year since I was a patient in a hospital, this vacation I took this week...was the first time in 6 years that I could actually take vacation time and NOT have to use my time off for sick time! Last year, I could barely maneuver a grocery store without feeling exhausted and overwhelmed physically and quite frankly, emotionally too! When I started this Journey...It took me close to one hour to walk 1 mile and I looked like a giant tomato afterwards...In May...I took an 8+ mile hike...and STILL looked like a giant tomato afterwards...
As I have moved through all of the above..SOME of it has been difficult..glorious...but difficult. I really am afraid that this is going to come across as a complaint...Please know that I am so aware of how miraculous that last 10 months have been...I just really need to acknowledge that this growth...the growth of this miracle comes with some pain.
In the past...that pain..that emotional pain that often appears during opportunities of growth...was enough to make me take a midnight run to Burger King...or eat a pint of Blue Bell ice cream. Food was absolutely my number one comforter in my not so distant past and has been for as long as I can remember!
So back to today...to my experience now. So...I am back home after an absolutely amazing experience...one that I have shared with my closest friends and family, co-workers, the guy pumping gas next to me...you get the picture...anyone who would listen!! Everyone KNOWS it was in fact, a once in a lifetime...amazing opportunity. But here is something I have not really shared...at least not with the emphasis I need to...the time I spent taking on this challenge...even the painful parts...was the most exhilarated I have felt in years...Despite my ugly form...that ascent to the top of that dune has truly helped me take one giant step closer to realizing this goal...not just this goal to lose weight...but this much bigger...much deeper goal to live a full, giving, loving life that reflects God's love, my love for others and my hope...a life that proves that Good exists in a sometimes jacked up world! I physically pushed my body more than I have in a long time...and I got to do that with someone who personifies all of the characteristics I mentioned above...I can't emphasize that enough..it was a master class in living the life I want! Not just because Kerri has those characteristics but because I could embrace them...
I have to say this again...Kerri Walsh Jennings...did not know me... and I know she inspires so many who would love the chance I had..and probably could carry their own shoes...LOL!!!! She has a husband, 3 kids (all babies...4, 3 and a 3 month old), she has a busy, busy life and on that day...she had a 6:00 PM flight to Switzerland! Casey even said to her...you doing what with who??? and why??? I don't fully know Why? But I love her for doing it...It has led me to here!
Here..may not exactly be where you might expect!
Again...my time on that hill was the happiest I have been in a long time...now...let's recap...my feet were on fire...I was trying to haul 230 lbs up a 100 foot hill of what for me, was at times, mid-calf deep sand...I had to ask for water, I had to stop about every 5 to 10 steps..and I even chose to wear a sleeveless shirt..which for me...was like being naked! I have arm issues!!
BUT...I got to do that with someone who made me feel like I was worth the work...worth the exceptional effort and worth the time! I, in turn, accepted that as truth...completely...I was truly present in those 60+ minutes...a little nervous at times...but present! I was authentic, open, and trusting...and it felt amazing!!!
I knew by the next day though...that the impact of this event would be much bigger than I expected...My feelings range from ecstatic to grief...from joy to sadness...with no real logical explanation... I came home and I can't stop crying...and I am not exaggerating...I went to workout tonight and had to leave...because I could NOT keep it together...I am an emotional wreck...and I really don't fully know why...I do know that something big is shifting in my life...I am afraid, I am grateful, I worry about what others will think...I feel liberated and I feel trapped all at the same time!!! I want to feel the way I did on that hill again...I don't want to think of it as a "once in a lifetime opportunity" I like not feeling sick, or tired because of illness...I like the freedom that comes with taking on a seemingly impossible task...I like stepping out of my comfort zone without food to satiate my fear...I love having an open heart and mind and embracing my imperfections..and my fluffy arms!!! I like planning my next adventure and not wondering if I will have to apply for disability soon...I just think that I am in transition...from the sick wounded girl...to the strong, vibrant, confident girl...who climbs sand dunes and takes 8 mile hikes...who is not afraid to write all of this down for people to read...
You see Kerri's note to me touched my heart deeply...because she saw things in me that I don't see in myself...that is an amazing gift to receive!
So here I am...transitioning...like I said last night or so...another layer of the fluff is being stripped away...and I am experiencing (in a big way)...a life change..another step in a healthier direction..sometimes it is painful to let go of what I know and trust...even if it is not worth trusting...So I cry...and I don't eat...I do have one bitchin' headache though...and I look like hell...
Donna and I had a conversation tonight in which I tearfully and without eloquence tried to explain how I am feeling...this is what she wrote back...I hope she does not mind that I shared it...It really is something I need to hear, remember and I love the idea of taking my own words and turning them into Affirmations of Faith...especially since I believe...that God directs all aspects of this Journey...even my clumsy words...
My dear humble friend, I have been reflecting on what you said on the phone and in your blog, and I began waxing philosophically, so please forgive me.
Back to Life. Back to Reality. These stmts intimate that you left your life either in Houston or CA when you, in fact, have One life with many, many chapters. (Remember Chapter 44 of the book of friendship?) You have had many defining moments in your life that have thrust you into the next chapter. This experience you had was life-changing and you are being thrust into the next chapter albeit without food and fluff. :)
So, why not take some of the words you blogged and turn them into affirmations of faith that you are absolutely ready for the way forward?
"My reality is and has been that I am living a higher purpose beyond my earthly wishes.
With God's help, I am making a worthwhile contribution to this planet! I am living a life of Kindness...I am blessed with great inspiration!!! I trust the process. I embrace the tears of joy, of grief, of vulnerability, of gods grace. I am completely ready for this new chapter in my life. I am confident that this recent experience is resonating in me, molding and shaping me to live an even higher purpose.
And the title of this chapter is?
Donna...I don't know what the title of this chapter is yet...but it is going to be a good one!!!
Thank you for reading..this may not be the most well written piece and I know it does not begin to make much sense...but I needed it to say it for me...so thank you for "listening".