A New Year. No Resolutions.

Revel in the New Year... (courtesy ourbigearth.com)

365 days ago I looked in the mirror and what I saw was almost unrecognizable.  The normally healthy, curvy, yet thin young girl appeared gaunt, pale and badly in need of a cheeseburger–biggie sized.  The vibrant girl who loved wholeheartedly and laughed with her whole being had suddenly vanished, and in her place an emotionally and physically frail being took shape. 

Little did I know, that waif of a human was there to stay, there to taunt me with memories of the past and cynical musings of the future, there to speak for me in the wake of my relationship, there to take my place in an emotional emergency trip to the hospital.  I was all but gone, vanishing more with each moment I was in contact with my ex. 

365 days later, I look in the mirror and revel in my accumulation of a few pounds.  The young, ambitious woman who had her formative years ripped away by the hands of abuse has returned and with her a new spirit has taken form.  Through shedding the conforming shell of an abuser’s grooming, I have realized what I want and will never again settle for less than I deserve.  While the past year has been one of challenging pain and the never-ending wave of emotions associated with the grieving process, it has also been a sweet transition of learning how to experience pleasure on my own, as a single being.

Travel, expensive material items and fancy food once defined my understanding of pleasure.  But, on my own, without the resources of a Narcissist, I have learned pleasure resides in all forms, monetary or not.  In rekindling relationships with those I sacrificed for my abuser, I have found that feasting on cheap munchies and wine on the beach with those that I hold dear can be much more valuable and emotionally hearty than any pricey meal or Louis Vuitton bag in the world.  Rather than dropping a small king’s ransom each weekend at the mall, I spent my summer surrounded by conversation and laughter and learned healing exists in the maintenance of priceless relationships and friendships.

Each year thousands of individuals look in the mirror and gauge the damage of their secret, nightly Ben-and-Jerry indulged sweet-tooth binges.  They all act in accordance with the process of self-loathing and degradation and vow to replace the image of who they are with who they ‘should be.’  The New Year commences and resolutions are broken, shattered in pieces, leaving the monster of self-loathing to take no prisoner.  No Slim-Fast-er left behind.

I am relieved to look in the mirror and see that my curvy figure has made a comeback.  Through the enjoyment of simple pleasure, I have put on the weight my body craved for and I am proud to say, in this moment, I exist more than I did last year.  While the end of this journey is nowhere in sight, I am learning to embrace change as the constant opportunity of life.  So this year, no resolution to lose a few lbs will be made.  Instead, I challenge myself to look for a revelation within myself.  In my journey of finding my missing identity, I have learned that to find something that creates only a glimmer of joy in one’s life is priceless, and must be pulled out of that individual at all costs.  Writing has been my bootstrap to pull at when I’ve lost my footing. 

As Elizabeth Gilbert wrote, “When you sense a faint potentiality for happiness after such dark times you must grab onto the ankles of that happiness and not let go until it drags you face-first out of the dirt—and this is not selfishness, but obligation.  You were given life; it is your duty to find something beautiful within life, no matter how slight.”  Words and writing began as my revelation, act as my constant salvation and give my life a beauty that I have never known.  As the early days of 2011 roll ahead, I cannot wait to experience another revelation and the pleasure it will bring.  While resolutions set us up for failure and frustration, revelations within ourselves bring us that much closer to a sought-after, new chapter in life.  I cannot wait to read my new chapter.

Courtesy Cegidebtsolutions.org

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