Five Years

Five Years

Today is my son’s 6th birthday. He is six. Wow.

I remember thinking when he was one: In five years, he’ll be six, a kindergartner and rather independent individual, at a completely different stage in life. In five years, I’ll be turning 35, different for me and yet not that different. I’m already an adult. Five years is a lot for him now, but just another five years for me.

I was right and wrong. It is just another five years and it is also ANOTHER FIVE YEARS! I’m a lifetime apart from where I was five years ago.

Five years ago I was still doing HR work and hating who I brought home at the end of the day. I was starting to consider getting out, making a change, doing something different — though the thought was still incredibly scary. Leave HR, a steady income, who I knew myself to be as an adult — was I crazy to try something new? My brain whispered, yelled MAYBE, ACTUALLY PROBABLY!! And yet I knew if I didn’t change something, I’d implode or explode.

Five years ago I was recovering from bulimia, vomit-free for almost five years, though still occasionally binging when a hard day hit (and hating what I saw in the mirror many days).

Five years ago I was drinking much less alcohol (I had just finished breastfeeding), though still equated wine with a good time, a way to blissfully numb out.

Five years ago I had made many strides forward, though I still didn’t know what I wanted to do or be or how in the world to communicate well with my husband or how/if we’d make it through the next five, 10, 15 years — if nothing changed.

Five years ago, life still really hurt, and I didn’t know how to share that very well. I had made so many strides — how could I still be struggling, hurting, aching so much?

No, there were no magic words or silver bullets found in the past five years. The closest thing to a quick-fix pill has been my three children and how I see them watching my every move. What I say doesn’t really matter, it’s what I do. Seeing where I was being dishonest in my life has pulled me up short every single time: “You are imperfectly perfect and I love you exactly as you are. You never need to change for the world.” And now don’t watch as Mommy says yes when she means no, when she looks back over her life and still feels ashamed at all of the places where she wasn’t “perfect,” or when she goes and mentally rips apart her body in the mirror, looking at every place that isn’t “perfect” and how her life won’t be real until she gets it together.

Change has come in teeny, tiny, stumbling, flailing, wailing, falling down, baby steps: Skip the Box is happening (initially personal chef work turned into writing and speaking, sharing and truth-telling about the hard shit in life and health), consistent morning me time with a bit of exercise (I’m actually using my collection of workout DVDs, or at least 2-3 of them), a completed book (bucket list, I’m going to keep working on you!), feeling more comfortable in my clothes and body (more often than not I get that having a body in which to move in this world is a gift), and learning the world won’t end if I bring up things that feel uncomfortable with my husband (hey, let’s talk about money!) — he’s a pretty good listener with an open mind. Who knew?

Another five years? Holy smokes, I actually like the direction I’m heading.

I wonder, my friend: what about you? Do you like the trajectory you’re on? Where do you want to be five years down the road?

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