What there is to be gained by avoiding the world

Short answer: nothing, as it turns out.

Well, I suppose I shouldn’t say that.  But it depends on how you do it and what your reasons are.  As you may or may not have noticed, I disappeared for a month.  And I am back to say I have been avoiding the world and I did it the wrong way… again.

There are probably some who feel the world distracts them from what is truly important.  They become monks or nuns and take a vow of silence.  Devote themselves to exploring “the internal” or go on a spiritual journey to India.  But the difference between them and me is that they made a conscious decision to do so.  They have a specific goal they are moving towards.

I, on the other hand, get tired, anxious, scared and, as a result, shut down.  Some of you who actually know me may have been frustrated with how difficult I can be to reach at times, especially by phone.  Truth is I hate my phone.  With a passion.  No lie.

Every time it rings I start to panic.  I imagine someone is going to yell at me, tell me I owe a lot of money, I’m expelled, I fail… basically, everything I already say to myself.  It doesn’t really matter what the caller id says.  I don’t want to answer that phone for the life of me(sorry mom… grandma).  In fact, I have two absolutely wonderful friends who are throwing me a bridal shower and the reason they didn’t get the invitations out sooner is entirely my fault.  The longer I took to get the addresses, the more I didn’t want to face them.  I feel really bad about that.

Do you ever wish the world would slow down and let you catch up?  There are so many  things I want to do this year; not least of which is to have engagement photos taken of Matt and I in the fall and a small, civil ceremony in January.  But at the same time I wish I could delay it all because I am terrified I am not going to be thin enough in time.  I don’t want to be embarrassed by these pictures for the rest of my life.  I want to look at them and be incredibly happy, not frustrated by my stupid, round face.

But what kind of life is that, if I delay everything until I am thin?  Until I am happy with myself?  Would I ever come out of hiding?  Get married?  Travel?  Do any of the things I really want to do?

Probably not.  And that would be so sad.  Because I want more then anything to get married and I have found someone incredible, that I can trust and  love whole-heartedly, to get married to.  I want to graduate, get a job I love, write wonderful things and be happy.  I want to be seen and loved by others.  The things I want most are a part of this world and to have them, I have to be a part of this world as well.

It’s terrifying.

Bit by bit I will move forward.  I have to.  I want to.  I will go to my bridal shower, regardless of my size, and I will see my friends.  I will do whatever I have to in order to graduate.  And hopefully I’ll be too happy at my wedding to care about cameras.

I’ve started by writing a blog post.  Now I just have to answer that damn phone.

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What to do?

Yesterday morning the sun was rising over Lake Michigan, filling the sky with glowing reds and oranges and making the water glisten.  The mist was beginning to recede from the shore and the waves were lapping against the sand of a small deserted beach.  It was here that my love gave me a ring, asked me to marry him and I happily agreed.  And I mean very happily.  I can’t remember the last time I laughed and cried at the same time.  And the ring is absolutely gorgeous.

But now I have a wedding to think about.  As well as a wedding dress and photos I will have for  the rest of my life.  My future mother-in-law has already proclaimed we all need to lose weight, especially my fiance who needs to lose quite a bit of weight and has a family history of serious heart problems.  Both she and I are worried about his health so I completely understand.  I truly do love her (I am marrying into a fantastic family!) and her intentions but… as if I hadn’t felt pressure enough before to be thin and pretty.  Wow!  Not only do I want to look absolutely spectacular for the biggest day of my life, I want the man I am marrying to be healthy.  Us losing weight seems to be the best thing to do.

But what should  I do?  I am so tired of dieting.  I have so much information about food in my head, I swear it will explode.  And what about my “self-acceptance no matter what”?  If I do this again, will I fall into the same patterns that bred my self-loathing in the first place?  What should I do?

I’m going to have to think on this.  I should probably mention that I bought some African Mango extract and I measured my waist today.  This all feels familiar; too familiar.  But I’ll expand on that later.  For now, I already decided my step one was to actively look for good things in myself.  I guess I should continue by finding my step 2.

Is it possible to love who you are now while still striving for change?