Friday, June 15, 2018

What's all this talk about love?

Tonight, my roommate and I pulled out the 90's classic Runaway Bride starring Richard Gere and Julia Roberts.  I know that soundtrack backwards and forwards and it takes me directly back to age 15 every time I hear one of the songs.

For those less familiar with the storyline, Julia Roberts' character, Maggie, puts aside her own tastes and interests for people she dates.  She gets engaged and makes it all the way to the wedding day before deciding she can't lead a false existence.  She runs away because no one truly knows who she is, including herself.  After a fourth failed attempt down the aisle, she decides to learn what her own interests and passions truly are.  After a time of self-discovery, she realizes she doesn't want a big wedding. She likes eggs benedict.  She spends time developing her passion for industrial design.  She ultimately offers all that she is to someone, without apology, and that's the man she finally marries. 

I once loved a man who didn't yet know who he was.  He was unintentionally playing a part, trying to be everything he assumed was expected of him. Inevitably, the relationship ended because the person I loved didn't actually exist.  It hurt, but I was grateful it ended. It taught me the importance of taking the time to truly get to know someone- the good, the bad, and the ugly.  It also revealed my own insecurities and difficulty communicating.  I was just as much to blame for seeing only what I wanted to see and not encouraging him to be authentic.  I was also guilty of not being upfront with him about my feelings, either, even though I had doubts and fears.

Runaway Bride is relatable.  It's easy to morph into what someone else needs, regardless of what we want.  There's an inherent part of us that wants to make people happy.  It's tricky, because helping others is a central part of building good character.  It can't be, however, at the expense of us becoming the people we were born to be and reaching our divine potential.  And sometimes, we allow people to put aside their own interests in order to better serve us.  Both things are problematic in a relationship. 

Asking someone to love us as we are is a terrifying concept.  After she takes time to become comfortable with who she is without anyone else influencing her, Maggie kneels before Ike and asks him to marry her.  In this question, she is asking him to accept her true self.  There is a moment of silence in which he considers his answer.  The pause induces stress as I contemplate what it would be like to offer my whole, authentic self to someone in hopes they would accept.

I am in a position now to discover who I am without too much distraction. But my responsibility doesn't end there. I must love who I am and be brave enough to offer myself without apology to someone else. And I have to accept the outcome, whether it's yes or no.  Can I be that authentic with someone? I can certainly try.  And can I accept the authentic version of myself? I'm working on it every day.

So this is to you, whoever "you" are.

My name is Katie, short for Kathryn. But I'm not a Kathryn- I'm most definitely a Katie.  I am a homebody. My favorite day of relaxation is reading a book in bed, watching a made-for-tv romance, eating something delicious, making homemade cards, and working on a puzzle.  Though I love to be at home, I also love to go for long walks and bike rides. I love the water. I love to swim.  Being in a boat on the lake tubing or wakeboarding is a perfect summer day.  I am very close with my family.  I never make my bed, unless I'm going out of town.  I fall asleep in an instant. I love surprising people. I'm completely non-athletic.  I sing and play the piano and I adore writing poetry.  I talk in paragraphs and my thoughts jump around.  I love getting to know peoples' stories. I am a great conversationalist, but I struggle sometimes to talk about hard things. I would rather host a party than be invited to one.  I'm not an intuitive cook and I'm horrible with directions. I love to teach, and I'm good at helping students discover their talents.  I am deeply insecure.  Writing is one of my greatest passions, and it's how I show my love and appreciation for people. I like making silly music videos and slideshows. I'm extremely anxious.  I am scared of dogs and I don't like seafood. I have a sweet tooth and I also love movie popcorn.  I love God and prioritize my faith above all else. I can't eat wheat. I sometimes purposely ignore that fact. I'm a little klutzy and I often say things that I have no idea are inappropriate.  I am sentimental.  I'm forgetful.  I have the best friends in the world.

And I like 3 minute eggs smashed with butter and salt on toast.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Day 1: A Fresh Start

It has been over a month since I vowed to get "back in the saddle" with intuitive eating.  It turns out my health concerns weren't yet resolved. But finally, finally, FINALLY I'm starting to feel almost normal again.  Someday, I will share experiences from the past 7 weeks or so as part of a bigger project I'd like to someday pursue.  But for now, it's time to resume progress on an earlier goal: to eat intuitively.

I've fallen back in the trap of eating food because it tastes good and not because I'm particularly hungry for it; in fact, I often consciously make the choice to eat simply because the food I like is available, even though I'm full.  I leave for choir tour on Monday morning. It is exceedingly tempting to wait until after tour is over in 16 days to begin again.  But rumor has it the food will be awesome. Overeating is one of the hazards of vacation.  Rather than digging a bigger hole to climb out of, I'd like to start today. And I must remind myself that eating intuitively is not restricting any one kind of food.  Instead, it's eating just the right amounts of each thing until satisfaction is reached.  Once that is attained, enjoyment often goes way down.  I will not resume tracking food until after tour, but my goal for the next 2+ weeks is to resume awareness of my body cues.  Try anything gluten free that looks enticing, but stop eating when my hunger stops.

I realized today after consuming helping after helping of sugar that I'm really getting sick of it.  It's definitely too much of a good thing and I'm eager to get back the wonderful feeling I had at the beginning of the year when I was eating to live and not living to eat.  I've put weight back on the past several weeks, which has added discouragement in to the mix. I'm anxious to turn things around!