The Path to Me

Binary// something having two parts//
I had a professor recently who told me I was a simple thinker. In class, I questioned items and found loopholes (as a teacher I’m aware this can be incredibly frustrating) but nonetheless, I deeply wanted to be seen as a student who was quite the opposite. (critical, invested, curious). His hurtful words stuck with me, and  I questioned my own thoughts. It felt immobilizing at times and doubt crept in more often. He told me I thought too binary. According to this professor and the words he left us with were, “Question everything, and believe in something.” Hm. Crystal clear, I thought. {wait, what?}. And so in the following months, I grappled with it. 
Insert: R E P E T I T I O N
Repetition// the act of something happening over and over again.

I began to focus on all of the thoughts that seemed binary. If i’m not this, I’’m this. Thoughts like: I’m not eating healthy every meal, so I should feel bad about it. If I didnt meet my half marathon training goal, I didn’t really accomplish it. And then these expanded. My goal of running was to finish in under two hours. That same doubt crept in during my training. What if I don’t reach my goal? Is it still an accomplishment? Should I be ashamed that I set out to do something and didn’t? I finished with 45 seconds to spare and reached my goal.  Almost immediately, I began to think about ways I could have trained differently or things I could have done that would have improved my time. What if I wasn’t goal crushing but instead I was just squeaking by?

Insert: H I G H E X P E C T A T I O N S
High expectations// a belief that one should reach far beyond typical

Having high self-expectations is a struggle and a super power (Thank you to Stephanie Sheldon for that wonderful line). I wanted so desperately to be a critical thinking student and I was mis-read. Self-doubt followed.  I set the bar appropriately high for my race, achieved it, and still wanted more. Result: never fully satisfied. But.. 

Do high expectations have a value? Short answer; yes.  Those expectations have made me in  many ways efficient and also successful. By seeing room for improvement, I have remained motivated to achieve more and to be better. But in other ways, it has brought a different feeling. 

Insert L I M I T A T I O N
limitation// a restricting condition

Even the word “restricting” gets stuck in my mouth like peanut butter. What I have found through self-analysis is that if I can’t do something successfully ( or I fear there’s a chance I’d totally suck)  I’d like to run from it. If I can’t cook a good meal, I don’t want to cook. If I can’t absolutely diet like a maniac, I’m not interested in trying it. 
Insert: L E A R N I N G
Learning// the act of obtaining information

So here’s what I’ve learned: compiled from wise souls, books, life, and my last little while:
It is hard and I’m choosing to do it anyways. (this makes my skin crawl) // goals can be scary. Self-growth is not the path of least resistance. Sometimes I’m going to totally suck at something. And when that happens I will determine if its intuitively not a part of who I am or it’s a moment to lean in and learn. 
Change and growth both take time.
There’s no easy mac or spaghetti’os, or Martin’s Deli Mac n Beef when it comes to change. It doesn’t mean I’m not not doing something right, maybe it just needs a minute to simmer.
It can be a choice or a limitation. {what word will you choose}
There are things I have to do to be happy. It is scientifically proven that exercise reduces anxiety and increases good vibes. I will not HAVE to move my body everyday. I choose to move it. Because it makes my life better. Even on the cloudy days when nothing is going right// in all seriousness, i need it more those days. It’s a choice.
I may wish I was more Y, but I’m not.  
Maybe cooking is not part of this lifetime and I am dynamic. 
Maybe I will never be a smaller size and I am beautiful. 
Maybe people don’t get me and I am lovable. 
Maybe my life looks messy to others and I am the one on the path. 
Maybe prep makes me feel limited and I am working on it. 

I am me and that, is irreplaceable. 

You are you, and that is irreplaceable.