I want to admit something…I love having answers. I have always loved this. Is love the right word? I have always been drawn to pondering to wondering to asking the questions. My parents tell me as a child one of my favorite sayings was, “but why?” Still to this day that remains with me. And now as an adult, I understand that we can never know the entirety of any answer. Be it all the viewpoints in a disagreement, or the the way the human liver works. I think as I “relax” into adulthood, I have come to realize that this constant need to intellectually know has held me back at times. Be it, in my career or in my personal growth and facing my eating disorder. I have felt so often the need to get a perfect answer. My need to have the perfect answer to things has also, at times, translated into wanting to “be perfect.” What is this drive for perfectionism? It is a roadblock to happiness that’s what it is.
My need for perfectionism could be seen in my early days of counting every calorie down to the very last one, or weighing myself 6 times a day to see if I had gained or lost any weight. I also sometimes found myself stuck in my work at school because it would never be perfect enough or “complete enough.” This need to perfect something takes away the joy and the awe for actually experiencing it. To deconstruct every detail takes away from the wholeness of the thing itself. I was slowly breaking myself into pieces. I was reducing myself to how well I “followed a diet.” Thinking about this now I actually get tears in my eyes.
I was and am so much more than how I do one particular thing. I feel my heart beating now and I know my capacity to love. I know that the moments I sit in love with my family and friends, that I am realizing my true self. As I type these words, I feel deep gratitude that instead of being stuck in this place of self criticism, I have somewhat been freed.
However, recently, I have been wanting to take on new endeavors. I have not felt “ready” to do so. Many deep loving friends have encouraged me and think I am crazy for believing I am not ready. One of the things I have come to know is that people may never be truly 100% ready when a challenge arrises, but there is a transition point that comes when one takes the leap and when one begins to fly. There is a middle point, when the fear is palpable, but despite it the answers arise.
I have encouraged many people to follow their dreams. It is easy for me to see the potential in someone else, and tell them about it with great enthusiasm. However, when it comes to myself, I am less inclined to do so. Perhaps, I am just afraid of failure.
I write this on my blog about having an eating disorder because, one’s relationship to food and body image highlights but one area of someone’s life. When I let go of my need to “diet” I let go of something very real. Slowly, other things I wanted to do have crawled in. And, so without having the all the answers or the “perfect” set of wings, I must try to fly.