9 Goals for 2019

I am still young, but as each year passes, I feel as though time is speeding up.  I remember as a kid every year used to feel like an eternity.  What happened only a year prior felt as though it was several years prior.  I felt I had all this time and experience built up and that I could remember way, way far back.

As I enter 2019 a couple years into my 30’s, I am acutely aware of the passage of time.  Attending university again for my second Bachelor’s degree at a university with a traditional undergraduate student body has made me very conscious of my age and stage in life.  I am consistently reminded of this in my interactions with other students.  Our differences are sometimes very stark, depending on the student.

It is here at university and as I grow older that I feel the passage of time so acutely.  No longer are the 90’s 10 years ago.  Soon the 80’s will be 40 years ago and the 90’s 30.  The decades I was born and grew up in are growing older and older.  I can now finally say I can remember things many years in the past as my childhood was many, many years ago.

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This year will be a big year for me.  I am graduating with my second Bachelor’s degree in May in Digital Technology and Culture from Washington State University.  If my grades hold, I will graduate magna cum laude, but if I can raise my GPA .04, I will graduate summa cum laude.  Following graduation, I will be either on the job hunt or already into a new job and my partner and I will be moving back to the Seattle area.

As I have done with years past, I am creating goals for this coming year.  Goals that I do not necessarily have to achieve and that can change.  With all the changes happening this next year, I have several goals I want to achieve.

  1. Write – This is a consistent goal of mine, but I never seem to be able to find the time and space for writing.  I think this year will be different as my goal for my future career is content creation.  I want to build my portfolio more and write more, so I am hoping to write more blog posts, write more through paid gigs, and possibly write again for the student newspaper.  I have a lot of topics, I just need to finally write them.
  2. Planning – I want to start having more of a set plan for what’s next.  I have started to narrow down options and figure out more, but I want more of a concrete plan.  I cannot make certain plans too far in the future, but I do want to make as much of a plan as I can so that I do not get stuck wondering what to do next and get stressed out.  There are so many moving parts that planning ahead is the best bet.  Planning includes but is not limited to completing my portfolio, finding a place to live, finding a job, and planning for the move.
  3. School – I want to raise my overall GPA to a 3.9.  I am just shy at 3.86.  I believe I can do it.  If not, I will still graduate with high honors and magna cum laude (if my grades hold), and that will be an incredible accomplishment.  I want to graduate with high honors and I know I can.
  4. Body – It has been difficult to be kind to my body and practice body-neutrality.  I am surrounded by young adults who are still growing into adult bodies and my fat body sticks out.  It is hard to be the only fat person in the room as well as the oldest (minus the professor who is generally my age or slightly older).  I need to tap into that part of myself that knows that it does not matter what anyone else thinks and that knows and believes in health at every size.
  5. Organization – I need to do a serious overhaul of my stuff from here and my parents’ home.  I need to choose what to keep and what to get rid of as I move into a new stage in my life.  I am finally moving out of my parents’ house for good and I do not expect to be coming back.
  6. Job/Career – I want to find a job that I can start after university that I can either stay with when I move back to the Seattle area or can serve as a temporary position before I find something more permanent when we move.  I want to do something that I find enjoyable, is creative, makes an impact in the world, and would help me develop more skills and knowledge.
  7. Housing – My goal is to find a place that suits the needs of the family that my partner and I have together, which consists of our three cats.  I do not just want a place that suits my needs or suits his needs or allows our cats, but something that works for all of us.  It is likely a tall order considering we would like to stay in the Seattle area for at least a short while.
  8. ICED Conference 2019 – The ICED Conference I am attending is this March in NYC.  My goal is to really make the most of the conference and my time in New York.  I want to network, network, network and spend as much time as I can with the people I know and care about that I only get to see a couple times a year.  I am very excited for the conference and I really want to make a huge impression while I am there.  Add this to the list of things to plan!
  9. Self-Compassion – I doubt I am alone in believing that I am not worth as much as others.  That somehow others are better than me.  Other people get the jobs, win the awards, have the friends, the life, the whatever.  But none of that is true.  I am good enough.  I want to recognize those negative feelings and emotions and have compassion towards myself rather than judging or criticizing myself for a perceived flaw or failure.  I think this is one of the most difficult goals as I am so prone to automatically find fault within myself and immediately latch on to the negative.  I want to put a lot of effort into re-framing and self-compassion as this will be a year of a lot of change, which is always stressful for me.  I believe that I can do this.

I want to acknowledge that there is a goal that is not on the list this year that usually makes the list every year.  It is relationships.  I have struggled to find friendships outside of online friendships as friendships are difficult to find in adulthood outside of university.  Now that I am in university again, I joined a club this year and found a group of friends.  These individuals are all very kind and amazing and it feels really good to have some friendships outside of online relationships again.  I am not necessarily looking forward to graduating in May and making friends again, but I am grateful for what I have in this moment now.

Endings and New Beginnings

–I had written this post before, but it got lost. Here is attempt #2.–

Today is the last day of operation of FxMcRory’s. I am more emotional about it’s closure than I thought I would be.

I worked here many years ago as a food runner during Seattle sports gamedays. Located nearby the stadiums, FxMcRory’s is a popular bar and restaurant with over 40 years of operation. It has a reputation of being the tailgate location before games, especially the Seahawks, where the bar fills up by 9-10am and there are wall-to-wall people.

The years I worked here were very busy and when I was at my most ill. I spent many days struggling to make it through the up to 10-12 hour shifts with few breaks. I was anxious, stressed, and sick most every day I worked. It was some of the roughest years of my life.

But working here and those years in my life were not all bad. Between the stresses of my job and my eating disorder and anxiety, I also entered my recovery. I went from struggling to make it through my days and shifts to thriving and moving forward with the rest of my life.

This place, this bar, is my constant reminder of the struggle of where I started and the joy of where I am going. I look around here at this place and those memories and I am reminded that I have grown so much and I have so much ahead of me. Where I used to barely get by, I now thrive. This was the end of the pain and sadness of my eating disorder and the beginning of my recovery.

As it closes, I too close a chapter in my life. I am transitioning from the beginnings of my recovery into the next stage of my life–going to school again and getting a second Bachelor’s degree. I do not know exactly what is ahead of me, but I am reminded what is behind. I feel grief, relief, sorrow, and triumpth. I know that the past may have been difficult, but my future is here and now and I cannot wait to see what will happen and what I will experience.

A salute to endings and new beginnings! Goodbye FxMcRory’s and hello Washington State University and my future!

BEDA Inspirations and Future Posts

It has been a crazy couple of weeks since the Binge Eating Disorder Conference!  I arrived home with a ton of exhaustion, but a whole bunch of new ideas to contemplate and soak in.  It has been over these past couple weeks that I have been thinking about everything that I learned, re-learned, and was inspired by.  Here are my favorites:

1. Graduate school. This seems to pop up a lot in my post-academic life and this conference reminded me how much I love learning.  I want so much to be able to go back to school, stay in the Seattle area (?!), and get a graduate degree in psychology.  I know what my passion is, but I do not quite know what it looks like just yet.  (If anyone does, please let me know!)

2. Exercise for enjoyment. One of the topics presented on was exercise and having a positive relationship with it.  It was reassuring to hear from more individuals (other than my providers) about the importance of shifting my focus from compulsive overexercising and punishing myself to the activities I love to do such as dance and football/soccer.  It inspires me to continue to fight my urges to overexercise and engage in the activities I love within the limits I am able.

3. We are not alone. I had an incredible heart-to-heart with another woman there who is a mother of a son who suffers from BED.  In her past, she similarly suffered as I did with weight stigmatizing remarks and bullying because of her weight.  It was so meaningful to share that experience with another person knowing that I was not alone.  In fact, there were plenty of other individuals there who had similar experiences.  It reminds me that none of us are alone in our suffering or in our recoveries.  There are others out there who know and who understand and that connection is out there.

I am also inspired to write a couple of posts.  I simply have not found the time… yet!  On my agenda is to write a post about the upcoming Seattle National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) Walk.  I know last year’s Walk was less than desirable and I want to touch on that as well as discuss openly what is going to happen this year because it will be so, so much better.  Also I have a very personal post coming up that I have yet to talk about and pretty much you will have to wait and see about that one.

Thanks for reading.  Remember: Recovery is possible!

 

NEDA Walk in a Bikini: Seattle NEDA Walk Spectacle (2013)

Before you read this post, I would like you to remember that this occurred in 2013 and it was an isolated incident. I have spent the better part of the last year in contact and working with NEDA on making this year’s Seattle Walk and all walks better. Our Walk in Seattle this year will be awesome!

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Yesterday I participated in this year’s Seattle National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) Walk.  This year’s Walk was different from previous Walks and, sadly, mostly in not very good ways.  The Walk this year featured a group called Vulure Couture.

Vulure is a bathing suit company that specializes in bathing suits for small-chested women.  The entire group showed up in their line of bikinis, which  ranged from fashionable to scantly and sexy.  To add to the awkwardness, their documentary photographers and videographers were also present to capture the day.  This company had recently completed or is in the process of completing a documentary about two women wearing bikinis for 30-days for Eating Disorder awareness.

The Vulure group and a local nutrition counseling office group partnering with them made the Walk a spectacle and a condoned one at that.  The Walk coordinator on the board of NEDA mentioned the company and the swim line as if it were an advertisement.  This is not far-fetched though seeing how all three had been partnering together prior to the Walk even appearing on a radio talk show.  Each seemed to have an advertisement and an agenda and this Walk was their stage.  They even held up the entire Walk start time to be able to do it.

The overall feelings within myself and amongst my group and family was awkward and upsetting.  The Walk is relatively ‘safe’ environment where there are not triggers around.  Walk coordinators usually make sure the atmosphere allows for this type of environment as well as those people who attend this type of event.  We are all pretty well-aware that at eating disorder gatherings certain behaviors, clothing, talk, etc. should be avoided.  These two groups apparently did not receive the memo nor did the NEDA board member.  The bikini attire, especially the scantly, sexy nature of the bikinis was triggering and a spectacle.  At this type of event it is completely inappropriate.  Many of the Walk participants are still struggling with either behaviors and/or body image and to be bombarded at what should be a safer event is unacceptable.  This is not the time or the place to be promoting your company/business, swimsuits, or bodies.

I hope that there are others that were at the Seattle NEDA Walk that speak up if they felt the same.

Regardless of this happening at the Seattle Walk this year, I had a really good time.  The Walk is not about commercial crap, bodies, triggers, who raises the most (though my competitive demon would say otherwise..), the entertainment, etc.  The Walk is about coming together for a cause, raising awareness, and raising funds.  It is spending time with those you love and that love you for the morning or afternoon and enjoying their company.  Sometimes you have not seen these people in such a long time!  That is what it is about.  Everything else, whatever.  We do not even have to literally walk.