my god, it is an utterly breathtaking thing to realize you truly are beginning to live into the life that you never, with your whole heart, thought you would see.
yesterday, as the rain poured down around us, i sat in the warm car with a dear friend of mine as we journeyed through the storm towards a place of such remembrance, a place of old pain and new stories; the treatment center at which we met oh so long ago, a haven amidst this city of trees that we both hold sacred within our hearts.
the music filled our car, this small space of such warmth, such overwhelming hope, and our cheeks were sore from these newfound smiles so unintentionally spread across our faces. we hurtled towards our own becoming, one mile down that highway at a time. the river hugged our right as the trees led the way. my god, we sung from lungs that have never felt so full, and we spoke from hearts that have never felt so true.
we pulled into the parking lot, the one that held us there that very first day, too. yet now, we emerge as souls who have been cleansed by all the rain in this world; we are no longer drowning.
we have returned for the tradition of the “one year stone”. one year of choosing to live in this chaotic, beautiful world. one year of breathing through the fear and fighting always, always, for love. and with this tradition comes the honor of speaking. speaking to all the patients currently living the life you once so painfully endured, sitting right where you once sat, believing in the very hopelessness that once threatened to eat you alive.
we stilled our bodies in the very same room that held so many of our hours and days and months, surrounded by new faces. i sat upon that very same couch. and then, it was my time to speak. my thoughts went blank, so i let my heart lead the way.
my heart said that is it an unfathomable honor to be here, alive. my god, how i could never have seen this coming. how i wasn’t different from any tormented soul in that room; not a one of us is too broken, too chronic, too worthless, or too far gone. not a one.
my heart said that we are only as hopeless as we deem ourselves to be. and once you decide yourself otherwise, you are stronger than you could ever know.
my heart said that this world is so beautifully immense and so brimming with opportunity when you realize that you have the strength and worth to still be here, living, for many many years to come. and this heart-wrenching realization fills you with awe over and over and over again. and my god if even at first you are only living to make it to the next of these moments, my god that is enough.
my heart said that my god there is beauty here, and my god there is hope, and light, and life. is it real, it is real, it is real. and you must fight even when there is only emptiness to cling to, until you feel the truth of this world for your own self. fight even when all seems dark and all seems lost, for that is where it truly matters the most.
my heart said that on paper, we could have all died a hundred times over. on paper, we should not be here. but we are. we are, i am, and it is my honor to use this light i have tended within my soul to pay it forward. pay it forward, for all the wondrous souls we have heartrendingly lost along this dark journey already. pay it forward, because all the words in this world could not describe how remarkable this existence can be. full of chaos, full of questions, but so full of marvel. so full of wonder. so full of truth.
my heart said that it is the small choices, day in and day out, even before hope is something that we can fathom, that will lead us to a life of freedom that we could have never believed ourselves worthy of. and it is actions before beliefs, always. always, no matter how paradoxical it may seem, no matter how excruciating it may feel. what we create, we become.
my heart said that i am not perfect, nor is any soul. and healing feels far, far from beautiful.
my heart said that some days my hopes still run faster than the wind, leaving my yearning body lying in the dust, but that my soul is courageous enough to bring me back.
my heart said that though i am more full than i ever have been, though i drink up more light and more live in more color than i ever thought i was able, i am still nowhere near the end of my journey. but nevertheless, i have a flame within me that knows my direction now. and i am here, alive, for a reason. to bestow the truths of freedom, i shall.
the wings in my heart beat faster than anything in the world as i spoke of the life i am creating. the life where i am departing to india in forty eight hours, as i am strong enough and healed enough to care for and teach children halfway around the world. the life where i am to begin my first internship no sooner than three days after i arrive back home, as i have the honor of being a part of a body positivity and eating disorder awareness organization in a whole new way. this life where i lose my voice amidst the awe of arena concerts, where i eat delicious ice cream with chocolate rocks, where i drink matcha lattes as the rainfall rinses the darkness from my heart. this life where i am left sobbing from the beautiful realization that this humanness is not so terrifyingly wrong indeed, where a treatment center or a hospital bed is no longer the extent of my world, and where a girl whispers the word ‘inspiration’ from across the room as i hold my smooth stone of becoming in my palm.
this life that is really, truly, wholly, beginning to feel like a collection of tethers that i could never, for anything, live without again. a life that could never be more painful than what i endured in the choking depths of my anorexia, and in fact more beautiful than anything i had ever felt before. this light has nowhere to go but forwards. onward. always. becoming. always.
i sit here now, in awe. my one year stone sits beside me as my fighting heart beats within me. my soul is screaming to spread this hope to the farthest corners of this universe, my life is screaming to be lived.
so is yours,
so is yours,
so is yours.
(for my next post, my words will come to you from seven thousand seven hundred and fifteen miles from my home. get ready. there is so much more yet to be lived.)