When I was at my sickest, there truly was a moment in time where I thought I was going to die. That was it. My life was over. I feared going to sleep because I didn’t know if I would wake up.
I think back to that moment and all I can say is… “That’s it?” Is that really all my life was going to be?
When I think of what my life has accumulated up until this point, I feel conflicted. I feel as though I have wasted so many days of living just by being succumbed to my eating disorder, so many days isolating myself.
That’s not to say that I have done nothing with my 23 years of existence, but I haven’t done everything I want to do. There is a lot more I want to accomplish and there are so many more experiences and feelings to be had.
I want to contribute more than a nice body to this world.
When I die, I don’t want people to remember me as the girl who always ate her vegetables. I don’t want people to remember me as the girl looked good in a bikini. I don’t want people to remember me as the girl with a rigid running schedule.
I don’t want to be remembered as small.
My body has ran a marathon and hiked Mt. Vesuvius and swam in the Atlantic ocean. It has hugged family and been a shoulder to cry on. It has been in an immense amount of pain and felt surreal levels of pleasure and felt nothing but the sweet unconsciousness of sleep. It’s soft in some places and solid in others and beautifully flawed everywhere in between.
The veins and organs and tissues and tendons and bones that make the me that everyone sees — the me that loves and learns and builds and creates — is my tool of expression.
My body is a not an ornament, it is a vehicle. My body is not for the viewing pleasure of mankind. My duty in life is not to constantly diet and lounge poolside to be gazed upon. It is not my job to whittle away my body and maintain postures that make me as unobtrusive as possible.
I don’t owe the world my attractiveness. I don’t need to be conventionally pretty to be worthy of respect and attention and love.
I want to die knowing that I am a living, breathing, complex, nuanced being, capable of embracing my whole self – the beautiful and the ugly, the good and the bad.
I want to crush the stigma around mental illness. I want to be a resource to those who find themselves lost and alone.
I want to have a healthy, lasting, loving, and strong marriage. I want to raise children and teach them about the power of self-compassion.
I want to be a role model. I want my words to touch someone. I want to be an inspiration, make a difference, change the world!
My body is not a contribution to the world.
The whole concept of a legacy is to experience a deep connection with someone else. I want my life to be touched by others and I want to touch someone else.
And my body is solely the vehicle to get me there. It’s the gatekeeper to my loving heart and joyous soul.