You guys, I try to stay away from the “woo-woo” things too much. You know, the things that are so! excitable! and! are! full! of! crazy! exclamation! points!?
That's a little bit how I feel right now though. I'm back from my trip to New York City. Thinking about this trip caused major anxiety for me as the fear of not fitting in and not being able to experience things due to my size made me want to hyperventilate. I wish I were exaggerating, but you're talking to someone with depression and anxiety, so I'm not. It reached nearly full-on panic attack mode.
I made it to the airport after waking up around 3am so I could get to Louisville to take a direct flight (leaving from Lexington would have cost nearly triple – get with it, LEX!). I stumbled on the small plane and realized I wasn't going to have another amazing seatbelt-extender-free flight like I had recently. While trying to get comfortable, someone asked me if I was Emmie. Turns out, the wonderful person (whose name I now know is Mindy) read my blog and for some reason it was comforting. People giving a damn about what I write and then being nice enough to say so in person? Overwhelming doesn't describe it.
I could write thousands of words about the awesome people from this New York City trip, but instead for now am just going to share the joy. While I was in the city, I didn't get winded going up subway steps or down city blocks. I actually went by myself to roam around the Museum of Modern Art while I had a few hours to kill. By.Myself. This is nuts you guys! In the past, my insecurity would have kept me confined in a group of people traveling in a pre-determined route. The experience was extremely liberating and it gave me some great meditation time while staring at art like this:
I interacted with people, saw old friends, met new ones, and spent all day outside between the Hudson River Park, The Highline, and on a sailboat on the Hudson River. I wasn't super fast when having to walk places as my bad ankle was bothering me, but I wasn't winded or sweaty and my legs didn't swell. I even felt cute in my clothes – like I fit in. Having felt like an outsider in my own life for so long, this epiphany is nothing short of tear-inducing (in a great way.) I'm verklempt just writing about it. Where are the damn Kleenex?
Prior to my trip last week, someone mentioned that I should take a similar photo to the one I had posted from my last trip in 2003 when I was exhausted and feeling awful. While on the sailboat, I took a photo. I think the difference is visible – not only in appearance, but in joy:
I wish I could bottle up this feeling and give it to anyone who feels like they don't fit in, or that the struggle to move towards a healthier life is just too much to handle. I know this feeling won't last forever in my mind, but it will last forever here on the interwebz, and that's about the best I can do right now.
Choose yourself. Choose joy.
Thank you for letting me experience this with you. xoxo
PS: I am going to discuss more about these feelings plus others in my new email newsletter. If you're interested, please subscribe! The first one is coming out by the end of the week. No spam, promise!