Always Enoughness

Ring the bells that still can ring/ Forget your perfect offering/ There is a crack in everything/ That’s how the light gets in- Leonard Cohen

Dearest Wee Bee,

You are always enough.  We are all, always, “just right” enough.  Not too much;  not too little; not fumbling around in the dark, grasping for something, anything, to fill up the hole, the ache, inside. Just…enough, exactly as we are.

I used to think I needed to be Extra-Super-Amazing-Woman: mother; sister; daughter; friend; partner; teacher; educator; public speaker; workshop facilitator; thriver post-ED; PhD candidate (*you knew that was coming, didn’t you? Because my grief and subsequent finding my way through the loss of this PhD is fueling this post)…I used to think I needed to do all that and bake both gluten free cookies and muffins and pickle my own vegetables that I grew in my garden, just to be somewhere close to enough.  And did I mention the perfectly organized home complete with painting or personalizing every single piece of furniture inside of it that I rescued off the side of the road? (And carried home by myself, bruising my legs along the way).

Honestly, Zoe Bee…who cares except me?  Does anyone love me any more or any less if I pickle vegetables that I bought from a regular grocery store (or even if I pickle the carrots and celery in the first place)?  If my floor has crumbs on it, or my bookcase is solidly and clearly IKEA with no extra hacking, or I don’t finish a PhD that has served me well but served me all it can, the world will not end, and I will still be enough.

The truth is, I have always been enough. You have always been enough. We all come into this world enough, and somewhere along the way we begin to believe the tall tale that we are not, will never be enough, unless…

Unless we have perfect skin and bouncy shiny hair, polished nails and a stereotypically enviable body

Unless we bake the refined-sugar-free-gluten-free birthday cake from scratch and decorate it with homemade candied violets

Unless we own our own mansion of a home

Unless we craft everything inside of that home ourselves at a Pinterest-worthy level

Unless we grow our own vegetables from seed and pickle them ourselves

Unless we handle every situation with complete ease, confidence and poise

Unless we stick with the PhD that no longer rings true simply because we mistakenly believe those letters after our name will make us worthy, somehow

Don’t get me wrong, my dear girl: I love baking and pickling and painting (especially furniture and walls).  And I have to admit to enjoying the feeling of crumb-free floors under my toes.  I loved my PhD while I was working away on it, and I am an avid Pinterest fan.  But no amount of achieving, and certainly no amount of over-achieving, is ever going to fix that perceived hole.

Because it’s not a hole.  It never was.  It’s a crack, where the light streams in.  Or maybe it’s something more: maybe, just maybe, it’s a crack that lets our light out into the world.  

Maybe in our Enoughness, in those moments when we buy cupcakes to bring into school for the Valentine’s Day party or dance all over the crumbs on the kitchen floor or feel shaky and a bit unsteady at first in navigating one of life’s twists or turns, maybe it is in those moments that our true light shines out, making others feel like they can be Always Enough, too.

Own the Enoughness, Zoe; just as you are.

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A love letter to the things we let go

Dearest Wee Bee,

My very wise guru (aka life coach) Mara Glatzel, has repeatedly told me:

You can have anything you want, but you can’t have everything you want.

Zoe, I want you to hold both parts of this, near and dear to your heart, always.  The first part reminds us that we can dream of every single thing under the rainbow, while the second part makes sure that our priorities are always there, keeping those rainbow dreams focused on what our priorities truly are.

And so, I let go.

This time, it’s something so big that I find myself grieving, even though I know that in giving this up, I am gaining so much more (a wise man-friend told me this today…which makes me realize that I’m so so lucky to be surrounded by all this infinite wisdom, especially in times like these).

This time, it’s the phd.

When I began this phd path in July 2007, my life was completely and entirely different.  You were but a twinkle in my eye; I was deep in the midst of battling against ED; I was in my twenties…life was still just taking shape, finding direction, opening up, fully.

I had always wanted to do a phd.  When folks asked why, I said: this degree is for me.  The others had all been because I thought I ought to, or because I had to in order to get to the career I wanted (B.Ed., I’m thinking of you!).  But this phd? This baby was mine! All for me.

The courses had these incredibly dynamic and exciting titles that didn’t disappoint but rather engaged me in new and wonderful ways of thinking.  The libraries were these beautiful buildings to explore (albeit frustrating if the book I so desperately needed was out).  Even getting my student card photo taken was such a huge deal.

Noni took my photo on the first day of my first class, in a brand new outfit, complete with a brand new book bag that A.She bought me.  I looked so happy, so excited, thrilled to be on this journey.

And now, eight and a half years later, and six months into my leave of absence, and I can only say: I didn’t know then what I know now.

I didn’t know that I would learn so much.

I didn’t know that I would find an exceptionally supportive thesis supervisor, an absolutely amazing committee, and a whole gaggle of grad school friends along the way.

I didn’t know that I would choose to delve into learning about ED and the education system, intersecting my professional, personal and academic lives in such an exciting web.

I didn’t know I would find my voice, find my passion, find out that I was not, was never, alone in my battle against ED (both then in the midst of it, and now as an advocate on the other side, living a recovered life).

I also didn’t know, could not have had any idea, that you would appear only five short years after I started this thing.

Nor would I have realized that, in the middle of all of this, I would find not only you, but myself.

I used to say that I was in a relationship with my phd, because it was such a constant, such a North Star for me. Whenever I was in a bind, or at a loss for what to do, I would turn my mind towards finishing it.  

I used to believe that you have to finish what you start.  That success is only at the finish line, no matter how long it takes, or what the cost.  

I know now that I was wrong.

Success is found in knowing and growing into who you are, little by little, each moment; in changing your path when you need to; in setting your own self as your North Star.  Trust your own light, Zoe.  Know that no piece of paper, no framed diploma on the wall, will ever shine as brightly as making the often difficult choices that are just right for you.

Trust that success is found in learning along the way; in honoring all that each choice gives you at the time; and in letting go if it no longer serves you and your life.

My phd gave me wisdom, knowledge, hope.  Most importantly, it set me on my path to finding myself. And now that I’m here, I know that I don’t need to finish writing in order to keep all that I’ve learned, all that I’ve gained.

In life, Zoe, you will find that sometimes there will be so many, many things that you want that you just don’t have time for them all.

And so, I choose myself.  I choose you.  I choose taking a path towards different dreams.  And with love and infinite gratitude towards my phd, I let it go.  

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February 15th- The Luckiest

“I don’t get many things right the first time.  In fact, I am told that a lot.  Now I know all the wrong turns, the stumbles and falls brought me here. And where was I before the day that I first saw your lovely face? Now I see it every day.  And I know that I am, I am, I am the luckiest.”- the Luckiest, Ben Folds Five

Dearest Wee Bee,

I know I write every single year on this date…like clockwork, February 15th approaches and I do my best to try to make sense about what, exactly, happened that day. Why February 15th, 2008? Why then?  And, why me?

This year though, I have to admit that I’m finally realizing that words are not really enough.  But I do wonder, are they ever really and truly enough?  Can they capture a feeling so intense that you yourself cannot even name it, let alone explain it?

How do I explain how I felt, all those years ago? I remember an intense fight deep inside, struggling back with everything I had against an insidious voice that kept telling me I wasn’t good enough, that I was too much, that I wasn’t deserving of anything except shame.  I remember exhaustion, weary right to and through my bones.  I remember that I was getting tired of fighting something that felt like a losing battle (although this definitely does not mean that I was ready to give in, or give up).  I was free-falling, a term to describe what happens when someone is battling against ED and the body simply can’t, in spite of everything that it tries to do, hold onto weight any longer.  With every bit of weight that my body was losing, ED was winning.  I’ve never admitted that before, Zoe, but it seems, that in hitting eight years free from ED (in my case, in the form of anorexia nervosa), the mirror is finally reflecting back the truth.  And it felt, increasingly, as though ED was, quite possibly, the only way.  Not because ED was a choice (believe me when I say that ED is never a choice– why would someone choose to dance with a partner as abusive as ED?  The answer is simple: we don’t), but because it was so hard to keep fighting against something that seemed determined to claim my body as its own.

And yet, the clearest memory I have from this time is a voice in my head, whispering, chanting, sometimes screaming, as I walked outside in the extreme cold, bundled up in layer upon layer upon layer in a desperate attempt to feel the tiniest bit of warmth in my chronically chilled body.  “You’re not going to die, you’re not going to die, you’re not going to die…” Over and over and over, these words kept me company.  Over and over and over, I fought, not to die.  My own self, buried deep in the rubble and ruins, was begging me not to die.

There is a difference though, Zoe, in fighting not to die, and in choosing to live.  On February 15th, 2008, I chose to live.  And it is a choice that I make, every single moment, of every single day.  Choosing to live was the hardest thing that I have ever, ever done in my entire life.  Choosing to live meant the possibility of feeling; meant the possibility of falling; meant the possibility of failing.  And that felt so very, very scary.

Well, eight years in, I am here to say that while it still feels scary from time to time, it mostly feels so incredibly wonderful that I can’t even begin to describe it.  Feeling joy, feeling pain, feeling sadness, feeling happiness so deep that it bubbles up out of my belly?  Incredibly wonderful, all of it.  Falling means that I have taken an incredible risk, and now have the opportunity to dust myself off and leap, again.  Such an incredibly wonderful gift to be able to fall.  Failing?  Failing means that the universe is saying: nope, try a different path, a different way.  Kind of like with ED.  I was losing, and the universe pointed me in a different direction.  I’d say that that’s not only incredibly wonderful, but also incredibly lucky.  And while I can’t say why, exactly, I am one of the lucky ones, I can say with one hundred and ten percent certainty that I am determined not to squander this gift, this luck, this chance at a new life.  Those who came before me and those who come after me, in this battle against ED…I owe it to them, to you, and most importantly, to me…to keep choosing life, every single day.

I am so, so lucky, Zoe.  Eight years ago, I was given a second chance at life.  Not everyone is so lucky.  Not everyone wakes up and looks in the mirror and sees her lovely face, every day, and truly believes that it is lovely: not because it’s conventionally or unconventionally beautiful, but simply because it is her one and only face, that she fought for and won, on that cold morning, so many years ago.  Not everyone turns and looks over at the wee bee snuggled beside her, and smiles because she realizes that not only is her own face, filled with laugh lines and beautiful scars, lovely, but so is the littlest face smiling back at her.

I am the luckiest.




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Meant to Be(e)

“Please don’t forget that you were meant to be here, through hard days and sweet years.  Through laughter and warm tears, you were meant to be here. You were meant to be here.  You were meant to spin through summers, fears and wonders.  Trust your heart dear…”- from “You were meant to be” Renee & Friends (featuring Glen Phillips) from the Simpatico Album

My dearest Wee Bee,

I always think long and hard before writing a post for EDAW (Eating Disorders Awareness Week), mostly because I feel as though my words are not just meant for you, but are meant for everyone out there who has heard or still hears the voice of ED, whispering, yelling, shouting that their bodies (and consequently their whole selves) do not fit.  That they need to twist and turn and contort to fit.  That their bodies (and they) are not meant to be here.

And so, after writing and deleting and writing and deleting this post, which holds so much significance for me, I am choosing, deliberately, not to write about what my battle against ED was like for me, but what life, on the other side of ED, almost eight years out, really means.

And so…

Life on the other side means accepting cherry after cherry and sticky sweet pink-iced doughnuts from you, my sweet bee.  It means moving my body in ways that I love.  It means glancing down at the gentle curve of my belly and feeling only love, not just because it held you for nine months (although I admit this plays a significant part in this love) but also because this belly nourishes me…sustains me…and damn it, I’ve even grown to realize the gentle curve is beautiful.  It means dancing…so…much…dancing: down the street; at school; on the subway; in our living room to the theme song from Gilmore Girls; in my kitchen late at night.  It means a pink streak in my hair and mismatched socks.  It means chipped multi-coloured nail polish from “girls’ nights” with you.  It means going out for brunch and lunch and dinner and doughnuts with my friends and family.  It means baking gluten-free cookies for breakfast early on a Sunday morning with you and sharing them on the sofa, curled up under a cozy blanket.  It means crying, warm tears streaming down my face when I feel sad (because I never used to feel sadness) or when I feel incredibly, blissfully happy (because I never used to feel joy, either).  It means feeling grateful every single moment for this life that I have built, postED, and that I continue to build, every single day.  It means being able to accept real, unconditional love, because I know I am worthy. Not just from others, but from myself.

And it means, remembering, all the time, that I was meant to be here.  We all are.  I think we often forget that we are all miracles.  We are all meant to be.  Living postED means keeping this in my back pocket on days or weeks or months that feel hard.  Because sometimes they do feel hard.  Sometimes they feel impossible.  But the way out is not by holding ED’s hand, as tempting as it might have been in the past.  Trying to fit myself and my body into what society says is right, in an effort to feel that I am meant to be here?  That’s just not an option anymore.  The way out is by holding my own hand, and yours too, and splashing through the puddles that the hard days may bring.  As you say: “ready, steady, go!”  Here we go, my wee girl.

Always remember: you were meant to be(e).



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“Accept What People Offer”

Accept what people offer.  Drink their milkshakes.  Take their love.-Wally Lamb

Dearest Wee Bee,

My brain has been swirling with ideas for what to write on this day that marks the start of my 38th year on this planet (since, as Nuki reminded me, when you turn 37 years old you’re starting your 38th year here)…  I have to say there are maybe too many little pieces of mummie wisdom to offer up on this day of all days.  And then I thought…I haven’t written about accepting what folks offer with grace and delight.

While we don’t have too many dear ones offering us milkshakes (unless they were alterna-dairy!), I have found, as you will too, my wee girl, that the world is filled to the brim with people who just want to love you, if only you will let them.

Strangers who say good morning and wish you a wonderful day as you cross paths on your way to work, every single day.

Friends who pop in at a moment’s notice to let you cry on their shoulders; to go on play dates with your wee lass (that’s you!); who send care packages and cards from near and far away.

Family who pick out the most perfect cards every single time; who dance with the “birthday bear” singing the Beatles’ birthday song at 7am in your living room; who are always there at the other end of the phone.

Until very recently, I had the hardest time accepting what people offered to me.  I fretted about what I could offer in return…something big, bold, beautiful.  Something that proved that I was worthy of what they were offering, of all the goodness and light.  Because who am I, really? How could I possibly be worthy?

Lean in close, my dear girl, so I can tell you a big secret – although really, it’s something that I hope you share far and wide, as it should not be a secret any longer:

You are worthy of love.  We all are.

So drink the milkshakes.  Eat the pink doughnuts that are offered in the sweetest way, from the sweetest person.  Accept the cherries from your own wee bee, one day in the not too far off future, while you watch Gilmore Girls curled up on the couch.  And remember, you are worthy, not just of love from others, but especially and always first and foremost, of love from your own self.  Take not just their love, but your own.  Make your own delicious coconut milk ice cream milkshake and drink it with your swirly straw glasses, right down to the very last drop.

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Sono Grata

Dearest Girl of Mine–

You need no convincing of the power of gratitude.  Of this I am sure, because when I introduced the idea of doing a “nighttime gratitude” with you, you understood without me needing to explain one teeny tiny bit.

So I know you won’t mind if I take a moment (or a post) in your blog to give thanks to all those folks and spaces and things that make our lives a little better, a little brighter, each day.

Here’s to our home, peaceful, colourful, joyful– with dear friends right upstairs and family just around the corner.

Here’s to our farmer’s market where you get fruit-puréed Popsicles and goat cheeses and pea shoots and balloon animals and beautiful flowers.

Here’s to our library where we borrow books and movies and get free passes to the AGO (as well as other museums and galleries).

Here’s to the parks all around our home where you dip your toes in the splash pad and climb up the climber.

Here’s to all the family and friends who join in our delight: coming over for dinner; planting our garden; dancing in our kitchen; reading story after story; cuddling up for movies; sending flowers and cards and texts and calling when they can’t be with us; eating breakfast with you (early every morning- thanks Noni and Nuki)…

And here’s to you: you bearer of joy with your sticky sweet fingers and gentle curls.

Sono grata….sono grata…sono grata.

With each breath, we are blessed.

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You Are Home

Dearest Zoe Bee,

I share our story in pictures and words.

Pictures that show the beauty we have worked so hard to build in our home, together.

Words that connect, bit by bit, into a script, a love story of new beginnings.

The truth is, wee girl of mine, our home is wherever we make it to be.  Our home is whatever and with whomever we make it.  Home-“making”, really, is the act of making a home.  Building a life.  And this act cannot be contained within four walls alone.  

This act is found in the friends and neighbours and family who circle in around you, as you draw them in closer.

It’s found in the folks who add in the “stuff” to your home (big details and small, from spill-proof cleanable white couches to handmade needlepoint art to carefully chosen greeting cards of inspiration that are so perfect you have to frame them).

It’s found in the ones who fill your life with joy and laughter and spill pesto on your carpet.

It’s found in the ones who send love and goodness (and texts and phone calls and beautiful bouquets of bright pink flowers) from afar.  In the ones who are always with you, even when they aren’t in the room with you. Or in the ones who come to see you every single morning as you eat puffed millet and yogurt and fruit for breakfast.  Or in the ones who encourage you to dance in your kitchen.

It’s found in the one who delights in jumping off the spill-proof cleanable white couch to spontaneously dance with her mama to a silly song from a favourite movie (that, my dear girl, is you).

And it’s found in giving thanks: giving thanks to all those who have circled in, who have helped you make your little space a home, who have helped you realize that not only do you deserve a space of quiet beauty and love, but also that it is always, always deep within you.

Zoe, my home is with you. You, and all those who continue to circle in and draw closer.  And it will always be so.

Aren’t we just the luckiest?

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You’ve got the magic in you…

My Dearest Wee Bee, Zoe,

So, my darling girl, you are now officially three.

And what a delight and joy you are to all of us around you, and, even more importantly, to your own dear self.

This year, my wish for you is simple.  I want you to remember this always, Zoe: you’ve got the magic in you.

It doesn’t come from expensive lotions or potions or juice cleanses or fancy televisions or gorgeous shoes (*and you know how much I adore a gorgeous pair of sparkly shoes).  It doesn’t come from straight As or getting the starring role in the school play or winning lots of scholarships or having the most friends on Facebook or followers on Instagram and/ or Pinterest (or whatever has replaced Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest by the time you’re old enough to use them- which, of course, will be when you’re my age!).  It doesn’t come from owning an enormous home or traveling the globe while flying first class or dining out at hip restaurants.  It doesn’t even come from having a loving family and supportive friends who adore you and are always there for you.

The magic, sweet child of mine, is in you.

It’s been in you all along.  Not because you’re joy-full, courageous, hilariously funny, incredibly smart, artistic, and, in my humble and completely biased opinion, the most beautiful inside-and-out Zoe Bee around (although it is very much true that you are all these things, and so very much more).  It’s been in you, and continues to be in you, simply because you are you.

So climb the highest mountains, or take on the starring role in a Broadway musical, or paint seventeen masterpieces, or complete five graduate degrees if you want to (or don’t, because after all, it’s your life and you get to choose what you would and would not like to do), all the while knowing that, regardless of what you accomplish, how much you acquire, and how many lives you touch, you’ve got the magic, deep inside your heart.  You have all that you might ever need or ever want right inside of you.

We often forget, Zoe Bee, that we all have all that we could ever want or need or desire deep inside of our own selves.  I don’t know why this happens: maybe it gets lost in the hustle and bustle of trying to live a life we think we are supposed to live.  All I know is that once we still all the “should haves” and “must haves” and “why can’t I haves” that go spinning through our minds, we can feel the truth, beating in our hearts: we are enough.  I am enough.  You are enough.

And this truth, my love, is pure and powerful magic.

(And just in case you ever need a gentle reminder of how much magic you hold, you can wave your Zoe Bee birthday wand around and around, as you twirl in your dancing shoes.)

I love you more than anything else in the whole, wide world. Happy, Happy Day to the sweetest wee bee who has helped me be still and uncover my own magic, again.


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the Lucky Streak

My darling wee girl–

Last week, I pumped up my ‘do with a bright bubble-gum pink streak– my “lucky streak 2.0”, if you will.  Several months ago I added in a pale blonde streak to my otherwise completely natural brown (plus some grey) hair, and last week I decided that the blonde lucky streak was not quite enough “lucky”– maybe I needed to bump it up a notch and add the pink.

Well…I’m not quite sure what I expected would happen with this new hair (although I did, quite accurately, predict that you would love it, since it’s pink, and since you have been saying “mummie, I want to cut my hair pink” for a while now), but something has happened today that has really made me reflect on the idea of lucky and luck.

If I’m really being honest, Zoe, I added the pink to bring more “lucky” into my life.  Sometimes it feels like there is so much external stuff that doesn’t go the way that we’d like it to in life, and why couldn’t a bit of a pink lucky streak help out?  Maybe the pink streak will help us win the lottery, or a free trip somewhere special (without ice and snow, if I’m being truthful!), or even just give me more time: more time to spend with you, instead of working or writing my phd dissertation.  I even wondered if it would bring me luck and would somehow magically mean that I wouldn’t have to do a lot of revisions for my phd (which would most definitely equal being able to spend more time with you, my wee girl).

But no such luck.

So far, no lottery win, no fancy-schmancy trip somewhere warm, and a substantially solid amount of work still to be done on my dissertation.

Plus a hefty dose of the unknown: not knowing when things might get a little bit easier, not knowing when I might have more time, not knowing what’s going to happen in the next year or two or five or ten…and the not knowing is really, really hard, Zoe.  I wish I could say that I have your innate trust that everything will work out fine in the end (or, as Nuki says, if it isn’t fine, it isn’t the end), but I project into the future and I worry and it spins away from me and yet also it envelopes me, dragging me into a world that I have not yet met, nor may never meet.  In short, I worry about the stuff that hasn’t yet happened instead of just be(e)ing, and trying to embrace each day, each moment as it comes.

And so…back to the pink lucky streak.

Maybe this streak is here to remind me to just be(e):

To deeply appreciate the fact that we have our bright and colourful home that is simply perfect for two sweet bees (me and you), instead of worrying that it’s rented (and when will we ever be able to buy our own place).

To honour all that being able to work through the process of this phd has brought into my life (discovering that I love public speaking; that I love facilitating workshops; that I bring hope to the one or two or three people who always pull me aside afterwards to tell me their own story about ED– or especially to the person who wrote, when asked what the workshop had taught her: “I learned that I am not alone”), instead of stressing out about graduating with a big fancy hat (as much as we both love fancy hats). The bigger piece of this puzzle, of course, is that this journey of doing this phd has made me realize that I am not alone in my struggles and triumph against ED.  Even if I never finish (which, since I do not know the future, nor can my pink lucky streak give specific results, I really have no idea what will happen), I now know this to be true.  And that is worth all of the effort and financial investment in the world.

To find deep joy in feeling the warm sun on my face after an extremely frigidly cold winter, and in being able to wear my bright orange down vest (instead of a heavy duty down coat plus seventeen other layers) when I go outside, even if we will not be travelling to anywhere warm and sunny anytime soon.

To find relief in tears, and especially immense comfort in the fact that I am blessed to have so many people in my life who will just listen and hold me while I cry, instead of being upset that there are things in my life that have caused me distress and pain.  Life isn’t life without a little bit of rain, my wee girl.

And if that’s the case?  If this bright bubble-gum pink streak in my hair can ground me, can help me be present, can help me find the joy that is already here, all around me?

I’ll take it gladly.  Even more than winning the lottery.

Because really, if you add up all of those things in my list and toss in a brilliant, gorgeous inside-and-out girl named Zoe, plus the most amazing family and friends and colleagues and students a grown-up girl could ask for…?

It would seem as though I already have.

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Letting Go…Seven Years

My Gorgeous Girl, Zoe–

So.  It has come to this.  Seven years, to the day, of living a life I recovered from ED.  And on this day, seven years post-ED, I just happen to finish the first draft of my PhD dissertation.  Coincidence?  I really do not think so.  And here is why…

“What is inherently wrong with wanting to take up more space instead of less?”

Who wrote that, my wee bee?

The answer is simple: me.

Even post-ED, Zoe, I tried to live smaller than my true self kept telling me to be.  Perhaps it was leftover bits of ED, trying to sway me back.  It didn’t work, but it also didn’t let me grow and flourish and simply BE the larger than life person that I am.  And I don’t mean with respect to my physical body: I learned a long time ago that our bodies do what they are supposed to do if only we let them.  If only we can let go.

But the living small?  The playing small?  The not-shining-so-brightly so that others might not be shocked or dismayed or put off by my brightness?  That continued.

So, Zoe, I ask you: “what is inherently wrong with wanting to take up more space instead of less?”

I have a sneaking suspicion that you, my wee girl, would look up at me, wearing your navy blue sunglasses, bright pink pom-pommed hat, red and pink tutus and “dancing shoes” and ask me what on earth could I possibly mean by that question, because you always take up more space: your light shines so brightly and boldly.  You always are exactly who you are.

And so, finally, on this auspicious day, when I have been seven years without ED, when I finally finish the first draft of my dissertation, I finally realize what it’s really all about:

Letting Go.

It’s time for me to let go.  Let go of the notion that the universe wants me to play smaller and shine less brightly than I naturally do.  Let go of the idea that I always have to be perfect, do things perfectly, and react perfectly to every situation (or in this case, that I have to write my dissertation perfectly- or even close to perfectly.  That’s what revision time is for!!)

I will wear my neon yellow and navy striped skirt because I love to twirl in it.

I will mismatch my stripes and polka dots and plaids, and of course mismatch my socks.

I will eat homemade cookies, with much delight, for breakfast with you (okay, I will continue to do this, since we’ve been doing this for awhile!).

I will dance: not just in the kitchen, but on the street as I walk home from work; on the subway; as I bop down the hallways at school.

I will (continue to) paint and re-paint our mismatched wooden furniture that I have dragged home off the side of the road so that our decor mirrors our bright and colourful lives.

And I will keep sharing.  I will keep tearing off the shame:

Shame No More.

Only Joy.

Only Joy, and Laughter, And Pure Unadulterated Bliss.

As you dance with your wee beauty.

Wee Bee.

She who brings happiness.

I am happy, Zoe, and bursting with Joy.  I refuse to hold any of it in, any longer.

with gratitude for seven years of discovery, growth, and Life Itself (that would be you, Zoe, since Zoe means “Life”)–


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