I leave today, in 4 hours. I will be boarding the plane to South Africa, where I will be staying, living, working, for 5 weeks. Yes, I am nervous, as is expected before this brutal 30-hour journey. But something is different. I am much more in control. I am not panicky, I know I am competent and capable, and most importantly, I am more certain than ever that I will be traveling alone for the entirety of the trip. Ed will not be accompanying me. Yes, I still do get the daily reminders that my body is sub-par and certain clothes still (and will probably always) look unflattering to my figure. But the difference is, I don’t obey his words, I don’t hear him when I am eating, and I haven’t been restricting. I have eaten what I know to be healthy for my bones to make up their lost density. I know more confidently what my portions should look like to maintain my weight. I know I need to eat more if I go to the gym. I know that my body loves food and food is what makes me beautiful.
With 2 near death experiences in my life in the past 2 years (that also coincidentally occurred on the same day), I have realized how lucky I am to be living. Last year, I was nearly in the hospital for Christmas because of Ed, and this year, I got in a car accident driving back from school. But I survived both and now I have a new sense of freedom that I forgot I lost. With this newfound freedom, I am able to travel and explore the world around me, something I never could have dreamed of this time last year. The shackles have been removed and I am let free from the prison I have lived in. I am ready to use my knowledge to help others and keep myself healthy. I have always heard that you cannot make others happy until you are happy and for the first time in…a long time… I can say that I am actually happy.