it takes a long time

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it's been a strange and wonky stretch of time, these last few months.

good and bad and a little unbearable and at times, heaven.

a stretch of time in which i've felt both deeply mired in the muck and as though i'm hurtling, lightening speed, into the great unknown.

i have this very vivid memory of being twelve years old and climbing up to the see the delicate arch in utah and how that trek went on forever. i never thought we'd get there. the land was so flat and so brown and so long before me and the sun was high overhead and i couldn't imagine an end. and then, just when i thought i couldn't go any further, we curved round a huge stone wall and there it was.

and i was breathless. it took my breath away.

that thing, that arch, that magnificent sliver made by mother nature's careful hands.

few times in my life have i seen something so beautiful--the sort of thing that people marvel at even in photos, but photos will never do justice.

it was so much more than my small mind could have ever conceived.

it was sometime between late december and middle of january that i realized the eating disorder was done.

just like that, gone.

i shouldn't say just like that--it was an arduous and often impossible journey. but the moment of its departure went unnoticed.

t.s. elliot got it right: not with a bang but a whimper.

there's that phrase: you'll struggle with this for the rest of your life. and oh how i loathed that phrase and fought against that phrase and worked to make that phrase obsolete.

but here, on the other side, i've come to realize it's not the eating disorder i may struggle with the rest of my life, but all the other things that i emptied into it.

fear and anxiety and a propensity to get sad. startlingly deep emotional reactions that overwhelm and unnerve. lack of confidence. questions of worth.

and with the eating disorder said and done those things are now illuminated with stark clarity. and a whole new journey begins. and it's just as hard and i'm sure it'll be just as good...

but what the hell.

you know?

because no one prepared me for this.

in fact each time i face something that i thought would be easier without an eating disorder and it's not--well, each time there is disappointment and dare i say, a little heartache.

each time feels like a small loss.

i came through the other side and it's a whole new set of struggles. or well, the struggles that were always there, but now there's no pretending.

there is only honesty--ruthless and brutal honesty. and a little floundering.

someone left a comment the other day saying, when are you not sad. not with a question mark though, just a period.

and all i could do was laugh because she has a point and imagine how i feel living it? i know, i really, really know.

ba-hambug. (and a little laughter along the way).

but just the other day natalie said something that made me a take a quick breath, oh! of course!

it takes a long time for an exceptional person to be made. 

isn't that perfect? it takes a long time for an exceptional person to be made.

and natalie and i, we both want to be exceptional. and so yes, it may take a little bit longer.

and the flip side of that? an easy path does not make for exceptional people.

exceptional people are forged by the hard and the difficult and the sad.

which is to say the hard and the difficult and the sad are all great gifts.

and perhaps this may be simplistic, but makes it all a bit more bearable--provides perspective.

it took a long time for that delicate arch to be made.

and it took a long time for me to reach it at the age of twelve.

but good lord was it worth the wait.

it takes a long time for an exceptional person to be made. indeed.