The first week of August has come and gone, and looking back, it has been a very good week. Even though this is only my second blog post, the step to set up the blog has paid off so far. Although publishing something that I have written online makes me feel vulnerable, it also motivates me to get started and get going. Merely thinking about possibly doing something does not work for me, but by writing down my resolutions I feel the need to do what I set out to do. Of course, at times I still struggle and would rather stay in bed, but the baby steps I have made are the ones that count.
One of the things I decided I wanted to do was to stop eating bad foods all the time. After a my low-budget, three-week holiday filled with peanut butter sandwiches, Galaxy chocolate and garlic bread, I was craving vegetables. So far I have managed to stay away from any sweets, crisps and ice cream and for the most part, my meals were very healthy. Forcing myself to go back to the gym was tougher, but surprisingly, the familiar ache in my muscles the day after felt good. It felt (and feels) good to know I am on the right track again. Next week I am planning on starting a training program again (one that I have done, but have not finished, before) instead of doing some random workouts. Apart from going to the gym, I went for a few walks through the city. Again, it was hard to get myself back out there, but I know that once I am outside and walking, I really enjoy it. I paused the episode of a series I was watching, thought of what I wrote in my last post and put on my shoes. And not surprisingly, when I was outside I really enjoyed it.
One evening I took my bike and went for a ride. I headed to a lake near my house, pen and paper and tea in my backpack. Just before that, I talked to my mum on the phone and I told her that I struggled to force myself to go outside when it is so much easier to just stay in. I was also feeling slightly lonely, with all my friends either out of town, on holiday or on the other side of the country. We had a good talk and she advised me to try and have short conversations with strangers, or if that is too scary for me, at least meet their eyes and smile. Although I thought “easier said than done”, I took her advice to heart and gave it my best try. When I came home that evening, I felt so good. It had been “easily said, and done”. I had had some physical exercise, had some time to think as I stared at the sun going down above the lake, had greeted random people – I even had a nice conversation with a runner as our paths crossed several times. Sure enough, even though my friends were not around to hang out with, having a little social contact with people I did not know proved to be a real energy-boost. And if all I had to do to feel better was just to go outside, I wondered why, why I did not do this more often.
So in the past week I have eaten vegetables, made my muscles ache and talked to strangers, but I have also taken time to relax and be me. When I cycled to the lake, the sun was starting to go down and it was so beautiful that I decided to sit down on a bench and watch it set. I had my tea with me and sat there, drinking, and taking it all in – the people cycling past, the teenagers in a speed boat with one boy surfing on the waves, the glistening of the water, the buzzing of the bees and the sky. The sky. I do not even know how to begin describing how beautiful it was. Sometimes, when I am in a hurry, I look at the sky and that is all I see. Blue sky and some clouds. A painting, a vision that is there every day. But other times, I see the sky. It is not merely a painting anymore, but it becomes three-dimensional. You can see the individual clouds, some white and some grey, moving by in slow motion. The sun beams that burn holes through them and illuminate the water. In those moments, all I can do is stare and copy the image into my head, hoping I won’t forget its beauty. In those moments, I feel so calm and so me.
This weekend I went away with my mother. We visited a beautiful little town and as the sun shone down upon us, we browsed through narrow streets and had cooling drinks on the crowded town square. We stayed in a luxurious hotel and had an amazing breakfast. We went to a spa. The trip both energized and exhausted me, but it was a good exhaustion. It was so nice to spend time with my mother, take pictures, have motivating talks, share things that inspire us – to just let go and have fun. She is one of the few people with whom I can be myself completely, without feeling the need to apologize for certain parts of me. This past week and the last few days with my mum have been great, and a few steps into the right direction. Steps toward my goal of “being me”.