When asked to name the one person absent from her life that she missed the most, she responded, "The person I hoped I'd be by this point in my life."
This week has been an interesting one for me (and as I'm writing this it's 11:20am on Tuesday morning). I received a packet in the mail yesterday. A packet that, for the most part, solidified the end of my slightly over three year long stint in the military (you can read more about my experience with the military and eating disorders by clicking here). It was my VA compensation packet. Though I got out during the last week of August in 2010, they have just now made a decision. One that truly validated how I felt I was treated while I was in.
I know, when I was discharged the people in Texas deemed that the military had severely aggravated my eating disorder, but having a second group of people say the same thing? It made it feel less of a fluke or chance and more real... or legitimate.
Anyways, I wound up getting a higher rating than the charts online say they give to EDNOS, but that wasn't what it was about this piece of mail that got to me. It was both the descriptors of my demeanor "absent of emotion" with a "depressed mood" however having "good insight and judgment" that I found intriguing.
If you had asked me as a child what I would be at 23 years old I would have told you that I would be old (among other things), but I don't think I would have said any of those above things. I think I would have said that I would be doing something I love. I may have had an interesting childhood, but I still believed in the power of me. It hadn't been stripped completely away.
(I was pretty BA in my shin guards, right?? Then again... I did play on a boys soccer team)
When I was a child I thought I could conquer the world. I wanted to be a plastic surgeon, a ballet dancer, a singer, a mad scientist, a fashion designer, a professional athlete... even Amish... Occasionally I would want to be a combination of those things. You know what? I genuinely thought I could be those things.
Somewhere along the line we forget that we are capable. Through the years people start to whittle away at this firm belief we have in and of ourselves. "You can't do that's" "You did that wrong" "Why can't you ever do things right" start to erode that solid foundation. For some it happens quicker than others... damaging varying as well, but sadly enough I think it happens to a degree to everyone.
As a child we believe that we deserve and should do things we love for a living. We let our imaginations create a future life of possibilities rather than of closed off streets. As we get older we start to let ourselves limit ourselves and let others dictate what our capabilities and rights should be. I hate to break it to you though, but this more highly educated, more life experienced older version of you isn't the correct one... I firmly believe that that child was right.
I'm currently living life differently than I ever have. I'm flowing with the river of life and while it may scare my parents, I am loving this way of doing things. Going with what feels rights in my heart. Trying not to over think things - trying to bring some of the wisdom of my younger me into today's world. Trying to get back the person that I thought I'd be by this point in my life -- my own person. I may not be there yet and it may take awhile, but I think I'm slowly starting to become that person.
ps. psssst! I HIGHLY recommend you check out this post over at Nourishing the Soul. It made me feel quite emotional (maybe even vulnerable and teary eyed) as it struck several chords and stirred up memories, but it also left me hopeful.