>Post-Summer Wrap-Up

>Since it is the end of a season and the beginning of a new one I thought I would change things up a bit…

New blog layout.
No more music feature.
New relationship.
Lots of new things to write about.
L.O.T.S.
But for now let’s talk about post-summer wrap-up.
I wanted to write you last week and tell you how things were winding down nicely with camp but I never got a chance because things were and continue to be pretty crazy.
I remember the last day of camp last year: the staff were split into two groups that day. The group who had been to the waterslides almost every week that summer stayed behind to pack up the camp and clean the school, and the group who had been stuck at the school all summer (preschool leaders, for example!) got to go to the waterslides. We got back tired and chlorine-y and all stood around in a circle on the playground after the very last camper had been picked up. The coordinators had speeches prepared and these interesting slushie/float things that were very sweet. We laughed. We hugged. We said goodbye. And I went home and cried. A lot. It’s what I do. Goodbyes and things ending are not things I deal with well. But at least it was a clean break. One minute I was a recreation leader for summer daycamps and the next I wasn’t.
This summer that hasn’t really been the case. There is no dividing line between senior coordinator and preschool teacher. The borders are blurry, the hours are merging, and my head is (once again) spinning.
We ended strong, I would say. Thursday night we had an amazing staff party at both AEP and Mission Springs, wrapping up with a competitive game of (contact?) volleyball in the sand. There was a lot of laughter and camaraderie. That night the assistant coordinator caught me in the parking lot and told me that she was calling a serious meeting for the following morning and she absolutely refused to tell me what it was in regards to. In hindsight I shouldn’t have been as worried as I was, but I didn’t see the hint of a smile or the sparkle in her eye—I was genuinely thinking there was a serious problem and was wondering if I would be able to deal with that on the last day of camp.
So I showed up in the morning and walked straight into a trap—a surprise party. I almost cried more than once. The staff were/are AMAZING. All the sweat and tears and confusion that the summer brought somehow became a distant memory in that moment and all I could think of was how blessed I was to have been given the opportunity to step-up this summer.
*thank you so much you guys*
So that brings us to this week. After a busy yet fulfilling and FUN weekend away in Quesnel with some new peeps and a special guy I came back to work Monday morning and realized that I was far from finished with camp. Which is probably why I didn’t cry on Friday afternoon after I bid my team goodbye. There are a lot of loose ends to tie up, but that conflicts with the fact that I have 2 weeks worth of lessons to plan seeing as how I start back to teaching on Tuesday and my room needs to be set up and ready to go by then. Sometimes it seems to be too much, but I know that everything will be okay. It will.
Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming swimming swimming…
*thanks Dory*
And you have all been very patient with me. I know you are waiting to hear about this guy and you will. So stay tuned. He is worth waiting for!
Happy last day of August/first day of September everyone! May you find peace at Walmart as you shop for school supplies and new fall clothes!
~C~
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>’Nuff Said

>I found myself in tears today over this video, my friends. I was in need of some inspiration, some motivation, some joy. And I found it.

I tried to put the movie here on this page but I am not able to right now, so please feel free to check this out on YouTube when you get a chance. It’s brilliant,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=scHfgnJqhCg&feature=search

Please have an amazing weekend and be sure to give and take LOTS of free hugs, kay?

Love you guys!

~C~

>One

>It’s been a year! A whole entire year. 12 months. 365 days.


Did I ever think this day would come? Truthfully, no. Not because I didn’t feel capable of healing, but because I never imagined that the freedom that would accompany my decision to end my self-destructive behaviour would be so fulfilling.

I thought I would always struggle.

I thought I would always cringe when I passed by a mirror.

I thought I would never again enjoy the taste of rich food without feeling guilty.

I thought I would spend every day for the rest of my life throwing up.

Now, I am not saying that this year has been entirely easy. I am not saying that it hasn’t been a struggle every now and then to keep a meal down. But I AM saying this…

I don’t struggle every day.

I don’t cringe when I pass by mirrors.

I do enjoy rich food and I do not feel guilty about it (well, most of the time—I’m still human!)

And I made it through the last 365 days without throwing up even once.

So there. I did it.

Not without the help of God and my family and my friends, of course!

When I woke up yesterday morning, this is what awaited me in my inbox…
So I am pretty sure tomorrow is a special day for you…ONE YEAR BABY! Look how far you have come. I am so PROUD of you and am overwhelmed with joy when I think about where you are now…Here is to another year (well forever)!!! It sucks to have to have gone through that but I am sure your blog and song will touch many people!

And this…

One more sleep. You’ve practically DONE IT, Girl!! Did you ever think this was possible?? 🙂 So happy to have had the privilege of being part of this, ultimately, very solo journey with you. Thank you.

So, thank you so much you two. You’re both amazing!!

Sometimes people ask me how I did it, people who may or may not be going through the same or a similar struggle…how to even answer that question? Do you remember the Point Five mark? I shared a story about my friend who put me in my bed and sat with me until the pain went away. It’s been a LOT of those moments. Moments where I was alone and had to go for a run or organize a cupboard or start a puzzle or do anything to keep me busy; anything to keep me from allowing that feeling of self-loathing to set in. There were moments when I was with people who loved me, people I had made promises to that I would always be honest with them and so I had to be; had to take that deep breath and tell them that I was thinking of throwing up. And there were many, many, many moments of debate…moments where I literally had two choices, and I can honestly say that I made a LOT of good choices this past year. Because not one of them involved me forcing myself to throw up. And I am really, really proud of myself.

Do I still have moments of insecurity? Absolutely.

Do I still wish I was skinnier sometimes? Sadly, yes.

Am I still learning different coping and defence mechanisms? Yep. And always will, too. Because in life we automatically internalize hurt. We watch scary, sad movies, and whether we know it or not, we internalize those scenes. We are sometimes let down by family or friends, and we take that sadness and tuck it inside. We make mistakes and need to find ways to deal with that. And worst of all, we see people every day who we wish we could be more like…people who are richer, taller, thinner, prettier, more successful, braver, kinder, more generous, and so on and so forth. So what do you do with those things? How do you stop yourself from internalizing the pain that so often accompanies life? How do you let go?

This past year it has boiled down to one main thing for me; one significant and dominant coping mechanism:

It’s called L.O.V.E. baby. I have learned how to choose love.

Love over hate.

Love over jealousy.

Love over shame.

Love over hurt.

Love. It’s a beautiful thing.

If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve walked this road with me. You’ve held my hand, and you’ve caught me when I was falling. You faithfully stayed in touch with me and asked me hard questions and have listened to long and painfully drawn out answers. You’ve loved me through my recovery, and I am so, so, so thankful. So much more than you will ever know.

So tonight I am going to toast to me…whether that seems self-indulgent or narcissistic or selfish, I don’t mind. Because I think this is something to celebrate, my three hundred and sixty-fifth day of FREEDOM!

And since I am the Queen of Lyrics, and even though I already included this in my Point Five post, I still wanted to bring this song back to life. Consider what is being said here and maybe you, too, will choose to DEFY GRAVITY!

Something has changed within me
Something is not the same
I’m through with playing by the rules
Of someone else’s game
Too late for second-guessing
Too late to go back to sleep
It’s time to trust my instincts
Close my eyes and leap!

I’m through accepting limits
”cause someone says they’re so

Some things I cannot change
But till I try, I’ll never know!
Too long I’ve been afraid of
Losing love I guess I’ve lost
Well, if that’s love
It comes at much too high a cost!
It’s time to try
Defying gravity
I think I’ll try
Defying gravity
And you can’t pull me down!


It’s SO good to be alive!

If there has ever been a time to say this, I want to say it now, loud and clear while I have your attention:

I love you. I really, truly love you. Yes, YOU. : )


~C~


>Sophie and Public Restrooms

>Weird title for a post? Yeah, I think so, too. But it’s because I have a lot of things on my mind and couldn’t really choose between what I have to say about Sophie and what I have to say about Public Restrooms.

Do you ever forget why I started this blog in the first place? I do. Sometimes. It becomes so easy to write about this and that and all the happenings of my week, and for those of you who still follow, thank you. But this blog isn’t really about this and that and all the happenings of my week. It’s about my recovery from bulimia. There’s that word again. The heart of the matter.
The elephant in the room, so to speak, in more people’s lives than you can ever imagine. The silent screamer, the liar, the deceiver. The Eating Disorder.
This spring I had to work at the annual Diversity Health Fair to promote summer camps, and each year a dance company trains dancers to perform at the fair. I was taking a little walk-about checking out other booths and passed by the stage as a young girl, maybe 12 or 13, did a slow, graceful dance to a song that immediately caught my attention. It was a song called ‘Sophie’, a song that I tucked away into my memory in order to look it up on YouTube. I forgot about it of course until something reminded me of it, so I looked it up the other day. I want to share it with you…
Did you listen to the words? Did you get through the song? It’s hard for me sometimes. I alternate between shutting down and ignoring what is being sung and relating to it all too well.
The part that kills me is when it talks about Sophie’s sister crying because her father says she is dying. In my years of being bulimic I did think about people other than myself, but I do think a part of me closed off to the fact that I was hurting others. I could barely deal with the fact that I was hurting myself.
Yesterday I went to the aquarium and stopped to use the public restroom before entering the main viewing area. The stall I chose had vomit everywhere. At first I was repulsed. Then I was heartbroken. And I stayed that way for awhile. I had one of those freaky this-used-to-be-me moments. I could actually see myself there, bent over, dying inside. I didn’t stay in that stall for long, but I stood there in the doorway long enough to say a prayer for that girl, for that girl who might have had a bout of morning sickness, or food poisoning, or heat exhaustion or any of those other things that make one nauseous, but I prayed especially for that girl who quite possibly stuck her fingers down her throat and felt that sweet relief mixed with confusion, anger and hurt come pouring out of her. How heartbreaking.
How that used to be me is so crazy. I don’t feel in ANY way above it or beyond it but I feel far from it somehow…like it was so long ago that the horrible memories are slowly fading and those memories are being replaced by the outcomes of all the lessons that I have had to learn along the way. The lessons are far from finished being learned, being internalized, being accepted, and being put to use, but I am getting there. Every day is a step closer.
Wednesday is a special day. To those of you who have followed along thus far, stay tuned.
You’ll get mixed up, of course, as you already know.
You’ll get mixed up with many strange birds as you go.
So be sure when you step.
Step with care and great tact,
and remember that life’s a great balancing act.
Just never forget to be dexterous and deft.
And never mix up your right foot with your left.
And will you succeed?
Yes!
You will, indeed!
(98 and ¾ percent guaranteed)
-Dr. Seuss

~C~

>Fight the Good Fight

>Ever have one of those weeks that you actually feel will never end? You get to Thursday and all you can think is that it STILL isn’t over. I’m having one of those weeks, friends. Not gonna lie. I knew from the start that my plate was full, that I served myself up more than I could handle, sure, but the knowledge that I am capable of surviving all this is not cutting it right now. I know it could be worse, that I could be in the midst of a week where I lost my job, crashed my car, got robbed, or any of the above, and none of those terrible things happened, but I feel so far removed from summer right now that I DO kinda feel robbed in a way. Gone (for now) are those long beautiful evenings of taking slow, peaceful walks, or the days of setting up camp somewhere warm and scenic and reading an entire book in 2 days flat—for fun. Because this week has been one obligation after the next.

Just to clarify, I am not talking about work-related things, and I am not referring to my new position. Of course it has been a steep and challenging climb this week as I have sought to regain lost footing and right some wrongs, but overall it has been a week of watching puzzle pieces that I never imagined would fit come together in such a way that I am finally seeing the bigger picture. This is thanks to an amazing staff team who are dedicated beyond the call of duty to making summer day camp a magical experience for the children in Abbotsford. Part of me is sad that there are only 3 remaining weeks before we pack up camp for another year, because we’re in a good place right now. I am loving this.
Rather those obligations I have mentioned are in the form of school work. Blackberry messenger has a great emoticom of a “smiley” face bawling, and those of who communicate with me on bbm know first hand how often I have used that one this week. Because seriously, I do feel like bawling. 60% of my grade happens between now and Monday. Keep in mind the fact that I am working a nearly 50 hour week, hours that seem to blur into each other in such a way that it’s usually 3 or 4pm by the time I remember a little thing called lunch. I come home hot and tired and sweaty and stare with dread at the mountains of homework that await me. It’s not that I can’t do it, it’s just that I really, really don’t want to do it. I’m like a little child who can’t sit still these days, and all I want to do is run and skip and play. Well, usually. The concept of watching an entire movie from beginning to end is such a distant reality right now that I would rather not even imagine it. It would be like heaven.
Okay, so I know I am being a giant baby right now. I know that this is life and that we all have to do things we don’t want to. I know that in 4 sleeps this exam will be over and done with, my term paper will be submitted, and there won’t be anything I can do about it. I ask you this, though: How the hell do I get from here to there? How do I go about gaining enough momentum to study for more than an hour or two straight? At what point between then and now do those last 3 pages of my paper get written, and not only written, but written well?
(insert bawling emoticom here)
It doesn’t help that I miss somebody pretty badly right now. I’m not quite ready to say who, but it’s someone pretty freaking special. So maybe, just maybe, this girl is a bit too distracted and lost in a dream land to focus. That’s all I’m sayin’ for now. : )
I had a little freak-out moment tonight when I realized that what I thought was a completed essay was 3 pages short of finished. I just happened to be on the phone at that moment with someone who cares about me enough to make me hang up the phone, tie on my runners, and take some aggression out on the pavement. So I did. I tied on my runners and I started to run. And I ran and ran and ran, and every time I felt like quitting, I thought of that stupid bloody horrible essay and I ran some more. And it really, really worked people. By the time I ran back into my cul-de-sac I was smiling again. And you know, it may have been the wrong choice, but I decided to turn a blind eye to that paper tonight. Because what good is a half-assed essay anyways? So instead I kept a special person company until bedtime and then had a wonderful 1.5 hour conversation with my oldest best friend who I needed to connect with desperately.
4 more sleeps. Just 4 more sleeps.
You know, I had my staff fill out some peer feedback evaluations this week, and I got one turned in that was for me. It was a surprise because I wasn’t expecting to receive one. Someone told me I was Superwoman. I think that person got a little confused between that and Batman though, because they wrote “nananananananana SUPERWOMAN!”. I had a little chuckle about that one. But you know what my friends? As flattering as that was to hear, it’s not really true. I’m not Superwoman and no one ever asked me to be. I am just an ordinary girl who needs to do some homework, who needs to get some sleep tonight. All this pressure is so unnecessary, no? And if I don’t get an ‘A’ in Anthropology I am okay with that. Because that silly little letter is not worth all this bawling and stressing. It just isn’t.
I can think of a hundred things that are more worth my time right now. One of them is closing these hazelly-green eyes of mine and getting enough sleep to wake up in the morning and fight the good fight once again.
Finish this week strong, friends. Finish strong.
~C~