Thursday, December 8, 2011

Blank Canvas

Have you ever taken a good hard look at yourself? I mean really give yourself a good hard honest examination? I have numerous times over the years or so I thought. Lately I’ve been taking the time to really examine myself, not just the things I want in life, but who I am as a person. Taking more notice to the things I like, things I feel, life around me and how I feel about myself generally. In the past I’ve been so easy to cut myself and focus only on the negative aspects. I thought that was what it meant to be honest with myself. Most recently, I have found myself able to actually compliment myself on some things and not just cut to the negative. I can see positive things about me now as well. For example, though I still crave cigarettes almost daily and have the occasional smoking dream – I’m proud of myself for quitting and going longer then a year and a half. It’s actually almost been two years with the anniversary in this coming February. I’m not proud to admit this, but I smoked off and on for ten years, more on then off, but regardless it was a struggle with an addiction that I didn’t like having. So in the past, I would cut myself down with terms like “weak” and “pathetic” for allowing something to sort of take over and get as bad as it did. Now though, as I sit back and take a good hard look at myself, I can honestly pat myself on the back, because quitting smoking has been one of the hardest self hurdles I’ve had to endure and I can definitely sympathize that it’s not easy to put the pack and lighter down.

Now this isn’t some anti-smoking post or some ‘go me’ bragging thing. This is a post of self reflection, rediscovering myself and sharing some things with all of you who choose to read my blog here. I feel like in ways I’m sort of starting over in life. Like making this time in my life a turning point to get myself on a better path and head for what would really make me not only happy, but healthy in life. One of my present downfalls is my weight. I admit I’m overweight, have been for most my life and while I am not at my heaviest – I’m nowhere near being healthy. In ways it kind of scares me, because looking at my family’s medical history I know there is a long list of things that are genetic, that I need to be weary of. Lately I’ve been feeling more inspired to really do something to try and prevent those things. I need to teach myself to focus on becoming healthier. And most importantly, I need to do this for myself. I need to put aside all self doubt and pull into myself the strength to begin working out regularly, eating better and just generally keeping optimistic even when I feel like quitting. Today was the first real day I felt like I’ve begun. Working out this morning I got on the exercise bike that often sits in the house untouched. I’ll be perfectly honest here; I only lasted 23-minutes and got to 5.6 miles on the thing. My goal this morning was to last 45-minutes and well get to as many miles as I could in such a time frame. Though I didn’t meet my personal goal for the day, I got to say I feel great. I honestly feel just a little proud of myself, because I didn’t even make it 2 miles the last time I got on that bike.

The photo I am sharing in this post is a self taken portrait. I am wearing absolutely no makeup in it and exposing my blank canvas if you will. While I don’t wish to repeat myself usually, I feel I must say again that in ways I do feel like I’m really starting over. I’m learning to be okay with myself in areas that I used to not be. I’m learning that it’s okay to love myself more and to really take care of myself physically and mentally for a healthier lifestyle. Really, I feel like I’m re-learning myself and while this isn’t some “soul searching” journey, this reintroduction of myself in this way, has been very helpful to open my mind to what I truly aspire for in my life. It’s important to me to be able to hold my head up and feel proud of where I am and where I am going. Now while I’ll fully admit that I am not completely satisfied with where I am presently in life…I am definitely finding myself extremely happy for the path I am on. I feel very optimistic about my future and about what I am setting out to conquer. I have my goals, my dreams and so forth professionally and personally that I feel very determined to reach. I’ve lived most my life telling myself things like “I can’t do it” or “It would be nice, but…” – more or less finding an excuse not to really go for it. As I get older and as I really examine myself this time around though, I find myself gaining the strength and courage to pursue what I want in life. I am going to do my absolute best not to allow myself to hold back any further. Wait, scratch that. I am simply not going to allow myself to hold back any further. I deserve to believe in myself and know that I can accomplish anything I set my mind to and work hard for.

--XOXO, Jane

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