This is your final eviction notice. When you decided to move into my house nearly 11 years ago, the first thing you did was destroy my favorite comfy couch, spilling Pepsi and smearing Cheetos powder all over the well-warn and intricate flower patterned seat. You said it was because it was simply “too ugly and tacky to be around”. You gave all my furniture and knick-knacks away while I was at work, replacing them with your own. There was nothing left that belonged to me, nothing that I could call my own. Pieces of you were scattered all over the house, from one room to the other – nothing resembled the way it did before. This was just the first of many changes you made to the house we shared. I have found that sharing accommodations can create quite an odd dynamic, and when you replaced my things with yours, it was made distinctly clear who dictated this dynamic, and it certainly wasn’t me. Every day, I would put the key in the door to my own house, and feel like I was breaking in to a stranger’s home.
When I first entered my house and found all my belongings missing, I was utterly shocked and a bit taken a back. I walked towards the living room and discovered that where my funky old and worn couch used to be, there was now a sleek, perfectly white leather sofa; it honestly looked like something directly from the set of Sex and the City, all demure and perfectly perfect. What had happened to my beloved comfy couch? The one I sat countless hours in, reading and playing games, snuggling up to my dog in and watching endless episodes of Seinfeld? The one I had known for all of my life? The one that was unique and funny and so loved? How does a person sit on this pearly white seat without looking as though they are trying to balance a book on their head? What sort of person actually feels comfortable curling up on this sterile slab? And it wasn’t just my living room that you had changed. Oh no, everything felt cold, devoid of personality and warmth. It was empty.
I sat down, very carefully on your white sofa, all the while being mindful not to put my somewhat dirty and sticky hands on the leather. I sat there for a long time convincing myself that your things were better than mine. Everything had that new car smell – that feeling of being brand spanking new and totally modern. Somehow, you sneakily came to have everything in our house, my house. I didn’t even have a say in which brand of toilet paper we stocked. I reasoned that a person needed their own things to feel comfortable and since these were your things, I should try to love them. I hated your silly white sofa.
In the beginning, I let you move all of your stupid things in. I convinced myself that you needed your own things, everyone does. Plus, if I let you have the upper hand in our our house was run, my house, I could count on you to always be there, as much as I wanted you to leave. This was the first of the many justifications I made for your awful behavior in the long time we lived together.
On the day I placed the ad on Craig’s List for a roommate, I was indeed a tad lonely and in somewhat in need of a friend. When you called, you sounded eager to see the room right away but made it clear that you were only available to meet me and see the room that very second. I was at work at the time and didn’t really have time to go all the way back home to meet you, but I was desperate for someone to move in as soon as possible. I lied to my boss about feeling unwell and left work. This was my first lesson in the art of deception, something you came to teach me very well over the years that we have known each other.
I met you outside of a Starbucks. I could tell by the way you spoke on the phone that you would be beautiful. The tone of your voice was self-assured, strong and had a no-holds bar attitude in it. As I walked towards our meeting place, I spotted you standing by the entrance of the shop, clutching a coffee cup, designer hand bag in the other, looking like the world was at your feet. You had an aura of confidence that only comes from the knowledge that you were the most beautiful woman on the street. I approached you, feeling insanely unattractive and embarrassed and introduced myself.
“You must be…?” Suddenly I realized that you didn’t mention your name when we spoke on the phone. I bowed my head, looking for a spot on the footpath to focus on. To not have asked for your name seemed very silly and I cursed myself for being so stupid. “Wendi.” You replied and extended your hand towards me. My immediate thought was that you had picked up on my embarrassment for not knowing your name and by saying your name was the same as mine was your idea of a cruel joke. “Really?” was the only response I could fathom. “Yes, isn’t that hilarious?” You chimed. You were so full of life when we first met. Your enthusiasm was relentless. “Oh, I thought you must be kidding. Of course, you know that my name is Wendi too!” You smiled and fixed your eyes on mine. “It must be fate.” You said. “Fate” – of course, that was why you moved in with me, to seal my fate.
After we decided that sharing a name was fate, I went home, slumped into my beloved sofa and began to fantasize about all the things we would do together once you moved in. We would become the best of friends over endless glasses of wine and slices of pizza, talking about boys and having endless discussions on who was the better team, the Cubs or the Brewers (she of course was a die-hard Cubs fan, having grown up in Chicago and me, well, I was anything but. This would be the only thing we would ever really disagree on. Or so I thought). I soon realized that fantasies rarely cross over into reality.
After physically morphing my once comfy and cozy house into a set for a glossy, lifestyle magazine, you began to dictate what could and could not take place on set.
When we had been living together and sitting on your perfect furniture for a month, I noticed that you had been reading my planner. I came home late on a Tuesday night, to find the contents of my handbag strewn across the glass dining table that you never sat at. “What happened?” I said. I could feel the tension in the room. Had my phone rung? Was it my Mom? Was she ok? I couldn’t justify you rummaging through my hand bag for any other reason. I stepped towards the living room, where I found you, sitting up very straight on the edge of the seat. You didn’t look at me; your head was facing the television even though the only thing that was on was a black screen.
Without warning, your head spun towards me so violently it looked like she was trying out for the sequel to the Exorcist. “Where have you been?” The words came out of your mouth so fast that I couldn’t understand what you had said. “I told you that I had met a friend for dinner after work.” I said, while trying to understand where this conversation was headed. “You should have said something, I had dinner ready.” You replied. I looked over to the kitchen where I saw two plates of broccoli staring towards me. “Oh. I’ve already had dinner.” I said. “I can see that.” You emphasized “that”, sat up, strutted towards me and pinched my hip. “I can see “that”, right there.” I pushed you away and tears welled behind my eyes. “You shouldn’t go out for dinner when you have hips like that. Tomorrow, I will show you how to steam vegetables and we can eat together. What do you think?” Your reaction to my not being home on time scared me – I didn’t want to make you angry. You might move out and leave me on my own again. “Sure. Let’s do that.” I said. “Excellent” she said.
Your words spun through my head a thousand times over in the following days until they morphed into a simple, three letter word – “fat”. That word was the only one that occupied my brain from then on and those three letters dominated my thoughts for the next 11 years.
Now a year is a long time for any two people to share the same house, let alone 11. After a while things, became strained. You became increasingly angry with me over my lack of motivation and doubted if I had the strength of character to keep striving for perfection. The truth is, by the second year, all I wanted to do was take to your gleaming furniture a bottle of royally red grape juice and hope that it left a stain.
Our relationship was so in sync that one couldn’t do anything without the other finding out about it. Eventually, we turned on one another and began to verbally tear each other to shreds, day in day out. You would stand in the kitchen, hissing through clenched teeth that I would never be worthy enough. The argument was always the same; we would play ping pong with each other’s words over the kitchen table, aggressively hitting a tiny white ball back and forth until someone missed. You always won.
Despite you constantly humiliating me, you would lure me back in with a simple sentence; ““In **** weeks time, if you follow me, you’ll be perfect – exactly who you want to be.” You knew that the idea of being who I wanted to be was too difficult to resist. I’d follow you down the darkest of alleys, losing anything and everything in the process…but one day – I looked back. Today is that day.
Without you whispering in my ear, I came to realize that instead of obsessing over living my life in a certain way, pressuring myself to conform to an idea that I never believed in, my life is complete without you. It will be complete in every way – I will have my friends back, my family back, and my piece of mind. I will have my confidence back, my fun-lovingness and humor and out-goingness back. I will have my health and my strength back. I will have my voice back. My voice,not yours. I am discovering that once you leave, letting go of an obsession for the unobtainable is the only way I will ever come to fully appreciate life without any hidden agendas.
Sometimes, when I’m lying on my comfy sofa, the ground moves in the wrong direction and I get thrown to one side and it’s in these moments that I realize that I had every I had ever wanted without you.
Posts tagged ‘Hope’
Usually this blog o’ mine is upbeat and silly, full of some of my observations and thoughts about this crazy but wonderful world we live in. I wanted to share with you my everdays and everynights, my fun and memorable experiences. I wanted to give you all a glimpse into what it’s be like to walk a day in my Chuck Taylor shoes, what it is like to be me. And I have loved every minute of it (I hope you have done the same, or at least somewhat put up with me. I know I can be kind of an uber dork at times). And for the most part, I do write about silly and upbeat things, just because that is how my life is. That is how I like and choose to view the world, with a smile and a sense of humor the size of Big Foot’s giant foot.
When I first decided to start this blog, I wanted to be as real as I could be. I wanted it to be sort of a digital diary if you will, with the exception that this one would not be kept hidden under my bed like my other Lisa Frank notebooks that my sister always seemed to get her hands on. No, this diary I wanted to share with the world-wide web, with all of you. I told myself from the start that I would be as real as real could be.
But I have a confession to make: I haven’t been as real I could have been.
This is probably the hardest thing I have ever written, the hardest thing that I have ever admitted, both to myself, to those who know me best and to those who are here for the first time. I was afraid, and am still afraid, of showing a weakness, of sharing something that for so long, I have tried to keep hidden and pushed away. Something I was extremely ashamed and embarassed of.
You see, I have been fighting a very strong and debilitating disease for quite some time now. There have been times where I have been really great, healthy and happy and strong, but there have also been times when I have not, times when the grips of hopelessness and guilt and loneliness seemed to have its iron hands on me. I guess that how it is when you are knee-deep in recovery from an eating disorder. Every day is a journey. Every day you have the choice to wake up and decide to do what YOU want to do, what YOU need to do, or you have the choice of listening to that evil and manipulative voice in your head telling you to do something different. To those people who have been lucky enough never to have struggled with an eating disorder, to have almost lost everything because of it, you are extremely lucky.
You also may not understand the complexity of the disorder. And that is totally normal. After years of battling anorexia, I don’t think I completely understand it either. Something I do know is that it is so much more than food. So much more than physical appearance and wanting to gain attention in some odd way. It goes much, much deeper than any of that. I also want to stress that ED as I call him (short for Eating disorder) is a totally separate entity from the person. My ED and I are not one in the same. ED is a coruptive and sinister voice who sits on my shoulder, telling me that if I just do what he says, if I just continue to hurt myself and others by not living the full life that I could be had he not shown up in my life, I will be the person I always wanted to be. I will be perfect. But is this the person I really want to be? Absolutely NOT! Can anyone really be perfect? Absolutely NOT!
The thing that I am realizing is that I am SOOOOO much more happy being perfectly imperfect. So what if I don’t wear size 2 jeans? So what if I decide to skip a trip to the gym and instead stay at home, watching Harry Potter marathons while eating Ben & Jerry’s from the container? Does that mean that I am a bad person? Absotively posatutley NOT! My strive of perfection, my need to be on my game 100% of the time has led me down a path of self-consciousness, doubt and fear. It has turned an amazing and funny and care-free girl into one who is shy and constantly worried about what others think of her, one who thinks one of the hardest things to do is accept herself for who she is, to love herself. And one of the most trickiest parts about ED is that he is omnious; he lets me be me to an extent. He allows me to retain a lot of what makes me, me, yet hinders me just to the point where I am not completely in control. ED has allowed me to live, but not fully live. It’s like looking through a pane of window shades; I can see the sun shining and the dog peeing on the neighbor’s bush, but only partly. The shades, or ED, is in the way and is covering my full view. I have had enough of the window shades. Heck, I not only want to look out the clear window, but I want to ditch the window completely and let the fresh air consume me.
For each person it is different of course, the reasoning behind why they turned to this ridiculous method of coping, of dealing with the stresses and worries of their lives. I still don’t quite know why this disease got a hold of me, but I do know that it has had its hold on me for too long. For far too long.
For so long, this disease has been like a the bad roommate, the smelly ex-boyfriend, the frenemy I have never wanted. It has take-take-taken everything from me; my voice, my happiness, my dreams.
But that all stops now.
It is time that I start taking. Taking back my voice, my happiness, my dreams, my life.
This is not going to be an easy thing to do. In fact, this will be the hardest and most trying thing I will ever have to do. There will be bumps and bruises along the way. There will be distractions and road-blocks trying to prevent me from getting to my destination. I will fall. But I will get back up. I will keep fighting. I will not give up.
I deserve to have that perfectly imperfect life that God intended me to have and I will do anything and everything to reclaim what was, and is, mine. It is time to once and for all evict that bad roommate, ditch the smelly ex-boyfriend and de-friend my frenemy on the Facebook of life.
I started off this blog as a way to share with you my crazy and wonderful life.
I wanted to be as real as I could be.
This is me being real.
This is me showing my strength by sharing my weakness.
I am imperfect. I have my struggles and my doubts. But I am also a pretty darn amazing girl who loves life and is working her bum off (actually, who is working to gain a bit of a bum) to be the person she wants to be. 110%. I am the same person I have always been. I am still silly and goofy and loving and caring; ED has not changed that. I am however on my way to being an even better version of myself. So watch out…Wendi is back baby and there is no stopping what I can do!
I want to thank you for listening, for reading this and for following me on this journey. I also want you to know that I am here for anyone out there who may be going through the same thing or knows someone who is and wants to talk (I have been told I have a tremendous pair of ears). I would love to answer any questions you may have or just to be there in support. If I can help inspire or give someone the strength to once again be healthy and happy, to let them know that they are not alone, I would be so very happy. One thing I have learned through this whole process is that it is alright to ask for help, that no one alone can beat this thing.
Another thing that I have learned…recovery is possible. And that to me is enough.
…all you need is a simple reminder.
The imagination and pure faith of a child never ceases to amaze me. Sometimes I think as adults, we have a tendency to get so caught up in the hustles and bustles, the stresses that come from work, traffic, bills, school, etc. and the responsibilities that we have come to take on with age that we forget to enjoy what makes our lives so great. We can become hard and cinacle, oblivious to the small miracles and joys that we once so frequently were apart of. I have a story to share with you that I hope will bring shed some light on how the simple reflections of a child can foster in all of us, a desire to enjoy the small things in life again.
A few weeks ago, I found myself on a plane getting ready to fly to Denver, CO to visit family and to witness my cousin Brandon and his lovely fiance get married. As I boarded the plane and found my seat, I was asked by one of the flight attendants if I would e willing to swap seat assignments with a passenger who prefered a window seat. Since I had to be up at five in the AM to be at the airport that morning and figured on sleeping to Denver anyway, I didn’t mind whatsoever.
As it turns out, the passenger who wanted my seat was a little girl named Hope. She had the brightest blue eyes that I had ever seen and was carrying a Justin Beiber backpack twice as big as her. Her mom, older brother and father were seated in the row directly behind us. Hope’s mom leaned over the seat and said to her, as she handed over a package of gummy bears, “Now sweety, what do you say to this kind girl who let you sit next to the window?” Hope took her gummy bears from her mom, looked at me and said, “You wanna a gummy bear? We can share but you can’t have any of the red ones; those are my favorite.”
I could tell that her mom was embarrassed but I simply smiled, laughed and said to Hope, “Thank you so much but you can keep your gummy bears. You know what, the red ones are my favorite too.” She then thanked me for letting her sit by the window (to her mom’s delight) and got ready to take off. She told me that this was her very first time riding an airplane. She and her family were on their way to Denver to visit her grandparents for a long weekend. As the flight attendants went over the safety instructions and flight policies, Hope gave me the cliff notes version of her life story–she was four and three-quarters, LOVED Justin Beiber (hence the backpack and nail polish she was wearing–nail polish?! Who knew?), was allergic to cats (but carried with her a stuffed animal kitty named Princess) and was looking forward to eating her grandma’s homemade apple pie as soon as she got to her house (aren’t grandma’s the best?). As I sat there and listened to Hope talk, I became a bit jealous of her ability to just talk to strangers and strike up conversation like that; I am 24 years old and still get somewhat nervous when meeting strangers for the first time.
As the plane began to move down the tarmac, Hope’s eyes were focused on the window next to her. I could tell she was a little nervous and didn’t know what to expect. We started to lift off of the ground and Hope turned to me and said something that really stuck with me. In reality it was a very simple question, yet it held so much meaning behind it and really made my heart smile. Hope, with innocence and curiosity in her eyes looked at me and said ”Do you think we’ll go high enough to see God?”
I wanted so much to hug her that very moment. It was so refreshing to hear that someone, young and naive she may have been, still had so much faith and, well, hope. I smiled and told Hope, “Well, I don’t think we will meet God today (at least I hoped that any of us would not be meeting the big guy upstairs today or any time soon), but keep an eye out the window; you never know when we might see an angel or two.”
The rest of the flight was flew by, pun intended. Hope and I played a couple of rounds of tic-tac-toe (which she managed to beat me in all–I still say that I let her win), played a mean game of checkers (I won this time, thank goodness. I don’t think my ego could take another crushing haha) and she even let me color out of one of her Shrek coloring books (speaking of which, when was the last time you took a coloring book and just went to town? It is soooo relaxing, even if you break the rules and go outside the lines).
As we started our initial decent into Denver, we began to go through some clouds which Hope described as “smore-y marshmallows”. While Hope was once again looking out the window of our plane, she noticed white markings on the wing that was on our side of the aircraft. She pulled my sleeve, notifying me of her discovery and said, “Eww! Look! A bird pooped on our plane!” Gosh this girl is a regular old Jerry Seinfeld; she had me laughing the whole ride their. And the best part was, she wasn’t even trying to be funny; she just was. It was her bluntness and randomness and pure excitement and joy over everything that made me smile. With a chuckle, I replied, “Um, I don’t think that birds can fly this high in the sky.” Hope then said something so precious, so unforgettable, I just had to write it down and share with all of you. Hope said with a look of wonder in her eyes, “Maybe it was angel poop!”
I was so blessed to have been able to meet such a wonderful little girl like Hope; maybe it was one of God’s little miracles that if you’re lucky enough to take the time to look for and notice, he presents you. Hope gave me a gift that day, a gift that I am going to take with me and hold on to. She reminded me that life is not about the hustles and bustles, about the stresses and responsibilities; it’s about taking the time to enjoy and be so very grateful for the great things that God has given us. Breath. Laugh. Smile. Have faith and hope and share those things with others. Don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation with a stranger–you never know where it will lead and what you might learn.
Overall, be thankful for what you’ve been given and enjoy the flight
Have a great Thursday everybody!