Wednesday, June 29, 2011

some lovely facts.

1. i changed my plane ticket and therefore, am still in honduras

2. mi esperanza's awesome jewelry designer is here this week. we are collaborating on several projects and im learning lots from her.

3. tomorrow, some cool people and i are visiting a beautiful place full of artesian shops known as Valle de Angeles.

4. i have successfully incorporated a number of new words into my working spanish vocabulary.

5. my hondo-mom {lori connell: the woman in charge of mi esperanza} made banana walnut pancakes with nutella for dinner. we ate them outside and enjoyed them immensely.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

of one mind.

im currently sitting in "my" bedroom in my missionary friends' house in honduras, listening to early birds chirp outside my open window and taking comfort in the humming breeze of the large white box fan at the right-hand foot of my bed.

beneath me is a patchwork quilt of a hundred different colors and behind me is a stack of feather pillows. i am exceedingly happy.

ive spent the past twelve days working again with mi esperanza, designing a couple of new products, loving the women we work with, and spending lots of time with the founder of mi esperanza, one of the very best people I know.

i can't excuse the past 12 day's lack of blogging with the fact that ive been busy. although I have been on somewhat of a constant go, i would be lying if i said that i haven't had plenty of time for writing at night; this is a third world country and im a young female- there's not a whole lot i can safely be up to after dark.

I hope that no one takes this wrongly, or assumes what i am about to say as anything more than temporary, but the reason that ive chosen to neglect the blog for nearly two weeks is simple: i haven't wanted to think about eating disorders.

my eating disorder was such a measure of who i was for so long, that when I went into recovery, I found myself wondering who I was supposed to be. for a time, i think it was necessary and i think it was healthy to just know myself as someone in recovery from an eating disorder. the absence of my disorder left me with little else to which i could cling. i thought just as much about recovery as id thought of my disorder- both were full time jobs- and both required constant care and maintenance.

ive often wondered about the distant future- when my recovery will be a fact about me, rather than the core of me. I used to fear the time that those days would come true- subconsciously imagining myself suspended in space with nothing to ground me, nothing solid to grab- when I though of them.

but here in honduras, i am wondering if those days are still so far away.

when im soaking in this time with some of the most precious souls I know, ive found that to divide my attention, to anchor a portion of my thoughts to my own recovery, to recovery in general, would not solidify who i am as one might think, but would dilute the kind of focus I want to give.

I am forever shaped by the road that ive walked, but im beginning to see that it is not where ive come from nor where im going that makes me worth being where i am right now.

i have not blogged for two weeks, because although my actions have continued to mirror that of a recovered lifestyle, my thoughts and my heart have been on the work here.

i am no less passionate about recovery from eating disorders. in some ways, i think i've found a new level of passion for recovery in my desire to separate my thoughts from recovery itself.

this is by no means the end of my blog. ill be back next week, but until then, i hope no one minds if i simply don't think about it.

ill still be me {if not, ill be more of me} when i get back.

love from Honduras,

ea...p.s...see a picture of mi esperanza's newest product below:

Friday, June 10, 2011

i've got a lot of things i want to say... it's going to be hard to narrow them all down into one cohesive post, but i suppose i'll try.

i've spent this past week at the beach with my family. i always think a lot at the beach. i think its because my family is one of those families that likes to keep a lot of things the same. so we've essentially enjoyed the same basic beach vacation in the same condo on the same beach since i was 14. living the same week over and over, one time each year, is quite the thought-provoking tradition, as i can consolidate all the past year's changes and growth into my thoughts and feelings and responses and behaviors of this one week and compare it to its past versions.

i was walking down the beach early yesterday morning and talking with God. I found myself thinking that this was the best feeling in the world- communing with my father and best friend- hearing the heart-swelling whispers of His spirit inside me alongside the waves that He created, crashing at my feet.

my mind shifted, as it often does, to my disorder. and i thought that sometimes it felt like the best feeling in the world too. i spent a lot of time attempting to cater to my disorder and my life simultaneously- living ** or so pounds underweight, taking downward dives every so often, only to pull myself out for another few months' until i could stand it no longer and i gave in to the compulsion to dip down into worse danger again. each slip deeper into my disorder was a thrilling sense of rightness with myself and with the world. each lowering heart rate i counted, each grave look on my doctor's face when i was in high school, each walk up to my college dorm my junior year that i wasn't sure i was going to be able to finish gave me a feeling like i was holding a kite and it had suddenly caught wind- i was doing what i loved and i was doing it well. it was the best feeling in the world.

as lovely a feeling as immersion in one's greatest downfall can be, and as unpleasant as life so often is, I began to wonder how it is that anyone ever makes it out of anything. i concluded that the best way to describe the journey to recovery {from anything} is as a realization of how much one loves the thing one is supposed to hate; an admission that there are two "best feelings in the world". the one of them is real and true- it is a summation of all things felt and experienced- it allows and celebrates the feeling of all feelings- it is imperfect and it is human but it is life. the other, though safe and unpainful and avoidant, is a phony, hollow existence that if not death itself, is a direct route to it.

i'd been looking at the houses up the sand banks as i thought. my mind stilled and i shifted my gaze straight down the shoreline. The sun was barely out of the eastern most horizon. It shone low and bright on the morning waves. They were luminescent like molten silver, rising to a bright boil and crashing into the glittering sand. the stacks of distant high rises were a foggy, majestic gray, standing against the sky like a holy city, its only road the silver shore.

i turned and stood with my feet wide apart, facing outward to the endless ocean. to my left was the unearthly beauty of the rising sun on sea- a momentary manifestation of divine promise- what i will forever believe was in some way, a preview of my eternal home. to my right was a beach- it was a watercolor palette of blue and sand with white caps and a brushed blue sky. it was lovely. but compared to the regal sight to my left, to turn and to walk to the right would have been an utter waste.

it isn't often that we're allowed a black-and-white sort of picture of the choices we have in life. many times, we know little more than what's good and what's best, and we're afraid to choose what's best because we only know that the people we admire and God and everyone else think its best, and we're afraid that we'll give up what we know and love, only to find that what was supposed to be better isn't better at all. 

but as i stood there, staring out, turning my head to the left then to the right, i felt i was experiencing the way that many of our choices would look if we were able to see their consequences beforehand. 

but the thing is, we aren't able to see the outcome of our decisions before we make them. to really gain anything in life, (no pun intended) we have to submit ourselves to a measure of risk. we have to risk losing what we think we love, risk feeling what we thought would kill us to feel, risk doing what we thought would destroy us in order to find that for which we were really made to live. 

i suppose what distinguishes one "best feeling in the world" from another is identifying what we really want our lives to mean. i could refuse to eat another bite for the remainder of today, and i could put on my shoes and make my way to the elliptical and i could stay there and let the euphoric numbness mount and it would feel like the best feeling in the world. but i'm not living for numbness and i'm no longer living to be thin, so as good as immersing myself in my disorder may feel, it couldn't possibly be the best feeling in the world, because it is a path completely opposite from the one that i've chosen to take. 

sometimes, it's hard to face life without our downfalls, but it'd be harder to walk their shores knowing somewhere deep down that we were making the mistake of a lifetime.