To be yourself. To become authentic, to be you, the you that no one else can be. To radiate uniqueness. I find myself at 27 years old, looking back wondering who I really was, who I was trying to please and prove myself to? Who am I now and who am I becoming?
I have been a people pleaser for most of my days, just adapting to life’s circumstances to not shake the waters–desperately wanting to be accepted, loved, and admired.
When I was trying to think of genuine, true to me, titles for this blog, I kept coming back to my curls, coffee and food. Three things that have always been defining factors of… me.
I was always known for the girl with the curly hair… you know, the one who blocked everyones view of the stage during a play or the easy to find person at a sporting event. As a preteen I hated my curls and begged my mom to straighten them out every day before school so that I could “fit in” with the crowd and avoid being the center of everyones jokes.
Eventually I learned that embracing my curls meant that I could sleep in so I put the straightener down. I just made a decision about myself, for myself and I was super proud of that.
I have always loved coffee even before I spent 4 years working at Starbucks, where I began to love coffee on a completely different level. Where I was in love with the people, the smells, the atmosphere.
The smell of coffee became one of accomplishment, friendship, security, love and heartbreak.
When I left the coffeehouse for good, I couldn’t enter another Starbucks without the smell of the grinding beans sending me on an emotional downward spiral where food saved the day. The smell still gets to me but I am strong and have learned to compartmentalize my feelings and emotions pretty well. The smell provides me strength and the taste, warmth and I am comforted. I am proud of the knowledge I have of the creation of lattes and history of the bean. Coffee is still a part of me, not the pain it ended up causing.
In life it is no surprise that we encounter obstacles. I have conquered my fair share and know that there are battles still left to fight.
In the past, food was my comfort and my answer for just about any emotion or feeling I was presented with… fear, anger, happiness, loneliness. Be it from criticism about my luscious locks or for the emotional turmoil I went through working with a few co-workers in college.
Then, when my food intake increased, my pant size did too and I panicked and went to exercise for comfort.
It wasn’t until I was knee deep in It Starts With Food that I realized the extent of my food addiction and was hopeful and scared of what Whole30 had to offer me and my relationship with food.
This is where my love for writing became even more prevalent.
I write for accountability and I find that when I write I become mindful and enlightened of feelings that I didn’t even know that I had.
As I sit here and write this entry from the comfort of my own home, I am reminded that I have a beautiful life. That I do not have to please anyone but myself. That my bouncy curls that sometimes are frizzier than I’d like or the dark roast coffee I prefer that everyone else believes is overpriced are just fine for me.
When I learn, (and I say when I learn because I am still learning) how to be confident and okay with Courtney, everything else will fall into place. When we get rid of the negativity and anything that does not serve us in our lives things will GET BETTER. We cannot continue to mask them with food and numbing them with exercise.
It is in the research of our authenticity that we find what matters most to us and then we become mindful of the decisions that we make and WHY we are making them.
Writing, my curls, my coffee and my new found love of clean eating make me… me. No one has to understand why I pass on the cake for a co-workers party on Tuesday but indulge the next week. Those are the decisions that I have to make… for me whether they understand it or not.
I no longer answer to society… I answer to myself, for myself, praying along the way that it inspires others and makes them want to do the very same thing.
I want to thank YOU for reading this. I challenge you to reflect on your life at the good, the bad and the ugly and think of your story and how it has landed you where you are today.
What would your blog title be?