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One of my fondest hopes might soon come true. I am saying my prayers, crossing my fingers, and just plain HOPING every second of the day.

Life is so uncertain, and who knows what will come of it? I am certain of a few things and that is that I am following my dream and that there is a place for me in this world.

The past half year ish I have been wracked with doubts and fears and self criticism and negativity. I haven’t acted or felt like myself, haven’t fully enjoyed my life, and was basically just going through stuff. Some times life is like that- and as much as you claim responsibility for your thoughts, your life, and your actions, it’s nobody’s fault because asking those kinds of questions is part of growing up, part of being a conscious being, part of being a mortal on the planet earth. During this time, I often feel like I made  a lot of mistakes, not least of which was using food as a comfort, developing bad habits, and in the process gaining weight and not fully appreciating the gifts of my life. But I have to forgive myself.

I’ve been going through old pictures- I’m so happy and really so beautiful too. I always felt fat, but now i realize just how healthy I was, how vibrant and beautiful. I always compare myself to other people, and because I was a size 12 and everyone else was a size 4 or 6 (albeit half a foot shorter than me), I always felt like I was too big, too much, too extraverted, too much personality, too different, etc. And now, finally, I realize just how perfect I was. I saw some pictures of when I was a size 10, and boy, I really was thin, and I still felt too big. I think that happens for a lot of people, that we compare ourselves to other people, especially airbrushed models, and always feel like we are coming up short. But geez, my body really is beautiful, even, no, especially as it is today. With the extra weight, the proportions of my body are even more striking and I really feel like a woman. I’ve been exercising and gradually changing what I eat, o so slowly, it’s hard to get out of a rut, but boy, I am climbing out bit by bit. I haven’t lost weight but I have changed the shape of my body.

I phrase my goal now in the form of getting big into old jeans, which at the time I wished were a smaller size. Now, it wouldn’t be “settling” to go back to my normal, maintainable, happy weight. Maybe someday I will get thinner than that without stressing about my weight all the time. But I can look great and feel great and be healthy and in good form at whatever the number on the scale is, whatever the size jeans I may wear. Size 12 is probably the best for me, and who knows what number on the scale that may coincide with- one summer when I was in the best shape of my life, I seemed to fluctuate and even gain weight as muscle replaced fat. The truth is it’s not about a number.

Seeing these photos and coming to this realization that it really isn’t about what is “normal,” or what is “ideal body weight,” or what number will finally make me feel less big compared to other woman, who are often simply shorter and smaller in frame than I am, and they don’t always have the curves either.  It feels like reaching a certain target doesn’t have to be the Holy Grail of my life that always leaves me feeling fat no matter what I do or the futile exercise that causes me to go reach for the Cheetos because somewhere along the way I realized I would never attain “perfection,” anyway and so just gave up on the whole thing. But this time, I am not giving up. Not because I want to reach a certain number or even to fit into my old clothes, but because I want to live my life happy and healthy. Health is a gift, and we must take care of it.

Looking through the pictures and remembering my anxiety every time at how fat I might look, I realize how much fun I was having, what great people I was around, and how wonderful I was, how great my life has truly been. It wasn’t about the weight at all- and I can finally absorb the paradox that I feel just as, if not more comfortable in my body and confident as I did when I was 30 or even 50 pounds smaller. When your goal is unattainable, you will never be happy no matter how “close,” you get. I finally understand why as I lose weight and get in better shape, I seem to feel even more lacking, even more not good enough and out of shape and still too fat.

The main reason why I was going through a stressful time is that even the illusion of stability had gone out of my life and I was just trying to make sense of the time I”d spent so far on earth and wanted to figure out how to steer my ship. What I realize now is that I’m on a sailboat, on a river. Life and God are powering it for me. I dn’t need to be a galley slave and hit myself with a whip to move forward. No, I don’t need and shouldn’t try to row against the current.

All I need to do is say Yes to life.

That’s all.

About a year ago, I met someone special in the most random way. I had a good feeling and I followed it, and he was awesome and made me very happy. I had to let him go, or rather, say a temporary good bye though. Losing him was really hard for me, probably harder than I’m willing to admit. But even before I had to say good bye for reasons beyond our control, our relationship became strained at times because I wanted so much to define it, I had trouble trusting him after the initial spark, I thought this was just another doomed temporary fleeting romance, and that since he didn’t fit my checklist we would never be compatible anyway so I was happy and yet bitter at being detached and knowing I should have to let him go.

I loved him though.

And we are still in contact, albeit irregular. I don’t know the next time I’ll see him again. ANd no, he still doesn’t fit all my boxes, and sometimes I have trouble believing he will call me soon, he will get back to me in a timely fashion, he still wants to hear from me. There are times he’s been a little flighty but under the circumstances, I think the cause of all my fears has a lot more to do with me than him. Going through life always feeling lacking, never feeling good enough, sometimes giving up because no matter how hard I tried it never felt enough, it’s hard to believe that someone loves you. It’s hard to let someone love you and get out of your own way. It’s hard to stop clinging to your fantasies of that guy who fits all those checklist qualities but is u you. It’s ahrd to believe that the warm funny feeling he gives you is really there, is trustworthy, is more than just a flicker becavailable and honestly doesn’t really exist and instead hold on to, without clinging, to the beautiful, flawed, perfect, warm, breathing, living, human you have beside you.

The truth, I wish he was holding me now. The truth is, I still have feelings for him. The truth is, I haven’t fully let go even though there have been times my expectations have been disappointed and even now I wonder why it’s taking him so long to pick up the phone and call me, and I wonder if he’s just moved on. I don’t know if we’d be compatible long term, I don’t know if his family would like me, I don’t know how he sees the situation, and it feels like too much to hope he’s secretly waiting for me.

But now I just give my assent to this situation, to what is, to not being able to define it.

I accept what is, even if I don’t know what it is.

In that I don’t know, there’s freedom. There’s the possibility for love. In that I don’t know, there’s uncertainty. There’s room for growth, there’s destiny, there’s getting out of my own way, there’s saying yes to God and yes to Life.  You can’t fall in love without falling a bit. You can’t move forward if you demand to see the whole staircase before taking the first step. You can’t refuse to try if you want proof before hand you can and will succeed. Sometimes you need to go on belief, which goes right hand in hand with accepting the mystery of life, with the power of not knowing.

I don’t know what comes next. I have an idea of what I want, but I can’t know for sure that I’ll like it until I have it, but I go on wishing and dreamig and praying and TRYING anyway.

I don’t know what comes next and THAT’S OKAY.

That’s finally okay. I finally don’t have to have my whole life planned out. I finally don’t have to pick the right guy on the first try. I finally accept my career meanderings and the fact that my path hasn’t been clearly laid out and “optimized,” and I took the long and winding road. And it’s okay.

So, just like accepting my body, my corporeal form, the house for the time I’m on earth, in all its grandeur and imperfection, my mortal coil, my gateway to ecstasy, the me I am right now but won’ t always be, I say yes to my life, to the known and unknown, and to the God within who surpasses all expectations, who defies all explanation, to that which simply was and is and ever shall be.

I hope along the way a certain person and I make love again. But if not, I trust that love will find me some other way, that love is strewn like rose petals on my path, that love like God is ever present and it’s just a matter of paying heed to its many ways of manifesting. Because as much as I want him, more than I dare to admit at times since I don’t even know WHY and maybe it doesn’t make that much sense and maybe it can’t or won’t last forever and maybe it’s just a passing, shallow fancy but I don’t think so, I AM ALSO HAPPY NOW. Strangely, mysteriously, abundantly so. Just as I find myself feeling beautiful at the highest weight I have ever been.

Life is beautiful, in every stage.

Always believe that something wonderful is about to happen.