So love wasn’t waiting for me in Paris, at least not in the way that I hoped, but love actually is all around. But first I have to find it within me.

For my whole life, I have found a feeling of self worth only through a feeling of competition with others and with myself. I have vacillated between trying to accomplish everything, halfassing things and derogating the competition but still buying into it, and basically being a slave to results and the ideal of self-perfection. Whether I gave it my 100%, 80% or 20%, I still believed I was defined only by what I accomplished.

I have rarely, if ever, found validation of any kind within myself. Even as I have had a impressive life on the outside, I’ve never really felt like I was enough on the inside.

I never valued myself for the effort, I never saw or cared for who it was tha was making the numbers go in the direction that I wanted, the being that toiled and struggled and dramatized everything, the voice in my head that didn’t just berate me when I didn’t attain the goal but rather gave some strange sense to the things that I did.

And finally, that is changing. In the midst of what is among my seemingly greatest triumphs, finding a job in Paris and finishing an MBA by the age of 25, I realize that I had it totally wrong. Accomplishing things does feel nice, and it is important- but it’s not everything. And the process, instead of just being a never ending torturous quest for somethign that doesn’t exist (perfection), I can just be happy with what I am now. I can accept, and move forward with love. Because self-flagellation eventually stops losing its effectively when the sting just becomes so routine and you begin to see the emptiness of it.

And the fullness of life, and the beautiful gift you’ve been given to be nothing but yourself.
Not an ideal, but you.

I don’t think I ever would have found this solid center of gravity, equilibrium of active and passive force within myself, if not for the excess weight I gained due to excess eating due to excess self-imposed stress.
I thought I was miserable in business school because I didn’t like busienss, it wasn’t idealistic enough, I would never fit in with my colleagues, and I was just doing the wrong thing- even if it seemed like the best choice I had, I still felt like I should be doing something different and more and if only I had made a different choice somewhere along the road, I’d be happy.
And now I realize that was all bullshit- at least 95%.
My feelings deserved to be heard, but they were dead fucking wrong.

Because I had gained weight, and kept gaining weight, and couldn’ seem to control myself- or the world around me, or where I would find a place in it- I eventually turned to CrossFit.

And I loved it. I haven’t lost a ton of weight or ton of inches (yet), bu tth eresults on the inside are amazing, and I truly do feel better thna I ever did ebefore.
For the first time, I see the previously tortured, now radiant soul, who is struggling to do her workout, and I appreciate her and her efforts. I know she is more than her personal best that day- I know she is so much more than a score. She has heart, she has guts,. She is funny, has a brain, and is a great workout partner.
I am proud to be this person.

And I am so blessed to have met people who saw this person, instead of what my distorted brain always saw: a fat, lazy, single, desperae schmuck who could’ even do a pushup, the lowest of he low.

Oher people just saw me, and that I showed up.

And eventually i started to see myself in that way too, and was happy witht he person who showed up.

Now I do hope to release he exra load I’m carrying around- both mental and physical. I has taught me is lesson.

Yes, being fat helped me find myself worth. Achieving my life’s most obsessive dream so far made me realize that achievement isn’ everything and getting what you wan is not the most important thing for happiness.

Liking yourself is.

So as I walk around Paris in the spring, loverless, a size 16W, I hear in my head the L-O-V-E song, and it’s the song I am singing for myself.

For the beautiful eyes that behold the flowers,
For the feet that jus keep walking,
And for the beautiful soul who can appreciate the beauty, and what’s more, inspire it in others at times.

I love you too.