Submissions from the Lane 9 Project community, in response to our December writing prompt “My Self Care Resolution”.
By Calesse Smith
This year has been a year of saying Yes to some things, and No to others. Sometimes, it seems easier to say yes to everyone and everything because to say no would be letting others down and seem selfish. But I’ve learned that just isn’t true.
I am saying No to the unfounded sensations of inadequacy I have been harboring for so many years. I am saying No to the lies that social media and popular culture feed me about the kind of body I have to have in order to be happy and feel satisfied with myself. I am saying No to playing the comparison game, because it’s a game in which, sooner or later, everyone loses.
I am saying No to having people in my life who bring me down. Life is too short to make space for them.
I am saying No to putting others before myself in every situation to the detriment of my own well-being. Selflessness is a valuable and wonderful quality, but not at the expense of physical and mental health. I matter, too.
I am saying Yes to recovery. True recovery. Not this quasi-recovery, one foot in, one foot out B.S. I’ve straddled for so long.
No. I’m digging deep, getting to the core of my issues, my insecurities, and understanding how it’s led me down the path it has with my disordered relationship with my body and with the life-sustaining power of food. I’m going back through my past, to the people and situations that have wounded me, and I’m taking time to repair the damage that’s been done.
I am saying Yes to myself. Yes to taking rest days, even when I don’t feel I truly “deserve” them. Even when rest days make eating so much harder. Yes to holding space for myself, for not criticizing myself for being an introvert and needing “me” time; time where I’m not beholden to anyone but myself. Time when I can do the things I truly enjoy doing, rather than the million and one things my inner critical voice tells me I should be doing.
I am saying Yes to authenticity, to sharing my struggles with others, to letting them know that I’m not perfect, I am flawed, I am broken, but I’m ok with that because I am on a road to healing.
I want to give others the invitation to engage in some introspection so that they, too, might begin to heal the wounds inside themselves. Truly, we are all fighting our own internal battles. Why do we feel as if we must fight these battles alone?
I am saying Yes to my emotions, to allowing myself to recognize, feel, and validate them for what they are, not placing judgement on my feelings, but engaging with them and recognizing that to feel is to be human. I am saying Yes to my emotions, in their full spectrum, even if it means sitting with those really uncomfortable sensations of anxiety, sadness, fear, loneliness, and rejection. Because I know those feelings will pass, and the good feelings will take their place and will stick around longer; feelings of joy, peace, excitement, love, gratitude, and satisfaction. In order to feel the highs, you’ve got to be willing to endure the lows. And the lows don’t last forever.
My self-care resolution is a work in progress – just as I am. It is a journey without a clear destination. I am the conductor of this journey and I want people along for the ride who will support me and love me for…just being me.
Everyone else…well, I’m sorry, but there’s just no room for you.
By Leandra Bitterfeld
My self care resolution is to run with joy. I resolve to run on a dark, single digit morning. I resolve to brew a cup of coffee first with heavy cream and take it on my 15 minute drive to the trail head. I resolve to put on my head lamp and heavy gloves and start up the hill. I resolve to listen to nothing but my footsteps on cold slickrock and the sound of my breath. I resolve to take a moment to pause when I see a jack rabbit cross the trail. I resolve to blow snot rockets. I resolve to beat the sun to the top of Pyramid peak. I resolve to enjoy the downhill. I resolve to relish in a new PR on my Strava even though I know that comparison is the thief of joy. I resolve to take a too-long, too-hot shower and get to work with wet hair and a second cup of coffee.
I resolve to not run to burn calories, to lose weight, or to punish myself. I am not running to lose anything. I am running to gain strength, confidence, joy, tranquility. I run to say thank you to mother earth, and all of her beauty and thank you to my body that carries me to those beautiful places while the rest of the world sleeps.
Contribute your essay, or share your story, with Lane 9 Project.
Our January writing prompt is “I weigh…”, inspired by Jameela Jamil and her “I weigh” campaign.