Today I turn 22- Happy Birthday me!
I feel a bit weird about my birthday this year. I think it’s because turning 20 marked the begging of everything ‘going to shit’. 21 marked the beginning of getting my life back on track. Now I’m turning 22, what will this year mark the start of?
Everyone is telling me that 22 is going to be my best year yet. I am doing well in my recovery, I am healthy, I have finished education and I am going to be travelling the world… What could possibly be better? Although I agree with people that this year could be a fantastic year for me, I get scared by the high expectations.
Today, I am a different person than I was when I turned 21. I can see and be grateful for my progress and the changes I have made in my life. However, I still don’t have total freedom from the chains of my eating disorder. There are days when Ed wins… Although these are outnumbered by my own victories. So what if things don’t go to plan? What if it isn’t the best year of my life? What if Ed is still lurking around when I turn 23? I want total freedom, I don’t just want to get ‘better’. I want to be cured from the hell of anorexia.
This year I need to work for six months to earn money for my travels. Despite having found a job starting today, the job has fallen through due to a ‘recruitment freeze’. So my first task this year is to find temporary work until Christmas. At the same time, I need to apply for a graduate job to start next year. Whilst this is quite an exciting thing to do, the jobs are hugely competitive and it can be a stressful and disappointing process at times. Amongst my two job hunts, I also need to start planning my trip around the world!
Although these are all quite exciting things to do, it freaks me out that nothing is sorted. I like control and I like to know that everything is worked out and organised. At the moment, it kind of feels like I have no control over any of it. I am making sure I am aware of this as I don’t want to start seeking control in my food to make up for it. However, although I don’t like the uncertainty and spontaneity that this year brings, I know it will be a good challenge for me. I need to learn to live with a little more disorganisation and a little less control.
So perhaps this year can be a year to take risks in the unknown. A good friend said to me recently that ‘taking risks is what life is all about… we can thrive in the unknown and surprise ourselves in how well we do so’.
I’ve had a dark year of being ill and I have had a year in recovery. I hope that this year, I can continue on my path to recovery and embrace the unknown. By taking risks I will try and discover new things, meet new people and see life through a new lens.
Happy Birthday Juniper!