It’s time to tell the tale

I honestly cannot comprehend how I’ve managed to basically elude delving into something that was is such a major part of me. Even as insinuated here, it was not possible to simply brush under the mat and lose all sense of memory over. You may be harbouring great passion for a specific hobby yourself – a pastime which began festering from the little imp years already. My love for sketching waned with passing seasons…ditto on the cycling.. the excitement over crafts dissolved. But horse riding is in my blood.

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I remember not a time in my life without horses, and there was never a question about living without riding. Then life happened. Or rather, my eating disorder did. I quit cold turkey on that fateful day in 2013 when my long-time instructor passed away… it was more to it than that sufficiently painful reason though. I’ll admit the shocked response and probing on “why” irked me beyond words. I grew frustrated that those who were acquainted with me could not see me as anyone beyond the “horse-crazy” girl.. and then to contradict those precise thoughts – I imagined them to assume I had lost all love for the sport which couldn’t be further from the huge knot of emotions building in my chest. I was doing the right thing, that much I knew; mentally and physically I had SO much healing to do. And other than random deep cravings for the pure sensation of being on horseback I can’t say I really missed it on the daily. Given the chance to recover, I was dulled out with heavy exhaustion making the prospect of vigorous activity utterly daunting.

Fast forward a little more than a year.. the return of volumes of energy, a restless spirit, a craving for the bond shared with my horse. At the time I struggled to place my finger on that something which my soul yearned for; my horse H was in the process of finding new owners. I think the reason I refrained attempting to hold onto him was because I understood the unfairness in doing so in terms of costly pressure on the household. Always need to do the right thing of course! <-(note the subtle tone of humourless sarcasm). H was away on his third(!!) try-out – looking better than ever before and I was experiencing conflicting emotions. In a desperate search for fulfilment I took up classes, of which I will not venture into the details. Four days in and I was hit with intense claustrophobia and a fear to commit. Sounds dramatic? Well I was never one to deny a touch of drama queen-dom 😉 . You see I momentarily started heading down the wrong road for me at this point… I need not more on my  load – I’ve entered a chapter where my soul craves to be lightened and fed simultaneously. I thrive on a feeling of freedom and I craved so strongly to have an escape to “zone out” into nature. H returned home yet again, unable to snag a buyer… and to me, it was practically down in writing. Time to ride! You know what takes guts?Admitting to yourself and those impacted that you’re hitting dead brakes and making a sudden U turn. image source

The extensive break from the saddle was the best thing that could have occurred.

I’ve come back with a changed philosophy in how I am approaching riding this time around. Previously a goal of schooling my horse only fed my destructive perfectionist side, coupled with deteriorating levels of strength on my side and we’ve got me digging my own grave. I know I’m strong enough from a physical perspective should I want to venture into that spectrum, but most importantly I can disclose that is not what I want. And having been back in the saddle for a few weeks now it warms my heart to confirm my buddy H is on the same page; we’re happiest ambling along in the forest without expectations on either part 🙂 . What I’m getting at is that I didn’t realize the significant struggle in can be in finding your feet breaking free from anorexia. As I my personality returned, I assumed I as settled. Alas it was like the journey had only begun with the constant hovering and experimenting. It’s inevitable that somewhere along the line you will let someone down or disappoint them… but we got to keep a very considerable factor in mind…

 

 

 

 

Second chances

 

I will not pretend to apologise for being completely MIA; I know and trust you to be joyful on my behalf that this girl has been living. And even more importantly: connecting with loved ones…I didn’t realise how much I’ve missed socializing – trapped into the darkness of my depressive head, I couldn’t see past my own unhapppiness. I don’t intend to imply that recovery is some fairytale for me, but I am undeniably grateful that the process proves to just get better and better after getting in touch with myself and truly accepting my [discovered] quirks.

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I embrace and accept the fact that I am not your typical girl on many levels; exotic if you will 😉 .

Gone are the battles of trying to understand the swirling emotions hitting me all at once after being suppressed and held in through the years. Imagine, a naturally boldly expressive human squashing in their vibrant personailty!? Such an unsuitable and sad state to be in. What I find myself marvelling about repeatedly these days? The different manner in which I have managed to percieve a single person due to my particular mindset at the time. I am utterly fascinated and ecstatic to be given a second chance without grudges. Yessss I am blessed with some beautiful souls in my life. Just last year I ranted about my struggle at tolerating a guest(family no less) who was down for an extended stay. My parting words to her last year was “do not come back here”. I know, horrible! Today I admire the disregard -once a subject of annoyance- toward my past insensitive harshness and we’re best of comrades. When she leaves tomorrow – there will be tears. Pleasantly unusual coming from someone who feared getting attached and was above beyond missing anyone.

Being open and honest, I am in my element most when surrounded by genuine personalities – not putting up a facade or sporting a tight fake smile while giving you the pitiful eye. Even if we happen to disagree on anything and everything; their honesty and authentic manner makes me feel comfortable and happy to be around them.

 

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^LOVE when that chemical reaction takes place, however I am learning that the significant, most meaningful challenge at this point in time for me is accepting my misjudgement of characters previously and attempting to gain a second (or third!) chance in establishing a good grounding with the minds of those who now happen to intrigue, fulfil and indulge me in my ways.

 

Have you dealt with unfairly summing up a personality and getting off on the wrong foot?

 

I’ve found…me.

Remember the girl who started this blog; her biggest worry was losing control of her life by gaining an unknown number of weight. She feared missing the “comfortable” feeling of having her hip and shoulder bones protrude grotesquely. She bemoaned the prospect of feeling and experiencing a flow of emotions in contrast to being numb and tuned out to the world. And when the beginnings of a nourished brain prompted her to confront the root of her depressions, she was dangerously close -repeatedly- on turning back to that twistedly safe nothingness.  Would it be all that surprising when I genuinely admit…I barely know her – if at all!?

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With reaching a healthy weight, a free mindset and the return of Aunt Suzy; I still struggled with knowing and understanding myself. I had a constant sensation of nurturing a gaping hole in my heart, a restlessness not willing to be quieted for any given period and through the busyness of everyday life, I was aware of a probing concern of feeling uncertain in my actual personality. Over time however my traits and quirks were surfacing..the real me, in all her loud annoying glory. I didn’t even realize the personality establishment taking place, until it unexpectedly fell into place so to speak on few day’s of vacation as off 2 weeks back. Or more appropriately explained: I became aware of it then; a strange place, interacting with others, a change of routine…it dawned on me how comfortable I am with who I am. I accept and love my quirks and demeanour, whether they serve in drawing others to me or rubbing someone up the wrong way, it all collectively makes me the person I am. And that’s enough.

We don’t need to be anything other than ourselves. Do you enjoy hyperventilating over the tiniest of things? Bouncing around uncontrollably when excited? Incessantly chirpy when content? Own it. Regardless of it irritating your brother or that new human you’re trying to impress…be you!

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At blogging/life crossroads

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I had intended to get a few ‘breaking away from the eating disorder’ posts up some time around now; significant, exciting markers of mental growth and freedom. I was eager to delve deep into no.1 on my list: “Negative Associations” in overcoming bad stigmas toward otherwise good, healthy food in correlation with restrictive times. Other than serving as an outlet to reflect on factors, I would of course be thrilled if it would resonate with another soul somewhere on the planet. I am never one to set up a blogging schedule and having no current intention to expand this little space as anything more than a personally public (<-I’m a walking contradiction remember!?) form of expression and healing…. I would not be posting without really feeling it. Maybe it’s just a passing phase – an ebbing and flowing of moods and living circumstances that I’m once again deliberating on whether I will actually be making the initiative to even start on posting anything -I had in mind- anytime soon. It seems like my brain recently has so much of room ; instead of thoughts nagging to break out there’s enough scope for musings to overlap while -I assume- I am a picture of lost calmness and serenity. Bah, that sounds like a load of bull. It would be amusing if it wasn’t the case exactly. In feels like every moment with my mind unengaged is an opening to be whisked off into some daydream, and if that happens to be when I’m outdoors in the soft sunlight (which finally pitched up today!)… hah, good luck with trying to grab my attention! Needless to say, I’m enjoying honouring my wandering brain by slipping away at free times to simply laze or stroll about, and just… dream.

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As far as I am aware my daydreaming phase was lost into the toddler years!? Yet I’m entertaining every little wish in my heart, fully experiencing a sense of elation at the near possibility of certain aspirations coming to life – so to say. It’s an incredible feeling guys *gush*. 

So I truly want to say: don’t stop dreaming. Ever. It’s a profound sensation that I cannot believe I was such a long period without.

 

 

WIAW..Do you know?

If the past weekend is anything to go by – winter could be at it’s peak. What happened to my Spring premonitions? Gail winds, air that pierces through like an icy dagger and sunshine completely MIA…. I’ll be holding onto the layering of knits, jumpers and leather for now. Oh and comfort food, you’re not going anywhere. Saturday having been thee coldest day ever, I decided it would be fun to document the day’s eats that served as powerful internal insulation against the elements. Brought to your viewing pleasure through the much-loved celebration of yumminess hosted by her loveliness Jenn.

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DO YOU KNOW that awakening with chocolate chip cookie-cake on the mind – and with said cake in the house – is reason enough to have it for breakfast?

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Warmed, alongside chilled full-fat milk.

I’m done with tactics of staving off and denying cravings. I know that there is no way I’ll be able to get my mind focusing on other important matters if I fail to allow myself the freedom to just eat exactly what I please. Yes, even if that happens to be pie cake in the early AM. Obviously I went back for another slice…one slice of pie cookie-cake for breakfast just doesn’t cut it. I was seriously impressed at the decent time span I was kept energised after 😀 .

DO YOU KNOW that despite harbouring a set of taste buds highly in favour of well-spiced chicken, I am absolutely opposed to the sight – let alone the handling – of raw meats?

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Perfectly-spiced chicken, leftover roast potato wedges, steamed broccoli and carrots.

Good thing too. With a Mum and sisters’ who have honestly surpassed the title of “masterchef”, I am undeniably content with keeping away from the behind-the-scenes to every delicious portion. After denying myself of meat for such a long time, consuming it now is always tied with a feeling of liberation and all round fuzziness.

DO YOU KNOW hard-core oatmeal lovers stand a strong chance of craving a bowl during the day if it hasn’t made an appearance in the AM?

sweet&salty oatmeal -snack

with half a banana cooked in…topped with a splash of cold milk, roasted salted cashews, and strawberry jam. Coffee with a dash of coconut milk.

Sweet and salty nailed. I’ve been loving the sparkle a little coconut milk adds to my coffee these days…truth be told – it started off in a bid to use up opened tinned coconut milk and has morphed into an intended act.

DO YOU KNOW even lazy kitchen-slobs are sometimes motivated to put a little extra thought into cooking? But then again, my definition of cooking isn’t everyone’s pot of food either:

chickpea mushroom stew-dinner

chickpea mushroom stew with a wholegrain tortilla. Freshly squeezed naartjie juice.

Heh, how elaborate do I make my meal sound!? Well I believe it deserves a rather exaggerative title, given that it required abit more labour – than is my norm these days – to come together. I would really recommend braising mushrooms together with chickpeas though; the flavour is glorious.

 

DO YOU KNOW chunky applesauce on a warm buttery pastry croissant tastes just like apple pie?

croissant bedtime meal

half with chunky applesauce & cinnamon, half with Nutella. Rooibos tea.

The applesauce even gave the chocolate take a run for it’s money. Apple pie in a matter of minutes? Yes please.

Give me a recent foodie fact; Do you know…..? 

So who am I?

I’ve been reflecting on it lately, subconsciously – without making an effort to: how well have I grown to understand myself since… you know, the ED took over and I lost my entire personality somewhere along the line? who am I?image source

Physically I have progressed marvellously in healing, mentally I have shaken the majority of restrictive tendencies; can I declare that I am any closer to understanding my complicated self? Because I can only excuse myself as being “complicated” for so long…

My idea of the most challenging form of interrogation under the sun -has always been- another human inquiring me to deliver my perception of myself. From the less significant “what is your favourite dish” (what do I choose between fat free salads and fruit?!) to “are you a sociable kinda human”(no, get out of my face!)), there has always been an overwhelming sense of reluctance at searching inside my mind for an answer, when all I really want to do is wave away the question with a simple response: I don’t know. In the same breath, I am hugely delighted when I am able to pull out an answer which I believe in myself – that I can state with unwavering confidence; there is an unmistakeable thrill from inching closer to becoming aware of the person I am. Blogging, or rather journaling (by the manner in which I roll on this blog most of the time) has had me -willingly- pushing my comfort zone in tapping into the real me.

39 Questions.

Deconstructing me.

Spilling my guts 1.

Spilling my guts 2.

On the path to [self] discovery, I have rediscovered some things since awakening from the constant brain fog; factors which may seem minuscule to normal human beings… but to me? They matter hugely. Instead of not having a favourite meal, there’s too many I love to narrow it down to one. I choose cake over cookies. Lies are despicable, I don’t do lies… unless it’s the “How are you?” question on a business call and I’m in a terrible mood. I enjoy glamming up and attending a function, but I’m not a “party” person. I know that contrary to my original belief in not being a fan of smoothies – I am seriously in love with this chocolate mousse smoothie… enough to have it for lunch 2 days in a row, alongside roasted butternut squash.

Yes I spoon my smoothie straight from the hand blender bowl!

Yes I spoon my smoothie straight from the hand blender bowl!

I made note of the gloriousness of sliced strawberries thrown in there, but woah! The squash as a side makes it 10 million x more mind-blowingly swoon worthy.

Then we look deeper, aaand…. I am clearly a work in progress when it comes to processing my emotions. While it no longer feels like my skull is on the verge of exploding with an assortment of sensations, I don’t know me all that well as yet. It is still a story of: what am I really like now, versus back then? Am I generally loud or quiet? I can’t seem to say exactly; when joyful I am bubbly, chirpy… loud. Then again a deeply occupied state of mind sends me into serious silence. I can however finally distinguish feelings (from the muddle that seemed to haunt me for a good while) ..calm, content, restless. Being able to pinpoint my emotions is a great feat in itself, and yet…. I can’t acknowledge my character as a whole. Without a moments hesitation I can sum my brother up;  a laid back cool dude, slightly immature for his age – all about having a good time. My Mum is a soft-hearted, caring, easily excited soul. My Dad; bold and quick-tempered, yet loving and selfless. I could lay it out easily for the rest of my siblings too…. but I am at a loss to who I am. Does the fact that I enjoy thrilling rides and playing with pythons make me daring despite my cautious behaviour in my relationships? I’d like to believe I’m caring and considerate, but that’s definitely not always the case. Somehow I can’t just let it be either; I want to understand what lingers in the inner workings of my soul. Uhhh, kind of.

I suppose I am finding myself along the way- recently I’ve been surprised at the sureness my mind takes when exploring foreign thoughts (more life-impacting than what to have for lunch)… I am slowly recognizing my “stance” on various subjects, and it’s weird to realize that I’m interested in approaching topics which previously failed to alight any spark in me – I am beginning to openly converse on and reveal my view. So, suffice to say I’m still complicated then 😉 .

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And just because Bugs Bunny is undeniably loveable (and I sometimes feel this way)….
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Contentment in the job I don’t love

I have a problem. No, wait.. let me re-phrase that: I am a problem (*cough* at times) . Given my contradictory nature, I admit I am astoundingly hesitant the majority of the time in “proclaiming” things about myself. There are instances where I am resolute in my feelings of course, but when it comes down to the mental shifts surrounding my life? I am so wary of stating something positive; only to have a topsy-turvy change of circumstances the day after that – which will brandish me a liar to myself… my only alternative is to keep shut. Or is it? I took longer than necessary before admitting to and celebrating the body positivity that had settled upon me, cautious of speaking too soon… even when I did, it required a squashing of “what if” doubts. What if I no longer feel this sensation of self love in an hours time? It was just that it all seemed too good to be true; was I not supposed to be struggling in some aspect? Such a level of acceptance within myself sounds unbelievable. And yet, here I am without my confidence wavered even slightly… this surreal positive body image growing [hopefully] more concrete – having survived through a fascinating remark if I do say so myself. So it wouldn’t be surprising that a part of me wants to hold back from believing I have -undeterminably- found contentment in the job I have clearly battled in maintaining sanity time and again. Because it’s not guaranteed. Then again – nothing is… what am I waiting for that will prove I have made progress in working under pressure in a field that is not my dream? I haven’t felt any signs of an anxiety attack or nervous breakdown since the last one   months back. And more than that, I do not fight an overwhelming wave of reluctance or gloom on entering the office as is the usual. Piles of paperwork and accounts waiting to be reconciled has lost it’s power to break me before I begin; I will get to it as I can. I want to reflect on the steps I assume helped in relieving me of the pressure I piled on my shoulders – as things are always changing, I’d like to be able to look back when I need it.

Work is work.

In an effort to make work-time a little more enjoyable, I was in the habit of regular blog-reading breaks… nothing too illegal right!? And at the [dis]advantage of being my own “boss” so to speak – I could without carrying out any sneaky methods. Well other than switching the fax line in order to receive an internet connection. But that’s beside the point. Over time I have learnt that bloggy breaks was not proving the most beneficial to my office-time really… it was actually making it a touch difficult to separate my job from my down time; something I constantly battle due to my office being stationed at home. It’s ironic that in order to shift my focus off my brain-breaking job, I have to focus more on it.. when I am working that is.work and playimage source

Make pauses count

I understand that continually being at the grind will turn my brains to mush however, so taking breathers are important. And breathers is just that. A time to step out of the office and get a whiff off fresh air… clear the mind by absorbing the rejuvenating effect of the outdoors, as opposed to the stuffiness inside. So yes, less time blog-reading overall [than I would like] but a healthier state of mind.

Recognising the disadvantage in the advantage

“You’re so lucky you don’t work under anyone.”  “Oh you have the perfect setup.” Easy for you to say… you aren’t me. Other than benefiting from circumstances by the blog-reading, the lack of authority means I was have the potential to be overzealous in attempting to stay on top of things and ensuring I keep track of the various deadlines or VAT payments. Which often can result in shuffling back and forth between dates in bed while trying to drift off to sleep. I feel like I’ve forever been trying to shrug off some of the responsibility I place on myself – to accept that it is natural for a bookkeeper’s work to overlap months (it is not a mark of failure in the least)- and I finally feel like I’m looking at things with a less critical eye.

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Quit fooling myself by wishing otherwise

If I am not going to be taking the plunge in leaving my current station, I owe it to myself to not revel in other job fantasies falling into my lap – thus only serving to build up a wall of resentment in what I am doing. In between the tasks that has me moaning, there are several at least that admittedly I do enjoy. So reminding myself to practise an old adage of appreciating “the roses with the thorns”, <-(errr something like that) is not needless after all. Ever searched for that euphoric sense of achievement in completing a project? I’ve realised that I need to stop working for that sensation… I’ll never reach it. Not with a constant stream of work entering. Instead, my daily goal is to complete the tasks for that particular day and do my best to be content with that – to not push harder in hopes of attaining an impossible state of “done”. enoughimage source

There is more to my life than my job, no matter how consuming it feels at times.

I can actively decide whether I am going to allow it to drag me down or not.

At first I had this post titled “Tolerating the job I don’t love”, but then I thought about it…and honestly – that just doesn’t give it enough credit.

How do you feel about the job you are currently involved?

Any words of wisdom regarding work?