Recently, for me, the days have been long, but the weeks have been flying by. I cannot believe that I will traveling “home” to the Middle East in ten days for a whirlwind trip of desert camping, hiking among sand dunes, and boating in the Gulf, let alone graduating with my bachelor’s degree in a mere three months. Simultaneously, I want time to pass by quickly – it has been half a year since I’ve seen my dogs who live in Oman – and I want it to standstill. Standstill because my youth is running away from me. Standstill because I am not ready to kiss my liberal arts schooling goodbye. Standstill because the gym is free, because my rent here is reasonable, and because I know ever nook and cranny of this small college town. Standstill because the cheese ladies at the grocery store know me, the bread boy hands me “the usual” every Sunday I visit his bakery, and the office workers my apartment looks out on wave good morning from inside their cubicles when I open my blinds. Standstill. Or, if not, at least slow down.
My past dictates that I do not handle change well. I am a creature of habit: I wake up, brush my teeth straight away, prepare and eat breakfast, which doesn’t venture outside the bounds of muffins, scones, and cereal, make my bed (an absolute must if I want to truly feel awake), leave the house for somewhere, anywhere, return for lunch, venture out again, return to collect my thoughts and tidy up before hitting the gym, do my sauna-steam room thang, eat dinner, use the internet, and flop back into bed. And I’m not joking, that’s pretty much it. That’s how I roll. Even my biological clock has adapted to this routine; I barely have to look at my watch; my body is so accustomed to our daily schedule that it pretty much functions on autopilot. And this, this “autopilotness,” is largely to blame for my anxt.
On autopilot, life is easy: I do not have to think about how I am going to organize my day or how much I need to eat (the biological clock, clever little thing, has figured all that into the equation). On autopilot, my eating disordered thoughts lie at bay because there is nothing to stir them up (until, of course, it comes to dating, but more on that later…), and on autopilot, I don’t have to think obsessively about exercise; the plan has been made, and it works. Asking me to change my routine, in other words, is like asking a Siberian tiger to move to Madrid; it’s just not a good idea.
With that, I admit, fear aside, I have to “bounce from this joint” ASAP. Unlike when high school was coming to an end and I panicked, turning to food restriction in a desperate attempt to stall the inevitable, years of thorough therapy have taught me that I am capable of more than I think. Learning to accept my fear is also preparing me well for the bid day; it has taken a while to believe, but, paradoxically, showing my vulnerability is soulfully strengthening.
In recovery, I have also learnt that, even though I am not a big “computer person,” the internet and all it’s troves of photography is a reliable tool for self-soothing. In turn, when my anxiety about embarking on the next stage of my life rears its ugly head, I have been burrowing away in photography websites for safety, just enough to reconnect my mind and body, and reassure myself that everything is going to be okay.
And that brings us nicely into this week’s M for Motto category on the list of M&Ms.
Pertinently, the motto comes from an old soda advertisement: Dr. Pepper, what’s the worst that can happen?
Music I’m loving:
Must-see YouTube movie: