I knew I was in trouble when I stared at the McDonald’s drive-thru with a lust I hadn’t felt in quite some time.
I didn’t want the food. I wanted the convenience of being able to hurt myself with food. That’s my old programming. I had a bad day. A really bad one. And it wasn’t just something I was going to get over. Ever have something that upsets you in one way that hits you all over? Yeah. It was one of those. Every shortcoming in my life flashed before my eyes and fell in my lap. I sat in a restaurant for over an hour alone yesterday, listening to my negative thoughts, each minute taking me deeper into a hole. When I finally got ready to leave, I literally felt paralyzed. I was “Tasha the Trainer” which is hard sometimes because people expect me to be able to do everything and be perfect. I felt like “Tasha the Failure” which was even harder because I had the weight of all of those people on my shoulder and the responsibility of not being that “rock star” loomed over my head. I was out of sync on both ends.
How soon we forget.
I remember sitting at my desk getting a phone call from my boss. I looked at the caller ID and figured I wasn’t going to answer it. His name alone would send me running towards a bag of Oreos. The other four people in my office obviously had the same feeling. Nobody would answer the phone. I wasn’t in the mood. I was celebrating my one year dating anniversary that day and I wasn’t in the mood to listen to him tell me how incompetent I was in not getting something done that I had no idea I was supposed to be doing. I picked up the phone anyway. I knew immediately from his tone something was wrong. He told us to go downstairs and turn the television on because a plane had hit one of the Twin Towers. The rest of that day and my life was sort of like a blur after that. Everything changed. Some things only temporarily….
You know how when something tragic happens, we change for a “little” while, until the sting wears off and then we go back to doing our same old thing? Well, 9/11 just tore me out of the frame. Things that seemed to matter didn’t. What seemed like such a big deal wasn’t. Life and the moments in which I was living was all I cared about, well, until the ten year mark kicked in and I started to forget how grateful I had been. That is until I saw my sister friend’s picture and began to cry like a baby.
I first heard Eileen speak at a conference in Miami. She was soft spoken and beautiful and all I could remember thinking was I had to meet her. When I saw her on the page of someone I knew, I facebook stalked her :), introduced myself and we became friends. I knew she was a breast cancer survivor but there was just something about her that drew me to her. That was a couple of years ago. I saw her picture posted the other day and under it was a brief synopsis of her story, about how she had battled the worst form of breast cancer and had lost her house, her father and her brother during treatment. Eileen has three beautiful daughters and works with breast cancer patients and is so loving and available and I felt like an idiot complaining about my little issues. I reached out to her and even in my ungratefulness, she assured me that I was not alone and loved on me.
I get this kind of love from people who have been through it like my friend Rosalyn, Miles’ mom, who crawled in the hall with me when I literally fell out in her house two days after he died because I was feeling sorry for myself. To watch her go through life with such strength in the middle of such pain and I am complaining about the five pounds I want to lose or Starbucks running out of soy milk is such a stabilizer. Or “my” Kristin (yes, I have now started claiming her as mine), the director of operations for Piloxing, who asked me about my day (and then comforted me after I confessed that I was having a bad one) who recovered from three back surgeries to become a national trainer. And when I am complaining about feeling like I am drowning in a young girl’s game, she is older than me. And rocking it!
WHY AM I COMPLAINING?
Because being a victim allows me to stay stuck in my own patterns and if I gain five pounds then people will feel sorry for me because I’m “stressed” instead of loving me and calling me to lovingly face my issues. I have a responsibility to myself to face it ALL…my good days, my not so good days, my imperfections, my shortcomings. The truth is, well, I’ve had some pretty fantastic rock star moments. And life has a way of balancing itself out. We just have to realize that we’ll never always be on one side of the boat.
Of course I did NOT eat the McDonald’s. But I quietly thanked my sisters for their courage, remembered how grateful I felt for just life PERIOD after 9/11 and found that this is the day I rededicate my life, not to perfection but to conscious existence.