Saturday, March 7, 2009

the need to connect

It was a year ago that I began this blog, all because I had decided to follow a dream and run my first adventure race. Looking back at this year, I realize I far exceeded even my own expectations. I've already written, in detail, about my amazing year, so I'm not going to make you suffer through it again. But I never in a million years could have foreseen what changes would take place in my life over the past year.

The changes in me physically are easy to see - losing 200 pounds can do that. But there have been other, more profound changes that aren't as noticeable. Sometimes I even have a hard time seeing it, which isn't a big surprise given my past (and all too present) self-esteem issues. It's always been easier for me to focus on my faults than my strengths.

What it comes down to is this... people make all the difference. More specifically, the people in my life have made a difference. For many years I lived in a very limited world of my own making - it was safe and secure and, well, boring. I had great friends but I kept them at arms length, not wanting anyone to disrupt my little utopia. I let my weight and insecurities rule my life and in the process I missed out on so much.

Now? My utopia bubble has been burst and I am left to deal with all the messy and glorious humanness that is a part of life. And while it makes life so much more difficult, it is unbelievably rewarding. My old friends have stood by me through all my ups and downs; my new friends have accepted me and all my quirks and challenged me to be a better version of myself. While my belief in myself is sometimes lacking, I know that I can tap into any of my friends and they will see things in me that I don't see myself. And isn't that what relationships are about - helping each other become the very best we can be? I am grateful and humbled by all of my friends faith in me and hope I am able to give back as much as I have been given.

Who would have thought that my 'little dream' would become the catalyst for so much change in my life? No one is more surprised than me.