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Change The Story

I recently came across something Shauna Niequist posted something on her blog last month—a blog post called Change The Story. Before you read any further here, you absolutely have to go over to her blog and read the post. (Go ahead…I’ll still be here when you get back.)

All done? Okay, back to my blog post…

As you know now (because you just read her post, right?), Shauna opens up by saying, “I’ve realized in the last year that no matter what happens to me and no matter how I change, in many ways I’m still telling a very old story of who I am.” Those words could not ring more true in my life. I read it and immediately thought, “Yes, this is exactly what I’ve been doing for years!” As I continued from there onto the rest of the post, I realized that one of the reasons why I often feel down on myself is because I still look through the lens of an old story—usually the same one I saw myself through during my senior year in college and my first year out of college.

At that point in time, I was at a difficult point in my eating disorder recovery where I gained more weight than I’d anticipated. I was at the very beginning of my career, but not confident in where I wanted to be heading (interestingly, I never imagined having a career like the one I have now, which I love). I was highly insecure, unsure of myself, lacking in discipline and wandering aimlessly into adulthood, feeling unprepared for it all and unattractive while doing it.

In October, I’ll be turning 27, inching closer and closer to what will soon be 30 years old. I know that I am an adult. A professional. A wife. A best friend. An aunt. A writer. A homeowner. And so much more. And yet, I still have a very distorted view of who I am and where I’m going. In many ways, I still view myself through a negative lens that I developed in college. Though once a confident teen, I somehow turned into a bit of an insecure adult.

To this day, when I see photos of myself I am often surprised at what I see. The girl in the photo doesn’t look like the girl I see in the mirror—a girl that doesn’t even exist, who I’ve made up in my insecure mind to tell me lies and tell me I’m not good enough, smart enough, pretty enough or thin enough. (More on that here.)

I feel like Shauna’s words have me on the brink of a breakthrough. I’ve been living an old story for so many years (at least 6 or 7!) that it’s hard to imagine what it might be like to change the story—to let myself be who I really am, rather than linger in the lie of who I imagine myself to be.

The truth is, I don’t need to live the old story any longer. I get to choose what story I’m living—I get to write over the past and write something new with my life for the future. I’m not there quite yet, but I’m close. And that’s really good news.

What’s the old story about yourself you need to let go of? What will be your new story?

(Photo snapped by Brian in Santa Barbara)

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This is part of the Love Yourself Linkup—an ongoing series by women around the web focusing on self image and body image. In our posts, we will talk about our thoughts on these subjects, tell stories of our personal experience, share what has inspired us, challenged us, and more. Read my previous posts in the series here, and join the conversation by hitting “enter” below.

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