This is one of those nights after another of those long days I have spent chasing happiness.
I see the flashing costumes the gleam of oiled coconut skin. I hear yells and they’re dancing and it’s so beautiful. Wistfully I wish that was me standing on that canoe, dancing to the drumbeats. Smiling at a dream. Enjoying something beautiful. Taking time to go after something that I want to enjoy. Being with people.
The word in Rarotongan for drum is Pate but it also means the heartbeat.
Do you know what it’s like to dance to your heartbeat?
Do you know what I did today? I’m going to obviously do another post in detail because I never ever shut up (just ask my mom, she stopped listening ages ago lol. nah not really I have an awesome mom) but I was sitting across from this lady in BYUH counseling services and you know what she told me?
She told me
“You. Can’t Do This.”
“You. Are. Too. Fragile.”
“Maybe. This. School. Isn’t For. You.”
“We. Can’t. Help. You.”
And I looked her in the face and I heard every odd I have ever beaten. Every statistic I’m fighting. Every person who told me to not do this or do more of this. I heard every voice, including the one inside me that screamed at me, whispered lovingly to me in the dark nights when I lay weeping on the floor, pain wracking my body. Telling me I was worthless. That I would always be broken. That the man who raped me, that he was right. That I would never lead a life worth living. That I would never have love if the truth came out. My mom telling me that if I didn’t get serious about one thing, I would never excel at anything. My dad not showing up for my stuff. My dad mocking me for being “weak” when my period made me black out and throw up.
My track coaches that didn’t care about me, who put me as the last alternate.
Later on- I beat their top sprinter on the 1600 meter. ❤
Every time I was on that track. One time it was evening and it was dusky and it was cooler, there was the smell of rain in the air. Noone else had showed up for summer track practice. When I did knuckle pushups on the pavement. When I ran up and down those bleachers and my muscles threatened to buckle. When I did every rep. When I went home and did extra reps. When my body screamed “Stop, it hurts”.
When I looked in the mirror and she said “You. Are. Not. Enough.”
And I said NO.
I said NO I WON’T GIVE UP.
NO I WILL NOT QUIT
NO I WILL NOT STARVE MYSELF TO DEATH I WILL GAIN THAT WEIGHT BACK
I WILL FORCEFEED MYSELF TO STAY ALIVE
I WILL RUN AND RUN AND RUN
I WILL GO TO THOSE DOCTORS I HATE AND I WILL SPEND HOURS, DAYS, WEEKS, TRAINING PHYSICALLY, EMOTIONALLY, MENTALLY.
I WILL DEDICATE MY LIFE TO MYSELF
I WILL SAY NO TO PUTTING EVERYONE ELSE FIRST
I SAID NO TO GIVING UP
I SAID NO TO LAYING DOWN MY LIFE
I SAID NO TO THOSE VOICES
I SAID NO TO SELF HARM
I SAID NO TO ADDICTION
I sat across from that sweet, smiling, Mormon counselor lady and I looked at her with *that look* an athletic girl gives you when it’s about to go down
“I Will. Not. Give Up.”
“I am going to do this, with or without you.”
I spent hours on that track with that team. I spent hours running in the desert. I spent hours icing, massaging, seeing doctors. Hours researching nutrition to refeed my emaciated body. I spent hours strength training to restore balance and strength to torn and strained muscles. I spent hours planning my meals. I spent hours working to get into this college. I do something every day to marvel at this life that I have.
I swing between “That’s it, this is going to work. I am going to make this work.” And “I am so tired I just want to disappear.”
But in the dark moments… That is when I show up.
I just say no, this is not how this story ends. It sucks right now but I am tougher than that. I am not going down.
And I will say that every single day. I will say that everytime I lose everything. When my body breaks underneath me. When my best friend turns his back on me. When my heart is lying there in my chest, torn to shreds. When every breath hurts like I have shards of glass stuck in it. When my body is sore. When I wake up from a panic attack. When I lapse and blood is dripping down my arm. When that voice in my head is winning and I am barely eating enough to stay alive. When I’m at the gym and I want to spend 4- no 5 hours in there because that is something I am good at.
I will say no to every moment. When I look defeated, that is the time you really need to watch out. Because no matter how hard you knock this girl down I am coming back up and I am going to show you what good looks like.
So many have doubted me. And they have. All. Been. Wrong.
This girl is made of steel and born of fire.
( I love fire.)
It’s those moments. That moment in the evening when I was alone on that track and I was tired. I could have gone home. Noone else showed up. It was a nice evening. When it was 114 degrees outside and heat shimmered off the pavement and I got blisters through my running shoes- I ran. Those moments when I said.