Would you rather?

Would you rather have the perfect life or ultimate strength? This is a question I’ve been asking myself a lot lately.

With five blog posts currently in the works, I’ve been planning on finishing one up, sharing it and moving on to the next. However, life doesn’t always go as planned.

Which is something I’m still trying to grasp.

On Tuesday morning my boyfriend Jordan’s Uncle Shawn passed away.

The first time I met Shawn, he welcomed me into the family with open arms. I am so thankful for the amazing father, husband, son, uncle and brother he was to a family that I love so much.

I am also grateful that he gave this world his beautiful daughter, Kaitlyn.

Kaitlyn has been a role model for me in more ways than I think she knows. Therefore, this post is about her. I think it’s so important that you have “idols” in life. If you don’t have one, I’d advise you to get searching. I’ll gladly tell you that few of mine are celebrities or famous figures. Instead they’re people like Kaitlyn, who inspire others by simply being who they are.

As I was making the two-hour journey North to be with Jordan’s family and to remember Shawn in Canada, I silently begged myself to please stay healthy while away from home. Usually when I’m out of my routine or comfort zone, stress eating, binging and purging become an obvious escape. I began repeating over and over to myself, “Emily, don’t fall off track.” As I turned my mixed CD up and began to cruise on the I-90, I started to wonder exactly what this “track” was that I was talking about.

I started to thinking about the limits I’ve set for myself. The foods I’ve deemed “off limits,” the restaurants, calorie amounts, etc. When was the last time I really just let myself “be?”

I don’t know the answer to that question. I do know it’s something  I’d give almost anything for. When I do experience those rare moments of peace with myself, it is pure bliss. However, when you’ve spent the past few years trying to achieve perfection, there isn’t a whole lot of just “being.”

But back to Kaitlyn.

She, on the other hand, is someone who I’m convinced has the whole “being,” thing down. Even as she stood at her father’s wake, she remained composed. While I can’t even begin to imagine what she has gone through in the past month, she stood confident and content. I could see that she trusted that in each moment, she was exactly where she was supposed to be. Even more remarkable was the acceptance that beamed from her – acceptance for herself, those surrounding her and the events that life has thrown her way.

We have to be strong. Each day has the potential to be challenging and each day can easily throw something unexpected our way. Kaitlyn, I know you are aware of and always ready for that. I applaud you for being understanding of challenges and imperfections before most others. I know that I continually look to you for that strength.

After arriving back home today, I wasn’t feeling ideal. I haven’t exercised in three days, I haven’t eaten uber healthy, and I don’t think one lovely little pimple on the side of my nose is going away anytime soon.

Oh freaking well. Welcome to life Emily, where things rarely go as planned. We have no set “track” to follow and no path that will lead us to ultimate success. Instead we must fall, struggle, pick ourselves up, and move on. As I’m slowly but surely learning, you can’t draw that path out before it’s happened. You have to let things be.

Kaitlyn, thank you so much for teaching me these lessons, whether or not you were aware you were doing it. You are hands down the strongest 23-year-old I know and I am positive that your Dad will forever be proud of you.

Don’t set limits for yourself, don’t get upset when something doesn’t go as planned. One of the most reassuring things I have learned through recovery is that I’m not exactly in control of what happens in my life.

What do I mean?

I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. As much as I despise the fact that for months I could be found hiding behind a bathroom door, I am not ashamed. There clearly is a lesson I need to learn. While I’m not completely sure what that lesson is yet, I know part of it is to understand that while perfection may exist, it is not something I need to be.


Instead it’s strength I hope to gain and share with others – just as Kaitlyn has done for me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart Kait, for reminding me what’s important in life. You rock my freaking socks pretty darn hard.

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