Okay, I'll bite on the #10yearchallenge
Looking at these photos side by side doesn't do justice to the inner transformation I've been through.
The photo on the left was taken in November 2008, just a few months after I moved to BC from Winnipeg. I was running from my pain, and chasing something I couldn't name. My inner life was shockingly empty, my persona a mask. It would be many years still before I realized it.
I was searching for friendship, for community, for validation, and so desperate for it I willingly gave myself up to fit in over and over again.
After years of empty friendships, nights of drinking and partying, and fleeting relationships that reflected how little I valued myself, I hit bottom. And from there I began picking myself up again.
Adrenal fatigue changed the way I treated myself and the accommodations I make for my energy. It was the catalyst for my spiritual journey, my healing journey.
So here I am in the photo on the right, 5 months after moving to Salt Spring Island - a home I've been dreaming of since June of 2015.
I have removed many of the masks I used to wear, taking huge strides to be expressive of my inner reality and allowing authenticity. I have spent over 3 years sober, my nights of partying long gone (if its after 9pm, I prefer to stay home!). I have given up unhealthy, greasy, processed foods - along with things like jeans, makeup, and fake friends. I have learned to honor my emotions, to trust my intuition, value my creativity, and discover the gifts I have when it comes to connection. I know what I love to do, without letting myself be swept up only in what other people are doing. I am accepting of my femininity instead of trying so hard to hide it by wanting to be one of the guys. I understand what it means to be empowered, and I have made friends with my body in a way I never even knew existed.
I have seen a lot of change in myself in the past 10 years. I have dealt with anxiety, many episodes of depression and hopelessness. I also felt love, support, and faith. I persevered and found my strength. I've always known how to wear a smile.
I am still healing. And will continue to do so.
I love who I am becoming.