Transformations

Roberval Antic ScaleNew Years are opportunities for clean slates. This is why we love it to make goals and resolutions that we generally forget one or two weeks later, if not less, after we have made them.

I am ready for changes but I fear them so much.

I wonder what is so scary in my letting go of bad habits, of clutter, of useless papers or old clothes, and most of all, of letting go of my paralyzing fears.

Four years ago, I started a new business and I was very excited about it. Because of my previous experience with small business, I knew that if by the end of the third year I was not making any profit, said business was to be considered as a hobby, rather than a business. I managed to make profit at the end of the first year, but never enough to hire myself in my own business. The end of the third year has come and getting my books ready for taxes is scaring me, because I am afraid it is showing my failures and my shortcomings, when in reality I should be really proud of myself.

 

But I come from a culture where I was taught how to spot mistakes rather than catch successful endeavors, how to improve and strive for the perfection, rather than to value the effort and the enthusiasm.

It is very hard for me to let go of those cultural messages, to shake my bad habits of judging myself harshly all the time.

 

At the same time, I was getting so enthusiastic about my new venture, I started to log in a lot of data, in the move of self-quantification and some amazing transformations occurred because I did so: I was able to lose 40 and some pounds, I managed my bouts of severe depression and hypomania to an acceptable level of function among the most remarkable feats.

Logging data was not the solution to the underlying problems I have with my food or mood disorders. It was merely a guide for me to not bury my head in sand and then realize when it is too late that I have sunk at the bottom of a pool or smashed into a wall because of speed. And I am forever thankful for the apps that help me keep my life in check that way. Otherwise I really can’t say how I would have navigated those years.

 

But what happened about transforming myself was also too scary, obviously: when I was slimming down, people were taking notice, everyone was but me. I was not feeling different. I was feeling lighter and flattered of course, with the compliments and encouragement I was receiving, but I was most of all feeling annoyed by the attention it was getting me, as if it was signaling some looming doom in the future because of that.

 

And I knew it exactly when it happened. Like a switch one day, the binges were back.

I fought them for twenty-four months. And on the second anniversary of that fatal switch, I kind of gave up, feeling like it was a lost battle.

 

But this is a new year, a new slate, and I know that the mental negative messages that I keep hearing inside my head are just that, mental negative messages. Not any reality. I can replace those messages with positive ones, like if I have done it once, I can do it twice (and thrice, why not! oh do I love the word thrice!!)

 

So for a first start in 2015 I will transform the look of this blog and change its theme, because it is time.

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Otir

French blogger in the US writes on cultural differences, disabilities, religion, social media and politics.

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