I’m on my medical elective (I passed finals, thank fuck) and am currently in Fiji, lying on my bed overlooking the sea, with the breeze drifting through the windows, and I’m thinking. So I thought I’d share some of the whirrings of my mind.
I’ve been thinking a lot recently about the pressures we put on ourselves to act in certain ways and to make certain decisions based upon what we feel should do because that’s what’s we’ve always done. How easy it is to become tied down to a certain mindset, to convince yourself that that’s the right way to live because they’re the beliefs you’ve always held. It’s easy to become blinkered and to close your mind to be fact that you might actually have other priorities in life now. Our lives change. We meet new people. We travel to new places. And those things can influence the way we think and what’s important to us.
For example, fitness is usually an important thing to me. Going to the gym 4 or more times a week is the norm for me. Shopping for myself and being able to plan my weekly meals. As far as I’ve come in my eating disorder recovery, my appearance is still an important thing to me. So setting off on a 9 week trip to the other side of the world has clearly blown those routines out the water. I’ve been feeling much more conscious about my body, the gym isn’t on my doorstep, and I don’t have the control over what I eat that I’m used to. I’ve been feeling pretty lost, which has lead me to start questioning a lot of the principles I live by. I’m realising that I was only exercising practically every day because I’d conditioned myself to think I should, when actually I’d often dread it. Having a break from it, I’d now welcome the chance to go for a jog because it’d be coming from a true desire, not an engrained feeling of obligation. I’d often see Instagram posts of friends of mine at the gym, looking incredible, and think that’s what I wanted, but I’m coming to realise that it really isn’t. Being out here, surrounded by such natural beauty, away from the suffocating western ideals, has cleared my mind. There’s so much more to live for. So much to experience. Why miss out on enjoying a month of lying on the beach in Fiji because you’re too caught up feeling guilty that you haven’t been to the gym in 2 weeks. Why miss out on a trip of exploring new cultures, and immersing yourself in new surroundings because you’re too caught up in thinking that you’ve eaten too much, or that you’re hungry but you probably shouldn’t have a snack. How ridiculous. And that applies to day to day life too. I really don’t care about those things when there’s so much more I’d rather be enjoying, but I’ve never been able to free myself of those guilt ridden thoughts until now. Now that I’ve take time to question myself and reevaluate.
I often jot things down in my notes when a thought comes to me. I find it therapeutic to put down on paper a thought that’s been nagging away at me for a while when I finally find the right way of expressing it. This is what I wrote earlier…
You don’t have to have a definition of who you are, what you like, how you live, your morals, your beliefs. Life is fluid, the way you live can change, the things you want can change, what’s important to you can change. You shouldn’t have to do things because you feel you ‘should’ or because ‘that’s what you believe’. When you find yourself berating your decisions and your life choices, question why you’re making those decisions. You won’t always be the same person and you should always challenge yourself as to whether the morals you live by are genuinely what you want or whether they’re what you think you should want.