I can safely say that this was probably the best week ever. Seriously.
Over the past month I’ve decided to go on a journey of self-discovery. I completely understand that one’s mental state and well-being greatly impacts everything in life; health, success, diet, sleep patterns. I recognized that I am nowhere near where I want/desire/need to be in life, so I had to complete an internal assessment of Janiece to figure out exactly what is causing this dark cloud of self-doubt and unhappiness to hover over me. Which caused me to finally be honest with myself. It is very exhausting to continually run away from oneself, and eventually you grow tired from running and decide to face yourself head on. Literally and figuratively.
I stood in front of my mirror and said “Enough of this bullshit. It’s draining on both yourself and those around you. No one wants to be surrounded by a Bitter Betty. So ship up bitch!” Then I set into motion.
“You’re unhappy about your job. Well bitch get off your ass and apply for some new ones. And actually submit the applications, not just say you are going to.” So I did. So far I have applied for 3 jobs and I indeed to apply for a minimum of two jobs each day until I find the right one.
“You’re unhappy because you didn’t apply to medical school. Well bitch get off your ass and retake the MCAT since your scores are expired.” So I am in the process of studying for it.
“You’re unhappy because you are a size 10/12 and not a 6/8. Well bitch get off your ass and stick to eating properly and working out” So I am. Planning my meals now so I actually EAT instead of starving myself. And I truly understand what the runner’s high and getting into the zone mean now.
“You’re unhappy because you don’t wear colors. Well bitch pull out the reds/blues/pinks/oranges in your closet. And for God’s sake wear all of that jewelry (both real and costume) that you have.” So I am. Taking more time to put together my outfits in the mornings to include accessories (which I love but don’t wear due to that whole drawing-attention-to-myself-due-to-low-self-esteem) and color. And I seem to always get compliments when I wear colors and my jewels.
“You feel as if your IQ is dropping because of your job. Well bitch read more when you are home. And log off social media.” Working on it!
And I cannot even mention the trash bags full of clothes that have been donated (WTF is the point of holding on to clothing that is too big and outdated??) and trash bags full of chotchkies that have been thrown away. I’m decluttering and purging my life. I feel as though I have been reborn. I only wish this would have happened in my 20s instead of at the age of 30 (old!!!!!!!!!), but at least it happened! The fierceness is about to be unleashed.
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.’ We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we’re liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. – Marianne Williamson
In my quest to become the best Janiece that I can possibly be, I’ve spent the past few months doing an honest assessment of myself, my choices, and my mental state to determine what has held me back in life, and what I need to do to get back on track to greatness.
The biggest issue holding me back is a severe lack of self-confidence and extremely low self-esteem. All my life I’ve wanted to become a doctor, but after I received my MPH I felt that maybe I am not good enough/smart enough to become an MD. So I’ve stopped trying and just reflected on “what could have been” while I wistfully look at all of my friends who have become MDs. Now that I am approaching 31, I’ve made peace with the possibility that that dream has vanished (I will touch more on this in a later blog).
It’s also played a major factor in my dating life (or lack thereof). You see, I’ve never been pretty. It was hard growing up surrounded by pretty girl after pretty girl in school, only to be the DUFF (designated ugly fat friend). This resulted in me not really caring about my appearance, because why focus on dressing well, wearing makeup, and keeping my hair done if my face is still not aesthetically pleasing? So I wore baggy clothes (sometimes faded; sometimes with holes; sometimes so baggy my panties would show), rarely got my hair done, and gained weight. A lot of weight. Nearly 50 pounds. What quality man do you know would want to date someone like that?!?! Truth is, I never felt worthy of the type of man that I desire (essentially an attractive male with personality characteristics similar to me).
Last year I got tired of being fat so I committed myself to making a change. I got serious about my workout routine and in addition to going to the gym, I joined a boot camp. I also made a conscience effort to improve my diet and started eating at home. Let’s rewind for a bit: When I moved to South Florida back in 2007, I was severely depressed. I had just wrapped up a fellowship at the CDC (which did not turn into a job for me, but for the other fellow), I was not in medical school, I was friendless (no family or friends down there), making only $42,000 annually, and FAT. Being too ashamed of myself to go to the beach or partake in the night scene, I stuck to a routine that consisted of work/fast food for lunch/work/fast food for dinner/watch television from 5:45 pm until I fell asleep. I am not exaggerating when I say this. On weekends I’d eat one meal and drink an entire pot of coffee. Looking back I probably should have jogged my fatass to the first shrink whose name I came across in the Yellow Pages. Needless to say, I was not practicing good public health, nor was I the model public health advocate. Fast forward to 2010, I started eating breakfast, working out consistently, and eating beautiful luscious salads at home. I was shedding the weight.
Last year I met a friend at the gym who has taught me some valuable lessons about self love (get your head out of the gutter!) and celebrating yourself. She is overweight but this bitch is FLY! I mean freaking diva. Everyday she steps out as if she is walking a red carpet and she serves it. Not just because all of her clothes and accessories are designer, but because they are fabulous. She asked me one day “You have such a great figure, why don’t you show it off? And I’m tired of you wearing black all the time!” She was right; black is a color I wear nearly every day because I don’t want to draw attention to myself by wearing turquoise, fuchsia, marigold, or any of the other bright colors that I long to wear. I feel like since I am not in the perfect body, wearing bright colors will only draw attention to the problem areas.
I’ve decided that since there is nothing I can do about my face (I’m too scared for plastic surgery!!), I’m going to focus my energy on being as physically fit as I possibly can. Every time I go to boot camp I try to push myself farther than I did the previous time. I am enjoying kayaking, hiking, and other activities I was too scared to do because of my size. I only have one life to life, and I’ve decided that I’d much rather be fat, jovial, and living life to the fullest than fat, depressed, and watching everyone live a wonderful life. Carpe diem!
…But not everybody is willing to share that story. Thanks to some encouraging words from a friend who has enjoyed my ramblings on Facebook lately (not sure if it was the political ramblings, the philosophical ramblings, or both), I’ve decided to take her advice and expand on my ramblings in a blog form. Expressing oneself through written word is one of the most freeing activities one can partake in. It is easy to lie to oneself (and thus the world) if your thoughts remained bottled up; it’s virtually impossible to lie once those words are put on paper. Having lies look back at you for even a few seconds is a haunting experience and essentially requires you to be honest from there on. It’s free therapy; sometimes the answer you were looking for was always inside of you; it just needed a vessel to escape from layers of hurt, shame, and confusion under which it was hiding. Hopefully these ramblings will inspire us all to dig a little deeper inside and not fear facing the truth that lies within.