Dear 24 year old-August of 2013-Liz,
It has been precisely one year since wrote that blog post. That blog post was the beginning. The beginning of you understanding that you needed to change your life. And you have. Your life has changed 100% since then.
To break you in easily, I will start with work.
You finally left that job. It was inevitable, and I think you always knew that. You resigned when you obtained a position in uptown Charlotte for a real estate company. You put a deposit on a brand new apartment that was only a block away from your new job. You are going to be able to walk to work, and not have to worry about gas or parking, plus get to experience uptown life. You were really, really excited.
Except it did not happen that way.
You were starting this new job on a Tuesday, and the weekend before, you stayed at papa and grandma's. You and grandma were going to spend the day together shopping on Sunday to find you the perfect wardrobe for your new position. Ten minutes after you and grandma left to go shopping, your cell phone rings. It's the president of the company. Your job offer was rescinded due to budget cuts and immediate staffing changes the company had to implement.
With a 3 minute telephone call, you became unemployed, lost that brand new apartment, and had to start from scratch without any certainty regarding the direction you were going in.
But that's okay. You are a survivor and you can get through anything. You always have and you will always will. That was just a warm-up for what was to come, anyway.
You cried and sulked that afternoon, then hit the ground running. You sent your resume to over 300 places; even if they weren't hiring. It quickly paid off. The next Monday you had an interview with a man named John at successful company in the Ballantyne Corporate Park (your favorite place!). You clicked with him instantly and he even made the comment that he liked your spunk. He offered you the job Wednesday and you started Friday. The best part? It pays quite a bit more than the job you initially received and provides full benefits and 401k.
You love your job and feel like you were meant to be there. Looking back, receiving that telephone call that the other job fell through was the best thing to happen to you. Your boss believes in you, gives you immense creative freedom, and provides just enough direction for you to grow, but still be independent. You work long, hard hours, you are constantly interrupted all day everyday while doing your work, always get thrown into meetings, you plan events and office functions constantly, and multitasking has never been so chaotic. You love every minute of it though.
You find another apartment. You move back to the apartment complex that you lived in when you rented your very first apartment. It's 2 miles away from your job and the 5 minute commute every morning is wonderful. Because of your financial situation you are able to get a spacious one-bedroom apartment that is almost 900 square feet! Since you are back at that apartment complex, you join LA Fitness again and your apartment building happens to be right beside of it. You and Kel are back to your old routine of training together everyday after work.
You're home, Liz. You are home. Remember when you had to abruptly change your life at the end of 2012 and everything was just a freaking mess? Well, 2013 is a mess too. You know that by now. It calms down, though. You are back in the Ballantyne area; your favorite place to be. The only place that has ever felt like home.
Where does all of this leave your relationship though?
You are not with him anymore. And I wish I could tell you that you let go and never look back, but you don't. You never will. You love him far too much for it to ever be that easy; whether he deserves it or not. You knew you needed to leave though. You did not want too, but you had too. You are brave for that. That will happen November 1st. It's going to be hard. You are going to cry yourself to sleep so many nights. You are going to lie awake in bed and ache for his presence. You are going to doubt your decisions. You are going to have panic attacks. You're going to go through a dark period of depression. Nothing and no one can take that pain away. You are just going to have to be strong and pull through. Allow yourself to hurt and accept the pain so you can move on.
You don't stop loving him and you never will. You know how you are. Tomorrow you are going to love him just as much as you do today. He was such a paramount part of your life; but for once you are going to love yourself more. You will have a lot of twists, turns, ups, and downs over this, but you keep going. You pray, you work hard, and you keep faith and hope alive in your heart. That is all you can do when it comes to that.
Surprisingly, the breakup is not the hardest part though. Your weight is.
You have had a rough year... and your body and health have been through a lot. This caused you to gain a lot of weight. Your job situation and relationship just added to the cause. You let yourself go, Liz. You always knew what you were doing to yourself, but you were so mentally exhausted that you did not care. You still have a few more months of gaining weight until you realize this though.
Are you ready? You are going to weigh 262 pounds before you change your life.
November 25th, 2013 is a Monday; Dad's birthday (he is still hanging on, by the way). You will go to work at your fabulous new job and have a doctors appointment at 6PM for your annual physical. To kill time before your appointment, you go to Target to purchase some new clothes for work. However, nothing fits. Even a size 18 does not fit. Can you believe that? A size 18 does not fit you anymore. That is how bad it gets. You are going to break down in the dressing room, a Target employee is going to check on you, and then out of embarrassment you are going to run out of the store. Going to your doctors appointment and seeing the number on the scale right after this incident is just the icing on the cake. Thank God it was enough to push you over the edge and make you change your life.
Girl, you do it too! You have done it before and you can do it again. Except this time, you work even harder! You dig even deeper within yourself and face your inner demons head on. What is even better is that you write about it. You open yourself up and share your struggles and problems, even though they are embarrassing. That is because you are confident but humble, and it is important for you to do this to help other people. You have stuck with your blog, and made so many amazing friends. That makes it even more important to be a positive guide for someone who is roaming through the darkness that engulfed you for so long.
You love to write and you dream of that being your career. You did not want to die a dreamer, and you still don't. The difference is now you work harder than you ever have. You are down 63 pounds and have only 25 more to go. You blog at least 5 times a week. You are also well into your first book. It is not the mafia series you want to do, though. You need to dedicate much more time to research for that series. The book you are working on now is much more appropriate for you to be writing. You are healing through writing this book. Your hope is for this book is to inspire and give hope to people all across the world. There is also someone interested in being your agent and publishing companies that you have been talking too. You are being cautious though. You want this done right because it could set the foundation for the future. Keep taking your time and educating yourself. Knowledge is power. And when it comes to something like this, you need as much power as you can obtain.
Thus far 2014 has been the biggest year of your entire life. You have grown so much as a woman and as an adult. It is going to be loneliest year for you too, but you need it. You need to give up some of your social life for once and stop being so caught up in the "now". If you don't want to die a dreamer, you have to put in the work. Extraordinary dreams and goals require extraordinary effort and dedication. You are going to have to remind yourself of that almost everyday, because you do get exhausted. But keep trying. Push yourself to do the best you can every single day. That way, if you do die a dreamer, at least you tried.
I always hear the quote "You do not know how strong you are until it is the only choice you have". I disagree with that. I believe that "You don't know how strong you are until you have every reason to give up and be defeated, but you don't." You keep fighting and you keep trying. That is strength, and right now, a year later, you are fighting and trying every single day of your life.
Lastly, I want to let you know that at the end of May you are going to cut 5 inches from your hair. It is going to suck.
Oh and Robin Williams died last week. It was heartbreaking.
25 year old-August of 2014-Liz