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Life Lately

trigger warning: anxiety, depression, body image, complaining As I'm writing this, it's an early Monday morning. The sun hasn't come up yet and I'm curled up in my living room with a big cup of coffee. My apartment is quiet and the day has barely started. From my window I can see the twinkling lights of buildings in Long Island City, their reflections twinkling in the water of the East River.

Things are quiet for a few moments before the world begins to wake. Things are good.

It's starting to get cold outside, summers hazy, late nights slowly fading into a crisp and cool fall. Fall is my favorite of all the seasons, something about it is just a little cozier than the others.

As I look around, my apartment is a bit messier than I would like it to be. Throw pillows are strewn about from watching TV on the couch. Shoes are abandoned by the door from the night before. I need to go grocery shopping and unload the dishwasher. If I don't unpack the to-do list swirling around in my head the anxiety building in my chest might get the best of me this morning. Things are a balancing act.

But for the most part, things are really good. It's difficult for me to reflect on the last two years essentially with COVID and how much things have changed. I hesitate to every complain or be reflective, knowing that there were so many people that had an experience much more difficult than mine. I feel like I can do that and acknowledge the reality of the last 20+ months. There have been so many moments the last 18 months that were so high. Matt and I got engaged in October 2020 and started planning a wedding. I hit a few career milestones I am so proud of. We live in a beautiful apartment in our dream city. Our families are healthy. Things are good.

Yet, this year has brought me some low-lows. I've dealt with a good amount of anxiety, especially in the latter half of 2020. There were some days that I really struggled to get out of bed let alone be productive. Panic attacks came all too often. I lost a lot of my spark. I've struggled a lot with body image. I'm doing better now. I made some changes in my life, saying goodbye to people and things in a way that was incredibly difficult, but also incredibly necessary. I started writing again, the impetus of this blog, which gave me an outlet and creative vessel that I can channel my energy into. It helped me connect with more people at a time where I've felt lonely. I've started to do things that make me feel like me again. I know: wild theory here. Make time for yourself. But I've started to try to be really thoughtful about it. I take the time to plan out my grocery lists and cook a ton of food on Mondays to meal prep for the week ahead. A bad habit of mine is to work myself into a tizzy that I skip lunch, end up starving and tired after 4 pm and indulge a bit too much at dinner. I'm working to break that cycle. I started using moisturizer after I take a shower. Again, I know, groundbreaking stuff here. But I'm working on taking those few extra moments from what's necessary to what feels good and is good for my body. I've come a long way from answering emails in the shower like I did in March of this year. Baby steps.

I've made it a habit to start to move my body everyday. It might only be for 10 minutes, but keeping the routine and keeping the promise to myself is good for my mental health and the way I view my body. When we got engaged, I suddenly had an incessant goal to make it my goal to lose 15 pounds before the wedding. I lost about half and then started to yo-yo the last 7. Some days I'd be within a few pounds, others I'd be a bit further away. I started weighing myself every day, sometimes multiple times. Every time, it would determine my mood for the rest of the day. I've struggled with body image and disordered eating for more than a decade of my life, but yet I've never been as self-critical as I was last year. I'm not sure if it was the self-inflicted pressure of feeling like I have to look my absolute best for my wedding or just having to take the time to actually sit with myself that brought this on. Maybe it was both. I'm working on giving myself grace. I'm working on deconstructing these beliefs and reframing my focus. I'm working on not seeing food or workouts as reward or punishment. I'm working on being nicer to myself and believing I deserve that kindness. Baby steps. The last 20+ months have had some high highs and some low lows and as I sit here and reflect on them with you, looking out my window at this view that I've dreamed about for so long, I remember again how long I've waited for this moment. These are the moments that ground me. When I take the time to put all my anxieties, fears, criticisms, and overthinking to the side and just be here. Be present. I want to be thankful for the days I pulled myself out of bed. For the days I worked when I needed to and gave myself space when I needed rest. I'm grateful for the days I didn't hold my body hostage from some version of myself that I created in my head. I'm grateful for the times I picked myself up. When others picked me up. When slowly, I just kept going.

And now, looking around at my apartment in its aftermath of a late-night anniversary dinner out, I feel really grateful. I feel grateful for getting through these every day moments, the one's that seemed so big and overwhelming. I'm grateful for the small moments, the one's

But for the most part, things are really good. I try to take in the moments that I sometimes don't remember and overlook. I'm grateful to have the privilege of having a body that can carry me through this life, to have a job I am so passionate about, to live in the city I love so much, to be getting married, for the people in my life that make this life so special...In the moments of overwhelm, I try to take a moment to remind myself of that.

To remind myself that I'm still kicking.

Long story short, I survived. Your internet BFF, kylee



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