I told myself I would build a new life in New Hampshire and that’s what I plan to do.
I left Oregon in a hurry, and vowed I’d never move back. The problem was I didn’t leave with the intention of going somewhere, I left with the intention of getting away from somewhere. I was haunted by demons of my past. But in running away all I did was take them with me. I didn’t think and rationalize what would be a good place for me to go, I simply took the first opportunity I could to get out.
I was outcasted, labeled, and judged many times in my life in Oregon. I couldn’t seem to shake my reputation no matter what I did. I believed I was garbage, worthy of being walked on. I thought the only solution was to start over somewhere new.
But I got to Tulsa and nothing had changed. I still felt the rejection and judgment. I had a horrible time making friends. It took nearly a year to trust a few people enough to consider them friends.
In that friendless year, I turned to my only comfort…food. Food and hiking had always been my two coping mechanisms. With no car and no good hiking trails for miles, I was left alone with food. With that came about 100lbs.
I had a horrible self confidence, in any crowd I told myself I didn’t belong. The picture above I now look at and see as a great pic of me. But I remember when the group photo was being taken in July 2013 in Africa, I was thinking how I was the one ugly person ruining the photo.
About a month after my return from Africa is when things really began to change. I discovered change comes from within. I truly began to see how the condition of the heart matters more than appearance. I was doing great things, and people admired me, but I couldn’t see it, because the inside of me hated myself and therefore believed everyone else hated me as well.
In August 2013 I began working with violent teens. This job forced me to grow a backbone. I had to raise my self confidence in order to stay alive. These kids were so good at spotting peoples weaknesses and pouncing on it. I had to learn to stand up for myself and demand respect. The job changed me so much. I became outspoken, I became disciplined, I became confident. I became myself.
Between one to two years ago I began applying my professional skills to my personal life. I required an equal respect in all my relationships, and cut ties with those who wouldn’t honor that. I began to think about what I wanted for myself, and not just what would impress others. I knew then….I wanted OUT of Oklahoma! Bugs, humidity, trashy rednecks, tornadoes, and earthquakes were not my cup of tea.
My next step was to decide where I wanted to go if not Oklahoma. By that time I had discovered and fallen in love with New Hampshire. I made that my end goal. Here I am.
I am very happy with my life now. I live in a beautiful state. I make a very good income. I have good friends and family, although they are all far away, and I have a new set of good life skills to make new friends here.
There’s just one thing I’m still unhappy with. That 100lbs I’ve gained. I’m unhappy not being able to find clothes that fit. I’m unhappy getting tired going up one flight of stairs. I’m unhappy always having back pain. I’m unhappy not fitting in most chairs.
But that’s all about to change. This year I’ve decided to change my diet and change my exercise habits. I’m learning to tell myself no to food. I’m learning to cook. I’m learning to get exercise in everyday. I’ve quit caffeine and am learning to not be dependent on it for energy.
In Oregon there was one thing in my life I was happy with, and that was my weight. Oklahoma helped me shed my many issues, but the consequence of facing the skeletons in my closet, was gaining a lot of weight.
In New Hampshire I hope to shed that one last issue. I will learn to not turn to food for comfort! Hiking trails here I come!