September 13, 2011


Last night, I roasted a chicken in exchange for my second driving lesson with Justin. Successes on two counts - the driving went really well, and the chicken came out perfectly.

We talked a lot, both during dinner and afterwards when he drove us to a neighboring town to go to the Super Target (our smaller local one didn't have fly paper, and there are two flies in his apartment that are driving him crazy).

The conversations were pretty heavy, mostly related to a story I promise to tell as soon as I find the most articulate way to write about it. Eventually, the discussion turned to my self-consciousness. I had told him a couple weeks ago about my weight loss, and he asks a lot of questions - nothing too prying, but mostly out of curiosity. He has seen the way I nervously eat when I'm in front of other people. He has seen and asked about my binge jar. And he saw my before picture on my fridge.

You're beautiful, you know. I know you're recovering from a time when you didn't believe it, but it's true.

And I bit my lip, said thank you, folded my arms, and kept walking through the store.

I'm just not used to hearing things like that.

We walked up one aisle and down the next, and found out the store didn't carry fly paper at all. There was a Wal-Mart next door, so we walked over, and kept talking.

One topic lead to another, and I told him all about Bobby. And I told him about the beginning of the summer with Matt, and the way everything unfolded with the California job offer, and the morning in the prairie. I told him, essentially, the story of my summer. And maybe it's because he's a counselor in the university's wellness center, but it felt good to have someone listen intently to me while I talk about what's been weighing so heavily on my heart.

That's quite a love story, he said. And I agreed.

He said, Well, I certainly believe in love at first sight, even love after four dates. And I agreed with that too.

Then he gave me a big hug in the parking lot of a Super Target in the middle of nowhere, central California. It felt so good to connect with someone. And I felt less alone.

He found his fly paper, and also got a blender, Greek yogurt, and frozen berries. I bought a TV and a little table to put it on, and we went back to my place for smoothies and an episode of "30 Rock," which he has never seen before. I hadn't planned on the smoothie (and I had already put in my food for the day on MyFitnessPal), but I'm okay with that. I can't plan every moment of my life, and I can't get upset or freak out when things don't go exactly as I anticipate. Part of living a healthy and balanced life is knowing when to get worked up over things. A half a cup-full of blended yogurt and cherries is not one of those cases.

I'm two days binge-free. I'm on top of my work. I have one friend. And I get to see my bien-aimé in ten days. Things are coming back together. I'm staying in control, focusing on one moment at a time. It all feels so good.

Mostly related, and certainly inspirational: a great quote from Dean Karnazes, an ultramarathoner.

"Most people never get there. They're afraid or unwilling to demand enough of themselves and take the easy road, the path of least resistance. But struggling and suffering, as I now saw it, were the essence of a life worth living. If you're not pushing yourself beyond the comfort zone, if you're not constantly demanding more from yourself - expanding and learning as you go - you're choosing a numb existence. You're denying yourself an extraordinary trip."


financecupcake said...

LOVE IT!!! I am so glad to hear you found someone with whom you can share your past. I am so glad you have a real friend over there! He sounds great. :)

Also, you are beautiful.

CarolineCalcote said...

Ah, that is an awesome quote. So glad you have made a friend!

Joy said...

So glad you are doing well with the driving!!!! Love the quote ~ Inspired me to quit reading blogs and get on my treadmill!! See you!!

Keep focused!

Karla said...

Glad you had a nice day, you sounded so down

Caron said...

You are sounding very positive and that is good. I was almost 21 before I learned to drive. Love the quote. :)

Jessica said...

Glad things are looking up :)

Shannon said...

I'm glad you seem to be feeling better, Mary! And I love the quote - it really touched me. I'm going to print it - thanks!

Chubby McGee said...

"You're beautiful, you know. I know you're recovering from a time when you didn't believe it, but it's true." Your buddy sounds amazing. I loved reading this. Made me grin like a fool.

Christie Farrar said...

What a great quote! glad that your friend isn't trying to get in your pants (which was where I thought this post was going!) and now you have a real friend.

let's hope things continue to look up for you!

Amy said...

I absolutely LOVE that quote. It's like the mantra to my life. And since I feel like you're a few steps ahead in the love story I'm hoping for on my end... it's fun to read about.

I'm dying to know if you edited out your sentence... is it the love at first sight thing?

Jen said...

You are such an inspiration to me. Thank you for blogging Mary.

Tim said...

Good luck with the driving! I love the deal you guys do where you cook in exchange for lessons. If only it was like that for everything we did!

Hyla said...


Anonymous said...

I'm not a regular reader, so was a bit lost, BUT, I do love, love, love that you ended this post with a Dean quote. He is a man of wise words.
Your hug in the parking lot is really sweet!