While I was out for a walk the other morning, I was having some great dialogue with myself, in a British accent, of course. It’s the strangest thing, but my British self is by far the cleverer version of the two of us. It’s something about the way she says things. So, as you read on, I ask that you do so in your own clever accent. I do believe it will give this message a greater impact, and if not, at least you’ll have more fun reading it.
Accent’s ready? Here we go…
While I was out on my walk, I was thinking about imagination and how that connects with the way we pursue our dreams. From there I happily took a rabbit trail, where I happened upon a convincing argument to suggest that I may be indirectly related to Anne Shirley, my fictional likeness. And then my thoughts moved to the business of growing up and how it would seem imagination gets repressed, and dreams become shaped by popularity rather than originality.
Then I started to think about what all of this has looked like for me. How did I go from being a child with a wildly active imagination, to a teenager—painfully concerned with pleasing people, to a passionate young adult craving a life that would connect purpose with creativity, to a successful entrepreneur desperately seeking approval while contending with comparison?
What happened? And is it possible get her back, that little dreamer girl with a head full of beautiful, magical, nonsensical ideas?
British Candice so eloquently answered all of my questions with this one idea, exercise & junk food.
Of course! (I told you she’s clever). It makes perfect sense.
You really want to know what happened to the little dreamer girl, turned defeatist and what in the world that has to do with exercise and junk food?
Allow me to paint the picture, starting with junk food.
Junk food: noun: food that has low nutritional value, typically produced in the form of packaged snacks needing little or no preparation
-Food that is high in calories but low in nutritional content
-Something that is appealing or enjoyable but of little or no real value
In summary, junk food is fast, easy, convenient and enjoyable, but has no real value.
When I eat junk food, I’m typically looking for a quick fix. It could be as simple as boredom, a pick-me-up from a crummy day, or just one of those womanly cravings that only chocolate-coated candy can resolve. When I give into my cravings, the sugar addiction kicks in, begging for more… I could eat until I was sick, and still never feel perfectly satisfied. After a good junk food binge, I’m typically left feeling tired, guilty and lethargic. So what do I do to get myself feeling motivated and energized? I treat myself to a little something sweet. And the cycle goes on and on, a perpetual case of makeshift satisfaction.
Now let’s look at exercise: noun: physical activity that is done in order to become stronger and healthier
-A maneuver, operation, or drill carried out for training and discipline
-Something performed or practiced in order to develop, improve, or display a specific capability or skill
-Bodily exertion for the sake of developing and maintaining physical fitness
In summary, exercise is HARD, and requires discipline, self-control and time. But, it improves you and adds value to your life.
I exercise because I know it improves my quality of living. From fresh air, to endorphins, to the physical benefits of a healthy body, exercise brings me to life. I need it and I crave it. And when I don’t prioritize exercise, I feel the weight of its absence (both physically and metaphorically).
Now lets go back to the lost dreamer and piece this all together.
Exercise is a representation of my ideals—the things I live for, believe in, and pursue on a daily basis. And social media is like junk food—something I crave/turn to for immediate gratification, yet I’m never truly satisfied.
And just like that, it occurred to me that I’ve been trying to exercise my ideal life on a social media diet.
Here’s an illustration: If I exercise while living on a junk food diet, it allows me to entertain my craving without facing the probable outer consequences (weight gain). HOWEVER, it also keeps me from obtaining the full potential of my efforts.
It’s a “look good on the outside, because no one can see the inside” approach. But I feel it on the inside. It’s like a drug that infiltrates my mind and body and manifests in the form of exhaustion, depression, and self-doubt. And the longer I let it metastasize, the harder it gets to keep it from showing on the outside.
Now just imagine putting your life dreams in the place of exercise and social media in the place of junk food. Do you see the connection here?
The obvious solution—Candice, cut out the junk food!
I’ve spent YEARS (metaphorically) exercising on a junk food diet, and it is exhausting, debilitating, and decidedly not good for me. And just as soon as I made the decision to quit social media, I felt a surge of unexplainable energy. (You can read about that here). And now it all makes perfect sense.
So thank you, British Candice for your clever accent and savvy metaphor. I look forward to many more walks and future dialogue in the peaceful absence of social media.
And to the daring readers of this blog who might be concerned with the idea that I’ve resorted to talking to myself, I assure you, I haven’t lost my mind. I’ve simply found it, and I plan to spend this next year rediscovering all the curious dreams and nonsensical ideas that are running wild.
I sincerely hope you’ll join me! And please, please, please, leave any thoughts, questions, or comments below! I’d love to hear what’s going on in your mind/heart too!