Party On

So I did something kind of crazy the other day.

A walk on the wild side, if you will.

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And no, I’m not talking about downloading the Pokemon Go app.

Or starting a high stakes Bachelorette betting pool. #teamJordan #Don’tGetMeStartedOnChad

Nope.

Although I did do one of those things — but I’ll let you decide which:)

I canceled my flight back to NYC and decided to stay home for an extra week.

Ok ok, maybe a little anti-climactic. But it was a big deal for me.

Living in NYC is incredible. There are so many fun and slightly irresponsible things to do, and I have been blessed with a really great group of friends to do it with. And I love my job and pursuing my dreams, but…

…when I visit home, the time seems to go by in the blink of an eye. Faster than you can say “No soup for you!”

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And on the morning of my flight, I just couldn’t leave. We had to put my dog down the day before, and my mom had just found a lump in her breast and was awaiting the biopsy results. So I just couldn’t bring myself to leave. Not like this. Not yet.

So since I have the month of July off, and didn’t have to be back for rehearsals until the end of the month, I decided to stay.

I’ve always had a bit of an approach avoidance with home. There’s a constant back-and-forth between the good memories of growing up, and then the painful reminders of the days when I was in the throes of anorexia, as well as battling ugly Ulcerative Colitis flares. It seems like around every corner, there is a different setting or smell or person that will bring me right back to those places.

While I was home, my parents hosted a party.

I know. They’re party animals.

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But they had this planned for months. And the entire guest list consisted of my parents’ friends from our church that I have grown up knowing. Read: they watched me go through a lot of reaaally dark days. They’d see me every Sunday waste a way a little more each week, and would give my parents support – or their “professional” advice.

But needless to say, these people know my story. They’ve walked it with me, and with my family, praying for me along the way.

And to be honest, I really haven’t seen many of them since becoming healthy and reclaiming my life. Like I said, there are a lot of proverbial skeletons that I tend to associate with home, so I have avoided spending much time there.

So I was nervous having to see these people tonight.

What were they going to say? Were they going to make any insensitive remarks that will trigger me into a bad headspace? Are they going to think I’m a failure for not having a flashy job? Are they going to pity me? Judge me? What am I walking into? 

But I can honestly say it was an incredibly affirming night.

There’s something about being with people who truly know you. Who know your story. Know your family. Know the good and the bad not-so-good.

I was just blown away at the love in that room tonight.

Sure, maybe I had to dodge an insensitive comment made either ignorantly or just obliviously a couple times, but the fact is, these people truly care about me and love me and love my family. And they were genuinely happy to see that I’m healthy and living abundantly.

 

And I’m going to be honest, I was really surprised at how much fun I had. Well—maybe fun is pushing it…afterall, it was a party of my parents’ friends and I was the only person there under the age of 50…

Buuuut, I walked away from that evening feeling loved. Feeling encouraged. Feeling accepted. Feeling known.

And given that they knew all the crap from my past, it made that acceptance and love all the more meaningful. All the more affirming.

But I think, even more than those feelings, what I was really experiencing was a sense of peace.

Peace with my past.

Because that is the final step in the road to full and total recovery: when I can go back and not let the pain and shadows from my past dictate how I feel or where I go or who I talk to.

When I am at peace with the fact that, yes – I did go through those dark periods of time in my life, but they do not define who I am or what I am worth or what I can be.

It was a a defining moment that no longer defines me.


So who knows. Maybe that’s why I felt so compelled not to get on that flight.

Maybe I was supposed to have that positive encounter with all those people from my past. Make home feel more like home. More comfortable. More safe.

Maybe this was God’s way of facilitating an opportunity for me to finally make peace with my past.

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Just wanted to say a great big thank you to my Patreon supporters. I am so grateful for you!  If you haven’t already, I’d like to personally invite you to check it out for Podcasts and exclusive content!

Hugs and love xox

 

 

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beautybeyondbones

BBB: Because we're all recovering from something. // For speaking/business inquiries: beautybeyondbones@yahoo.com

200 thoughts on “Party On

  1. Gosh, you never fail to impress with both tenacity and grace. And faith. You’re sneaky, you know. Hiding a giant within, who would have known? Go, girl, go! You’re an inspiration.

      1. Oh, those hilarious pics….I never saw the bad news coming, you have a way of putting fun into sacrifice and suffering. A few hundred years ago, you would have been the paramount pioneer woman on the prairie.

      2. Thank you so much:) God is good. And I am grateful to Him for everything. I literally owe Him my life. Thanks for stopping by! Hugs and love xox

  2. Making peace with your past, sounds good to me. I had to laugh when you said you were the only one under 50. Just goes to show, people over 50 still know how to have a good time. Funny.

  3. Great post. I’ve found that going home is always a bit of give and take. Familiarity and distance. You nailed that mixture perfectly while still speaking about the grace and struggle that underlies it all. Thank you for sharing your journey.

  4. Beautiful post. I am sorry about your Mother’s news and having to say goodbye to your dog. It sounds like there was a lot going on throughout your visit home.
    That can be SO challenging especially when being home reminds you of a painful past. I am so glad that you were surrounded by love and stayed longer.
    I am sending you big hugs and keeping you in my prayers. Xoxoxo.

    1. Thanks for your kindness. Yeah it was a bit of a rough week. But God is good and I have to just trust him. Me too. Thanks for the prayers. Know that you are in mine too! Hugs and love xox

  5. Beautiful! I’ve been there… making peace with the past comes out of nowhere and feels good. So good that you listened to your inner voice and stayed.

  6. Happy to read that you got to spend time with your family. I always find that when my life gets too hectic, spending time with family helps me. It is also good to hear that you have finally made peace with your past. I hope that someday I will be able to do that. I am getting there but I know that it will take time. Thank you for sharing your story with us. I know that can be a hard thing to do but I was told that no matter how difficult your story may be sharing it can help and inspire others. Take care 🙂

  7. I’m still trying to make peace with parts of my past still and I’m nearly 40, so kudos to you lady! Once more, your post leaves me feeling inspired and hopeful. I’m so glad this trip home has been so wonderful and so beneficial. Being surrounded by loved ones can do wonders for the soul. ♡

    1. Haha so true! Meanwhile my friends are partying at all the hotspots in nyc😂 the change of scenery has been oh so nice:) thank you for that. I really appreciate it. Hugs and love xox

  8. Love this! I as well had a very checkered past in my 20s and remember coming back to my parents church after I cleaned up and was waiting for looks of judgement but it was all love.

    Also, I struggle with UC to so I know how that can be as bad as the Star Wars prequels some days 😜

    1. Haha oh gosh the Star Wars prequels. I personally do not know much about SW, but boy have I heard. Sorry to hear we have UC that connects us. Hope things are good. Hugs and love xox

  9. It’s wonderful to look back and see how far we’ve come. I’m glad you found peace and healing on your journey. May you always find the love that reminds you of home. Peace and blessings.

  10. Thanks for the “like”. I don’t get many, and wondered if you were learning Korean, or you liked knowing religious words in Korean. It is ironic to me, that God in Korean is 신 (sin) and priest is 신부 (sinbu). When you study languages, it can be a little dry,..so you take whatever novelty words offer.

    BTW, I read your today’s entry, and found it to be moving. I also like the way you format your writing with punctuation marks that support the narrative by controlling my reading tempo. Good job.

    1. Thanks Toussaint, I appreciate it! That’s so interesting about those Korean words! One of my good friends is Korean and I am fascinated by the beauty and intricacy of the language. Glad you stopped by! Hugs and love xox

  11. Oh sweet beauty…this post made me hopeful. Hopeful because I’ve done hard work over the last two years to come to terms with my past…to wrestle through the confusion and find the peace, and meanwhile have had my wonderful children on the same journey with their past(s). Such a difficult thing because it is, and has been, all at once crazy scary and hard yet incredibly affirming and beautiful. But the best part for us all has been we are free now. And it seems you are too. Such hugs to you!

    1. Oh I’m so glad:) that’s so great that you’ve been making peace. And that so true-that journey is allll of those thing. So glad you’ve found that freedom! Hugs and love xox

    1. Thanks friend:) isn’t it crazy how life unfolds in just the right time in the right way?! So glad you stopped by! Hugs and love xox (and sorry for the previous unfinished reply! Oops!!)

    1. Thanks so much! Aw that’s so kind of you to say. Sure! I’m from the Midwest! I may live in NYC, but home has my heart for sure. Thanks for reading! Hugs and love xox

      1. Got it. I thought about it, reading that post, and I realized I had no idea where you were from, or even if “home” was in the USA at all. I know on my blog I’ve mentioned which metropolitan area I’m in, but not the specific community or neighborhood within that metropolitan area.

        I’m headed home for a couple days myself, as soon as I’m done typing this. But for me it’s only a car trip of a little less than three hours. My parents and brother still live in the same house I grew up in. Mom and Dad have been in that house for 42 years.

      2. Wow that’s so awesome. Yeah I live in the same house I was born in too! That’s a rare thing these days. Have w wonderful time at home and safe travels!

  12. Its good to return to your hometown and make peace with it. I did that for a number of years when mom still lived in the house. I don’t do it now because she’s no longer in town (in a Nursing Facility about 40 mins west, near my sis who has power of etc…). But I used to go “home” and see places that had changed, and some that still hadn’t from when I was little. Its good to when you can. Guess where I’ll be this Saturday?? NYC on my annual one day bus trip!! Yeah, I know, you’ll still be outta town!! I hope you enjoy your time before you go back. xoxoxoxo

    1. Hey Miguel, thanks for sharing this. You’re right, home is a great great place to return to. Oh that’s awesome! I hope you have a terrific time. NYC is so fun this time of year! Safe travels! Sending big hugs xox

  13. Great post 🙂 Hanging around with people who know your past is never easy to do, but you handled with class and dignity and from what you say in the post, it sounds like you had a really great time and that is what matters 🙂 Anyway, keep up the great work as always 🙂

    1. Hey John! Oh thank you so much. You’re right, having people that know you is a beautiful this. It can be tough, but also very powerful. Thanks for stopping by! Hope you’re having a great night! Hugs and love xox

  14. I love when you said “Sure, maybe I had to dodge an insensitive comment made either ignorantly or just obliviously a couple times, but the fact is, these people truly care about me and love me and love my family.” Sometimes we want to shut people off for the little human things they do but at the end of the day it is so much healthier to view things that make us upset in this manner by looking towards all the good. Great post!

  15. I’m sorry to hear about your dog. That’s so hard. And, hopefully your mom is doing ok…

    I wish I could wrap words about how truly amazing you and your messages are. You shine, girl. Beyond beautiful, inside and out. I feel lucky to have crossed your path. So glad to hear all those folks embraced you, past and all. Bet that was an awesome feeling. 😊

    1. Hey Jessica! Thank you for your sympathy, I really appreciate it. And wow, what kind words. I am so touched. Truly. I’d so glad our paths crossed as well! I always am so encouraged by your comments and love “seeing” your name pop up in my feed. Grateful for you! Hugs and love xox

  16. You’re almost at the point where there will be a picture with all of you. 🙂 I see the incremental changes in your posted pics. Enjoy being home. There’s no place like it!

  17. I am incredibly happy for you and for the blessings that are being poured out on you.
    Thankyou for sharing your blessings, and epiphanie.

  18. Great post. I hope all goes well with your Mom. And, losing a fur baby is very difficult. I know! Your posts ring so true for me. My sister struggled with anorexia for a long time. It’s ALWAYS difficult for her to come home again for any get-together. You were AMAZINGLY courageous to attend that party. Kudos to you! and you’ll never regret the decision to spend more time with family. This is from an over-50 fan:)

    1. Thank you:) I really appreciate your sympathy. Yeah it was a rough past couple days. I’m sorry to hear that your sister struggled with anorexia. You’re right-family time is precious. Thanks for reading! Hugs and love xox

    1. Thanks Laura. That really means a lot. Praise God is right-he has delivered me from so much an facilitated my healing and for that I am forever grateful. Hugs and love xox

  19. Great post! Praying for your mom. God is in control. You are an inspiration. Hope you know that.

  20. I find Him speaking to me through people He places across my path. Or through events He allows to happen. And of course, through your inspiring blog.☺️ Christ’s peace and graces to you always! 💕

  21. I’m so proud of you for making peace with your past! I am praying for your mom. By the way, has anyone ever told you that you look like the singer Jewel? You’re so pretty just like her! ❤

    1. Thanks Emily! That’s so kind of you to say. And thank you for the prayers. I really appreciate that. Haha! No! I’ve never heard that before! But thank you!! ❤️ Hugs and love xox

  22. Great to hear that your past doesn’t define who you are rather it’s healing you. Your affirmations need to come from God not other people. Enjoy the month of July! <3

  23. This is amazing. I know how you feel – A lot of times when I’m with my parents and their friends, I’m definitely the youngest by many years. But, that’s okay! I find myself having a great time, and learning more about myself and those in the room. I cherish gatherings like this. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Thanks Laura Beth. I do too-there’s so much to be learned from other people – especial a room full of people who have all been where you’ve been! Thanks for your kind reflection! Hugs and love xox

  24. What a great testimony of how God can create new, healthy associations with a place or situation that previously had negative ones! That was a real breakthrough, Ana. I’m so happy for you and the spiritual/personal growth you’re enjoying!

    Vanessa❣

    1. Hey Vanessa! Thank you so much. Yes God is good and he can even turn situations around! Thanks for your constant encouragement. It really means a lot. Hugs and love xox

  25. So glad you had that experience! I believe God truly did want you to stay if only to find more peace and healing. Home beings both good and bad memories for me also, but thank God it’s just our temporary home.praying for you and your mother, that there isn’t anything seriously wrong and that she will be healed. God bless!

  26. I love your post. sorry about your dog and I hope your mum is okay. I have a quote I think you will like “F.E.A.R has 2 meanings Face Everything And Rise or Forget Everything And Run the choice is yours” I think you have taken the first option.

  27. Hi BBB…Home is an incredibly important theme in scripture. We all long for a “place” of unconditional love. Isn’t that where we feel safest? Isn’t that what the Lord wants to provide for His children in Him. So many are hurting because they are looking or longing for a safe “home” that doesn’t exist… or others where home is very unpredictable. Isn’t it awesome to know that in Christ we have a “home” of unconditional acceptance and love that we can run to no matter where we find ourselves?! Blessings kiddo…love your thoughts and having a window into your world. Interesting place 🙂

    1. Hi Tom, thanks for this. You’re so right-home is so important and is a huge theme in scripture. It is so awesome to know and have a home in Christ. Amen to that. Thanks for reading! Hugs and love xox

      1. Btw…that is very cool about what you experienced at home with family. A slice of what Heaven will be like…surrounded by people who love us for who we are! Blessings!

  28. Your description of “…feeling loved. Feeling encouraged. Feeling accepted. Feeling known…God’s way of facilitating an opportunity for me to finally make peace with my past” strikes me as not only a defining existential moment, but also a definition of a beatific mountain-top experience of transfiguration. Marvelously miraculous!

    1. Thank you so much Paul. You’re right-God works in mysterious way. I definitely don’t doubt that He played a hand in this! Thanks for stopping by! Hugs and love xox

      1. it hit 86 here where I live in the uk in my language that’s 30`C and that’s not typical british weather as im sure you have heard haha. the most I can deal with is 19`C, thankfully only got a bit sun burnt

  29. Aww …yes …this resonates with me …although slightly different …I too left my ‘home area’ when I was young ….kind of felt I needed to break the bond …and don’t get me wrong …I’m glad I did really …saw some amazing places and met some amazing people …but guess where I am now?
    You guessed it ….I eventually came back …..in my teens I had some RIGHT battles with my father …the ‘rebel child’ if you will ….being a parent of a teenager myself I now KNOW he was just trying to protect me …just doing his best. My father passed away some years ago now …he was DEFINATELY ‘the head of the family’ ….the anchor and a very ‘proud’ man ….I was the only one who would stand up to his ‘stubbornness’ when he became ill ….during that last year of his life we became very close …really got to know each other …as equals …as adults …as friends …and it turned out the acorn did not fall too far from the tree when I got to know about his own youth …yes …making peace with your past ….myself and my father certainly made peace AND some during that year …it was a beautiful time ….bless you as ever lady …you are a star that shines out across the Bloggosphere:)

    1. Hi Fijay, thank you for this beautiful comment. Wow. I am so glad you and your father were able to grow close. I’m sorry that he has passed, but praise God that you had that special time together. I’m sure he really enjoyed that time too:) thanks for your wonderful encouragement. I can always count on you to be a bright spot in my day! ☺️ Hugs and love xox

  30. You did a tough thing and it took a lot of guts, facing your past like that. and my prayers for your mom. A lot of people spend their lives running from their past and it forever leaves an emptiness inside of them. Plus once you start running, its hard to stop. All those people who knew the old you, now get to see the new you. The healed you, And when you leave to go back to NYC they will keep that memory. Proof to them that people can change and grow.

    Another week away from the city might make you appreciate it even more than you already do.

    1. Thank you friend:) you’re right-I think it will give me an appreciation for both home and city. And how true is that, once you start running, it’s a marathon. Thank you for this kind comment. I can’t tell you how much your words have touched my heart this afternoon. Hugs and love xox

      1. My pleasure and I do hope all goes well for your mother. It was also sad to read of the loss of your dog who I’m sure was a loved companion. It was this dual blow followed by such an uplifting message that really made your post an inspiration. 😀

  31. Beautiful recognizes beautiful – so happy to hear your time was affirming!! Thank you for sharing your struggle. We are overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony!

  32. I really appreciate this post. Thank you for documenting your victory over your “skeletons” and your triumph of the day. I was right here, here as in where you were in that post and I’m grateful for insight or foresight to what God can and will do. That is, give peace and restore. So thank you! God bless and keep you always!

  33. Loved this blog and so happy for where you are and excited about where life continues to take you…as God as your driver. God bless you!

  34. Thank you so much for sharing this. It was something that I needed to hear and I’m glad to know that you had such a good experience.

  35. I’m glad to read that your recovery continues as you reconcile with that part of your past. It’s great that you finally allowed yourself to feel the love back home.

    Have you ever watched another actor visibly struggling on stage? We both know how we’ll sit in the audience, wince, but also be wishing and praying that they get back on track. The actor thinks the audience MUST be hating her. They don’t, they never do. They feel for you and want you to get back on track. They were in their seats, silently wishing, praying, and struggling with you as your family’s scene played out.

    How great for you to find that they were with you all along! Along with more friends, and now readers who have followed you all along. Blessings and prayers to you!

    1. Hi Jeffrey! Your words are always such a breath of fresh air. Thank you. I know that exact feeling on stage. You’re right, I have been blessed with many friends-new and old-that support and want the best for me. What a truly wonderful thing that is. God is good. Sending big hugs xox

  36. Sometimes we gotta do what’s best for us. Only when your ready. Your right about one thing people really know how to rip off the bandaid. What was your defining moment? (The moment you decided you wanted to change)

    1. Thanks for this Rareity. You’re right-we’ve gotta do what’s best for us. Self advocate. That’s hard to say. There were a lot of little things. This was the final push. Hugs and love xox

  37. Good to be grounded in the heart of a loving family – I’m sure it was God’s plan to make it happen! Prayers for your Mum and sad loss of your dog too…

  38. 🙂 Reading through this whole posting of yours, reminds me of two things of what God can do and what He cares about–but your posting reminds me both of Moses and Joseph. Joseph because God used his unhappy circumstances from his past to grow him and turn him into a leader and a savior of nations–specifically that of his father’s. This reminds me of Moses because he was told, by God, to return to a place that would most likely do him great harm–God told Moses to go and face down those who would make a mockery of God and hurt His people.

    In either person’s life–God used their path to forge them into great people of FAITH. It’s tough turning around and facing your past, because your past does contain a lot of hurts–some hurts are greater for some people, so it’s harder for them to face them. And because of our hurts, our sins, we think that God doesn’t want any part of us–but in those situations we have to be like Isaiah in Isaiah 6: falling before God, saying we’re unworthy, and God lets his forgiveness flow freely. We are men and women with unclean lips and lives, but God takes those away so we can stand before others ready to do God’s work.

    In short, if you remember The Lion King….Well, just watch the clip.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6O977u-cREs

    You may think me lame for bringing that up, but hey! It’s from my childhood!

    1. Thank you so much for this beautiful reflection. You’re so right-how amazing is His Forgiveness that truly does flow freely. And yes!! I love he lion king! Hakuna matata!!

      1. You’re very welcome 🙂 It’s always good to just remember that if God is for us, who can be against us? Have a great weekend! Praying you get refreshed for the new week!

  39. This is beautiful! Everything you write is–I love it! YOU’RE beautiful, girlfriend!
    Every time I get the opportunity to catch up on your posts I feel so… understood? understanding? able to relate… like a lot? I’m not quiet sure, but your words and heart are so, so beautiful. Keep writing, my friend. I aspire to one day have the ability to produce posts as beautiful as your own!
    Hugs,
    Savannah

    1. Hey Savannah! Oh my gosh thank you so much:) it seriously warms my heart so much to know that you’ve been enjoying my post and get something out of them:) that makes me so happy. Sending you the biggest hugs and love! Have a beautiful Sunday! Xox

  40. You certainly have fun posts with the gifs etc. But it is fun beyond the smile. Fun beyond the “my life is perfect I am having fun crowd” Fun with meaning

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