Here I am. It's Saturday afternoon and I am sitting down at the table of a crowded coffee shop in downtown Manhattan. I'm staring at my laptop screen, imploring the creative ideas to flow. Nothing comes up. I look at the white ceramic mug containing my soy chai tea latte, it says "THINK" on it. How ironic. How could I think when some old nasty fear is paying me a visit?
I'm going to be honest with you, I am scared to death to write this piece. But the thing is, I already wrote my title and it says that I became fearless. So now I have to be brave and look at my fear in the face. I could change that title. Or I could tell the Huffington Post that actually, I'm not feeling like doing this anymore. But I won't. I really became fearless indeed.
Being fearless, unlike what most of people think, doesn't mean that you don't have any fears or that you are never scared. You can call yourself fearless when you find the courage and the inner strenght to welcome your fears with open arms and tell them to bring it on! And this is what I am doing right now. See, I am having a lot of doubts about this piece. I wonder if it's going to be good enough, if you are going to like or if I am going to make a total fool of myself. I'm letting myself be seen as I am. I'm putting my work out there for you to judge, I'm being vulnerable, I'm being human.
Being human is scary. When you remove the walls between you and the outside world, when you let everyone see who you truly are, you have no idea about what the outcome will be. Some people will love you, some won't and you will let some others indifferent. It's rough because you have to accept that not everyone can love you. You have to be ready to feel welcomed or rejected. And the challenge is huge when you're opening your heart.
Fears are part of living your life. If you don't face them, you're simply not living. You're just numbing your way through life. I used to do that a lot. I did that for the past ten years, actually. My way of copping with fears was food. That's the go-to quick and easy fear fix for most of people. Because food is always available. Food can't hurt you. Food can't let you down. So when everyone around you has given up, when you are too ashamed to reveal your true self, reach out and ask for help, all that's left is food. Or alcohol. Or cigarettes, shopping, sex, drugs... You choose your addiction.
I was addicted to food.
I spent literally every day of high school, college and my early professional career thinking about what I would eat next or what I should have not eaten. Counting calories. Obssessing over the numbers on the scale. Comparing my tights to the girl's running on the threadmill next to me. Purging. Bingeing. And purging again. No one knew about it; it was my darkest secret and it was ironically eating me from the inside. Until that night when I reached a breaking point. It was the weekend of Halloween, my favorite holiday. But I wasn't in the mood to party. I had spent the last three days locked in my apartment, avoiding the outside world and surviving off of multiple fast food deliveries, Oreos, M&Ms, Cheerios, fat free milk ( yes, fat free milk! I also drank Diet Coke!) and Netflix movies. I felt fat, I felt ugly, I felt like I didn't belonged to this world anymore. Curled up in my bed, I cried like I had never cried before. I cried because I was lonely, I cried because I felt so unloved and empty, I cried because I was wasting my life, I cried because I was scared. I cried because for the first time in my life, I was feeling. And feeling felt so unfamiliar that I wished to die.
Balancing on the edge of death, a miracle happened. When I woke up the next morning something had shifted in me. Somehow I knew that nothing will be the same again. I had finally let all my uncounscious fears come in, felt them intensly and let them go. Without even knowing it, I had killed my demons. After that episode, I started to make some huge changes in my life. I began with cleaning my entire apartment, removing all the crap from my past, throwing away books, clothes, unhealthy foods, pretty much anything that would remind me of the dark days. Then, I cleaned up my relationships. I reached out to everyone I knew, telling them about my eating disorder and that from now on I was going to rise to the top and never look back. I surrounded myself with the best friends you can have (guys, if you're reading this I love you!) and strenghten my relationship with each one of them. Next, I commited to practice yoga at least five times a week and meditate every day. Surprisingly, in less than three months, my food addiction vanished and I reached my ideal weight without even thinking about it.
My life purpose came naturally to me right after, like an evidence. With a beautiful and peaceful certainty, suddenly I knew that I will write and dedicate my life to help others facing their fears and that absolutely nothing will hold me back.
Here I am. It's Saturday afternoon and I am sitting down at the table of a crowded coffee shop in downtown Manhattan and I'm making my dreams come true.