This Above All Series

This Above All: A New Direction Toward Something Bigger

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The last 79 days of 2016 were nothing like I had imagined or could’ve planned for.

I was forced to face triggers that I thought I had been handling just fine. And I was up until September, but they surfaced in different ways. It’s one thing to question your ability – I’m Type A, I want perfection or better. My standards of myself are always higher than the standards others set for me. It’s another to never have an understanding at this point, professionally, I couldn’t tell you what the standards for me were, and that killed me.

You want details? You’re not getting details. You don’t need details to understand that months of build up with lack of communication or direction and hostility,  in a career I once loved, led to anxiety attacks, flashbacks, binges and nights on the floor. It resulted in trying a new medication that led to a car accident. It’s not that I couldn’t do my job any more, it’s that I couldn’t do it there. I couldn’t force myself to stay in that environment and I’m lucky to have someone who understands that.


Everyone is saying this is going to be their year. Dammit, I believe that. I started reflecting in October. I reflected deeper in November over lattes and cookies – yes, I’m going to remind you that my coping was more than just going to therapy. It was journaling and trying a new coffee house. Giving myself a slight adventure out of bed and out of the apartment that cost less than $10 brought me to zero. It gave me a chance to people watch and obtain some interaction without actively having to put myself out there. It might not be how others cope, but making a plan – even a small one, helped me cope. I coped by finding structure in a new lifting program, but by December I was doubting myself and letting the doubt of others get to me. But I didn’t stop trying to create my path. I didn’t stop moving forward.

I read a lot. I write a lot. Shakespeare was so wise beyond his time.

In Hamlet, Polonius tells Laertes “This above all: to thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man.”

Junior AP English tells me this has more than one meaning.

It’s not just about being true and honest to those around you, but it’s about being honest with yourself. It’s about acknowledging when you need to step back, when you need to push forward and when you just need a change. It’s about knowing that you’ve done everything you could in the circumstances given.

This line could mean being true is doing the right thing and sometimes the right thing is putting yourself first.

2017 is about this.

I start a new job tomorrow. I go back to school in 10 days. I’ve adjusted my macros for a lower maintenance rather than a sliding range the past two weeks and competition prep for the spring and summer season starts in a few weeks. I feel ready. My head and my heart are working together this time. Timing can be everything and I’m taking my life back and giving it my all.

This blog series is going to be called This Above All because there’s a lot of changes coming, but it’s all for the greater cause, it’s all for the bigger picture. It’s all to be true to myself and give myself what I actually deserve not what those around me tell me I deserve.

I’m heading in a different direction than I could’ve ever dreamed of and I have never felt more ready to move forward than I do right now.

<3 Cristina


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