Walking on the Santa Monica pier, the ferris wheel turned, the wooden pier was paved by the moon lit sky, my clients asked to me, “Maggie, why are you in fitness? You’re not like the rest of the trainers out there. You have a talent.” I think she’s finished, and then she quietly adde, “…and a brain.”
“ Um…thank you?” I wasn’t sure how to respond to this. So, I waited a moment to absorb her “compliment.”
Slightly put off, I shyly acknowledged her with a small yet demure smile and whispered “thank you.” And as I went to elaborate on my thanks, opening my mouth to speak, my client cut my off! With a piercing look in her eyes, she stated, “why don’t you do something else? I really don’t understand why you’re wasting your talent and your time with this industry! You’re better than that” Shaking her head in disappointment and as if a lost cause, she walked away before I could respond.
“Wait!!” I thought, “Come back!” Why are you leaving? What did I do wrong? Was it me? Did I say and do something to aggravate her? I didn’t understand.
As I stood at the end of the pier over looking the vast deep moonlit sea, I felt empty and alone. The melody from the aria “Trees on the mountain entered my mind and played over and over again like a broken record, haunting me. “Come back,” I echoed inside.
I felt like I had just made a mistake and made the “wrong” choice with my life. Yet, I was helping people. I was helping my clients; I loved my clients. I loved helping my clients. I loved helping that client; she was my friend. She loved our sessions and she asked for my help on the daily. Disappointment followed by my realization that I, Maggie Lane, wasn’t living up to my potential had finally sunk in. I felt like I had “failed” them and ultimately failed myself! I thanked my client for a fun evening, and then she and I parted our ways for the day.
Alone, I began to cry. What was I doing with myself and with my life?
As tears fell down my face, it was clear to me that I had made the wrong decision; I had let my client, my friend, down by choosing to live a healthy and fit life. Not understanding the irony in this statement AT ALL, the tears continued to fall. All I could see and hear was failure.
Later that night, perhaps to sabotage myself and my “fitness” potential, I began to emotionally eat.
My eyes only saw: ICE CREAM and ICING galore!! CUPCAKES and MORE! At that moment, I was the eternal child in a candy shop, feeding my sad empty soul.
Although, I wasn’t hungry, I continued to stuff my self with these sweet emotional comforts. My stomach had its fill; I felt like Agustus Gloop, and kept on eating and drinking from Charlie the Chocolate Factory’s treasury sweets. Stuffed, my heart and soul were craving more.
Finally I gathered myself together; gaining composure, I put the self-sabotaging sweets away.
Maybe I wasn’t supposed to be in the health and fitness industry? Maybe I wasn’t supposed to be a fitness personality. As I cried, I felt as if I wasn’t good enough. Even though, I loved to help others and live a healthy and fit life, I still felt like I was wasting my potential, my talents and ultimately my life! Even though I had accomplished so much and continued to accomplish more, I still felt as though I wasn’t good enough. I truly thought that I wasn’t good enough to pursue my dreams, to make my thoughts, visions and dreams a reality.
Yet, what were my dreams? Were my dreams coming true? Always taught to keep the peace, and make others happy, I struggled with what made me happy I honestly didn’t know. It was quite ironic that I helped others define their goals and helped their dreams to become a reality, but I truly didn’t know what it was that made me happy. As I began to ponder this reality, I fell deeper into a rabbit hole of despair. I let others’ opinions of myself and of my life lead my actions. I grew up with a very regimented schedule where there wasn’t time to decide for myself and wasn’t time to choose, I just did what was put in front of me, got an “A,” as close to a 10 in gymnastics as I could and the leading lady role in opera. No time to think and decide for myself. “Just do,” they said; and so I did. Now, however, alone with my sweets, I had the time to think and evaluate my thoughts, my emotions, my actions, and my life! I didn’t know how to process my client’s words. I was clearly confused and at a loss. Why would she say something like that? It was if my client was yelling at me for my talents. Was I supposed to be ashamed? Why did I feel this way? Again, the tears started to fall.
Stop. Breathe. And try to think happy thoughts.
These thoughts sparked a memory of my college career counselor, Wendy B. I worked for the college career center, editing resumes and helping students with formatting, using fancy “ schmancy” words to get them jobs in hopes to jumpstart their professional careers post Pepperdine. Yes, I like words; and yes, I like to write. Why not? It passed the time, kept me busy and productive while helping others accomplish their goals. It was fun and fulfilling, AND it felt good to help others write and be expressive! At that time, I thought that one that guides always has his our her own guide to help provide a clear and polished path, aiding them along their prospective journey; thus, what sparked my conversation with Wendy, my college career counselor and guide. Seated across from each other, asking for guidance and clarity about my uncharted career path, out of the blue, abruptly, she jerked her head in my direction and with piercing stare, Wendy yelled “Maggie!” Just look pretty and stick to singing!” As forcefully as she turned her head and yelled, she stood up, jutted to her office and slammed the door. Today, I have no idea what this conversation was about, however I do remember the feeling she left me with was everything but uplifting. I felt awful. What did I do to spark this reaction? I felt as if I didn’t offer anything valuable to the world! Streams of tears gushed down my rose colored cheeks, I fought off the jade and puddles filled my once bright and wide turquoise colored eyes.