My cottage is a five hour drive north from my house, which of course felt like a walk in the park after fifteen hours of Nashville trekking! However my family always makes it fun. We take turns “DJing” and play games. We joked and laughed about how we’re a bit like the crazy family in We’re the Millers.
The cottage has been amazing and rejuvenating, although it is a place where I find I struggle with food. My grandparents both have sort of disordered relationships with food, and I love them to the moon and back, but it certainly can be triggering. I spent a lot of time crying, talking to my mom, feeling down about my recovered body. But she, and the cottage, had a lot of insight for me.
I breathed, and I took in my surroundings. Our first morning here, I woke up, did some yoga, ate a good breakfast, and went for a swim. Swimming in my favourite lake with the sun dancing and the familiar cottage smell and the trees rustling, I laughed like a mad person all to myself. Because in that beauty and under God’s sky in the place I wish I could stay forever, my horrible, abusive relationship with food felt like the most insignificant thing in the world.
I know I have written about this before, but sometimes that shift in perspective is all we really need. It helps, even, to sit and bring to life a loved one, someone who has supported and cared for you unconditionally, whose principles you aspire to share. Call their love to your mind and you feel more at peace.
Memories. Every time we first arrive at the cottage since the last summer, we all agree that the first thing that hits us is the smell. Our front door leads to a little stoop and that leads straight to the kitchen, and immediately there is this nostalgic smell of… cottage. Earth, dirt, birds, I don’t know how else to describe it. If you’ve smelled cottage, you know what I mean. It is my favourite smell in the world. When I brought my bag to my bedroom, though, I was met with sadness. Last year and the year before were extremely difficult summers. Two years ago I was in the clutches of my eating disorder, waking up early to embark on long runs, eating next to nothing. Last year I was well into recovery, but everything triggered me. Any talk about food made me angry, and I dreaded mealtimes. I am really quite sad to say that this trip I’m met with some of the same. But coming into that bedroom and remembering all the tears of the last two years, I also remembered all the happiness. The late night bunk bed boy talk with my sisters; the crafts from years past hung on the walls; the shapes carved into the wood on the ceiling that we have names for. That room, in many ways, shaped my childhood. This is my 18th summer at the cottage, I thought, and I can make it good.
first time feeling every time. I have a bit of an obsession with this statement. And Monday morning, when I woke up, ate breakfast, and dove into the world’s most gorgeous lake, swimming immediately to the very bottom and gliding along with my eyes open, pulling at the sand with my hands, I remembered the first time I had done so. I was seven, and my sisters, friend Lydia, and I were pretending to be mermaids. We used to spend the entire day roping rafts out in the deep area of the lake, pretending to be damsels in distress, bringing sand buckets to shore to collect “food” (sand). Coming up for air, now, ten years later, I could only smile. One day my kids and Lydia’s kids are going to be doing just that, I thought.
Lazy Days. I don’t remember the last time I had a truly lazy day, and that includes up at the cottage. Here, I go for morning swims, write recipes and blogs, read entire books, go for runs and other workouts, hike, etc. Honestly, it is the life.
Song. somewhere in my car. This was my summer song of last year, and since this post is all about memories, I’m bringing it back.
History. My opa is my favourite person in the entire world. His voice is the most amazing thing you will ever hear, and he is so humble and gracious and wise and compassionate. My oma is also incredible, a typical grandmother times 29474 approximately. Together they make the most wonderful couple, and for the first time this summer, I heard about their love story. It was at summer camp, and My opa says the moment he saw my oma in her red sweater, that was it. He knew he had to have her. They met at 19 and married at 22. There is a great history of longevity in relationships and romance in my family.
Book. Looking for Alaska; On to the next John Green book! I finished, and personally thought it was wonderful, but my least favourite of his so far. I’ll probably do a post reviewing all John Green’s books when I read Will Grayson, Will Grayson!
As far as what I’ve eaten lately, I haven’t taken too many photos! But I’ve eaten a lot of my usual: dark chocolate, bananas, oatmeal, peanut butter. I could live on these four items absolutely.
And ah, while we’re updating, I thought I’d rant about something that’s been on my mind lately as well, and that’s the need to be seen.
We’ve all felt it, I think. Going out somewhere, not necessarily wanting to go, just so others see you, think something about you. I’ve caught myself in that act once or twice, but honestly, it is not something I’ve personally struggled with. I notice it constantly, though. And my thoughts? Live your life. Let other people live theirs, but help them! Always be willing to take risks and be spontaneous, because that’s when this beautiful thing called life happens. But stop worrying about what others think. They’re too busy worrying about themselves.