Have you ever been at a concert or big event where someone is going to be speaking or singing or something of that sort, and then someone comes to the microphone on the stage and says “testing 1..2..3..”.
They say it about two or three times in a row, and once they see the microphone works, the main event takes place; either the singer debuts their new song, or the speaker gets a big introduction.
Well,right now, my life is in the testing 1, 2, 3, zone.
As you all know, I started interviewing for a paid position at NBC about two weeks ago. I made it to the very last step so far, and last Wednesday, I had a writing test.
This writing test was the last step of my interviewing process.
Next time I hear from NBC, it will be to tell me that I either got the job, or that I didn’t.
Since last Wednesday, anxiety has been eating away at me. I haven’t written about it because I was trying to focus on other things, but today, it was a big part of my day.
I’ve just been waiting and waiting; thinking and thinking.
Some moments I think to myself, how great it will feel to get that congratulating phone call.
Other moments, I am preparing myself for the worst.
It’s like the world is saying testing 1, 2, 3, right now to me. And very soon, my main event will take place. This test is leading to something.
But what is it a test of?
Is it a test about giving up control? Since I can’t control if I will get hired or not, that is a possibility.
Is it a test about having faith?
Is it a test about believing in myself?
It is a test about learning how to fail? (If I don’t get it)
Is it a test about learning how to feel proud about success? (If I do get it).
There is so much space here for questions to arise. All I know, is that today, the hiring manager said she will give me an answer by the end of the week.
So, by the end of this week, my testing phase will be over, and my main event will have happened.
But until then, I am in the unknown.
When you live in an eating disorder, you are never living in the unknown.
Everything is known to you; your calories, your sodium intake, your fat grams, your weight, your clothing size, other people’s calories, how much weight you need to lose-I can go on and on.
Living with an eating disorder is like living your life as a human calculator, just constantly keeping track of everything you can.
Recovery is not like that.
While it is temping to try to morph into my human calculator version of myself today, since it gives me some sort of factual comfort in a zone of absolute uncertainty right now, for the very first time, it doesn’t feel like a solution.
I see now that trying to grasp onto things that are tangible like food and calories, will not fix my anxiety over this job.
And when I say I am tempted to go back to being a human calculator counting all my numbers, it’s not because I am having a hard time with my body. I actually, very surprisingly, am OK with my body right now. I only am tempted because it’s something that I know.
We all like to be around comforting things that are familiar to us in times of stress.
But, my mind is open to the bigger picture; and that is, that this is not about controlling my food or calories in attempt to distract myself from waiting to hear back from this job.
It’s about me learning some kind of lesson.
Like I said, I don’t know which test I am being asked to take right now.
But one way or another, I will grow from it.
You can’t grow from an eating disorder. You can’t grow from being a human calculator of calories all the time-even if it’s nice to have that familiarity.
But you can however, grow from life’s tests that are thrown at you; that 10% of things that you are dealt with that you can’t control.
When this testing phase is over this week, I will have grown, and in the mean time, I will just prepare myself for that.