By: Stefs Lima, IATG ContributorJuly 28, 2016
I used to run to pursue things that I didn’t necessarily need. This habit began when I was 17 and continued into the beginning of my 20s. By running too much, I neglected what I truly needed. I was overcome by pressure, the fear of disappointing those around me, and the idea that I wouldn't amount to anything. On top of all this, I used to be a perfectionist, which eventually lead to an eating disorder that impacted me for years.
I was so young and so focused on having a successful life that I wasn't really living. I was a teenager trapped in expectations, a girl who wanted to fit into society’s expectations. I was losing more than winning, because I didn’t have a mature perspective of myself and my life. I just wanted to get to the next steps in life as fast as possible. But, for what? I didn’t know.
All the pain and the bruises didn’t make me stop. In fact, I started running even faster through life, but the failures that followed were too much to handle. I became exhausted, and I got really sick because of my eating disorder.
I’m 30 years old now. I’m in a new phase in life, and I continue to discover more things about myself. I try not push myself too much, but continue to stay motivated. I spent my youth thinking I would never find my place in the world, but now that I’m older, I’ve realized that I matter
I found my independence once I started to respect who I am and what I want. I set myself free when I decided not to run irresponsible races, because I know I'll go back to the dark place of my past. I'll never complain about the full experience of running, because it taught me a lot about myself and about life. The race made me a strategic person and a fighter. It taught me to be tough, but most importantly, it taught me that I need to slow down.
If you’re in the same place that I was, I’m pretty sure you’re running right now to conquer your past or the things you think you need/want. But if I could give you any advice, here it is: slow down. Look around and take some time to evaluate what it is that you truly need in life.
Growing up is hard, but it can be less challenging if we take the time to enjoy it, not rush through. It’s never too late to find yourself, your purpose, and your voice. It’s never too late to slow down and just live.
Take some time today to simply slow down. Stop and have a cup of coffee, read a book, or simply take a break from work and go on a long walk.
Steffany Lima has her own world called Random Girl (www.hey-randomgirl.com.br). She is a journalist, lives in Brazil and spends a lot of her time writing (A LOT). Secret desires: continue to inspire people and create more and more stories to share.