Topic Tuesday: Space

Katie Bunge“Making Space” (By: Katie Bunge)

I’ve been thinking a lot about the space and time that I have in my life lately. Since I was a little child I’ve always been the kind of person who is overwhelmed easily. I love routine and I disdain change. I carefully number the social activities that I partake in because I often feel completely drained afterwards. The way that I have managed to control the anxiety that I get when my life feels too full is by really prioritizing what is important to me. This was an easy task for me when I was in the depths of my eating disorder (“ED”) because ED was always the most important priority to me.

To the people who were surrounding me during these years, I am truly sorry for the many times that I chose ED over you. The worst times for me were probably during my junior and senior years of college. I honestly cannot begin to count the number of social events, and particularly meals out, that I turned down to avoid what I perceived as unpredictable eating environments. I also cannot tell you the countless hours at holidays that I spent away from family because I absolutely had to get a workout in to survive. I quite literally devoted several years of my life completely to ED. I recently went on a trip with all of my college girlfriends, and with complete impartiality, I can tell you that they are some of the most amazing women ever. Looking back, it makes me deeply sad to think that I missed out on so many fun times with them because I wasn’t fully present for such a long time. ED will take as many years of your life as you are willing to give, and I promise the memories he will leave you with will not be the good ones.

I was a slave to my ED rules for so long that I forgot the joy that comes with living freely. It was incredibly hard, but I slowly had to re-learn how to make space for the people around me. I learned that unplanned meals and skipped workouts can make unforgettable moments in your life that far outshine any of the false promises ED makes to you. There is no level of physical perfection that can replace lost time, and time is your most precious commodity in this life.

Life is a balancing act and the time to make space for others in your life is now. I will be the first to admit that I have not perfected this task. My introverted nature and love of routine often mean that I have to make a concerted effort to make space for others. I am almost always tempted to back out of social events at the last moment, but then I think about all the lost time I have to make up for and I take a leap of faith and go!

About the Author

Katie Bunge is a girl who has yet to define the role she’s meant to fill in this complex world. In the midst of this never ending quest, she has managed to pick up a few titles—wife, dog-mom, aunt, daughter, sister, friend, attorney, writer, reflector, artist, impromptu counselor, reader, runner etc. As an INFJ on the Myers Briggs Type Indicator, she’s likely to be found in a corner at a party asking someone about their childhood or their dreams. She loves running on a cool fall day, dogs, Mary Oliver poems, cooking for her husband, and Georgia O’Keeffe paintings. After 10 years of moving around the country for schooling and work, this Florence, AL native is grateful to be settling closer to family in Nashville.