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Taylor's Story: How I Became a Writer

Updated: 4 days ago

To tell you how I became a writer, I have to talk about how I recovered from anorexia. I keep these accomplishments forever intertwined—not because I want to live in the past, but because understanding my past is how I’ve figured out my future. 

I believe we’re born understanding exactly who we are. For a few brief moments, we get to exist in this innate freedom and play. Then, we’re quickly swept up into the fervor of the world, shamed into assimilating to a cookie cutter we can barely make sense of.

Available roles are limited. Still, we must pick one. At least that’s what we’re conditioned to think.

Picking my role: Skinny, perfect, in control

My mom used to call me her flower child. But from a young age, I thought my artistic proclivities were looked at strangely by my peers. I was the girl sitting in a field of grass, talking to the nature around me as if it were an old friend. It’s what was in my innocent heart, and how I was compelled to connect with my surroundings; but I was quickly made to feel like that part of myself was something I should get used to hiding. 

By the time I started college, I had developed a rigorous, unforgiving schedule and set of expectations for myself. It was like I was overcompensating for my "weakness" by puffing up the other areas of my life: Look, I’m smart. I can be organized. I can succeed on your terms. I can play by your rules. I can figure out how to win your game.

I left no room for play. I was all productivity, all the time. Anything else made me feel awful about myself: worthless, lazy. Like an unstable, overly-emotional waste of space. 

The start of suffering

I began starving myself to stay sharp and trim, thrusting my body into daily intensive exercise because I thought it was what I needed to succeed. I suffered through an insane schedule of work and school that kept me up and going from 4 a.m. to 11 p.m. every day, telling myself that everything would fall apart if I let myself rest for a single moment. I didn’t trust me to take care of myself. I was my own prison guard. 

Four years later, my glass house crumbled, and my intuition came back SCREAMING. She was broken, sobbing, begging me to stop. She had my back when I didn’t; when I thought I wanted to give up, she forced my eyes open. “LOOK AT WHAT YOU ARE DOING TO US.”

Still, I tried to defy her pleas. But after ages of self-induced torture, I closed my eyes to go to sleep one night and all I could see were giant, scraping claws. I was tearing myself up from the inside out, and my body was utilizing my imagination in a desperate attempt to help me see. 

My lil' body was so scared and lonely. She couldn’t trust her host. I realized I was her tormentor, a harsh truth to accept. But once I did, I made my body a promise: I’ll stop this, whatever it takes. I’ll get “better”, whatever that means. 

Life must be worth living. I’m going to understand why and how. 

So, I told everyone around me that I was unwell. It was a scary truth to announce, but I knew if I put it out there, I’d be a lot less likely to relapse. With my loved ones watching, I’d be forced to go through with this thing called self-care. 

Defying the odds and using art to heal

I started recovering just before I graduated college in 2017. It was a turn of events I couldn’t have predicted.

I began embracing life, allowing myself to unravel a little. I had fun. I made messes. I laughed, ate, and cried even more. I went through a second puberty. And everything I had tried to suppress came roaring to the surface. 

Those early days of recovery did a lot in the way of reshaping my perspective. I had depression and anxiety to wrestle with, unhealthy patterns and ways of thinking to banish, and a lot of calories to make up. I faced these issues one at a time, doing my best to understand their source so I could replace my unconscious behaviors with healthier ones. 

I began seeing an eating disorder therapist, who talked a lot and had a kind smile. I started asking myself harder questions about who I was and how I’d gotten there. I traded in my hellish exercise routine for the forgiving hands of yoga, determined to restructure my relationship with my body so she could feel loved and respected. I listened to my body every day, even when I disagreed with what she was saying. I watched her humble me with her needs—no, demands. It was finally time for me to listen to her. 

I was also lucky to be surrounded by supportive friends and family members—angels who cooked meals with me, made me laugh, and reminded me what it meant to be human. I felt like I’d planted some solid new seeds and learned a lot about health and how to best take care of myself, backed by incredible people who wanted to see me win in my next phase of life. 

Recovering while rebuilding

I was still seeing the therapist when I got the call: After eight months of relentless applying, I’d landed my dream job as a fashion assistant at a major global fashion magazine. I told her I had accepted the offer and would be moving to New York City within a week. She looked at me with fear in her eyes and told me that, in her professional opinion, this would be a terrible decision for my recovery.

I took her concern as a challenge. As much as I knew her heart was in the right place, I needed to take this leap for the little girl who’d lusted after the City for so long. Turning down my dream job and forcing myself to stay in the same spot out of fear—that would have been the real detriment to my recovery. I felt it in my gut. It was time for me to shake things up. 

But don’t worry—I wasn’t entirely delusional. I was determined to take a big leap, but I was also very aware that in order to make it work in a healthy and balanced way, I’d have to keep prioritizing recovery as my #1 mission. 

I moved (sorry, doc), started my job, and quickly realized that my lifelong dream might have been to move to New York City, but fashion itself didn’t make sense for me anymore. Unfortunately, my experience in that role showed me that body shaming and dysmorphia were still rampant in the industry. So as much as I still loved fashion, I knew I had to put my dreams of being the next Anna Wintour to bed. I’d become too stubborn when it came to putting my health first. I’d made myself a promise, and I don’t break those. My contract at the magazine ended, and although I continued to pursue other roles in fashion, I could tell my heart was no longer in it.

A few months passed, during which I felt completely lost. I was working as a receptionist at Massage Envy, directionless, depressed, and living paycheck to paycheck. I was scared. I’d moved to a city where I didn’t know anyone, and I wasn’t sure how I was going to come out on top of the situation. My dad was the one to plant the seed of my next steps. After complaining to him about my lack of direction, he sent me a list of affirmations to recite daily—a tool he regularly used with his hypnotherapy clients to support their healing. I was reluctant at first. The statements seemed so grandiose to me, and I felt silly speaking them to my reflection in the mirror. Thankfully, my desperation to change my situation outweighed how silly I felt, so I stayed consistent, speaking the sentences that felt impossible and out of reach every single day. I spoke the words and felt them vibrate throughout my system. Within months, my frequency had leveled up. I was happier and healthier, and although I was still working at Massage Envy, I felt more hopeful and confident than ever. 

I’d been trying to rediscover myself throughout my recovery, but this is the season where I really tapped into that effort. I returned to that little girl in the field of grass and started talking to the earth again: thanking the sky for its daily blessings, crying at heart-wrenching novel endings on the subway, and feeling things deeply. Feeding my intuition in comparably-quiet Southern California made me stick out like a sore thumb, but there’s no place like New York when it comes to totally unleashing. The hustle, bustle, and constant distractions of the City freed me to explore my inner world. With no one watching, I could finally understand what it felt like to be Taylor. 

Soon after, I got the call for the pivotal media role that launched my career as a professional writer, editor, and marketer—and it wasn’t just the magic words I’d spoken that did it. Coupled with hard work, faith, and a refusal to give up on myself, those words were a manifestation of how I’d devoted myself to changing my perspective on my life. And as a result, my entire universe changed. The people, places, and things that didn’t align with my strengthened self fell away. I continued to face forward, liberated to discover the people, places, and things that were for me. 

Working with weirdness

My time in the City is imprinted on my soul. It’s where I rediscovered the power and passion I was born with, and it’s where I learned how to apply that to my mission in life and in my career. Today, I channel my renewed awareness to help people, brands, and organizations communicate the heart of their mission—their unique story—with raw, empathetic storytelling. The transformation I was lucky enough to experience is my creative inspiration: an act in abandoning a starved faux-self constructed by the impulse to people-please in exchange for truth, in my work and throughout my life. 

It’s also how I continue to tell my story, and the driving force behind my lifelong dedication to learning, improving, and leveling up. My external world is so beautiful now. I have the career of my dreams, I’m surrounded by incredible friends and family, and I’ve been blessed with my soulmate. But none of this is possible without me keeping my internal world humble, loving, and honest. 

Reaching balance takes a lot of practice. It requires you to push yourself hard while also knowing how to forgive the inevitable mistakes and missteps along the way. A self-kindness founded in confidence, compassion, and faith. 

Thanks to this journey, I can take lessons I’ve learned where I'm going next. I will never let myself feel bad for connecting with the earth. Instead, I'll remember to steer into what makes me weird. I hope my words inspire you to do the same because my weirdness is what makes me special, and yours is what makes you special, too. 

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