“I am off to a flying start and I must not halt in the stretch to look behind and weep.”

Disclosure: I am a huge Zora Neale Hurston fan. Both her work and her life are fascinating to me. Years ago, I remember reading the title quote in her phenomenal essay, How It Feels To Be Colored Me. It stuck with me -- as her words so often do -- through many changes, but only recently has it felt relevant in my own life.

About a month ago, I changed my Instagram handle to @journey_to_courtney from @vsg_courtneyyy because although having weight loss surgery has been life changing, it’s merely a piece of this complicated puzzle called life that encompasses growing, learning, evolving, and improving in ways that aren’t limited to dropping pounds.

The title Journey to Courtney is significant to me because although I’ve been “Courtney” for twenty plus years, I’m constantly on a path of self-discovery. In fact, I think that as humans all that we can really ever hope for is to consistently learn new ways to be our best selves.   

One of the first things that I like to tell people about losing weight is that it will not make you love yourself more. That is its own journey -- one with lots of valleys and peaks and no defined time limit.

Like Hurston, though, I’ve been working to make the past year my own “flying start” of sorts and this blog is the culmination of those efforts. In the words of Erykah Badu, “I’m an artist and I’m sensitive about my shit” -- which has been a big hindrance for me in the past. My writing is truly my baby, however, I’ve realized that there’s no way I can authentically preach about growth if I’m not willing to do so in every way myself.

Thus, I offer you guys my passions -- with the full gamut of everything from Gucci Mane to Gucci Marmont, Soul Cycle to sushi and makeup to macarons -- in hopes that you either draw inspiration, learn something about yourself or simply have a good laugh. Off to the races -- we have a lot of self-loving to do.

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