I was a year and a half when my twin sisters were born. I was excited, but didn’t know exactly what that meant. It wasn’t until later I learned and realized what it really meant to be a big sister. Growing up in a household where your mother swore up and down that you were only Catholic and not Christian screws you up. I’m 27 years old and I’m finally realizing being Catholic is the SAME thing as being a Christian. However, Catholics celebrate Halloween, which other denominations believe it is a holiday for Satan. It also doesn’t help when your first public school experience came when you were 23 years old attending graduate school. I’m finally comfortable saying I’m a Christian, but my denomination is Catholicism. Did I also mention my dad was an alcoholic? He’s a dry drunk now, which means he’s no longer drinking, but he didn’t follow AA’s 12 step program.
So I was shy of 2 years old when my sisters were born. It didn’t hit me till later that I realized I had to raise myself because my mom was taking care of 2 handicapped daughters while dealing with an alcoholic husband. I taught myself everything I needed to know about life and life’s lessons, but it wasn’t easy. I’ve been in various principals’ office because of something I did or say. Whether it was my attire or my attitude, I always felt the world was against me. I leaned on so many people for wisdom and advice that helped me get to where I am today. I hope they know how thankful I am for God bringing them into my life. I can’t tell you how many friends I have or had in the past tense that has been older or younger than me that impacted my life somehow. I wonder if I’ll see them at my funeral or hopefully up in heaven.
My life was always put on hold for someone else. I was everything to everyone. I wore multiple hats at once and it only got worse when I got older. My dad was nonexistent for most of our lives, so I helped my mom by being a supportive daughter who babysat my sisters after school until my mom came home from work. I worked as a babysitter when I was 11 years old and got a “real” job at 13 working as a busser in a local restaurant. Since then, I’ve been paying for pretty much every bill that has my name on it. I’m so thankful that my grandmom taught me the envelope method to budget my money. It’s helping me get out of debt while also having a life. Yet, being a hard worker and a crazy family life didn’t save me from all the trials and tribulations life throws at you.
I was in 8th grade when I started smoking and less than a year later, I was smoking pot day in and day out. I worked my ass off in order to find and buy the next high. I hated myself and thought about ending it day in and day out. Each day, I couldn’t wait to go to school and I hated going home. I had so much resentment and anger built up in me that I wish God would take the pain away. When you are placed on the back burner when you’re less than 2 years old, you wonder why God gave you this life. It wasn’t until a car accident in April 2012 that helped me get clean and come back to God. The ER doctors thought I was pregnant, but it was actually a tumor that was wrapped around my bladder and left fallopian tube. I had surgery a couple weeks later. It ended up being benign, which was good because I finally realized I was here for a reason, but what is that reason?
If you were in my shoes and lived my life just knowing what you know, could you make it to where I am in my life currently? Could you survive a day in my life?
I knew if I’d commit suicide my mom would lose it. I’m her rock; among everyone else’s rock growing up. It’s starting to wear on me and I’m not sure how much longer I could handle it. As said before, I would pray to God to take my life away every single day. I hated myself. I hated the position God put me in. I hated my family, my life, my body, the way I looked- I hated everything and everyone. I lived a life where I just didn’t care and it showed in my actions and behaviors.
After the car accident, I knew I had to start taking care of myself starting from the inside out. I was a smoker- cigarettes and pot. I started smoking when I was 14 years old. I loved smoking and couldn’t see myself as a non-smoker. I would wake and bake every morning, smoke during the breaks at school then smoke on my way home. When they found the tumor after the car accident that’s when I got serious about my life. God gave me a second chance at life and I don’t want to let Him down. I quit smoking July 7, 2012. It took me three months to finally quit, but I was free from smoking cigarettes in September 2012. Then I had to work on how much alcohol I drank during the week. Growing up with an alcoholic father, I knew I didn’t want to turn into him. That’s when I decided to give myself a two drink maximum and I only drank one night during the week.
When I was clean of drugs and alcohol, I decided to focus on my fitness. I hired a personal trainer that I worked out with twice a week for a year. He helped me with my nutrition, but it wasn’t until a year later when I officially understood what healthy eating meant. While I had this personal trainer and doing cardio 6 days a week, I was eating crap. I wasn’t losing the weight I wanted, so I re-evaluated my nutrition. After reading multiple articles on losing weight and healthy eating, I finally understand that nutrition is the biggest part of living healthy. I go to the gym 6 days a week. I walk, do yoga, and lift weights. I love working out; it makes me feel invincible. Living healthy helps my career. I have a BA in Political Science from Cabrini College and a MS in Counseling with a concentration in Higher Education/Student Affairs from West Chester University of Pennsylvania. I’m currently studying for the NCE in order to become a LPC. My reason to live is to help other women find their beauty inside and out while helping young adults cope with their depression in order to lower the suicide rate. I want to share my life story with another depressed suicidal person. If I can save myself every single day, you can save yourself every single day as well. No one goes through this life alone. I am here for you and I want to help you.
The experience growing up helped me figured out what I wanted in my career. My parents had no idea what they wanted in their careers, so they woke up and went off to work every day just for the paycheck. They were tired and cranky when they came home from work. I don’t want that for my life. I want to go to work to change lives, make a difference, and ultimate be my own source of happiness through changing lives.
I went to Cabrini College for Political Science because I thought I wanted to become a lawyer. A year after college graduation, I hated my life, my work, and wanted a change. I talked to multiple people who loved their careers to figure out the secret. How can young 18 year olds go off to college and magically know what they want out of their life, their career? After thinking long and hard about this, I made a serious life change. I knew I wanted to own my own counseling practice to help people; combining counseling, music, and fitness together. Music and fitness, especially yoga, saved my life. I will be a creative arts counselor who is a certified yoga teacher as well. My vision is continuing to grow each and every day. I think it is best for me if my business is a non-profit. Counselors have an obligation to their clients’ financial status and I can use my fundraising and event planning skills to good use!
Since I was young, I was always the chubby kid. I hated the way I looked, so starting in 8th grade and up until recently, I would eat at most 2 meals a day and drank a ton of water! I exercised until my body hurt. I thought by doing this I would look better. Instead, I felt worse about myself. My mom thought I was anorexic and honestly I was. Mentally, I was, but physically I didn’t see it. That’s when I started smoking cigarettes as meals, so I wouldn’t eat. Inside, I knew I couldn’t do it to my body anymore, but didn’t know how to stop.
I went to countless therapists, counselors, and psychiatrists to help me. After thinking about the past and how I felt internally, I realized I was getting counseled on mental health issues. I got help for my depression, but kept my suicidal ideation a secret. We all have a life story to tell and we all have crosses to carry, but I’m so grateful that God put me in this position to inspire someone, to save a life, or to learn from a complete stranger. By completing the relationship bucket list by myself will allow me to meet new people from different cultures while taking life by the horns. Life is all about risks and if you’re not taking risks then you’re not completely living.
I used to love being alone. I would go by myself to concerts, to lunch, shopping, on day trips to various different places, wherever the wind blew me. I loved it. I would meet new people from different cultures, experience new food, learn about history through all the times I attended art galleries or trips to the museum. What happened? Why did I stop? I think it was because I wanted to experience it all with someone special. Being by yourself is fine, but then there comes a point in your life where you want company on your trips. I was 17 years old when I become official with my first boyfriend.
A decade later… I’ve spent 27 years being me, doing me, and figuring out what I want in life that it is time I take my life and my happiness back. Yes, I’m going to be selfish. Yes, I’m going to spoil myself. No, I’m not afraid of my future because I know who holds the keys to my future.
For the time being, I focusing solely on me. Honestly, I don’t care if I offend anyone with saying that because who else will take care of me? I spent my whole life caring solely on me because I had no one else to rely on. My ultimate goal is to be who I was before I started dating at 17, a fearless and ambitious woman. That’s when I know I returned to Cloud 9…
I would love this blog to help jumpstart my career. I received a text last night from someone who read my blog. I want to say thank you to them. That text made my day. It confirmed that what I’m doing is what I’m supposed to be doing. I went to bed smiling at the text and I even remembered it this morning. BTW, I still have that text in my phone. I won’t delete it. It was a sign that I’m moving past the pain of the breakup and focusing on me and my career. The reason I started this blog was to inspire others while allowing myself to grieve.
I’m a member of Tone It Up, which is a group of women who inspire others to be the best they can be. Being a member of Tone It Up is a blessing. You get to talk to complete strangers from around the world about health and fitness, but real friendships form when we all support each other. I can count of two women that I met through Tone It Up that helped me through the break up. Thank you.
This is what I want with this blog. I want to connect with complete strangers around the world about relationships, love, and life. We all have a story to tell and I would love to hear everyone’s story. We all get lost in this crazy world. Our lives are full of commitments, events, work, and an endless to-do list. Who are we? Who am I? What is our lives about? Where are we here? Why am I here? What it my life about? How can I take my life back…? I would like to do meet-ups and retreats where people around the world can come together and share their lives’ stories. I’m studying for my NCE, starting yoga teacher training in March, and would love for this very negative event in my life to be a blessing in disguise.