Now, I think I should back up here for a second. If this were a movie, this is the part where we flashback to 6 years previously. Let’s get back to New York City.
I moved there from Oklahoma City after a terrible, abusive relationship ended. I honestly believe he had no idea how much he hurt me. And I didn’t realize how much of myself I had lost in this whirlwind of what some might call a relationship, but in all reality it was a controlling manipulative tragedy. Not to say it wasn’t all bad, but the good moments were few and far between.
So why didn’t I walk away sooner? Well, I thought I was “in love” and it was my first “adult” relationship. And he was an expert at saying exactly what I needed to hear at the right time while also placing all the blame on me to make me truly believe that I was the one in the wrong, that I was the one destroying us. I couldn’t live with that guilt, so naturally I stayed and fought to make it work.
There wasn’t one specific event that ended things, but it was a long time coming. After we went our separate ways, my dear grandmother, whom I was very close to, passed away from her decades long fight with cancer. With those events bookending each other, it was a good time to yet again, leave. Are you sensing a pattern here?
I always wanted to leave Oklahoma City. But with all things, there never seems to be a ‘right’ time. So I pursued my dream of moving to New York City to work in advertising and hopefully put back together those broken pieces of myself.
At 23 with no job lined up and a U-haul of a mix of my things and some of my deceased grandmother’s, I drove across the country (with my mom – bless her) to my bright future ahead. I think this decision came to a shock to the other side of my family as they were all living in California and assumed I’d be moving there after graduating from school. But I’d talked about this since I was in high school and all through college. So I stuck to it and off I went!
And it was so fun, possibly even magical in the beginning, but also extremely difficult and very exhausting. Working long hours, making new friends, and trying to figure how I fit into this world. I did meet some of my closest friends, who I attribute to my staying in the city as long as I did. I wouldn’t have been able to without them.
And I worked my way up in advertising to the job I thought I wanted. Only to realize once I was there that none of it felt right, and I couldn’t buy into any of the work we were actually doing. I didn’t believe in it, and I was not excited about it. In fact, I woke up every day dreaming up excuses of why I shouldn’t go into work only to end up sitting at my desk all day yet again.
I felt depressed most days which led to poor decisions like drinking too much and too often, staying out late on weeknights to find myself exhausted on the weekends, eating all the wrong foods so I never had any energy, and what I like to call serial dating to fill a void. I dated a few guys that were good and nice to me. But either my expectations were too high or the timing was off or our priorities were on careers and not the relationship, so those all fizzled out.
And as for figuring out myself, that’s where yoga came in. I started attending classes to find some sanity in the craziness that is NYC. And every time I went I felt stronger and empowered and more like myself. It was the one space in which I felt free, free to be me wholly and completely. It’s of no wonder that I ended pursuing yoga as a career. But I didn’t see that as an option at the time.
And so going through it all to come out on the other end, which I never imagined would be in Bali, only to have someone ask me WHY I showed up. Honestly, I had no idea consciously of why I wanted to do a yoga teacher training. I loved practicing yoga and simply wanted to deepen my knowledge and understanding. But as the month wore on, I realized this was what I needed to do in this world. Spreading this information of how our bodies are so connected mentally, physically, emotionally and even spiritually lit me up inside! I wanted everyone to know this and everyone to feel the way I did. Obviously not everyone was going to, but I was feeling ambitious and being led with a new sense of purpose...