Who I am
I am going to get real deep here so if you wanted my short to the point story of how I graduated with a Fine Art degree and decided that moving to New York City and sharing a closet with six other people was a bad idea. This ain’t it.
I decided I wanted to be a yoga instructor, not after college much later in my career. I had worked in corporate america for about 7 years up until this point. I had a deep need to find inner balance and peace with the world around me. “I like yoga, it makes me feel better. Why not teach it?” After three weekends of doing nothing but studying niyamas and yamas, I decided it wasn’t for me.
Why? It wasn’t because I wasn’t dedicated or that I believed the fundamental philosophy was wrong. But because I had been so scarred by doctrine from my past. To understand my story is to understand that things effect people in a multitude of different ways for good and bad. I am still battling these traumas with a lot of self love, a really good support system and an amazing therapist, I am just now shaping into something that I want to pursue.
I was raised in a Christian denomination with non-trinitarian beliefs distinct from mainstream Christianity. That sounds like a mouthful and it is. But essentially, the religion I was raised in did not tolerate disagreement of doctrines and practices and expected members to conform to rather strict standards. My life up to that point was running away from beliefs and systems that restricted me. I realized being a yoga teacher was taking me down the same path that I had been trying to run away from.
That’s where this website comes in. I have had a website since 2010 when I took a web development class in college. I studied Fine Art and majored in Design. During that time I aspired to be an artist, where I would use my website to showcase my art. That was until I realized that sharing my art would mean sharing myself.
It has taken years for me to get to this point. To write on a public website my feelings and beliefs about how my background shaped who I am for better or worse. After years of having my heart broken, multiple jobs, feeling lost and sinking deeper into a revolving cycle of self-hate and giving up, I took a chance and started leaning into a part of me that was always there but suffocated by the belief system I was raised in. I leaned in to not conforming.
The pressures of not conforming to a social norm or religion are hard. And in this current political climate, I am sure a lot of people have felt my same feelings. I hear and see you. But what was hard for me is my differences weren’t in the way I looked, where I was from, or what language I spoke. My differences were my beliefs, the religion that I was raised to believe was true and my view on the world from a very young child. My differences were in my head. That little voice that speaks to you all the time. “You’re wrong for doing this. You’re bad for thinking this. You can’t succeed or be happy unless you do this.” Many people struggle with not only themselves but society as well. I know from hearing these voices all my life that the voice inside your head can be the loudest and most damaging.
I have spent my life dodging and trying to live with this voice. I realized that with lots of therapy, I still have a need to tell my truth and honor myself. And I want to help others get rid of the voice that says, “you can’t". But lean into the voice and support that says “you absolutely can, what’s stopping you?” I hope that this inspires you to also honor your truth and live a life that you are proud of.