When I graduated from college in 2014, I had a really great sense of who I was and what I wanted, but I had no idea what I wanted to do for a living. I studied Journalism to hone my writing and channel it, in what I thought would be, a meaningful and productive direction. By the time I graduated, my heart was calling me to non-profit work and I had to listen. My then boyfriend, Aaron, and I moved to Atlanta to be near his family and I shortly found a job with a non-profit entity of Coca-Cola.
For almost two years we tried to make Atlanta our home. I joined a yoga studio to try to make friends. We chose a nicer apartment complex in hopes that we would find community there. We tried, but between the high cost of living, my small salary, and the city’s non-inclusive culture, it just wasn’t the right fit.
In early 2016 we relocated to Pittsburgh, the city where Aaron, now my husband, was born. I found a great job doing fundraising for the University of Pittsburgh, and we moved into the home Aaron’s grandparents had called home for 50+ years. Immediately, this city felt like home. Every day I feel blessed to feel so comfortable in my day-to-day. The yoga community here is vibrant, welcoming and warm. I’ve made friends effortlessly, and so has Aaron. We’ve finally found a rhythm.
Getting here wasn’t easy, and I don’t just mean because moving trucks are rickety! Aaron and I have both battled with emotional disorders throughout our lives. I first had a therapist tell me I was “depressed” when I was 16. Since then, I’ve tried, failed, tried again and truly battled my depression to live the life I want to live. The life I deserve. For the first two years of college, I floated and followed my peers. I partied and went with the flow without defining myself. When I stepped back, I saw the misalignment in my life. What I said I was, who I thought I was, was not reflected in my behaviors.
My transformation started with my physical body, and has spanned all the way to my spiritual nature. Losing 25 lbs through thoughtful diet and exercise gave me the confidence and strength to recommit to my yoga practice, overcome my self-conscious nature, and blossom into the radiant woman I am today. I started blogging when we got to Pittsburgh, because I realized how much easier this journey is with amazing voices and faces constantly cheering me on. If you’re still reading, thank you for being one of them!