I wish I could say my “why” in this life was crystal clear (at least by the time I got out of high school). However, it took me years and many, many lessons to find what made me passionate.
The epiphany came to me one day out in the Florida sun in May 2022. I was reading Adaptable by Alexa Carlin (shout out to my former boss!) and she was talking about developing your C.O.M.E.B.A.C.K. story.
Up until then, I didn’t think I had anything special to share. I grew up not wanting for anything and felt as though I hadn’t had to overcome any huge obstacles. So why would anyone need to hear from me?
However, it was during this chapter that I realized I did overcome something huge (for me at least) and have been doing so for years.
During my senior year of high school, the identity I built around myself for years shattered. From there, it has been an uphill climb to rediscover myself, who I am, and who I’m meant to be.
Normally, getting rejected from the hardest schools to get into in the U.S. wouldn’t impact a person so much. But because I had been primed by myself and those around me to go on to an Ivy League school, I was devastated.
Fast forward a few months- I’m packing up my life and moving 2 hours away from the only home I’d ever known to the foreign lands of the University of Florida.
I was a wreck. I had no clue what I was doing. I was living in a one-bedroom apartment, which allowed me to stay isolated from the new world going on around me, but I had no friends.
Oh, and did I mention my sole character trait as “the smart one” was being rattled even more because, for the first time in my life, school was actually hard?
Surprisingly, this environment of identity crisis and isolation was one of the best things that could’ve happened to me.
I found my way to wellness.
It wasn’t an easy journey by no means and took a lot of inner work and stepping out of my comfort zone. However, after about a year or so, I found myself having the experiences that would pull me out of the dark place I had allowed myself to get in.
First, it was taking a moment at work to make myself a tea that allowed me to relax and not feel so burnt out.
Then, UF’s fitness classes allowed me to kickstart my fitness journey outside of dancing (something I had done since I was 3 years old).
From there, I discovered Yoga With Adriene so I could complete my practice whenever worked best for me.
Soon after, we got a place called Just Salads next to my apartment complex, which quickly became my favorite spot to treat myself and inspired me to nourish my body better.
Finally, I moved out of my first apartment and into one with an insane amount of natural sunlight.
Some of these changes might seem small, but they were mighty. Before I knew it, I was thoroughly enjoying the life I was living in my college town- so much so that there were some weekends that I didn’t want to travel home or to my then-boyfriend’s apartment!
Unfortunately, this growth was stunted by the onset of the pandemic about 8 months later.
However, equipped with routines I loved and a deeper understanding of how the mind works from my coursework in psychology, I was able to craft a life I grew to love and appreciate from the confines of my childhood home.
I won’t lie to you- not everything since learning about the wellness realm has been rainbows and sunshine. In 2021, my grip on wellness was challenged harder than ever before when 3 deaths rocked my family to its core. Fortunately, my dedication to wellness stood the test of time and I’m stronger than I ever was before.
I share these key experiences in my life with you not only so you can get to know me better, but to show you that wellness is vital in your life. Our versions of wellness may look different, but they’re what have the power to get us through the roughest of patches.
This is why I’m so insistent on sharing the wellness I’ve learned. My hope is at least one person gains insight into an avenue of wellness that works for them with each post I write, Instagram story I share, and conversation I have.
I look forward to continuing to share my wellness insights with you and I hope you continue to develop a wellness practice you truly love! 💛