In November of 2018 I wrote my first piece for The Loafer, where I attempted to give an introduction of myself in an honest way that wouldn’t scare readers off. I hadn’t revisited that piece until today when I was going back through old articles in an attempt to get the creative juices flowing, and wow, it was very bizarre to meet that person, because so much has changed in so little time. It occurred to me that since I barely recognize myself in that article, it might be time for me to do a little introduction update for any new readers who are wondering “who the heck is this chick?” And for any long-time consumers, it might be cool to know a little more about me.
So first and foremost I am a Tri-Cities girl through and through. I loved every second of the 30+ years I spent in the mountains of East Tennessee, but in June 2019 I took a chance on a job opportunity in Nashville. While I will always carry a torch for my hometown and still keep a house there for monthly visits with family and friends, I was at a point in my life where it was time to spread my wings a little. More accurately, like the mythical Phoenix, everything in my life seemed to have burned to the ground and it was time to rise from the ashes. I needed to rebuild somewhere that could accommodate a bigger wingspan.
What a time it was to move 5 hours away from the only comfort zone I’ve known. I’d hardly gotten my feet planted here when the tornado then Covid hit, shutting the world down, including the company I’d just been hired on with 9 months earlier. Thankfully I was re-hired by another beverage distributor within 6 months, but what a whirlwind year we’ve all had since March 2020!
That gives a brief rundown of how I ended up in my present location, so here’s a little more of my personal history. I’m an only child to 2 wonderful, loving parents which proves you can’t blame all adult issues on childhood trauma haha. While I definitely grew up a bit financially restricted, I never noticed because my parents ensured I had everything I ever wanted or needed. After high school into the first half of my 20s I went through my “messy phase.” I was in a terrible toxic relationship out of sheer laziness and convenience, which led to horrible life decisions, getting fat and even arrested. While I am not proud of who I was then, I think it’s important not to hide that part of my life because I’m proof that ANYONE can turn their life around, no matter how low you’ve let yourself go. If there’s one thing I would like this column to do, it is to inspire that hope into someone who might need it.
Once I decided it was time to get it together, it was only about a year before I met the person I ended up marrying. I had it in my mind that the expiration date for marriage was 30, so subconsciously I made that a priority. I am now happily divorced so we can all see how that mindset worked out for me. It turns out you don’t know jack about squat before you’re 30 and if I could pass along 1 piece of advice to the younger generation, it would be to wait until AFTER that landmark year to make ANY long-term decisions, especially ones that require legal documents. At the time my divorce occurred I was initially devastated because I was caught a bit off guard (AKA it was not known to me that I was getting divorced.) But I quickly realized I wasn’t mourning the loss of that person so much as I was the loss of the life I had thought I was going to have. I can now say with the utmost enthusiasm that the ending of that relationship was the biggest favor ever done for me, because we were very different people who wanted vastly different lives. I look at my lifestyle now and can’t possibly imagine having missed out on it for my lifestyle then.
That event almost 4 years ago set off a string of extreme highs and lows for me, that included: being fired from what I thought was my “dream job,” then starting my own business; falling in real love for the first time, then doing a lot of dumb, hurtful things to myself and other people because I thought with my heart and not my brain; uprooting my entire life because I was running away and then truly finding myself. I’ve come to realize that what can seem like the worst possible thing in the world to happen can be the best thing that changed your life, it all just depends on how you choose to handle it.
I’m at a strange crossroads in my life right now. While things have never been so unknown, I’ve never been more at peace. I’ve never felt so loved by a dynamic network of family and friends from all walks of life, but still keep an impenetrable wall around my heart so no one can get close enough to hurt me again. I’m more open to meeting any and everyone but just as ready to cut them off at the first sign of betrayal. I have a great job that I’m excelling at, but I still feel I haven’t found my purpose. All I know is that this feels like the awakening of the second chapter of my life where tremendous growth is going to take place and I am so happy to share it with you readers.
I try to disclose bits and pieces of my life that might do a little good along the way. Sometimes just knowing someone else has a similar struggle is enough to inspire a change within. At the end of the day, I’m just a 30something year old single chick with 3 dogs, trying to navigate the ups and downs of life with a little wine and a lot of food along the way. And while I like to bask in big city lights, nothing makes my soul shine quite like taking in the stars in my backyard back home. I’m blessed to have been raised in those Appalachian Mountains we all call home, and I hope you all find something relatable in this little column I take so much joy in writing.