SO I did it all the way I was supposed to- was an A+ student in grade school, learned how to play 3 instruments and volunteered at the animal shelter two weekends a month. Then, was an A+ student in private, Catholic high school where I did a shit load of extra curricular activities. Then went to college at 17, was an A student in college, where I was an orientation leader, student outreach ambassador, worked 30 hours a week while doing 18 credits per semester. I found a paid internship that started two days after I graduated and after that, I started and successfully ran my own business for now six years during a piss poor economy.
Exhausted just reading that? I’m exhausted living it.
Where the heck is this all GOING?
At 25, I woke up one day in the Australian outback freaking out about where my life was/is going. Why am I here? What am I supposed to be doing with my gifts…what ARE my gifts? What the hell do I even like?!
(The answer is probably dogs BTW.)
So, here I am, next to a ‘beware of dingoes’ sign sobbing uncontrollably into a bottle of rum the best rum I’ve ever had, because I noticed for the first time there was this… resounding emptiness in my life that seemed to spring up out of nowhere.
As I slowly began to face the ‘inside my heartbrain’ mystery box, I unintentionally took the first step on the journey of self discovery…one that has permeated my existence for the last 4 years and will likely last for the rest of my life. That’s kinda the point, isn’t it?
Ripping the bandaid off lasted a solid 11 months. I’d been self medicating with wine, sleep deprivation and spending time with all the wrong people. My self loathing was literally out of control. I would wake up every morning and spend time telling myself that I was a lame, unmotivated, un-lovable, worthless person.
And that’s, in a nutshell, the relationship I had with my mother and my peers in grade school. I would realize later on (like, 2016) that words weren’t mine and were actually just a sound track of negative experiences playing in my subconscious. When enough people say the same hurtful things over and over and over again, especially a parent, you start believing them.
Over course of 18 months, (2012-2013), a deep, feral anger blossomed, then turned into depression. I realized I had not been caring for myself; I felt like I didn’t deserve it. I realized I didn’t know who I actually was, as I’d been pretending to be someone I thought people would like. I didn’t know how to enjoy an experience and I squandered every single opportunity I had that year.
The fear is palpable. Still. I look in the mirror and can see this vibrant, beautiful being juuuussstt under the surface, but there’s this wall surrounding her that I can’t seem to get through.
So, after four years of beautifully intense emotional upheaval I’ve decided to try my best to simplify life, exist in a place of gratitude, and do more of the things that make me happy. As I reflect upon past experience, I’ll write about it here, with the hope that, maybe, I’ll be able to tear down that wall and help some people along the way.
I like cartoons, dogs, yoga, beer and coffee, jazz music, pop art and street art, thrifted fashion and fart jokes. Expect to hear a lot about those things told in the form of stories through the “Ella” filter.