This is me in Donegal, Ireland in 2012. At 26, I earned a Masters Degree in Archaeology at The University College of Dublin. I’m leading with that because it’s sort of when my life changed. I grew up a southerner, with all the trimmings, including adoring parents. I thrived academically, attended a prestigious State University, majored in English, Art History, and Archaeology, then moved to Boston to become a high school Humanities teacher. The classroom was my greatest comfort, so it was no surprise that after relishing 3 years in the teaching field, in Boston and back at home in NC, I went back to the classroom myself for my “dream” graduate degree. As it is for most of us twenty and thirty-something bloggers, a lot has happened to flip things upside down for me between 22 and 29–bittersweet, tumultuous, and transformative. When I started to feel sick, have migraines, lose hair, lack energy, and feel major anxiety in my twenties, I went to doctors and asked: Why am I so sick? Why am I so tired? Why is my tongue white and bumpy? Why am I swollen and bloated? Why can’t I recover? Was I struggling with an autoimmune disease? The resounding answer was one I was not unfamiliar with: that I was over-sensitive to my body’s screaming warning signs. That I was young and healthy. Apparently, the hundreds of thousands of years of human evolution inside of me that favored intuition and vibration sensitivity were worthless in seeking a diagnosis from western medicine. I was diagnosed with inflammation by a holistic practitioner, and eventually, after a lot of procedures and poking, diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease.
When I was 11, I wrote in my diary that I “found myself in the swamps of Georgia” at an environmental camp. My sister doesn’t let me forget this penchant for the dramatic: that mystical quest to self-revelation that has been churning inside of me from a tender age. So at 26, alone in a foreign country with IBD, in my despair, I found the will to conquer it naturally and nutritionally, and since that magical day, I’ve found a deeper purpose for my own calling in holistic medicine, healthful nutrition, and simple living, which eventually led to my involvement with herbs and essential oils, my interests in acupuncture and chinese medicine, and my pursuit of nutritionist and Doula certifications. All my incredible experiences in the decade of my twenties led me full circle to becoming a teacher again (just not the classroom kind) via my blog and my Doula practice, so thanks for indulging my teaching spirit.
PS- I’m also still tutoring high schoolers in my spare time and taking students at firstname.lastname@example.org