My path to happiness

Last night while I was on my old laptop, I came across an unusual video saved in my documents. I didn’t know what it was so I decided to watch it. When I hit play, there was nothing on the video except half of my face and an old familiar voice of someone I used to be close to. “Tell me what you were just saying, this is gonna help you one day. Tell me why you’re so upset,” he said. Without realizing he was recording me, I replied, “I hate being so stressed, I just want to be happy.”

This video was recorded when I first started working in New York City several years ago. I didn’t have enough money for an apartment the first couple of years, so I commuted four hours a day from my parents house in NJ to my job in Manhattan. I worked sometimes up to 15 hours a day, so I couch surfed a good deal (thank you friends!). To someone who grew up outside of Monmouth County NJ, this sounds absolutely insane, but its not uncommon.

Anyway, at this time, I pretty much felt like a huge loser. Before I got my first job, I had a top recruiter in New York tell me I was too “cute and button-like” to survive in New York. I was also told my dream job wasn’t available to me because I didn’t have an Ivy League education. When I did finally get an amazing job, I was told I had to “pay my dues” there. Paying my dues entailed fun things like standing behind the rest of my team while they sat down to eat, then cleaning up their food and wiping the table for them when they were done eating. It also involved my boss listening to my phone calls on the other end anytime my phone rang so she could find yet another thing to criticize me about. I don’t even want to get into the rest of that because its irrelevant so I’ll continue on to my point.

As the conversation in the video continued, the former person in my life asked, “what exactly do you think you’re going to need to be happy one day?” I responded, “all I know is that I want to live somewhere warm. I also want to see the world.” He proceeded to ask me if I thought living in New York would make me feel better, and I replied, “I don’t know. I guess I’m still figuring it all out.”

When I eventually did get to live in New York, like many people, I worked my ass off. After a few years, my body started shutting down on me.  I was having problems with my vision (saw a permanent red line when I looked at things, fun times), blood sugar, digestion, anxiety attacks, and the list continues. I knew this was a sign that I needed to make a change, I just couldn’t figure out what the change was. I was completely lost and I didn’t know where to turn. I’ve always been a very spiritual person, so I prayed and prayed for an answer. After about 8 months, my answer finally came to me in a yoga studio while I was in Austin, Texas.

I spent a lot of weekends in 2015 traveling to different cities trying to find myself and possibly a new home. At the end of every weekend, I continued to feel a lost empty feeling. I remember feeling completely depleted at the end of a trip to Austin. I knew it wasn’t the place for me and I was running out of options. I wanted to check out a juice shop I read about there, so my friend and I went before we left. Turns out, it was connected to a yoga studio. I remember seeing the yoga teacher in the juice shop and thinking to myself “I wish I kept up on yoga the way I used to. She looks so happy and healthy. I wish I could be healthy and happy for a living.” We left Austin the next day and I came back to an email from a yoga studio that I used to go to back home. “Last call for teacher training!” At this point I was like what the hell do I have to lose, even if I don’t end up teaching yoga at least its somewhere for me to go on the weekends to think about my next steps. I’m going to do it!

I didn’t realize how much that experience would change my life and help me find my way back to myself. I met some of the most amazing, positive human beings through this teacher training. When you surround yourself with people who make you feel like you can move mountains, your entire reality changes. Through that process, I rediscovered myself and the things that I am passionate about. I discovered that I already knew deep down where I wanted to live, I was just afraid to go. I’ve furthered my education in the nutrition and coaching world, and I love that there is always something new to learn about myself and others.

I am, and always have been/will be, passionate about helping people. I love seeing people truly happy. We all have our own unique paths, and we were all meant to shine. It isn’t just for some people, it is for everyone. There are a lot of people out there preaching this topic online because it seems to be the thing to do these days. However, the only way you’re going to actually change some aspect of your life is by putting in the work. It is one thing to talk about it, another to live it. There are ways to bring yourself back to a place of peace, health, happiness, and confidence. You can feel alive and fulfilled. I’m not going to sit here and tell you the things that I do are your answer. You’ll probably have something completely different that works for you. Regardless, you will find it. If I can do it, so can you. I can’t wait to share everything I’ve learned with you guys!!