The Road Less Traveled

Some people are born with a desire to be different.
That’s not what happened here.

It was not my mission when I was growing up to be different or figure out how to make my life outside of social norms. I was an average kid, growing up in urban America, with hopes and dreams. I would graduate HS with honors, go on to college and get my degree, maybe grad school… get married and my white picket fence. As average as average gets.

My immune system had other ideas.
I remember it as though it were yesterday.
It was a Friday night. I was at dance practice. All of a sudden, I had to sit. I couldn’t dance. But i had to. We had a performance the next day. I couldn’t sit it out, I didn’t want to sit it out. So, I danced that Saturday. I can still feel my body as I spun … and lost control. I couldn’t catch myself. I flew right to the edge of that stage. I had no idea what a pivotal moment this would be in my life. 18 years later and it feels like yesterday.

Fast forward 6 months and I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease. It’s crazy the things that stick with you. I still remember my doctor, Robert Schumann (at the time) looking at me, then looking at my mother and saying “you have no idea what that means for you, do you,” and um, let’s just say he was right.

The past 18 years have seen so many surgeries and procedures that I don’t think we’ll ever get an accurate count (I put the surgery number, including major and minor at about 50). Many hospital visits due to serious illness. THREE times when we really didn’t think I’d survive. Two of those times were in 2019.

Holding a traditional job was difficult for some time, and then became impossible as my disease progressed. Two bachelor’s degrees. An MBA. Virtually useless. I spent a good decade trying to find my place, figuring out what I could do for money to support myself. The financial burden of being chronically ill is something you can only understand if it’s happened to you. Between the hospital and medication bills and the inability to work a well paying job… you can possibly imagine the position I found myself in.

Life isn’t easy, but usually, with enough desire and drive, you can make it beautiful.

One of the hardest four letter words to utter.
However, even while being sick, you have choices.
You can choose to be bitter or choose to be better.
You can choose to wallow in self-pity or flourish in self-confidence.
You can choose to allow others to feel sorry for you or you can allow yourself to live the absolute best life you can imagine for yourself.

Being sick doesn’t make life easier, in many aspects it makes life harder, but that doesn’t make it a bad life. If you allow it, it teaches you how beautiful life can be in the simplicity of it all.

I am far from perfect.
My life is far from perfect.
I learned to love every little imperfection that makes me me, and that’s when my life changed.

Today I am happy. I know in my heart of hearts that I wear my heart on my sleeve, I help even when I’m the one who needs help. I do all the things that make my heart happy, for me.

I made a shift after my first near death experience. With that shift I began removing toxicity from my life. I began first with people. I have no room and will not pretend to tolerate toxic traits from people who will have you believing you are less and they are more.

As with people, things. As early as 2006 I started studying. Studying what? ALL THE THINGS.
Have you ever looked into the patterns of auto-immune diagnoses?
Have taken the time to sit and think of how much more prevalent cancer is today than just a few decades ago?
How about heart disease?
Disease runs rampant, especially in the United States, at an alarming rate.
My eyes opened when I realized how many things we consume on a daily basis which are KNOWN carcinogens and toxins but we don’t even realize are in our products.

I’m not huge on conspiracy theories. I’m huge on facts and the facts are readily available for anyone who takes the time to look.

The fact is: our lifestyles are killing us.

High demand. High stress. High anxiety. Constantly on the go so there’s no time to rest the body, mind and (possibly most importantly) soul. We don’t have the time to be mindful about what we put in our bodies. How many times have you gone through the drive-through and eaten in your car on the way to somewhere this past week?

So here I am, 37 years old.
I get to live with an ostomy that allows me to still do all the things I love.
I’m married to my best friend, soul mate, hero.
I get to help others build their lives into whatever their wildest dreams can conjure, through an opportunity that opened it’s door to me, when everyone else closed theirs (details).
I work from home and love on my chihuahua herd all day long (we have 6!).
I just joined my husband on a new joint venture which I’m over crazy excited for (details).
I get to travel the country with my best friend living our passion as certified sound healers (details).

I love getting to know you all so here is an open invite to introduce yourselves!
Reach out with any questions about Crohn’s, lifestyle, tips, if you need to talk, if you need someone to tell you it’s ok to tell that soul sucker to F off or whatever else you want to chat about <3


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