I guess it’s about time I bite the bullet and write my “About Me” section. I’ve never been comfortable talking about myself, so you’ll understand why it hasn’t been completed before…
I am a Marylander in my late twenties who managed to find her way south to North Carolina. Like many of my sweet friends, I lost a loved one too soon. During my senior year of high school, I left for a New Year’s party after an argument with my daddy about what time I would be home. Angry and annoyed, I left in a rush to meet my friends after saying some not so pleasant things. Little did I know those would be the last words I ever spoke to him.
On a dreary Thursday morning, school was resuming after a short winter break. I left for the day and still hadn’t said a word to my dad. Why was it necessary to give me a curfew for the first time ever, I kept wondering. I remember what I wore and where I was when I got the news. A classmate had found me in the lunch room, asking that I come to the nurses’ office, my mother wanted to speak to me. Weird, I thought, thinking maybe I had left something at home OR she was giving me an opportunity to leave for the day. It wasn’t until I walked into the back office and saw the somber look on her face, that I knew something wasn’t right. “Your dad had a heart attack,” my mother told me. Everything froze. My heart stopped for what seemed to be an eternity, and her next few words came out in slow motion as I replayed the argument that occurred just a few nights before in my head. “He passed away,” she continued. I gasped for air and a high pitched noise filled my ears. I couldn’t move. I was stuck, back in the middle of the entryway of our townhouse, screaming at my dad before leaving for the night. That night I had slammed the door behind me, remembering the way the sound it made as it closed snapped me back into reality. “Anna, do you understand what I’m saying?” She asked. I just looked at her in disbelief. All the things I wanted to say, that I would never be able to say again, dried on my lips and my eyes filled with tears. I couldn’t move. I tried to sit, to move my mouth, but my brain and heart were conflicted. I just stood there.
The tears didn’t start coming until I walked out of the nurses office and headed to my locker. I knew I had to be strong, for my mother and my siblings. Tears just started to fall from my eyes, and I didn’t want anyone to see them. Someone asked, “are you okay?” and I just kept walking. After I got my stuff together and made it to the car, I sat in the back seat and just stared out the window. The gloomy weather seemed so fitting, grey skies and a bitter chill in the air. I thought to myself, “this is a horrible dream and I will wake up eventually, and everything will be okay.” It didn’t hit me until I walked through the door of my home and touched the door that I so violently slammed shut days before, that this nightmare did not have a happy ending. Not yet.
He wasn’t sick, there wasn’t any explanation. At age 47, my dad died of a heart attack. Leaving behind his wife and four children. As a high school senior, with three other siblings and a heart broken mother, I had to step into the role of the protector and provider for my family. Continuing to go to school full time, working several jobs and applying for college, while taking care of my family was a lot to handle. Late that spring, I made the decision to leave all that I knew behind, including the heartbreak I experienced months before, to attend school at High Point University. It was by far the most difficult decision I had to make at such a raw time, leaving behind my family responsibility to my younger sister, because I desired to do more, and be more.
Fast forward 10 years to now. The passing of my dad has impacted my life in ways I never thought or imagined. Over the last few years, with my renewed faith, I have felt a sense of urgency pushing me to do more: try new foods, get out and see the world, love deeply, volunteer and find something that allows me to be creative and have a passion. While I wake up each day with a desire to do all of this, I’ve been bogged down with the monotonous routine of eat, sleep, work and repeat. Ultimately I have made the mistake of choosing professions that will benefit me in the financial department, and not allow me much time to have a life outside of my career. This has created a discord in the balance between my work and personal life. In May, I left my current position, burnt out of being a District Manager in a fast paced environment for so long (retail). I have taken the last few weeks to really evaluate which direction I want my life to go in. My desire to be a wife and a mom, while spending time with my friends and ultimately getting back on track with those things listed above, is exactly where I need to be. I want to WORK to LIVE, not LIVE to WORK.
While I am still trying to figure out what’s next career-wise, I am embarking on a new journey creatively and professionally. In just a few short weeks I will be moving 1,000 miles away to Houston to be reunited with my boyfriend and puppy. In the meantime, the idea of blogging and its implementation has really allowed me to have a sense of purpose again. I may not be able to find a career that I absolutely love going to each day, but blogging will give me an outlet to share my love for fashion, travel, food and fitness, aka life in general.
I am excited to share some of my passions, but it is still absolutely terrifying to step into the unknown. Since the blog went live just a few short weeks ago, I’ve tried my best to push aside the thoughts of “what if no one reads it?” and the criticism of “you can’t do it” or “you’re not good enough,” simply because the desire was placed in my heart that needed to be fulfilled, and a urge to encourage others with my story. This process has given me a newfound confidence in trusting God with my journey, knowing that He will protect me ’till the end. I’m thankful for the experiences along the way for they have given me the strength and wisdom I have today.
I truly hope this is a place of joy and comfort, not just for me, but you, my dear readers, as well. Make yourself at home. I hope you stay for a while.
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