If you read my blog post from last week you know I got pretty personal and opened up about some things. I was so touched and blown away by all the comments and messages I got full of love and support. I wanted to start this blog to make a difference, to help and hopefully inspire others. I decided it was a great time to go a little deeper into my past and share some other big life moments that have led me to where I am today.
Like I said in my last post, the end of college was a really rough time for me. I was extremely unhappy and basically isolated myself from everyone around me. The one thing I had that helped me through was my yoga practice. I had been going to a Bikram yoga studio in my college town and it was there that I felt okay. I was surrounded by people who didn’t judge, who didn’t make snide comments, who made me feel safe. I went pretty much every day and I fell in love with the practice and the community. This is why after I graduated I decided to move away from the path of becoming a registered dietician and start a new path as a yoga teacher. If I could give what yoga gave to me to just one person I would feel fulfilled.
I did a ton of research on different yoga trainings, there are so many. I knew I wanted to move away from Bikram, I had started doing vinyasa classes and loved this style. I also knew that if I stayed near home I would probably never leave; I could live in my childhood bedroom until I was 35. I had been to California a few times and knew that I loved it. After spending 4 years in the arctic tundra of Vermont I knew I could use some warm weather. I finally decided on Core Power Yoga in Los Angeles. I had never been to a Core Power studio and I really didn’t know much about it but something about the program struck me as a good fit. I contacted the person leading the training and put my deposit down for Oct 2012.
After I made the payment, I was terrified. I had never been someone who liked being away from home and I didn’t know anyone in LA. I couldn’t believe I had made the move to pack up and move across the country. This is when I had to learn to be open to fail. What my mom kept telling me was I could always come home. If I went out there and didn’t enjoy it, I could come home. No one likes failure, no one wants to set themselves up to fail. It almost seemed easier to me to not do it at all then to try and not succeed.
After lots of stress and worry and going back and forth, I did it. I found a room to rent and I packed up my stuff, shipped my car across the country and flew out to LA. I had about a month before the teacher training started and since I didn’t know anyone in the area I used that time to explore solo. I had sent my bike out with me so I spent a ton of time riding my bike around Venice and Santa Monica. I found a nanny job to do short term to take up some of my time and also earn a little money.
This is when the real struggle and challenge began, I felt like everything was working against me. I was so incredibly home sick. The place I was living didn’t have cable or internet so I spent a lot of time sitting in my room facetiming with my sisters. I missed them so much. My one sister would send me letters about how much she missed me, how hard it was having me gone and these broke my heart. I think I cried at least once a day.
When I did finally start my training, I was super shy at first. I was intimidated by the other people who seemed to feel very comfortable and at home at the studio. It took some time but I began to open up and develop relationships with the other trainees. Then something huge happened. During the end of October, Hurricane Sandy wrecked the east coast. My family was in New Jersey, without power or heat and very limited access to a grocery store for two weeks. I felt so bad being so far away, so helpless. I knew there was nothing I could do but just being so far during a tough time was killing me. I felt like the universe was telling me I needed to be back at home. My mom urged me to stay put, to continue what I started and that everything was fine. During the storm my dad had torn his bicep and had to wait for hospitals to reopen before he could have surgery. He finally was able to go in for surgery and another trying time hit me. After the surgery, my dad had some sort of reaction to the anesthesia and pain medication. The doctors didn’t know this at the time, all they knew was his liver wasn’t functioning and they couldn’t figure out why. When I heard this news, I was beside myself. How could I be across the country, away from my family while my dad was so sick. My parents assured me that everything was going to be okay and that I was coming home for Christmas soon and to not give up on my dream. At this point it was really tough for me to believe I was following my dream, it felt like I was abandoning my family when they needed me most.
This sequence of events was making me feel like I wasn’t supposed to be in California, but I was torn because I did love what I was doing. I had made such close friends; the yoga studio had become my family. When I did go home for Christmas my dad was home recovering and everything seemed to be back to normal with my family. After long discussions with my family and lots of tears, I knew that I had to go back and finish what I started. Taking that chance, pushing myself to continue was the best thing I could have done. I went back to LA, finished my training and started teaching. I had made friends in and out of the studio. I finally felt like I had a life that I loved, I had started over.
Even when life gets hard and it seems the universe is testing you, it is important to follow your dreams. I am so grateful for my family and all the support they gave me during this hard time. I had opened myself up to the possibility of failure and it led me to true happiness. Sometimes we have to do things that make us uncomfortable. We have to do things we wouldn’t normally do and take risks. It is okay to fail. If you don’t open yourself up to the possibility of failure, then you are never going to take that leap. That leap could be exactly what you need.