Me, in a nutshell...
I’ve had a pretty boring life. Some would even say a sheltered one. I haven’t had any real hardships in life, I had a great childhood with loving parents and three siblings. Growing up in an affluent suburb of New York City, I had everything that I ever needed or wanted at my fingertips. But I couldn’t help but feel lost.
High school was a hard time for me emotionally, like I said, I never had any real problems in life, but finding out who I was inside was a real struggle. I found it hard to find enjoyment in anything unless I was shitfaced. There were things that I loved doing like playing soccer, writing in my journal, cooking at home, but I was never satisfied with my ability to do any one of these things even remotely well. My self-esteem was subpar, at best.
I went to college and the freedom it gave me only made me lazier. I did minimal work in class, just enough to get by, and didn’t really care about how well I did. I was more interested in parties and having friends. I didn’t have any true responsibility, nor did I ever figure out what I wanted to do with my life, which is what college is essentially for.
I came out of SUNY Buffalo with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications and still not a clue about what I wanted. I eventually found my way to culinary school at The Natural Gourmet Institute in New York City which I fell in love with. This was my purpose. Health and wellness became my career for the next 10 years.
The beginning was fantastic. I loved learning about food and health, and in turn, how I could teach potential clients the same, AND make money doing it. It became my passion, my obsession. But choosing to make this my business right out of school with no knowledge of how to run a business was ultimately what made me fail. I didn’t do the appropriate research, I figured I would just wing it and I would be ok, but I wasn’t.
During the end of my health and wellness career I was also in a toxic relationship which ended badly, and all aspects of my life were tumbling down around me and on top of me. I was at my rock bottom, feeling sorry for myself, just as lost (or even more so) as I was when I was growing up.
One of my good friends taught English in Japan for many years and she always said it was the best decision she ever made. I decided to go for it, with no true path in my life, why not? I have always wanted to travel. The worst that could happen was that I didn’t like it, and to fly back home.
Well, let me tell you that my friend wasn’t wrong. It absolutely was the best decision of my life.
I don’t think I ever truly grew up until I moved to China at 32 years old.
This is where my life begins.