If you’ve wandered over here, I’m assuming you’re interested in my personal history to some degree. I’ve tried to keep it short(ish) and to divide my bio into categories so that you can find what you want.
I grew up in a medium-sized city in Tennessee, the younger daughter of two parents who have been happily (as far as I can tell) married for over 30 years. That sounds normal, maybe, but that kind of family background is surprisingly rare among my generation. As I grew up I got involved in a variety of activities: mostly dance (ballet, tap, modern, and jazz to varying degrees of intensity over the years) and music (piano, flute, choral, and classical voice). I loved to read and write for my own pleasure. Since my big sister was into it, I learned to cross stitch. I loved to play outside. I ran a little cross country and played a little tennis, but other than that I never much got into sports since my hand-eye coordination is abysmal. I was a quiet, shy, sensitive child unless I was around people I trusted and loved (when I could be downright boisterous). I suppose the same holds true for me as an adult.
I went to my neighborhood public school for kindergarten, but after our school scrapped their gifted program, my parents decided to enroll me in a magnet school, which had the added benefit of exposing me to children of different races and backgrounds. It was there that I began to study French (at age six), which I later decided to make a career out of. I had a few friends at my school, but I was also teased mercilessly, and it was a relief to leave after sixth grade to begin private school. The school I went to from seventh grade until I graduated was a co-ed private school that I adored. The friends that I made there have proven to be for life, and the teachers I had inspired me to do my best as a student and to want to become a teacher myself.
From there, I went to a well-respected university and got my degree in French and Secondary Education, intending to become a teacher. After completing my last semester of college, which involved student teaching, I felt I needed more preparation before taking over a classroom, so I went on to get my Masters of Arts in Teaching. During my time as a graduate teaching assistant, I discovered I preferred teaching university students. After taking some time off to travel, volunteer, and find myself (I’ll explain later), I decided to apply to doctoral programs in applied linguistics so that I could eventually be a professor. All of which sounded great until I learned I was pregnant. Now all of that has been put on hold, perhaps indefinitely, and I’m okay with that. Actually, I’m more than okay with that. Perhaps I’ve finally found my calling — to be a mom.
My First Marriage
I met my first husband when I was a senior in high school. He was a freshman in college. I thought I was so cool dating a college guy. We fell for each other and were convinced we were perfect for each other. After enduring nearly four years of a semi-long-distance relationship (together every summer, but separated by a three-hour drive during the school year), we got married. I still had one semester of college to go. Everything should have been perfect, it was what I had always wanted, except it wasn’t. Almost as soon as we got married, I felt trapped and wanted out, but I was too afraid to tell anyone and just kept hoping the feeling would go away. It didn’t, and the marriage ended while I was in graduate school. I’ll spare you the gory details.
My spirituality is a little hard to describe. It’s less a belief system and more a series of experiences I’ve had that have taught me how to live my life in a different way. It’s based in the Eastern tradition, sort of a strange cross between Hinduism and Buddhism, but without worship of the myriad Hindu gods or of the Buddha or of anyone for that matter. Mostly it’s about using meditation (not just sitting with your eyes closed for a few minutes each day, but cultivating a quality of meditativeness that is with you all the time) as a vehicle to go beyond your limitations, to become more than you ever thought possible, to find true peace and happiness. Whatever I have experienced in this regard comes directly from the teachings of my guru, called Sadhguru.
It was while I was in graduate school that I met Sadhguru. I had meditated and done yoga before, but never like this. I began to experience inner peace that I had never before thought possible. My whole life I had struggled to control my temper, and suddenly I no longer seemed to struggle. There was a distance between myself and my anger that I had never experienced before. After taking the beginning program, Inner Engineering, I decided to visit Sadhguru’s ashram in Tennessee, and I took more classes in yoga and meditation. I also began volunteering for his social outreach organization, the Isha Foundation. After finishing school, I traveled to Sadhguru’s ashram in India for an advanced meditation retreat, and then just a few months after coming home, returned to the ashram in Tennessee for an intensive three-month retreat. I’ve had enough of living at ashrams for a while , but the long-term positive impact of these experiences and of the meditation practices I continue to do is something I’m continuing to discover on a day-to-day basis. It’s hard for me to put all of this into words, but I’m willing to try, so if you have an interest, please contact me.
My Current (and Final) Marriage
I met my husband at Sadhguru’s ashram in Tennessee, at a volunteer retreat. It wasn’t the kind of thing where we had much opportunity to talk, but we still had some kind of instant connection. He was living in DC, and I was still in Tennessee, but we began communicating regularly via Facebook, then email, then phone. Before I knew it we were flying back and forth to visit each other on the weekends, and then he decided to move to Tennessee and made it clear to me that he intended to marry me, if that was what I wanted. I did, but we hadn’t set a date or even made our engagement official when I left for India. He completely supported that trip and my three-month retreat at the ashram in Tennessee, even though the latter meant no contact with him for the duration. Then an opportunity came that astounded us both. Sadhguru offered to marry any meditators who were interested, and the wedding was to take place at the end of the retreat. With six days’ warning, I was allowed to call my husband and ask him if he still wanted to marry me (a strange conversation to have with someone after no contact for three months, let me tell you). He gave an enthusiastic yes, we invited our parents, and we were married five days later. It was last minute, but the way it happened was perfect for us. It had been our “impossible” dream to be married by Sadhguru, something we thought would never happen, and yet somehow it did.
I’m now happier than I’ve ever been in my life, finally experiencing what a partnership should be like. About six months into our marriage, we learned I was pregnant, and the rest — as they say — is history…