You might not understand what I’m doing, what I went through, or where I’m going, and I might not understand either, but that’s okay.
You see, I wanted to explain to y’all how I got here. I feel like I owe that to you since last time I was vocal about my goals and career I was about to or just beginning to attend Baylor Law School. So how did I wind up here as an Integrative Health Coach?
I’ve come to a place of acceptance this past year and a half. Earlier this year, I wasn’t ready to talk about this, but now I am. A little over year ago, I was ending my law school journey. When I had originally embarked on this path, I was so excited, so thrilled and utterly over the moon. I knew this would be difficult since I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease (Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis) back in 2014. In my case, the symptoms are reduced by good sleep, organic, healthy food (no caffeine, dairy, sugar or gluten), lots of pure water, and keeping stress under control. I had my own place, my health was decent at that point, and I thought I was completely on my “path”. I was so eager to fight the injustice in the world and be an advocate for the people. I went in with my soul on fire! Truly.
A couple months in, I was having paralyzing anxiety. I had never suffered with this before, but suddenly I was so afraid to speak, to eat, to move, and when my body would finally shut down, my mind was never at ease. Even in my sleeping hours, which were shortened to about two hours a night, I had so much pressure in my chest and my mind wandered to the darkest of places. My thoughts often visited the worst crime shows (yes, seriously!) I had seen and would hold my brain hostage, I kept trying to remember if I had locked my doors and if the alarm was on. I, of course, already knew it was because I had checked 4 times already.
I would awake in the morning, if you could even call it that, with so much sickness in my belly and crippling fear I couldn’t eat. I would get nauseous at the thought of eating. So I would drink my coffee, full of dairy cream and sugar, even though I knew it was bad for me and try to get through the next couple of hours. I “needed” caffeine. Most of the time, I would force myself to eat a salad at lunch but even that made me sick. I would often skip dinner for more coffee, green tea, anything with caffeine to keep me awake and study until my body forced me to lay down. This was my life for months. Now some people can do this in law school and succeed, but that was NOT me. I was sick the entire time I was in law school. It got to the point that my stomach pains made me so ill that it was interfering with school. I was so sick that walking up flights of stairs I would get lightheaded, my vision was blurry while trying to read, and when I was called on in class, just standing up almost made me pass out. I really didn’t want to live like this.
I had also come to find that just because you love the circus, doesn’t mean you want to be the ringleader in it. I found that I loved learning “law”, but I didn’t want to practice it. I loved the history and the black and white theory of law, but from the internships and shadowing I had done, I kept deciding I didn’t want to do “that type” of law. It got to the point where I honestly didn’t know what type of law I would want to practice. The final straw was when this point in the term came where it seemed like everyone else felt like they were finding their niche and I felt like I was becoming more and more confused on if this was even right for me. They were figuring out their passions and I was getting less and less interested.
I thought maybe coming home and attending a different law school in Houston things might be different. At home, I had my family there to support me and maybe I would find my path since I had more options. But it wasn’t different. I not only had the same issues as before, being disillusioned with the law field and being sick, but now I constantly worried about Houston traffic (if you’ve ever driven in rush hour in Houston, you know). I came home one day and decided this STILL wasn’t what I wanted for my life and that I didn’t want to live my life this way. I loved the learning, but not at the price of my health or my passion.
On top of all of that, some of my friendships were failing. I had people in my life who didn’t understand, want to understand, or who wouldn't support me. I realized that those friendships were more about what I could do for them than what being a true friend really meant. Instead of asking how I was doing, they constantly tore me down. I couldn’t take care of myself, let alone maintain a one-sided relationship. I had to say goodbye to those relationships, even though it was so painful. However, I still love them and thank them for their part they played in my life. 2018 was a very hard year. Full of lessons and a lot of painful growing. But I am thankful it happened and have learned so much about myself from all of it.
So to change pace a little bit, let me take you back even further to 2012, when I started at TCU, my major was nutrition. Nutrition has always been something I have been extremely passionate about even since high school. I was told there’s “no money” in it, but after my law school experience, I have decided that I would rather live a completely, fulfilled, and happy life instead of doing something just for the money, even if I don’t “kill it” paycheck wise. (Also, just because you get a certain degree doesn’t guarantee you’re going to be successful in that field or at anything, really).
As some of you might know, this new knowledge led me to my decision to enroll in Nutrition School. I had decided that 2019 was going to be my year. I decided to pursue my passion and I decided to take nutrition classes at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. I got my old job back and I’m still trying to heal my body, reduce my Hashimoto’s symptoms, and be kind to myself. I feel as if that might be a process I continue the rest of my life, but I feel more complete and happier now. I feel like I’m back on my path, chasing my dreams. I don’t know where it may lead to, but I’m excited for the trek. I’m still learning how to deal with my anxiety (although not nearly as bad) and just trying to be really good to myself. You have to live your truth or your body will pay for it. Believe me.
I have just completed my IIN program and I can say that I have absolutely loved and enjoyed everything I’ve learned. I feel like I’ve changed SO much in the past 7 months (and since 2018 really) that someone might not even recognize me, but the truth is, outwardly I haven't changed that much. It’s been all inner work and self-development that I’ve been really focused on. I know I took a break for while but I really wanted to try to soak in all my nutrition education, enjoy being engaged, and have been busy planning mine & Troy's wedding. I wanted to be present and really enjoy this moment of my life, and now, feeling like I've done that, I’m ready to come back to the “typing” board and bring you the information I have been learning these past 7 life-changing months.
I am so thankful for my time, the lessons, and the people I met at law school and this past year. It’s all a part of my journey. Please know that. I am not bitter from anything that took place in 2018 or 2019. Everyone and everything has changed me, molded me, shaped me into who I am now. I have been SO blessed to have such a wonderful and supportive family, fiancé, and friends throughout this tumultuous journey, without y’all I would be nothing. Thank you to those who have prayed for me and kept me in their hearts, it means the world to me.
God truly has a plan for each of us, I really believe that. It may not always seem to go the way you envisioned, but there is always a greater plan in the works. This whole ordeal has strengthened my relationship with God in ways I can’t even put into words. I have fully surrendered my life to our Good Lord. I tried my way and it wasn’t what I wanted, so now I’m ready to see where He leads me. I don’t have all the answers, but I’m looking forward to the ride. I will leave you with this quote,
“Your long-term happiness and fulfillment depends on your ability to fulfill your soul’s unique purpose and to fill the place in the world that only you can fill, making the contribution only you can make.”
May God bless you and keep you. Listen to your inner voice. Don’t do anything that makes you feel like you’re dying inside. Pursue your passions. You only get one life. Aspire for more. Always. Thank you for reading, following, and caring about my journey.
xx Kimberly Ann