My Golden Birthday: The Past 26 Years + How I Got Here (Love Story)
Been waiting 26 years to turn 26 on September 26th! WOO, I MADE IT. Also, ironically enough as I'm writing this (technically wrote this yesterday), it is 8:26am and I currently have 26 unread emails. Coincidence? Haha...
I don't know what to say, except that I feel incredibly grateful. It has proven time and time again that everything in my life happened for a reason and has led me to this present moment. So, I want to walk you through a pretty personal timeline that really shows how much of my path was a result of two significant beings in my life: Andrew + my blog, Om & The City.
For anyone who has ever asked about how Andrew and I met, you'll see just how significant a role he has played throughout the last 13+ years of my life.
Years 2004-2008: The Story of How Andrew and I Met
I met Andrew at a football game in 8th grade, and we started chatting on AIM (my screen name was lovedogs91), which quickly developed into a huge crush on both sides. He burned me a CD with Goldfinger, and I burned him a CD with Phantom of the Opera. Then, he invited me to go to youth group with him. I said no, because I was painfully shy around boys I liked. So, that's where it ends. For now.
Had I not been too shy to really talk to Andrew in 8th grade, we probably would have dated in high school and broken up. Instead, I dated someone else who we will call "LD". LD ended up being my first love and my first heartbreak (this is important later). Andrew and I wouldn't connect again for another 8+ years. Minus the occasional Facebook wall post like the below, haha.
Years 2009-2013: Heartbreak, Self-Discovery, New Ideas
The heartbreak with LD in 2010 is crucial to my timeline, because those years in college when I was single, alone, and dealing with mental health issues were probably some of the MOST creative years of my life. I wrote so many songs and poems and got lost in my yoga practice. This is when I began diving deep into my wellness journey and started blogging for Your Zen Life.
Year 2013: The Conception of Om & The City
The idea of creating my own wellness blog began almost a year after guest writing for YZL and other sites. I was living in NYC and worked in fashion, but I was engulfed in the wellness world outside of work. It was on September 26, 2013 when I received my annual happy birthday note from Andrew. But, things played out differently...
This time, I decided to message him and pop the question....
That, my friends is where it all began.
Year 2014: The Launch + a New Relationship
January 1st, 2014 I launched Om & The City, and it looked like this.
Andrew designed almost everything by hand - even the paint splatters, which were scanned in from paper to digital form. He truly is an artist, and even though my blog doesn't look like this anymore, I'll always feel the warm and fuzzies when I see this.
So, my blog launched, and my work with Andrew was technically complete. Although, I still crushed on him, I did not foresee us doing anything about it since he lived in KY. Well, a few months later (March 2014), he came up to NY with a friend for ONE day - and that was my first time seeing him in almost 8 years. Fast forward through many awkward phone dates and a weekend trip in May to see each other... and we made it official June 1, 2014.
Years 2015-2016: Becoming a Certified Yoga Instructor + an Actual Blogger
Andrew and I dated long distance for a year before he finally moved to NYC in April of 2015. There's so much I can say about this time frame regarding the different jobs I had and the challenging act of balancing my blog on the side, but I'll keep it brief. I quit my job in the fashion industry at the beginning of September 2015 and went to Nicaragua for the full month of October to get my RYT-200 certification. From that point on, I knew my blog was very special to me and decided to give it the attention it deserved.
^October 2015, Yoga Teacher Training in Nicaragua
2016 was a year for the books - I started what would become a very longterm + treasured partnership with Athleta which pretty much kicked off true blogging and content creation for me. I owe so much of my growth to Athleta because they were the first brand to believe in me.
Year 2017: Truly The Best Year of My Life
I feel like I've said this every year for the past 4 years, but this has truly been the best year of my life so far. Maybe it's because I'm finally, 100% in my element for the first time ever. I kicked off January by leaving my 9-5 job with a tech startup to work for myself full-time, and it was the best decision I ever made (read my 5 biggest learnings since becoming self-employed).
The Highlights of 2017 (SO FAR!)
Since January: I've traveled to San Francisco, Portland, Arizona, and the land of beautiful Bali to name a few. Andrew and I moved to our second apartment together (see my home tour here). We adopted our puppy Luna! I launched my YouTube Channel. My blog has been featured on MindBodyGreen and Well + Good, and my first-ever print magazine feature is coming out next week! I've started new partnerships and continued older ones with incredible brands I align with.
And most importantly...
This COMMUNITY has grown to ALMOST 25,000 of you! I know none of this would be possible without all of your love and support over the years. I hope you all know just how much I care for each and every one of you. I've made huge efforts this year to meet up IRL, and I hope you feel it. Thank you all for giving me the opportunity to share what I'm most passionate about with equally passionate individuals like yourselves.
And of course... thank you, Andrew. I'm so grateful for all the turns my life took, because it led me back to you. You are the best partner in life, and you've given so much of yourself to seeing me and my blog grow. I'm so lucky to call you my human. And so lucky to call Luna our puppy-human.
I'm heading into this next quarter of my life with full gratitude, trust, and excitement for what lies ahead. There's something really special in the works that will be revealed in about a month (maybe sooner), but here are a few things you can expect from me now until the end of 2017:
More yoga classes, meetups, and wellness events + more video content!