10734172_1502241910046553_8605234224568940339_nBefore I get too deep into this blog, I would be remiss if I didn’t introduce myself and share a little bit about my journey as an unmarried, curvy singleton in the 21st century.

My name is Annie and I live in Nebraska (yeah, one of those flyover states in the middle of the country. We have corn and cows. Oh, and a football team. There’s some other stuff here, but those are our most notable exports). I come from a large(ish) Catholic family and never attended public schools till I went to college where I majored in French and European Studies.

After grad school and a meandering career path, including a stint as an au pair in Italy and training to become a Catholic nun, I taught high school for 6 years until I was completely burned out. Because I was living out-of-state, I needed to come home to be closer to my family. Though I loved the students, I quit teaching and now I work for the State. I’ve never had a nine-to-five job, and I must say, it suits me very well in this season of my life. My work is interesting, I get to apply a lot of my liberal arts background every day, and my colleagues are nice people.

When I am not working or blogging, I enjoy (in no particular order) jogging, reading, Netflix, wine tastings, art galleries, yoga, not speaking English, cooking, silent movies, jazz, the Kansas City Royals, and traveling.

Maybe it’s strange for a woman in her late 30s to never have owned a home, but I am perfectly content renting right now. My current roommate is an 18-pound orange Manx (no tail) cat whose only contributions to household expenses include waking me up early on the weekends to eat. And whose hairballs force me to clean the carpet. But she’s a keeper.

While this may sound like I live a normal woman’s life, there is a dark side to my past. I’ve battled depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem almost my entire life. Having been a teacher, I unfortunately know this is common, but I was bullied in high school to the point I tried to kill myself. Being told I was fat and ugly took such a toll on me that it became deeply engrained my soul. I always told myself that while I was smart, I wasn’t pretty enough or interesting enough to ever sustain a meaningful relationship and that no man would ever want to date me.

That negative feedback became my reality. It was a self-fulfilling prophecy and it wasn’t until 2011 that I finally began to accept myself for who I am. After hundreds of hours of reading, reflection, and prayer, I finally realized I was capable of loving and being loved. Age and wisdom have played a huge part in my healing and where I am today.

Roll call! Where are you from? How have your experiences shaped you in the woman you have become today?