Somehow, though I love to write and this should feel more like an introduction than a chore, I feel like I’m about to begin one of the college application essays that plagued me last year around this time. Wouldn’t it be nice if my blog were already established, if you knew me already and I could just muse about the day or share some tasty tidbits.
My name is Michaela. It’s nice to meet you. As a college freshman meeting new people every day, I’ve pretty much gotten brief introductions with strangers down. This, however, will take a little bit more time. I’ll try to keep it from getting too wordy, but please forgive me if I do!
I go to school in South Carolina at a small liberal arts university that I love. I have not yet declared a major, but I am passionate about sustainability (particularly in relation to food and agriculture) and nutrition, but I am also enamored with the Spanish language. It was a twisty road that brought me to where I am (not only geographically—also spiritually, mentally, and physically!), but one I’m glad I ventured upon and emerged from whole. I know I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be.
Growing up, I had a less than notable yet perfectly idyllic childhood placed in central Ohio. My family owned a little over 13 acres in the country, and I since I was homeschooled until sixth grade I had ample opportunity to roam the woods, play in the creek, catch tadpoles from the pond, and perform my allotted chores associated with our hobby farm. The youngest of four girls, my older sisters flip flopped between doting on me and teasing me mercilessly, but I even when I whined I loved the attention and affection.
I’m the cute, slightly odd-looking baby with what appears to be a Mohawk.
When I was fourteen, the father changed jobs and up and moved us from the farm to the dismal, dreary place of his birth . . . Houston, Texas. I’m not going to dwell too long on Houston, except to say that I was not initially a very happy camper. Moving was good for me. It helped me to mature, but after the move I found that I missed the community that had been established for me in the Midwest. I missed my childhood friends, the church I’d grown up with, and the land that was my home. Friendships took effort, and as a slightly embittered teenager I wasn’t eager to reach out and abandon my claim to my home, to Ohio. This left a hole. I was no longer sure who I was, where I fit, and what gave me value.
My, this is turning out to be a bit longer than I expected! Hold on for just a bit longer, I’ll wrap it up soon!
I’m pretty tall and somewhat slim, so I’d always experienced a litany of folks either telling me to model or asking if I did. When I saw an ad online for a casting call at my local mall, I tentatively approached my mother and father. Though rather ambivalent, my mother accompanied me on the excursion that was to send me sliding down an oily and perilous path. Naively, (or dumbly) I thought that modeling would somehow give me value and make me special. Instead, it led to a long battle with my body, isolation from my family and friends, a vacancy in my relationship with God, and a distorted relationship with food. Somehow, I forgot that I was already valuable, and already very unique.
Whew. It’s been awhile since I’ve looked at any of these photos. Well, that’s me—skinny, trying desperately to convince myself I wasn’t miserable. I’ll probably end up telling the whole story one post (or two or three or four, trying to contain it to one . . . that would be a challenge). I stopped modeling, I regained myself and my values, and now I’m on a journey, a pilgrimage if you will, to health. I desire health overflowing—mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally.
And I welcome you to come along with me.