[S]he is I and I am [her]. - Snoop Dogg

October 2017 Blog

I spent my youth in the San Gabriel Valley. I grew up in a small home with 3 siblings and my parents until their divorce when I was about 8 years old. Then, we all moved in with my mom into a small one bedroom apartment. Ugly divorce ensued...custody battle...parents blaming each other - blah, blah, blah. Some of you know the drill. I went to school in a different city from where I lived because of these divorce issues. That is a story for another time.

Academics weren't my forte. I wasn't even a great athlete. But, I had lots o' fun during my wonder years (hint: I went to high school where that show was filmed). Popularity wasn't necessarily my jam. In a place where cliques are supposed to rule, our school was actually pretty intermingled. I had friends in every group as I was a social butterfly. I was the short, funny, non-filtered, perverted friend that was full of energy.

College wasn't a priority. I didn't fill out any applications. I never even took my SAT. I wanted to pursue cosmetology. My mom, a private college grad, shook on me trying college for a year without ever having to go back if I didn't like it. Alright, I loved it. I did that until I transferred to San Francisco State University - a cry fest for my mom. I did well. I majored in English and minored in dance. I also had way too much fun. I met lots of people and spent my time between school, work, friends, and relationships - as is the norm. I just had a problem with moderation. So, I did all of it like they were full-time jobs. I graduated and moved to Oakland - LOVED it.

I didn't know what I was doing with my life, so I thought I would go where I would do best. Since I had started working with kids in SF and had a natural knack for English, I applied to the University of Southern California for a degree in the Master's of Arts in Teaching - riiiight? I know. USC was my dream school, so I checked that box. Believe it or not, I was accepted and I was a natural. It was an accelerated program which I was happy with since I had just taken a year off and did nothing inspiring with my life. It was just odd job added onto odd job, added onto odd job... I moved back to LA to get my professional life on.

An accelerated program for a broke young woman who barely graduated high school then did pretty well in college was probably not the best idea. I was losing it! It was intense. And, though I was advised against it at the start of the program, I had a part-time job. Tapped out on loans, I had to get my bills paid somehow. Truth be told, suicide had crossed my mind. It was that stressful. Then, I thought of all of the bills my family would have to cough up for this loan. I lived through it, wishing every day for it to be over. Through all of that, hardly any of that expensive-ass experience truly helped me in the classroom.

"Tapped out of loans, I had to get my bills aid somehow."

I was a high school English Teacher for 6 years and a high school Dance Teacher for 2 years. One of those years, I taught both. It was fine. I loved working with the students and seeing their ah-ha moments. But, much of my time just had "ah!" moments. Spending hours grading and editing papers and customizing 3 sets of any given lesson plan was not my idea of a good time. I balanced out all my work with a lot of alcohol. I was constantly stressed, in consistent shoulder pain from all of the workloads I had to take home and had little time for anything else in my life. With all that care and effort I put into helping the students become better writers, the vast majority could not give two shits about it. I was over it. I started singing (recording an album), started a t-shirt company, and started making my job a lot less hard on myself. But, I didn't want to be another crappy teacher that just stuck around for the tenure security, though I needed the health insurance. I was sick often. I went to my doctor to tell her and she said it was stress from teaching. That made me want to quit even more. I then found a good doctor who told me I had NCGS (Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity - YES, it's a real thing). So, I quit because then I knew what I was dealing with.

This newfound "freedom" lead to more working - working on nothing that fed my soul, only my pockets. Teaching was more enriching than that. I was broke. So, I went back. I wormed my way in through independent adult schools, then substitute teaching. Finally, I thought I'd give it another shot. Damn, that was stupid! I literally fell into depression because of it. I was even only working part-time because I refused to be overworked. This bunch was a special breed - entitled and victimized. Again, lots more alcohol. I had started teaching dance that year with a credential; I thought that would be my saving grace and it was. I put my drinking on hold for the pills I was put on. I then decided that I would either have a full-time dance job or nothing. This job magically popped up for me. This was literally my dream job - I had written this down in college.

Three months of pills later, I was ready for my new job. I weaned off my depression pills and was ready for my awesome life in an awesome house with an awesome roommate. And soon, I realized how broke I still was. Like every other year of teaching, I had to add side jobs. So, this time, I added 2 part-time and 3 on-call jobs, all of which were physically demanding (mind out of gutters - I kept all my clothes on for all of them). Needless to say, I screwed up my body royally. As a matter of fact, it put me out of any job for over a year. As for teaching, again, the kids were either entitled or victims and never learned conflict-resolution; I was burnt out. So, here I am.

I haven't been able to hold a job for over a year. It started with injured knees, which had actually started in my feet via working my body into the ground. I couldn't even finish out my school year. Since I was going to be out of commission, I got the surgery I had always needed. I got double Taylor's Bunion surgery (that was for the painful feet bumps were on the outsides of my feet). I got those shaved, broken, and pinned so that I wouldn't be in daily pain.

My arches continued to be in pain. One podiatrist said it was Plantar Fasciitis and 2 months off for surgery. Another said arch fatigue and 3 weeks off for surgery. Boom! Give me the guy selling dreams. He was wrong on all accounts. I continued to be in pain. A year later, because no job + no healthcare = no doctor. I had to sign up for MediCal Still haven't been able to get my disability. My feet have been miraculously good for a few days then kept me flat on my ass again. I can walk all day, then by the end of the day barely take a few steps. They have been unpredictable, to say the least. Nearly a year and a half later and I'm almost good as new.

"So, this time, I added 2 part-time and 3 on-call jobs, all of which were physically demanding (mind out of gutters - I kept all my clothes on for all of them)."

I decided to pivot my gift in writing. This is where I am now. Instead of teaching it, I'm utilizing it for myself. I got some good advice to start blogging for healing and copywriting as my feet do their thang. And, I've been on a soul's journey you wouldn't believe. I hardly believe it.

This is me without all the juicy sex and vex for you to chew on. So, I'm in my mid-thirties living off of self-help books, a whole lot of guidance, and faith. Now you know why I feel like I have a thing or two to say about this thing called "life." Salud.

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With her guidance, I can now see clearly what my future has in-store for me. Coming from a uncertain place she really gave me some peace of mind in a time where I was frustrated. With that being said I am extremely grateful for Aiyana and her gifts."


-Frank Banos
Licensed Hypnotherapist & Communications Specialist
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