A Little Bit About Me

Ever since I was a little girl, I loved to cook and bake. I used to pretend that the kitchen was my restaurant and I even made my own menu and would charge my parents for their food. I liked to make cookies out of cheese slices until I got old enough to actually use the oven and then I would make the most disgusting burnt sugar cookies with sprinkles! I never actually knew how to follow a recipe at all, measure ingredients properly and I would never preheat the oven (hence the burnt cookies). Luckily since then I have learned a thing or two.

I dreaded school days. In fact, I hated school. I never did belong and always felt different from day one. I still feel that same way whenever I am in a crowd. The only thing that I liked about school was band. In grade seven I took up the clarinet and got really good at music. I guess I had a natural talent for it and it became my obsession for the next 6 years. I played in the school band, but also got accepted every year into the provincial honor band for Manitoba and played many concerts. When I turned 17, I tried out for the National Youth Band of Canada and got accepted to go to P.E.I to play there, but didn’t end up going because of my circumstances at the time.

Growing up I spent much of my time playing outside in the yard or on the beach, bike riding and swimming in the lake since we lived on it. I loved swimming and would spend hours and hours in the water, only to come out to get something to eat and then go right back in again. My parents also had a business in the hotel in town which had a pool in it so we had access to swimming there too. In the wintertime I would swim at the pool with my friends at least twice a week.

When I turned 13 wintertime was also a time when my dad would take us downhill skiing. Every Friday night in the wintertime a whole bunch of kids would get together from school and go skiing or snowboarding. Those nights were my favorite. I just loved to be outside and to get away from home for a while, breathing in the cold crisp air and being under the big open night sky.

At the age of 14 (almost fifteen) I got pregnant with my first ever real boyfriend. I was young and thought that I was in love of course. I guess I will admit that I also thought that having a baby would be the answer to my problems (as I am sure many young girls do). I wanted to be a mom and never thought to not have the baby. That meant dropping out of school and so I worked on grade 9 and 10 at home while I was pregnant and had Autumn. I never let the pregnancy stop me from doing things and living life. I even still played in two band programs, even though I was a pregnant teen. I also never let what people thought of me get me down. I was always a wholesome and intelligent girl and I knew in my heart that really what I was looking for was love.

I guess from there I missed a lot of normal development as I had become a mom now and my life had completely changed from that of a normal 15 year old girl. At 16 years old, I moved out on my own with my boyfriend and just before I turned 17, I became a single mom, living on my own and raising Autumn while still finishing up school. My relationship with my first boyfriend was not a wholesome one and I went through some things that I wish I never had to. I suffered a lot of damage because of it and the abuse that took place in many forms.

During the day, Autumn would go to daycare and while I went back to school to get my education. I knew that I had to do it and never wanted to get behind my grade or I knew that I wouldn’t go back. It was one of the hardest things that I have ever done. If I felt I never fit in from day one, you could imagine how I felt then. Other students really looked down on me and were judgmental of my life. I had only one or two friends, but still we were worlds apart. All I could think about all day long was when I could finally go and pick up my daughter and get home. It was a hard and depressing time to feel so lost and lonely.

During the summer when I was 17, I got a job at one of the local grocery stores in town where I met Craig. We didn’t know each others age. He looked young for his age (41) and I looked and acted older as I had already had a one and a half year old daughter. We were drawn to each other on a deep level, but to both of us it seemed ridiculous. Me, because I never had high self-esteem, especially after having had a baby, broken relationship and a body change since becoming a woman, and him because he had assumed that I was way too young for him (even younger than he had thought) and that I wouldn’t be interested.

That summer passed and I quit my job to go back to school again, though I never forgot about Craig. I would still see him when I went to the store and there was always still a deep attraction between us. One night in December there was a Christmas party in town and I went with my dad for company as he was the town photographer and was taking photos for the event and I was lonely anyways. I saw Craig there and we got to talk a bit. At the end of the night he had asked to walk me home. I said yes.

For a few months we hid our relationship because we lived in a small gossipy town and I was afraid what people would think of me, but after a while I just knew that I didn’t need to be afraid because for once in my life I was doing something that felt right and brought me peace and happiness, even though to others it seemed so totally crazy. Both of us felt the same way about each other and we knew that we just had to be together.

The next few years were among my darkest as I battled letting go of a lot of who I was to grow into who I needed to be. One of the biggest battles I faced was that of religious fear and fear of God. I grew up in a Pentecostal Christian faith and that instilled a lot of fear in me of not being good enough and of being an unworthy sinner. Even though in my heart, I felt that I could discern what was right and wrong, my head and what I had been taught to believe consumed me and I lived in so much guilt and fear for years and years to come.

I was put on antidepressants, which really made things a lot worse for me and also led me to gain over 40 pounds in just a few short months. I never wanted to leave my house and battled many demons at that time. I let my thoughts and fears consume me and things had taken a turn for the worst. Lucky for me, Craig was still by my side through it all and there would eventually be light at the end of it all, although I couldn’t see it yet.

At 18, I graduated high school with honors and distinction and got engaged to Craig. We moved away to another town and life began all over again. I felt that I now had a chance to be myself (whoever that was) and to live my own life. Slowly, I was changing and letting more and more of my fears go. I was finally able to develop more naturally and start rediscovering who I was after giving up so much of my life to my daughter. I was also pregnant again with Kesa.

After Kesa was born, I started losing weight. This was when I also got addicted to losing weight. I went from 237 pounds to 140 pounds in a year. Most of that weight came off on its own, but as I was losing, I felt like I wanted to lose more and more, so I began exercising excessively  and really watching what I ate. At first it seemed healthy, but the comments from people and the feeling of being liked for being thin and beautiful fueled me to want to be thinner and thinner. It then became an obsession and I had met a new demon, bulimia. I struggled with bulimia for over 2 years, binge eating and purging the calories in whatever way I could, until it almost took Craig and my girls away from me. That is when I decided to stop and to try and get some help.

I thought that a support group would help me, but it was only just focused on food and calories/what to eat etc. I felt that I was really at a loss and that there was no help for me. Inside I knew that this whole eating disorder had nothing at all to do with food. I knew that it was about being lonely and not belonging, a feeling that I had had ever since I was a little girl. The eating disorder was a form of control and a way for me to abuse myself for not being good enough for anyone or worthy of being loved. It was a story that I could tell myself again and again, that I did not deserve to be loved. That was my story, but that was not the truth.

One day while I was in a bookstore looking at books about eating disorders, I found a book called It’s Not About Food. I knew I had to buy that book because I knew that was the truth. That book changed my life. I was finally able to separate myself from my thoughts and fears and recognize that I was not my thoughts or feelings. It enabled me to get in touch with a deeper part of myself, my true self and finally get to know and be me. I discovered Thich Nhat Hanh and mindful eating through that book and learned about meditation and connecting with my higher self.

I finally felt peace and as though there were some people out there who understood what I did deep inside and were not afraid to live it. I read many books by Thich Nhat Hanh, Marianne Williamson and Debbie Ford, which changed my life and spoke to the deepest part of my being. I was inspired to let everything that I had been holding onto for so long go and drop my thoughts, fears and plans go and finally live from my heart.

From that time of breaking open and release, I went vegan for ethical and spiritual reasons and felt even more peace in my life, as though a huge weight had been lifted from me. I desired to do away with selfishness and selfish desires and live my life not just for me, but for others. I stopped trying to be what everyone wanted me to be and what I was taught that I should be and instead began to discover who I really was, even though it was completely terrifying. I began blogging as a way to continue my journey discovering who I really am, living from my heart and hopefully connecting with others who wish to do the same. I have had three different blogs, but this one has been the most honest. This blog is my place to be me, all of me and share who I am with the world.

Today I am a 23 year old happy stay-at-home, homeschooling, breastfeeding, co-sleeping, baby-wearing mindful, yoga-loving, nature-loving momma to three daughters, living simply and appreciating the little things. I don’t have many desires, except to live comfortably and peacefully. Aside from being a mom, I am also a vegan. To me that is a big part of who I am. It is very sacred to me as it is not so much about the food (although I have never felt healthier in my life), but about allowing the compassionate, loving nature inside of myself come forth and spread into all areas of my life. Making that one decision to go against what didn’t feel right to me, even though it was the normal thing to do, helped me to stand up for more of what I believe in and allow the voice of my inner truth become even stronger.

Sometimes I just feel the need to write. I don’t often feel that I get the chance to with being so busy these days raising three little ones. This morning the girls are still in bed and I felt the urge to just sit and write my heart away. Maybe some people will think differently of me now that I have shared such things, but this is apart of who I am and I have finally learned that it is OK to be me and to accept all of who I am. I believe that everything that has happened in my life was no accident. Each decision that I made and each circumstance that I faced in the past has molded me into the person that I am today and that there is no shame in any of it, nor any need for regret. I am learning to do away with the lie in my head that I have believed for so long; you are not worthy of love.

My journey is not over, each day I hope to continue to live and to learn, to follow that voice of compassion within me and to share my innermost self with the world. I have learned that fitting in was never truly what I wanted. I only wanted to be loved and that I could only really feel love once I began to love myself. It didn’t matter what anyone told me or showed me, I couldn’t hear it or feel it because I didn’t want to let go of the belief that I wasn’t good enough. I had no other story.

Today I continue to live and create my story. I don’t know what it will be, but I feel that it will have many exciting chapters. I am still on a journey of self-discovery and finding out who I am as an individual in a world that praises  conformity at the cost of freedom, peace and happiness. Nothing is permanent and there will always be ups and downs in life. I have been through so much already, I wonder what is yet to come.

24 thoughts on “A Little Bit About Me

  1. I hope by writing your story it help you realize what an amazing strong women you truly are. Your road has not been easy but one that needed to be traveled. Tiffany you are truly amazing and I am honored that you have chosen to share your thoughts, feelings and struggles. There is no judgement only love and compassion from me. Thank you for sharing.

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  2. That was beautifully written. I have often wondered the real story behind the women who writes with such raw, inspiring, wonderful talent. So thank you for sharing. I also have been going through similar issues lately and have noticed that I believe alot of lies that I constantly tell myself, and feel the need to take on all these idealism’s and felt that they were making me sink. Recently I had to unwillingly stop breastfeeding my son (homeopathic med dried up, my milk ) and I am no longer vegetarian after 5 + yrs (only eating game) vaccinating my kids after such a huge inner fight about it. Once I did these things minus the bf I felt such a huge weight off my shoulders and am still on the path of letting go of “idealism’s” that have been weighing me down, and getting closer to God who needs to being my one and only “god” it has been the hardest thing but yet so rewarding. Again thank you for sharing.
    Steph

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    • Thanks Steph! I think that we all need to do what works for us and not judge others for not living the same way that we do, even if that is what works for us and makes us happy. What works for one person will not work for everyone and we are all different and on different paths. It takes a lot of courage to let go of idealism’s and perfectionism and to become who we were meant to be, knowing that it is OK to be who we are and feel what we feel. I appreciate your thoughts and am grateful for your comment. 🙂

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  3. Hi Tiffany! I’ve been following your blog for a couple of months now and let me just say your kids are absolutely adorable! I stumbled upon your blog and it just stood out to me.. I have been a vegetarian for almost a year now and the commitment wasn’t hard at all. I hope one day to become vegan but I know that will be difficult. I agree with many of your beliefs about living a natural and simple life… or to quote you…”living simply and appreciating the little things. I don’t have many desires, except to live comfortably and peacefully”… I just wanted to say after reading your last post that I can’t believe you are only 23 years old! I knew you were young, but not that young. Being a young and single mother is one of the hardest things. You have grown and become so strong and confident and would be a role model to so many young girls. You are raising 3 beautiful and healthy daughters the best you can. I am glad you have become comfortable with yourself and found your peace, love, and family. I’m also only 23 and I couldn’t imagine having 3 daughters.. I follow your blog everyday excited for your next post or recipe! I look forward to more in the future. Stay natural and honest and lovin life for as beautiful as it is! 🙂

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  4. Tiffany,
    I am blown away by your story. I think it’s an amazing story of courage, hope, and restoration. I had no idea you are so young, and that you had Autumn as a young girl yourself! You went through so much, and came out better for it.
    Thanks so much for being so transparent and sharing these things. I feel like I know you better now–and I feel honored and even more glad to know you!

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    • Thank you Mia! I do believe that it all happened for a reason and brought me to where I am today, which I am very thankful for. Glad to have crossed paths with you in life. 🙂

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  5. Wow! That’s some intense stuff. I too have had some similar intensity. Thanks for sharing Tiffany. and I really do love your blog so keep at it, sharing your motherhood which is an inspiration. Jenn

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  6. Tiffany, you are such a beautiful, caring, creative person. I look forward to reading your blogs and I love it when I check my email and there is something from livelearnloveeat. You motivate me, inspire me and reading your story has just reiterated how wonderful you are. You have had to endure a lot in your life and you have pulled through it all. Good on you for being a kind, caring and compassionate person, wife and mother. Keep up your blogging you do it so well and keep smiling. From many distant oceans apart in Australia I wish you the very best in life.
    Renata
    Ps. I have been thinking about reading ‘Little house on the prairie’ to my son and daughter since your girls seem to enjoy it so much.

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    • Thanks Renata! I am glad to know that you are still out there. 🙂 It still amazes me how people who are so far apart can connect on such a deep level and that people so far away even found my blog. The Little House on the Prairie books are great stories. I love to be taken back to that time and be inspired by how they had to live through tough times and live more simply. The girls love to hear the stories every night and tonight we are finishing up the eighth book already. It seems we are just flying through them. I enjoy reading to them for sometimes over an hour in the evening before bed. I have a book by Louise Hay and have listened to a few audios of hers and some youtube videos. I have also watched the movie you can heal your life, it is great stuff. Thanks for commenting. 🙂

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  7. Pps. Did you ever read any of Louise Hay’s motivational books or cards? I have a morning/evening mediations CD of hers which is fantastic.

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  8. Your story is amazing! You have been through a lot on your short journey on this earth. You have learned so much about yourself in the last eight years, lessons and experience that has and will continue to shape who you are. Your light is shining bright now and there are good things ahead for you, enjoy the ride.

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  9. Tiffany you are such a strong plus, plus, beautiful woman. I am so very proud to have you as my daughter in law. We all love and respect you very much ❤

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  10. Tiffany, wow what a story! I felt I was reading a Hollywood movie script, honestly. So much behind the woman. Who knows, in the next 5 years, you may be starring in your own movie, and its a true story 🙂 Tiffany, truly if anything all this has made you stronger and wiser…and you know what? Autumn is your little angel, who came into your life to show you the way. The way to yourself, your path, your destiny…. I’m sure you already know it, but she is your guide who came into your life at the tender age of 15 and turned it upside down. To make you this wonderful person who you  are today.What a journey you have been on…. I can’t comprehend the things you went through. You know what,it’s amazing what things people go through in their lives. Which is why these days, I never judge people and try to look at things being in their shoes, cause you never know the battles they’ve fought!!! And it’s exhilarating I’m sure to look back and see how you have carved your path, given birth to 3 beautiful souls, working on your dream, live each day true to your conscience and making a difference. And I must say, Kudos to the wonderful man behind the scene, Craig seems like a true gentleman. The type any woman would dream of, one who sticks by you through thick and thin and is your best friend…. You both seem like a perfect couple to me! We may be worlds apart, I’m originally from India but am married and settled in Australia, but every post I read, I find similarities between you and me , your resilience, your passion to do what you believe in, creativity in the kitchen (im famous for never making the same dish more than once, cause I keep trying variations of the same recipe) , your love for yoga, dedication for you little ones and compassion for the world …..:) I keep checking everyday to see if you posted a new recipe or your thoughts, for some reason I don’t want to subscribe to your email posts because I get a certain thrill from checking if you have a new post and feel elated as I prepare to read, (is that weird?)or if you have not posted…then I feel sad but at the same time think, I get a certain excitement in the anticipation. To end, all I want to say is, I’m glad you are a part of my life. This is just the beginning of the best times, my friend. Wishing you the best.  Much love coming from down under , Ramya xoxox

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    • Thank you Ramya! I am always so glad to hear from you! Truly your comments put a smile on my face. 🙂 It is so great to know that there are other people with similar feelings and thoughts towards life and that I am not as weird as I thought for living the way I do (not of the norm) and thinking so deeply. Sometimes it feels hard to be myself and write from my heart, but when I do it feels so much better and I can connect with others on a real and honest level through my writings, the way I truly desire to. Autumn definitely is an angel and was sent to me for a reason. I think all of my kids were, but her especially to have guided me to this life that I am living right now. Craig too. I wouldn’t be here now, doing what I am doing if it weren’t for his support. He has been with me through everything, all of the chaos and drama and every single weight that I have been/color I have dyed my hair. It took me a while to finally let him love me and accept that he did love me, no matter what and was not going to leave me. Many other men would not have held on and tried to stick it out. I know that our being together was also meant to happen, even if we have an incredible age difference, it just makes sense for us.

      I am do glad that you found my blog and decided to reach out to me! I don’t think that it is weird at all to anticipate a post. Comment or e-mail anytime! I am glad that you are apart of my life also.

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  11. Tiffany… thank you so much for sharing your amazing story!! I know you have touched so many lives with your blogs ( I am sure there are hundreds that read but don’t comment). I am 29 and have battled many demons with depression and anxiety. I too have gone on antidepressant meds which caused more harm than good. I gained 30 pounds in 3 months and basically learned how to mask the symptoms of depression and not actually learn proper coping techniques. I’m still on my road to recovery and wanted to thank you for your blogs. You give me inspiration, encouragement, and I’m so excited to check my email to look for your updates. To me you are a true hero! These days we idolize pop singers and reality stars (the kardashians) but you and other brave young women are the true heroes. Thanks again for sharing your PRICELESS recipes and words of wisdom!

    Peace to you coming from Chicago!

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  12. Wow, I was so moved by your post Tiffany. Thank you so much for sharing. I know it took, and still takes, a great courage to do so. I deeply respect your courage and wisdom, and the kindness you show by sharing your story with others. Because there are many of us who feel or have felt that we don’t belong, it takes strong bones to live with that feeling and work our way through it, and reading how others take on their life’s challenges can be amazingly helpful and healing. You are wise beyond your years, and oh so couragious. You are like modern time’s Warrior Woman, bringing peace to the people of the earth, one honest post at a time 🙂

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    • Thank you Asdis! What kind words you have written. That means a lot to me. It is sometimes so hard to be real and honest, but the posts where I risk facing my fears, writing from my heart and being me are when I feel the best. Thanks again! 🙂

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  13. Pingback: A Little Random Bits About Me | Live. Learn. Love. Eat.

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