Hey there and happy Monday! For those of you that don’t know me – I’m Angelina and I’m so grateful that you’re here. Following today, you will typically see motivational posts to kick off your week. But, in light of this being my first blog post…ever…I wanted to simply start by saying, thank you for being here – and thank you for being you. I’m going to take this time to share my story, hopefully you don’t mind, and just simply let you take a sneak peak into what makes me, well me. Leading up to this moment, today, right here right now, there have been a lot of defining moments in my life that I want to share with all of you. These moments are just a small timeline in the larger scheme of my life, but these are the moments that have ultimately lead me to live a life full of gratitude and positivity.
So – to start, my full name is Angelina Anzalone and I’m a 25 year old from Buffalo, NY. My current occupation is in Community Relations/Marketing and Admissions for a nursing home and it is truly an amazing job that I am so grateful for. However, leading up to this current job/and jobs in the past I’ve always felt like there was something missing. You see, my passion is truly to help others in any capacity that I can and I just haven’t been fulfilling that passion. That is what leads me to now share my story with all of you and show you ways that I’ve been able to turn my life around – in hopes that I can at least help one person, one of you.
For the majority of my life I have been a gymnast, then a dancer turned dance teacher. These two sports alone lead young men and women to feel that they are never good enough. That even on your best performance day it was still not enough. Being so young and experiencing this defeat, day after day, embedded in my brain that I just was not good enough in any capacity of my life. Once I hit the end of middle school/beginning of high school, this manifested through eating disorders and self-harm. Most people, even my own family, have no idea that I ever battled this demon – this mental illness. I’ve always been so independent in my life and felt that I couldn’t rely on anyone but myself to get out of this. On top of this, my Yia Yia (grandmother), my best friend, passed away when I was in 10th grade – all while I was in my first “real” relationship where I was being physically and mentally abused. Controlling my eating and self-harm was truly the only control I felt I had on my life.
One day I finally mustered up the courage to leave the abusive relationship I was in, but then found myself in relationship after relationship that just were not mentally healthy for me. I almost felt like if I couldn’t help myself in my struggles, that I could at least try to “fix” those who I was with. Needless to say this was not the best idea/thought process I’ve had, but I wouldn’t change any of it because it lead me to where I am today – in a beautiful relationship that I am convinced I would not have without going through the bad. In this time I’ve had a few smaller end jobs due to being in school – but when I was in college I was offered a job to teach dance at a local dance studio. This is where I really started to thrive – at least for a short time. I taught dance for about 4 years and truly loved every moment of it. But that love came at a cost. Being that I was on the upswing of my eating disorders at this time did not last very long. I slowly but quickly started to fall back into my old habits – and couldn’t pull myself up enough to practice what I preached to the kids I was teaching. I would sit there and teach self-love to each and every one of them…all while starving myself or going home to binge & purge. When I finally realized what I was doing to myself, yet again, – I had also decided that it was time to leave the studio for other personal/ethical reasons. This is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made for myself.
Fast forward a few years – through a broken engagement, a miscarriage, so on and so forth – I found myself in one of the most depressive states I’ve ever been in. I was drinking heavily every day in lieu of food, and simply not taking care of myself. I wasn’t helping others in any capacity and I just secluded myself from everyone and everything in my life. Then out of nowhere I woke up one day, looked in the mirror, and decided that I have the power to turn my life around. I’ve always been so independent in every aspect of my life – except for when it came to my own happiness. I was relying on those around me to make me happy, when true happiness really comes from within. This day was about two years ago. It will be two years April 12th. Two years ago I started my journey of self love – positivity – and gratitude. Practicing these three things are what have lead me to this moment, to start this blog. Throughout the rocky road that has been the past two years I have learned so many things – experienced so many things – and am continuing to grow on this journey of gratitude. I invite you to come along on this journey of life with me and let’s grow together. Let’s build each other up. And let’s learn how to live a life full of beautiful gratitude together. ❤