a little friday morning drama

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That moment when I wonder if my life is about to change forever or maybe it’ll even be the end of it. Sounds a little dramatic… BUT, when people walk into my house without knocking first or letting me know they’re coming, then yes, MANY thoughts run through my head. This could just be the end of my life as I know it.

This morning, I was sitting on my reclining couch, drinking a much needed cup of coffee, and working on my writing project. The front door was open to let the sunshine in and listen to the chirping of birds (I have a storm door). I don’t work on Fridays so it felt like a perfect relaxing morning, until I heard the storm door open.

I thought, oh maybe it wasn’t closed right and the wind opened it.

But then I hear it close along with the FRONT DOOR as well. I heard it latch completely… AND then I hear it LOCK! (insert many dramatic emoji-faces here)

By now my heart was beating out of control and I became very weak. I thought my worst nightmare has become reality and someone came to rob me. When I heard the door lock, I asked,” WHO ARE YOU?” I stayed seated on the couch but couldn’t see the door. My phone was on the charger about 4 feet away and i was wearing a long T-shirt with no PANTS. No make-up, and my hair not brushed. AHHHHH, for heavens sake, could I be more unprepared to be robbed??? 😦

A guy walks around the corner into the living area and says, “I am here to see Ryan.”

And by the look on his face he had no idea that he was in the wrong house. he looked very unconcerned and right at home.

“Is Ryan not here?” He asked when I told him he scared the living daylights out of me.

“No! Ryan is not here, you have the wrong house, I don’t know anyone named Ryan around here!” I was practically yelling by now.

Then FINALLY his faced changed into a mortified look. “Dang, all these houses look the same.” He turned around and apologized as he left.

I couldn’t say anything more, nothing else would come out of my mouth. My house has a number above the garage door, so I don’t know if maybe he didn’t see it or Ryan gave him the wrong address.

That was the end of that. SMH. Do people not knock or ring the doorbell anymore??

I have real clothes on now and was even able to laugh about this nerve-wrecking event with my bestie on the phone. 🙂

All is well again! Happy Friday

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when a picture becomes more… ART

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Do you have photos hidden away because you aren’t sure what to think of them? This has been my dilemma for the last 4 years. I have pictures taken by a professional photographer Zack Weber, he did an amazing job, and the book cover for Runaway Amish Girl, has his beautiful photos work on it, both front and back cover. BUT, there was one particular picture that I just couldn’t understand. It looks awkward. Kinda creepy, as if a dark cloud was hanging over me. I studied it occasionally, frown 😦 and put it back in a safe place on my laptop, hidden away where no one would ever find it and I wouldn’t be reminded of it every time I looked at files.

FINALLY, one day last week, I took the courage to post the photo on Facebook, with captioning my frustration of not knowing how to take this photo. I have some amazing supportive peeps and I was told the photographer captured a beautiful, intriguing piece of ART. It’s not just a photo, it’s art! Thank you, Author Amanda Thrasher for seeing the art in this 🙂

Things are finally making sense now and I am thinking of making a poster of this piece. It’s growing on me! Slowly but surely. One day, I’m hope it’ll be considered a treasure. Because that’s what I am! 🙂

Photo credit @Zack Weber Photography

even independent girls struggle…

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Ever since I graduated I feel like I have been fighting with the universe to figure out what is next for me. I thought life after graduation would bring so many opportunities that essentially I could be hanging from the stars. Folks, that hasn’t happened and it has been 6 months since I graduated. Yes, I have a good job in the medical field that I like, but it really doesn’t require a degree to do what I do. Last year has brought so many trials and tribulations, that it actually feels as if graduating with a Masters was an absolute curse, even though getting an education really had nothing to do with what I went through. It just allowed more freedom for me wallow in misery and finally recognize my own insecurities. It’s amazing how fast one’s self esteem can plummet when expectations aren’t met.

I lost a relationship. I lost friends. I’ve had to cut people out of my life who were emotionally draining every ounce of goodness in my heart. I’ve gotten upsetting news about my family members. Not directly from them, but other people have kept me informed. Several of my siblings have gotten married and I wasn’t invited. I’ve tried getting promotions and failed. I’ve been mislead by TV producers.  The list could go on.

All of it HURTS, regardless if I am the one doing it, or if someone does it to me.

For that reason, I’ve become dead inside when it comes to allowing people in my life. I cover up emotions, feelings, disappointment, simply because I’d rather suffer silently in pain by people’s unthoughtful actions so that they are comfortable.

I don’t want them to feel any pain like I have felt. I want my friends to be the happiest they can be so much so that sometimes I forget to make sure I am happy too. Am I happy? Yes, but not completely.

I love with my entire heart and soul, but yet my heart is extremely stubborn as well. I would do anything for those around me, but yet I want nothing in return. I even feel hurt when I am not needed. I simply treat people the way I want to be treated.

However, there are times when I do need help, but asking for it makes me feel like I am an inconvenience to them. That somehow I am not worthy. Somehow, my family’s rejection has me conditioned to believe I have to be perfect so that I won’t be rejected by those who are in my life now. It’s an insecurity plaguing me.

Because of not having family, I’ve prayed and prayed and prayed for a family to get married into so that I’d FINALLY feel like I belong and have a purpose, a family who would help me grow to be a better person, a family that I could spent holidays. I have lots of people who would welcome me in heartbeat, but it’s not the same. For some reason it still feels lonely because not all friends can fulfill that type of need and want. I am not sure I’ll ever find what I am looking for but am hopeful.

In a way God answered some of those prayers in 2015 and 2016, but it came in bits and pieces, ups and downs. Not what I expected at all. In the end I accepted things the way they were; enjoying the people who stayed in my life, but also let the door open for them to leave if they wanted. After all, I was in search of finding wherever I was supposed to be.

Of course, letting go of people is extremely difficult for me once I feel comfortable around them. There are some relationships I know for a fact that if they stay I’ll get hurt, if they go, I’ll still be hurt. It could even be that I’ll unintentionally hurt them in the end. Why is life like this?? I could question it day and night, and not have an explanation.

In all of this, I’ve learned to accept my life, even if I don’t agree with everything that happens. My insecurities may show sometimes, but I still know I am pretty, worthy, perfectly imperfect, and I deserve the best life has to offer. Who doesn’t have insecurities??  It’s okay to have a breakdown. It’s okay to not be strong all the time. It’s okay to allow people to see my insecurities, flaws, and emotions. It’s okay for others to see that just because I am independent, have a Master’s degree and published a successful book, my life isn’t perfect. I don’t know where I am supposed to be now that college is done.  God allows us to fall sometimes so we would get back up stronger than ever. There aren’t answers to all of life’s mysteries, but with trust, faith, and determination we can move forward. If there are any others out there struggling with life, which I am pretty sure there’s plenty (I can’t be the only one J) please don’t bottle it up.

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Happy Happy

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Hello everyone, I am still alive, still rolling. Grad school isn’t done with me yet, but in a few weeks it will be the end. I am writing hundreds of pages for my remaining classes, therefore, my brain is fried and have nothing to say to you folks at the moment  😦 Sorry about that! But despite taking too many classes at once and working full-time I found time to dress up today for an important interview with Australia. Watch for the link on my facebook :-).

Happy fourth of July everyone. Please go do something smart and awesome!

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The story continues

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Something scary happened on Friday the 13th. I am not a superstitious human, but for those who are, just keep reading 🙂 . I started the day groggily and dull like usual.  5:30 A.M. started off with a cup of coffee to prepare me for the day, so I wouldn’t silently kill anyone with my thoughts. I had great anticipation that it would be scary (in an exciting way) and knew it would put an additional layer of pressure on my already busy adventurous life. Just what I like! I drove to Fort Worth and met with my publisher, Amanda Thrasher, who owns Progressive Rising Phoenix Press, for lunch. The lunch meeting consisted of me getting a full traditional contract offered for the SECOND book!. Yep, that’s the scary part that happened! Might not be scary to y’all but for me it’s a new kind of scary.

I will be out of my comfort zone once again as I continue sharing my story of emotional stress, depression, and most of all success!  I agreed to sign the traditional contract and now the pressure is on to continue writing. I’ve already started it, so hopefully in early 2017 the second book will be ready! I am a tad nervous, but I am also super excited because I am in great hands. Amanda will be guiding me and she is the best role model out there! I also have fans who motivate me to continue going. So keep the motivation coming!

New traditional contract accepted for second book

New traditional contract accepted for second book

 

When it’s awkward

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I wish I would look this pretty and not-awkward when I hold my own book.

I don’t know this author, but am happy to model the book for him in a awkward selfie photo. I took a 100 something selfies before I was satisfied, but now I am using the first one I took. Always happens. I don’t understand how people do selfie-Tuesdays every week. Or is it selfie-Saturdays?? I don’t remember. My smile hurt by the time I was done. I hope Sammy Rhodes appreciates my efforts.

I spontaneously bought this book on amazon after seeing it on twitter. The twit was twatted by Sean Lowe – the famous bachelor from Dallas who married Catherine on TV. So of course I had to buy it since it was recommended by someone who has a million fans.

In this book, the author talks about parents being gifts and are not returnable ;-).  But really, he dugged deep into his wounds when his parents divorced when he was still a kid and his struggle with depression into grown-up-hood. It is written in a light-hearted, hilarious way, but still is able to make the reader feel emotions – sad and happy. It is hard to open up to painful experiences we fear people will judge us the most, but it is so good and freeing for the soul. Opening up allows healing to begin. Enjoy your awkward moments 🙂

This is awkward

Jeeze wiz! It’s my accent..

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Tonight I went to McDonalds to grab dinner. I only go there once a year on valentines day. 🙂 Just Kidding. I ordered what should be pretty easy for anyone to understand, but apparently not the young guy at the register. Especially with all the new slang nowadays my accent should blend right in. haha

The ordering went like this:

Me: I want a McChicken with cheese

MC Guy: Swizz cheese??

Me: No, with cheese

Mc Guy: wiz cheese?? (he looks at me wide eyed and confused).

Me: (instantly Wiz Khalifa the rapper went to my mind. Lol, I don’t know why).  Let me rephrase my order. PUT CHEESE ON MY McCHICKEN sandwhich. I didn’t yell, I just spoke clearly.

Mc Guy: smiles and goes around the corner. Then comes back with a bag and says I put two McChickens WIZ cheese.

Apparently I say WIZ for WITH. 😦

A word on destruction…

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Some people who feel a void in their lives seem to gravitate toward more destructive means of filling it, from substance abuse and restlessness to even – as of late – joining up with terrorist organizations. Why do you think some people are able to turn that yearning into something positive (such as an education and a career) while others drift into something more dangerous?

I received a lot of emails from college students around the world who are working on class projects doing studies on Amish people or on those who have left the Amish. The question above was from a student who was using me as an example as someone who had struggled with life and managed to pull through in a positive way rather than gravitating towards destruction.

At first when I read the question, I thought, HUH??? Destructive people, substance abuse, and terrorist all in one sentence! No way. Just no way will I answer that. I don’t even know how. Those were my thoughts at first. I assume there are many reasons a person might join terrorist organizations. Hate. Depression. Stupidity disease. Mental issues. Or simply because they are too lazy to do the right thing. I have never met someone that joined the terrorists, so I wouldn’t know why someone would have the yearning to do that. I can only assume.

Living a destructive unhealthy life is a different story though. I was reminded of how easy it is too fall far into a pit of darkness without realizing how dark it is or was going to get because the devil knows how to entice with instant gratification. That’s human nature, to get what we want and when we want it. It’s the easy way out.

To turn a destructive behavior into something meaningful and positive requires a lot of focusing, planning, money, sleepless nights because of homework (if you’re in college), and not to mention it takes years to get an education and build a career. It sounds discouraging. Of course, you can live a great live without getting an education, each has their own preference.  I went through times where I was exhausted in all levels possible.

I can’t do this. Then I’d sleep for 14 hours, wake up and think I am such an idiot. I CAN do this. Sleeping helps though 🙂 . If all else fails take a nap.

Not having the family support is an obstacle, but it also made me want to rise above all odds and make something of myself. For that reason, it’s important to associate with good positive people that will encourage you. Those who gravitate towards a destructive lifestyle do so because they simply don’t have the capacity in their brain to think there is a better life to be had.  I know this because I dated a guy once who suffered from depression. I had fallen on my face several times since I left the Amish, but nothing serious until this moment. It was a very bad, BAD idea because I got sucked down with him and experienced a very miserable life that I wouldn’t want to experience again. I didn’t notice right away which path my life had taken until I was at the lowest point and didn’t even want to communicate with my friends. I ignored those who cared the most. Part of me didn’t care anymore because I thought I’ve tried to be better and it didn’t work. So this is it. I was depressed.

One day I woke up and decided I am very pathetic and my life needs to change NOW.  And it did. Once I had made that decision, my book got published soon after, and I made the choice to move away from the small college town to a big city. Started over. Of course the life change didn’t happen instantly. I had to work at it, plan it, pray about it relentlessly, and act upon it. I have never again allowed myself to get that far off the messy stubbly path where I settle for what’s right now instead of working to achieve what’s really meant for me. I now have a great career, almost done with my master’s degree, and have remarkable Christian friends in my life whom I love dearly.

Having that co-worker, who is also my best friend, makes living without my sisters by my side so much easier. Having a publisher, who also ended up being a mother-like role model, makes those moments when you need a mother to talk to so much easier. Most of all, dating a great Christian man makes me feel more fulfilled than I thought was possible. I praise God for him every day. Literally. I write down all my praises in a journal to remind myself what I have now and not let myself get back to where I was.

I never was a substance abuser and I never thought of joining a terrorist group so I really don’t know what makes people gravitate in that direction. However, I know that it is so easy to gravitate towards an unhealthy lifestyle. People fall off the hay wagon into manure and then get back up. It is normal. Asking the higher power for help to get back up makes a significant difference. Trust me. I hope and pray others, Ex-Amish or not, will get back up even when it’s a grimm life because it is so worth it. Don’t stay in a pile of manure :-).

be some type of way

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Someday you start to accept your detours in life with your head held high and your eyes wide open. You learn to build your forks in the road on today’s ground because tomorrows are too uncertain. Make the same mistake five or six times just to be sure. You will learn the difference between changing a soul and holding a hand. You will learn that kisses aren’t contracts and presents aren’t promises. Doing everything and being everything still allows for criticism, just as when you do nothing and are nothing. It’s hard to win.

You will learn to plant your own garden of flowers instead of waiting for someone else to bring you some.

Take chances. Say no sometimes. Spend all your cash. Be random. Take pictures of people and things everywhere you go.

Let go of friendships that are forced. Put a comma where there is a period just to see what happens. 😉

Give your time helping others; it will make you appreciate everything you don’t have. Laugh hard, cry harder. Say sorry. Say I love you, but also tell people how much they mean to you. Tell a butthead how you feel. They will value your honesty someday.

Happy end of 2015 🙂

I will randomly put this picture here. Just because.

My Sister and her husband in Northeastern Maine.

My Sister and her husband in Northeastern Maine. (Photo by: David Shaw)

Ex-Amish girl wants to dance

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Good morning,

As I am sitting at Starbucks drinking coffee on a beautiful gorgeous Friday morning – the beginning of my 3 day weekend (I have an awesome job), I am reminiscing all the things I’ve done just this year. I surprised myself and I am happy… that’s the way it should be.

I always think of my long and short term goals quietly in my head for a while before I actually verbally say them out loud to another human being…

because I know once I say it out loud it has to be accomplished. That’s just the way I am.

I had the urge to go on a mission trip earlier this year, mainly because I felt a need to use my many blessings to bless others. However, I had no idea how to even plan one, much less where I wanted to go (there were SOOO many options), so I just took a leap of faith and choose Nepal. Once I had my heart set on Nepal, then I started letting my friends know what I was doing. Of course, I waited to tell a select few until I had my plane ticket so there was no way I could be convinced not to go :-). Yes I am strong-willed! I get it.

Now that I have accomplished such a major challenge and realized how truly broken my soul was.. I have a new goal that has been circulating in my brain for a long time and I finally started verbally expressing it to other people… ooops!

I want to be a contestant on Dancing with the Stars!

I can’t even begin to say why, how, or if it’s possible. This goal is different because I can’t be solely in control like I was with the decision to go to Nepal. I can’t just buy a plane ticket and decide I will show up on the dance floor and make those judges go “oooohhh” and “awwww” over my dancing skills (I have none).

If I go on the show…

I will be out of my comfort zone more that I have ever been. That’s what I want.

I will embarrass myself every single day. I can’t help it.

I will cry happy and mad tears within a few seconds of each other. I  am simply a girl.

…. but mostly – I will express happy emotions. 🙂

My publisher Amanda Thrasher believes in me and everything I do. She believes Ellen Degeneres should read my story and also took in the consideration of my dreams to be on Dancing with the Stars. We are both a huge fan of Ellen and being on her show would be a great honor. And most of all… I could finally have a chance to be dunged in the water tank.  Please read my publishers email to Ellen below and share share share 🙂  I love y’all!

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Dear Ellen,

I’m writing to you on behalf of Emma Gingerich- she is a role model for women, college students (non-gender specific), teens and tweens. Raised Amish with her immediate family the ‘community.’ She made her clothes and was forbidden to use electricity or running water. Rarely played and of course transportation was a horse and buggy. She knew she wasn’t supposed to live that way. “It wasn’t her.” She decided to leave.  Kept it secret and endured bizarre dating rituals and medical treatments until the day she left. Had the clothes on her back and fifty dollars.

– She lived with strangers in a barn.

– Eventually moved in with a family.

– Shunned by her family.

– Taught herself English.

– Got her GED.

– Went to College

– Worked for the family that she lived with

– Went through horrific ordeals no one should experience

– Got her Bachelor degree and is working on her MBA

– Wrote her book.

– Attended writing conferences.

– Found a publisher.

– Goes to signings.

– Continues to speak, sign, and share her story.

– Kept her faith.

– Went to Nepal on a mission trip to serve others.

She’s 27 years old, young in some ways, so smart and strong in others. Impresses me every single day. My heartbreaks for what she went through. No woman, let alone child (mentally she was), should go through that, yet I’m so proud of her. By the way, her dream of all things is to be on Dancing with the Stars. Can you believe that? If anyone can arrange that, it’s you.

Sincerely,

Amanda M. Thrasher

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Amanda Thrasher and I. AKA: my English mother

Amanda Thrasher and I. AKA: my English mother