hi. i’m anna. and this is a little bit about me.
i was born in wisconsin in july of 2000. i grew up an only child, have always been pretty quiet and shy. i played a lot of sports throughout my years and was a bookworm in elementary school. then in middle school it was cool anymore so i stopped. other than that, i’m not really sure what else i did in my free time.
once i got to middle school i became obsessed with makeup and fashion and all that stuff. not in the sense that i was at all good at any of it- but in the sense that i spent so much time watching beauty gurus online and comparing myself to celebrities and girls i knew on instagram. i didn’t have a terrible life but i certainly wasn’t thriving. i was just on social media all the time and played a few sports and that was all i did.
once i got to high school, that continued for a bit. but early on i discovered veganism and that completely changed my life and led to me to so many of the things i now practice and value in my life.
i went vegan in february 2015. toward the end of that school year, i played softball and we had to lift at 6 am on fridays. because of that i didn’t wear makeup to school those fridays and it was a pretty huge step for someone as insecure as i was for many years. that led me to challenge myself to go the whole summer makeup free. it wouldn’t be that hard as i never really hung out with anyone lol. and so i did it. but then when school started again, i started using makeup again, just much less. and in the fall of that year, i completely stopped for good after a social media influencer/model named essena o’neill quit social media and the message she gave along with that really helped me see that being more attractive is never going to make me happy. also, having more money and social media followers + likes isn’t gonna do it either.
i believe it was around that time when i started to lose my desire to go to college. it was always something i felt like i had to do, never questioned it, but i’d wanted to be a doctor because they made a lot of money and realized that was not going to be a fulfilling career path for me.
i also deleted my twitter and stopped posting on instagram (the only two social media platforms i posted on at the time) and then deleted all my posts from instagram eventually and unfollowed people who i compared myself to.
in december i decided to purge 70% of my clothing. i had been hearing about minimalism for a while and was interested in it but scared to get rid of my things. one day i just got this urge to get rid of some of my clothing so i took everything and threw it in a big pile in my room and got rid of 250 of the 350 items i had. it felt pretty good. i also later minimized my room and other belongings.
that was a very transformational year for me. at the beginning of that same school year (10th grade) i came across the idea of online schooling and it really just seemed like the right path for me to take. i was a bit over my entire life feeling like it revolved around school, as most kids are. i ended up doing online school for 11th and 12th grade and it was one of the best decisions i’ve ever made. there were times when i could get all my school work done for the week on a monday so it saved me a lot of time.
the summer before i started online school, i became a pretty avid cyclist. it was like my first taste of freedom, being able to ride all over the place alone, often along roads i’d never been on even though i’d lived in the same area all my life, finding some of the most beautiful lookout points, challenging myself up hills i never thought i could do.
i also started my youtube channel that summer. i was pretty terrible at it. but i really enjoyed it and somehow so did a few other people. not a whole lot though because it took me like a year and a half to get 1000 subscribers lol. but eventually i learned how to be less awkward and cringey.
i got a job in august since i’d just turned 16- i worked as a cashier at hobby lobby for 2 years and it was overall a very positive experience although it was filled with many negative experiences. but i’m so thankful for how those ‘negative’ experiences have shaped me into who i am today. it also helped me feel more comfortable interacting with strangers.
sometime probably in 11th grade, i came across the youtuber koi fresco who talks about spirituality- mainly eastern religions and philosophies and his content really resonated with a lot of things i already felt and believed but also taught me a lot of new things. so during 11th and 12th grade, my days consisted of school, work, making youtube videos, reading books (usually self improvement related), and learning about lots of different things through youtube. and also doing unproductive things because i’m a good procrastinator.
i decided i wanted to solo road trip in a van after high school so in 12th grade i also spent a lot of time researching to prepare myself for van life and learning how to convert a van. then i got a van in may 2018, converted it over the summer, and set out on my road trip in august. i’m very grateful for the experience i had in the 4 months i was on the road. there were a lot of amazing things i got to do and see and a lot of hard, stressful times too. i even got stress-induced hives a month into it. they’ve lasted over 6 months.. and counting. very fun.
but the main factor to me ending my road trip a few weeks earlier than expected was that i felt very suppressed by the small space, the constant need to move somewhere every single day, the lack of comfort- which was a reason i wanted to do van life, i wanted to go out of my comfort zone- but it got to the point where i wasn’t growing because of it anymore. i wanted to be able to focus on things that were going to improve my life and work on things i was passionate about but it was far from pleasant to do that in the van, sitting outside, or spend every day in a library.
so to take a little break from that (before i decided i would drive home) i spent 10 days doing work exchange out in the middle of nowhere in northern california with a couple who are two of the most wonderful and wise people i’ve ever met. looking back at my road trip, this was the highlight of my trip. i cherish that experience and all that they taught me very much.
a few days after that, i drove all the way to wisconsin and spent the next 5 months (december-april) doing a whole lot of nothing. i planned a trip to southeast asia and then ended up canceling it. i did start doing hot yoga in february and absolutely loved it. i read a few books. made a few low quality videos. colored in my coloring book quite frequently lol. but, again, it was not the space i needed to be able to do what i wanted to do. i knew i needed a space of my own, somewhere not in wisconsin. i don’t like cold weather so i decided to check out austin and san antonio texas. my mom and i weren’t able to fly down to check apartments out until april, and then i moved to san antonio in may.
i haven’t been here long but so far i love it. one thing i’ve been interested in for a while now but really have just begun diving further into is reducing my waste + impact/living more sustainably. i’m not very good at it yet but that’s ok. i would also like to work on being more mindful. i’m not very good at that either but i’ve read so many books related to the subject and have not applied enough of the information i’ve learned to my actual life. so that’s something i need to and want to work on now. and i’m really excited to finally be able to put more work into my channel and website.
to be continued...