* “Effie, brace yourself.”

Since we are starting upon a journey some basic preparations need to take place before we move forward. It’s important for you to gather a sense of my past and how I got to this point so we can navigate this journey effectively…

The early years:

I was a latch key kid growing up. My parents were hard working and often times worked more then one job ( mom) to provide us a better standard of living then they were accustomed too. I was more of a chatterbox and dreamer than an exemplary student. I found myself falling into troubled pre-teen and teenage years, missing most of my academic foundation. I managed to pull it together in high school by isolating myself from bad elements and hanging out with the nerdy types. As my nerdy angels headed off to AP classes,  I was herded alongside the other dreamers into donkey knock off classes. I often times believed we were just being baby sat while my nerdy compadres were actually in school learning. I managed to graduate high school and was accepted into a college. ( pics inside)

Elementary school photo. Holding up an award. Facial expression is one of boredom.

Elementary school photo. Holding up an award. Facial expression is one of boredom.

My golden years:

I ended up at a state school in Northern California. To tell you the truth I was 17 and lost. I was a chunky, confused soul that was plumped into an institution that was beyond my academic scope. I know what you are thinking, “It’s a state school and she can’t hang?”.  Remember, I was in the donkey classes in high school. I ended up being placed on academic probation within my first year and shortly after was kicked out of school. I digress to a memory of my first college paper. I was returned a blank sheet of paper, I thought it was a mistake. Where were the red marks and my grade? I shuffled my way up to the professor after class and he eloquently stated, ” I am unable to grade your paper at this time. It is not worthy of a grade!”. What? My paper was not worthy of a grade? Maybe in college they can grant you a letter grade of a “G”? He made a suggestion that I head to the writing lab and get some assistance. It was then I realized this was going to be a long road. I found out from a student tutor at the writing lab that I was unable to formulate sentences. She explained that everything was a run on sentence. To this day I am still learning to write.

Long story short I ended up not telling my family or friends I was kicked out of college. I secretly began taking classes at the Junior College trying to get reinstated into school. I must have been damn afraid of having to tell my mother I had been kicked out! I worked like a mad woman trying to get back into school. Interesting enough the person that fought against the board for me to be reinstated was the college professor that refused to grant me a letter grade on my first paper.

Marissa's College Transcripts

Marissa’s College Transcripts (For privacy hid personal and non relevant information)

Turbulent times:

Shortly after graduation I ended up heading back to my hometown in Southern California. I returned alongside a wonderful boyfriend sporting a new found attitude. I was ready to conquer the world. I found myself as a entry level coordinator at a luxury senior home. While a year into my job I was given at opportunity to work for a major hospital implementing electronic medical records. I was on my way. I was a young and energetic working professional. I was healthy and no longer a chunky gal, I was actually fit and fabulous. And then the storm came.

I started experiencing bouts of intermittent dizziness. I recall being on the freeway and feeling as if my car was being thrown around. I was lucky enough that the spells lasted seconds. I pulled over on the shoulder numb from fear. I did not know what was happening but I knew I was in trouble. Throughout the months of long working hours and little sleep the spells became longer and more violent. I needed a break and was excited when my boyfriend scored us two tickets to see Anita Baker. She was my diva growing up. When I was in trouble my mom would send me to my room and I would sing “caught up in the rapture” to my dolls.

Who would have known that the day following that concert would change my life forever. I used to go around saying, ” After I see Anita Baker live I can just die”. This was a lesson in be careful what you ask for! I woke up the next day in a full on vertigo spell. Since that day 6 years ago I have been plagued by chronic dizziness which haunts me daily.

Last image taken of myself at the Anita Baker concert pre-chronic dizziness.

Last image taken of myself at the Anita Baker concert pre-chronic dizziness.

WHEW! It was difficult to condense my life in a few paragraphs. I think we both need a break.:)

*I have a tendency to spew random quotes from early 90’s movies.

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