Taken out of context I must seem so strange – Ani DiFranco
I like to think I’m a lot of things to a lot of people. To some I’m just that crazy blogger who’s saving a crap ton of money. To others I’m a daughter, a sister, a wife, a friend, a comedian, a therapist, a Mental Health First Aid trainer, a knitter, that woman you see walking down the street or that lady you wish would just shut up already. I can’t say exactly who I am as I’m still searching.
Here’s a bit more of a “traditional” bio…
I’m originally from a tiny speck on the map in Illinois – a small farming community. I grew up in a pretty modest, lower-middle to middle class, blue-collar family. Mom (the school lunch lady), Dad (the mechanic), older brother (the construction manager). You know, pretty average. I grew up in the same house my entire life. I went to pre-school with a good chunk of the same 59 people I graduated high school with. I got myself some good old-fashioned Midwestern, small town values growing up. Heck, my home town still has a bakery where you pay on the honor system!
From as early as I can remember, my mother always said I should be a social worker. She always knew it was in me. Perhaps it was the outraged essays I would write as a 3rd grader about animal poaching in Africa? Perhaps it was my tendency to look out for the underdog? Maybe it was just a mother’s intuition…
I went away to get my Bachelor of Social Work degree in 2002, in Aurora Illinois. Unfortunately (and like so many others) my parents weren’t able to help out with the cost of my education. I came out of school with about $24,000 worth of student loan debt. After graduation, I moved home and worked 2 jobs, both of which dealt with pissed off teenagers. I knew there was something better for me in Social Work, so I saved up some money and moved to Denver in 2005. I then got my Master of Social Work degree in 2006. I came out of that school with about $40,000 more debt. When I was done with my education I had about $73,000 in total student loan debt.
Shortly after this I found a job I love at a community mental health center that I love. I started working in mental health, but also kept the part-time job I had throughout graduate school, for another 2 years. I was finally able to quit my 2nd job in 2008, but in hindsight I should have kept it a while longer.
I still live in Denver, happily with my husband and our 2 cats (who still hate each other after living together for over 4 years!). We live in a modest apartment in the Capitol Hill neighborhood. I still work for that same community mental health center and I’m back to working 2 jobs.
If you want to known more about who I am, you can just ask. I’m pretty friendly.
If you want to know more about what I’m doing, take a look around. You should find the answers to your questions.