All About MJ

Hey hey, I’m MJ,

            See what I did there instead of hey hey, it’s MJ it’s…never mind you get it. I feel like I have been thinking about writing this post for months now and I don’t actually know when this is going to be posted because well it depends on my other posts and scheduling but here we go. I’m MJ, it’s a nickname and it has been since I was little, I have an ironic name with an ironic birthday that I don’t plan on telling y’all about. I am really private for these things and the internet is a place where I don’t want to give away all of my secrets. 

So here is a little mini bio about me:

            I grew up in a medium sized college town in North Western Indiana, we were considered sometimes a suburb of Chicago but I grew up surrounded by corn fields and I learned to love that. Valparaiso, the Vale of Paradise as it means in Spanish was my home town I was born there in 1992, I grew up there, went to college there, and in 2018 moved out of there. 

            Who am I though? I grew up and only child with poodles first there was Dusty who passed away on my fifth birthday and then we got Duke who was born an old man I swear if he was human he would have been a history professor suede elbow patches and all, he passed away when I was in college. Y’all have seen Ozzie and Ginger if you have seen my Instagram or a few of my older posts. 

            My dad is a retired electrician and my mom stayed at home with me and the dogs, I grew up on a road with a cul-de-sac, typical Americana right? 

            I started to develop depression and anxiety when I was in middle school and I still live with it, therapy in high school did wonders, but I did have four therapists in 3 years so I have some trust and abandonment issues but other than that, it’s good. I still have my moments where I get to those lows and this year has not been great but I’m working on being and feeling better. 

            I developed stress and tension headaches in my junior year of high school which made me miss half a year and then I went into an alternative program for the second semester and made up a year’s worth of work in a couple of months, it’s okay I promise if you have to do something like that. 

            Despite that I still got into college I did my first year at one of Purdue’s satellite school’s before transferring to Valparaiso University where I spend three amazing years being in radio where I was a DJ, Assistant Program Director, and Program Director my senior year. Joined a sorority, Delta Delta Delta, which sadly closed on my campus my senior year but I am a Tri Delta alum and proud of that every day. I got my B.A. in Digital Media Communications, TV and Radio and I loved every minute of it. I interned for the country station I grew on and got to meet an owl named Hoosier and Hunter Hayes all in one weekend; it was a lot of fun because I got to work with radio personalities I had grown up on and looked up to. 

            The end of my senior year I found myself a little lost and decided to go and finish my Psychology degree so I went back to Purdue for a little over a year and then I was done with my B.S. in Psychology with honors (3.77 GPA for the win) with full intention of going to grad school, I had a bad work experience and decided that I needed something else. I clearly couldn’t settle on what I wanted to do.

            Here’s the thing I know what I want to do, I want to write full time be an author but that takes a lot of time, skill, and even luck so that’s just not a full time option for me right now and that’s okay, eventual dream. 

            So what did I do next? My neighbor across the street was a curriculum coach at a school in another district and they had an opening for an Instructional Assistant and I got it so I was back in education. We had a lot of high risk high poverty inner city kids so I learned a lot of empathy and got a thick skin being in a building like that and I miss a lot of the kids, the 3rd graders I student taught are in 6th grade now and I knew those kids when they were in 1st grade so that’s so hard for me to wrap my brain around. I was really not out of a school building from 1997 when I was in kindergarten until the beginning of 2018 and I went back at the end and started subbing down here, but that’s for later. I spent two school years as an Instructional Assistant and about a semester in I started my M.A.E (Master of Arts in Education) in Elementary Education online through University of Phoenix (don’t bash an online program, it was what worked for me!). I graduated in the first week of 2018 with a 3.80 GPA literally weeks before I packed up and moved to Arkansas.

            I moved to Bentonville, Arkansas in February of 2018, the Wal-Mart capital of the world, if I throw a rock I could probably hit something Wal-Mart related and that means that there is a lot of diversity down here which is great. 

            That was about when I started the blog because I was in a new place and I wanted something as an outlet. 

I was down here months before my parents to be boots on the ground for the building of their house, they built a log cabin, I got to help and I learned so much about construction and life in general. The guys taught me so much and I will always cherish those memories. (It was a lot and I wrote a bit of a memoir on it but it will never see the light of day.) 

            I started substitute teaching later that year and have been doing it ever since and there is nothing I love more than having a kid recognize me and run over to give me a hug, granted we can’t do that right now because of COVID but I love working with kids. There is no one better at building you up or tearing you down more than an elementary school aged kid because they have no filter. 

            There is so much more I could tell you, I promise that, I have finished 12 books all by myself and if you count my work with a friend that number is over 20. I just started working out again, I walked my first 5K in October. (this might go up in October but if it doesn’t there you have it and I hope that I have walked more than that since then but who knows!) I like art and if I could have I would have gotten a degree in Art History because it’s one of my favorite things, I love dogs and hedgehogs and I want nothing more than a Cockapoo (cocker spaniel and poodle mix), I love Funko Pops!, books, makeup. I love to craft and do DIY’s and I know that I am a lot to handle for a lot of people but I wouldn’t trade being me for anything! 

            I hope everyone has a great week and I will see y’all later with another post! 

            -MJ 

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