In May of 2014, I drove over 1,577 miles with my seven month old daughter, Jade.
​Hopping around, visiting friends and family, who surely all wondered if I was crazy... but we eventually stopped in Austin, Texas.
​This marked the beginning of my divorce and my claim of independence in this world.

​I had gotten married at age seventeen, to a military man I had met on World of Warcraft, who was into in astrology.
I was proposed to outside of a hotel room, by my parents...

​By your what now?
Yes, my parents proposed to me as my nervous sort-of-boyfriend agreed that it sounded like a "good idea".

I didn't exactly want to get married, but I wanted to get out,
​because I had always failed to stop my parents from getting into my bedroom and hitting me for some reason I could not figure out.
They once told me I was being hit for asking why I was being hit.
I did not like that feeling... I feared that feeling for years to come...

So I, reluctantly, got married and moved from Plano, Texas to Fort Walton Beach, Florida.

​My husband was very patient with all of the times that I locked myself in the bathroom, crying and panicking, having flashbacks to my parents hitting me.
​I eventually started working out, looking for a job, and while my husband was deployed I moved to New York City, then right back to Plano, Texas.
​Plano, my home town, is where I began (and completed) emergency medical training and re-began taekwondo at the same place I had gone to (for only a month or so) when I was eight.

My instructor was a very intimidating Aries.

I was a very shy, timid little baby Leo.
​I once walked up to him, very sad, and nervously confessed "I always have nightmares that I can't punch hard enough..."
He retaliated, "You punch plenty hard."
​"Really???" Squeaked my little voice.
​(I unfortunately do not have any pictures of he and I, the pictures of me above, with another instructor, were taken at a later date.)

​I think nowadays, if you asked, a lot of people, would tell you, "Oh yeah, Penny hits hard!" as they wipe a bit of sweat off their brow.

​I made it to blue belt in taekwondo and hapkido, held an alvused leg, got a piece of paper, said goodbye to all the animals and one or two of the people (I was super shy) at the animal shelter I volunteered at (Second Chance SPCA, check it out!) and was on my way to Goldsboro, North Carolina with my returning husband.

​A series of bad things happened in North Carolina.
I began studying astrology, and while my (then) husband was in Texas (and I was still in North Carolina, where I didn't know anybody or have anything), we decided to have a baby!
​Then we went back to Florida and he cheated on me.

Then, pregnant Penny went back to North Carolina to pick up her cats and throw a fit.
​Then I punched him in the face while pregnant (not bragging... this was mean of me! Violence should be avoided.)
​I then decided to stay in North Carolina with my cheating baby daddy husband and mend his wounds.... or at least make sure that he didn't bleed on the carpet. (#VirgoRising)

​I tried to repair my relationship, and I had always kind of hoped that we would overcome his 7th house Saturn. Alas, if he does overcome it, it will not be with me. Our time has passed.

​Jade Phoenix was born while we were living in Virginia. She was everything... the whole world was in her eyes... She opened up the world for me, because she was a missing part of my soul... something I didn't even know I had been missing.

​Jade has wisdom, patience, perseverance, and she is insanely outgoing, friendly. She cracks everyone up, and I don't think anyone who has ever met her will forget her...

​When I moved us to Austin, I had no idea of the amazing friends that we would make. I thought astrology was all I had as an outlet, source of communication, and income... and at first it was.

​When I moved into our first apartment, all I had was Jade and astrology. Jade attracted the people (cute babies always do :) ) and astrology gave them something to talk to me about (I say 'them', rather than 'me', because I was too shy to even try to make conversation back then).

​Once Jade started walking and talking, she would go up to people EVERYWHERE and just start talking away... we couldn't even understand her yet! I was so embarrassed, but also inspired and in awe of how EASY it was to talk to people! Jade was doing it, even when no one could understand her!
​I'm like, "Wow, I can be like her!" Hahaha... my (then) one year old daughter... For every year of her life, I have admired what she can do.

​So Jade FORCED me to become more outgoing, and I believe that saved my outgoing Leo nature from the shy shadows of the 12th house. It was beautiful.

​People today never believe that I was ever shy. I tell them about how I used to have social anxiety, and they say, "I never would have guessed!" What an accomplishment... everything is...

​Once I was out of a financial crisis, I very urgently drove all around North Austin... from dojo to dojo... in search of a place to once again train in martial arts.
​I finally found one that I liked, but I had no idea how fated it was for me to meet this instructor... who was supportive of me in all areas of my life... even those I had tried to hide when I first came to the gym.
​He may someday save my life with the self defense he has given me, if he hasn't already.

​After two years in North Austin, I hit another financial hardship and could no longer afford my rent. So I left Champion's Way Martial Arts with my blue belt in Kajukenbo; my third blue belt.

​Today, I am here in South Austin (didn't actually go that far), and I am refinding my purpose... filling in all the lights, and shining on all the colors of the calling that I already knew I had... because I could not keep myself from it. I could not deny or avoid this destiny, that I am currently craving and crawling towards day by day...
​Things seem to work themselves out, but I had to be tough as Hell to get here.

My Name is Penny.