[I recently updated my About page. It is an introduction for new friends and it also reflects my direction for moving forward with my writings here. I thought I would share it as a post, too, since most of you don’t check out the About page regularly.]


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My name is Dena Joan Botbyl. I was born on May 5 (Cinco de Mayo!), 1984. That makes me twenty-seven and a Taurus. I am the first-born of two daughters. I am a conscientious “first born” through and through. It seems that I came out of the womb worrying but I’ve taken many steps to overcome the anxiety that it has caused me in my life.

I was unhealthy, overweight, and suffered from severe anxiety and depression from the time I was fifteen until my early/mid-twenties. I tried various medications and therapies without much luck. Then, that all changed when I discovered Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). With the tools that CBT gave me, I overcame my depression and anxiety, I lost seventy pounds, and I began to change my life.

In July of 2009, I created this site to share my story and to teach other people how to follow the path from darkness to light. Overtime, the direction of this site has continually evolved and it is still changing all the time. Sometimes I write about anxiety and depression, but I often write about my other passions, too: minimalism, conservation, health & wellness, and travel to name a few.

I no longer have a desire to categorize this site. It is not necessarily self development and it is not necessarily a personal diary, though you will certainly find elements of those two styles here.

Evolution You is my journey. It follows the meandering path of my soul, my whims, my hopes, my dreams, and my fears. Thank you for being with me here. I hope that you will stay for awhile, but if you can’t come in, may you smile as you pass.

A few other facts about me… In 2006, I completed my undergraduate education and received my bachelor’s degree in English with a creative writing (poetry) focus. After college, I worked a cushy, well-paying office job for a few years to begin paying back my student loans and working my way out of debt. Eventually, the confines and red-tape of corporate America took their toll on me and it was time to move forward. In September 2010, I quit my job and booked a flight to Paris. I’ve spent the past year floundering a bit and recently decided to return to graduate school to pursue my teaching certification to teach high school English.

Today, I live on a small mountain beside a state forest in Northern New Jersey. I live with my fiance, Matthew, who is a talented carpenter; our dog, Bella; our cat, Luna; and our fish, Snoop. We also have a lot of other furry friends and we love them, too.

Hallowe’en is my favourite holiday. I don’t have cable television, but I love DVD’s. My all-time favourite series is Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Currently we are working our way through Dexter, True Blood, and Mad Men which are all fantastic. (Huzzah for great television with no advertisements!) My favourite films are What Dreams May Come, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, and Cool Hand Luke. My favourite books are: 100 Years of Solitude; Lolita; On the Road; Mrs. Dalloway; Ahab’s Wife, or The Stargazer; and White Oleander.

I am a godmother to the sweetest, smartest, cutest little boy this side of heaven, Brian Lee.

Okay, I think that’s all of the important stuff…

I believe that life is terrible & beautiful no matter what way you spin it. I believe that happiness is a choice. I believe that kindness & gratitude are the pillars for living a good life. And mostly, I believe that, in the end, there is only love, there is nothing else.

And now that you know everything you’ve ever (or never) wanted to know about me, head on over here, for some posts that explore my journey further.

In love & light,
Dena

4 thoughts on “the girl behind the curtain (about me)”

  1. Happiness is always a choice, we don’t always realize that which is why we spend too much time worrying and fretting about life’s little road bumps.

    Really glad to see you are going to get back to school and teach, it is a very rewarding venture and you will bring a lot to the table.

    1. Thanks so much for the encouragement, Lou. I need all of the positive energy that I can get. This is going to be challenging, but so worth it. 🙂

  2. Dena, I always knew we had things in common. Some favorite movies and favorite books, in addition to the things I already knew. I’m so glad a post on Paris brought us together on this journey called life.

    xo

    1. Thank you, Andra. I am ever-grateful to have you in my life. You are truly a gift to me. Thank goodness for Paris! <3 We are soul-sisters, indeed.

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