My life started when I was thirty. Yup, thirty. Up until then? Just a mere nymph in a cocoon. struggling, lost, just fighting to keep some sense of peace in my life. Literally.
Growing up was great of course; I couldn’t have had a better childhood. starting at age 16 though, life started getting weird. Getting home from high school and being apprehended by the police was the start of a very complicated time in my life. Accused of crimes I didn’t commit, merely because of my age, my frustration. my college years were the worst in my life. living with a parent who was suffering what was then diagnosed as munchausen syndrome and dating an alcoholic. munchausen syndrome, by the way, is when someone says they are sick to get attention.
When police got involved in the drama, it was me who “didn’t care” about my parent, it was me who was deviant. oftentimes, I would find myself on the weekends so depressed that I didn’t want to get out of bed the whole time, anxiously awaiting monday just so that I could go to work and have something to take my mind of my problems! the climax of the most horrible time in my life was when I found my parent, drugged up on tranquilizers, on the couch with my alcoholic boyfriend whom was drunk. I had a test the next day in college. I did get an A. that was my first awakening moment when i learned that no matter what was going on in my life, I could act and respond in a way which was separate and independent from what was going on around me. in other words, my environment didn’t dictate the path of my life.
Finally, by age 30, I had finally extracted myself out of these horrendous, heart-wrenching situations. this was great, but I was alone. during that time, my parents had found healing; I was able to reconnect with them at a deeper level then I had previously. Thank God for that because I needed someone to comfort me. I had no boyfriend after being with someone for 12 years, no friends outside of work acquaintances and desperate to find my “calling”. I loved to dance, but at age 30, how do you continue to perform onstage? striking out on my own and searching for a pathway to grow my wings on, I discovered the sport of fitness. making the decision to compete in 2001, I had suddenly opened the door to great friends, positivity and increased self-confidence. I was feeling amazing! I started to see myself as a beautiful woman who could attract anything she wanted in her life!
Looking back, I am still friends with even the first acquaintances I have through fitness and have a ton of new ones all over the world! if it wasn’t for doing that first show, I don’t know if I would have made it out of the heaviness of my heart. my life is so much more different now! Competing, writing, training and moving forward with my life’s ambition of working to preserve the environment and the wildlife with my new network, Environmentally Fashionable/Globally healthy! thank God for new Beginnings!!
About the Writer: Born a dancer, Natalie Lynn Lichtenbert started her active career in ballet, tap, jazz, modern and hip hop dance styles. Also, being very active in sports, she participated in cheer, swimming and soccer. She currently keeps up her health and mental attitude while being a nationally recognized model, personal training, working as a photographer, continuing her fitness career, acting and following her environmental endeavors. she holds a Bachelor of science in medical technology with extended studies in molecular pathology. She currently resides in Chicago, Illinois.