Happy (almost) first birthday, lifeintheblueridges!

31 Oct

Even though today isn’t the “official” one-year birthday of lifeintheblueridges, I will be starting NaNoWriMo tomorrow. Therefore, my post tomorrow will be my writing piece for day one of NaNoWriMo rather than a “Yay lifeintheblueridges is one year old today” post. However, I knew that I couldn’t go full tilt into my first NaNoWriMo experience without celebrating the one-year birthday of this blog.

As well as November 1st being the one-year birthday this blog (in which I have written one blog post every day for an entire year), it is also the celebration of the beginning of my journey to find myself. Yes, that may sound cliché, but it’s true. Since I started my blog, I have become a completely different person. When I first began, I had no idea that my words would act as a gateway into what I strive to do in life: advocate for people with disabilities. I first began acting as an advocate in January of this year when I made the decision to share my own story of living with Cerebral Palsy. Though it was a very spur of the moment decision that was made one evening as I sat in bed thinking back on my life in and out of hospitals and how hard it was not having someone who understood my pain and fear, I knew that it was a decision that would stick. I could feel it.

I am proud to say that 10 months later, the decision has remained strong. More than anything, it has grown. Though I know that part of the growth has to do with the inner strength that I have rediscovered within myself, I also know that it has a lot to do with the support and encouragement that I have received from the blogging community. Before beginning my blog a year ago, I never knew that the blogging community was as close to a home with a strong sense of belonging that I’d ever hope to find. Even though I am sure that there will be other places along the way that will allow me to feel a similar sense of belonging, I know it started here. I have no doubt that as I continue to share my story, I will continue to become more confident in myself. However, I also will be sure to not forget those who helped me first begin to recognize my true self: my parents, my friends, my mentors, and all of you lovely blog followers.

It’s always so crazy to think of how much can happen in a year. When I began this blog one year ago, I didn’t know that this is where it would lead. I didn’t know that I would reach a point where it didn’t scare the hell out of me to talk about my life with Cerebral Palsy. I didn’t know I’d be able to talk about certain memories without crying because I could remember the pain so vividly. Honestly, I didn’t think I’d be able to revisit any of the painful memories at all. For so long, they were stored away. I kept them in the dark recesses of my mind, and I never even considered the possibility of bringing them out into the light. The simple thought of reliving the moments in my life that were filled with so much pain and fear was unimaginable. However, I think all of that began to change when I realized that I had the power to help other kids with disabilities feel less alone by sharing my own story. Truthfully, all of it changed because of Grace.

Grace. The twelve-year-old girl who I know who has Cerebral Palsy. The girl who is facing what I’ve faced, and yet always seems to have the biggest smile on her face. The girl who looks up to me as if I have hung the moon and the stars. And yet, she’s also the girl who has the ability to break my heart since, at the time, I knew I’d never be able to save her from the pain. There was nothing I could do that would result in Grace not having to feel the emotional and physical pain that I have had to face my entire life. However, eventually, I thought of a way I could help Grace. Though it may not be in the way that I wished, I know that I can help Grace (and many others like her) by sharing my own story and bringing to light the pain, fear, loneliness and rejection that I have faced throughout my life. Grace. The girl who I feel like I can completely relate to since we know each other’s pain. The girl who often sends me spiraling back into painful memories that have been long gone and over for many years by simply being present in my life. And yet, I long to help her see that she is not alone, that she is strong, and that she is loved. I long to help her see that she is one of the reasons why I’m writing my memoir. Maybe even the sole reason.


12 Responses to “Happy (almost) first birthday, lifeintheblueridges!”

  1. KatherinesDaughter October 31, 2012 at 7:11 am #

    Congratulations on your one year anniversary! I am coming up on mine as well (next month I believe). I love your dedication and mission…I too signed up for NaNoWriMo and will look for you there….xo Joanne

    • ameliaclaire92 October 31, 2012 at 7:36 am #

      Thank you, Joanne! Good luck with NaNoWriMo. 🙂

  2. photosfromtheloonybin October 31, 2012 at 8:00 am #

    Congrats on 1 year of blogging Amelia!!! As you know, I am quite familiar with the time and dedication that goes into a daily blog, and I think you should give yourself a big pat on the back and possibly a huge bowl of icecream :). You are growing more and more every day as a person, and I admire you very much. I’m definitely glad I found your blog!! Looking forward to your NaNoWriMo entries :).

    • ameliaclaire92 October 31, 2012 at 12:01 pm #

      Thanks! Your continued support means so much to me. 🙂

  3. anewdayrising79 October 31, 2012 at 11:44 am #

    You’re totally my new hero. Shared on Facebook. 🙂

  4. insearchofitall October 31, 2012 at 12:18 pm #

    Congrats on the one year anniversary. Mine is today as well. Interesting how many of the blogs I follow are having their one year this week. It doesn’t seem to matter the disability or discomfort. Pain is universal and so many relate. We are all working to be stronger than our challenge. Keep up the great work.

    • ameliaclaire92 October 31, 2012 at 12:19 pm #

      “We are all working to be stronger than our challenge.” So true! I couldn’t have said it better.

  5. Lisa W. Rosenberg October 31, 2012 at 9:06 pm #

    Happy Blog-Birthday, Amelia! I’m so glad to be one of your followers, to have learned some of your story, to know about Grace and the way you write for her and are in many ways a mentor to her, the way you model courage–and yes: grace–for the rest of us. Happy Writing this month!


  6. LA Edwards November 1, 2012 at 10:26 pm #

    Congratulations Amelia!

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