Tag Archives: Work

The power of a calling.

13 Dec

“The more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it.”

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When the stars align…with Easter Seals UCP.

1 Dec

Easter Seals UCP is a non-profit organization that supports families dealing with disabilities and mental health challenges. Over the past few months, I have been researching different Cerebral Palsy organizations to see if I could come across any information tailored towards adults with CP. Though I still haven’t found much useful information, I did find Easter Seals UCP. Upon looking at their website and the numerous blog posts by families dealing with disabilities, I was inspired. I was inspired not to focus on my own physical issues at the moment, but instead chose to focus on something that has just been coming to life since I started sharing my story of CP: my role as an advocate.

If you would have told me two years ago that my current primary focus would be using my own story and my personal experience with CP to advocate for kids with disabilities, I probably would not have believed you. I have never imagined that talking about my own struggles would be something I’d be able to do…much less want to do. However, since that is how things seem to have evolved, once I realized there were numerous Easter Seals offices across every state, I knew I had to get involved. The need to get involved led me to find out if there was an Easter Seals UCP office in Asheville, and I found it.

After connecting with some people in the Easter Seals UCP Asheville office through email and phone conversations and getting such a positive response regarding my desire to get involved within the Asheville community, I could not be more excited. At this point, I’m unsure how things will progress. However, after learning that the Asheville office works directly with families in the community, I asked if there had ever been any kind of program implemented that deals with the emotional barriers that a disability presents. Though there isn’t currently a program in place within the Asheville community that deals with the emotional side of disabilities, I told the Easter Seals Asheville office that I felt it would be incredibly beneficial for the community and that I’d be willing to help in any way I can. Long story short, I’ll be meeting with those at the Asheville office to discuss ways in which this kind of program could be implemented as well as general ways in which I can work with Easter Seals as a CP/disabilities advocate within the community.

Words cannot even express how excited I am about this possible opportunity. However, I know that without this blog and the incredibly supportive community of WordPress, I would not have been able to reach the point of talking so openly about my disability and what I’ve faced. For my entire life, I have struggled with the concept of belonging. However, I guess the part of my life that I was trying so hard to escape from was where I needed to be all along. Even though I didn’t have the opportunity to talk with someone who knew what I was going through during the years of my intense surgeries and physical therapy, I want to be that person for other kids with disabilities, and I want them to know they don’t have to go through it alone. Therefore, to all the families dealing with disabilities and the entire Easter Seals community, thank you. Thank you for helping me find another dream to strive towards.

Copyright: Easter Seals UCP.

Copyright: Easter Seals UCP.

Ireland detox: not as hard as I expected.

29 Jul

I returned from Ireland late Thursday night, or more accurately, during the wee hours of Friday morning. Even though I wasn’t quite sure how I would adjust to being back, I’ve drifted back into my life in North Carolina pretty nicely. However, at this point I’ve also realized that it’s only been a few days. A week from now I could be longing for Ireland in every fiber of my being. For now though, I’m loving being back.

I think it also has something to do with the fact that I’m jumping back into routines soon, so it’s not as if I’m sitting around for a few months before really getting back to my life. For instance, I start back at my internship with Lark Books (a book publisher in Asheville) tomorrow, I move in to my very first apartment on the 15th of August, and classes of the fall semester and my first day back to work at the bookstore both begin on the 20th of August. Therefore, I have things to look forward to and prepare for, which I’m thankful for. If I came back from Ireland with all this time to sit and think about what I was missing, I think it would be a lot harder to adjust to being back.

I also just love where I live, so it’s not as if I left the beauty of Ireland to come back to a place that I didn’t like. I absolutely love living among the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, and I’m even more anxious to head back to Asheville so that I can be among my friends again. However, there are definitely things that I miss, most of which are the people who I met and got to know. Even though I know that I won’t keep up with all of the people who I met in my study abroad group, I know that there are a few that I’ll keep up with just because we connected so well when over in Ireland. In terms of smaller things, it’s a bummer that I have to go from being able to drink in Ireland to not being legal yet in the states. However, when I was Ireland, I talked to this Irish guy who said that he went over to the US when he was 20, and it sucked that he had been able to drink for 2 years in his home country only to come to the US and not be able to. Yeah, I agreed with him that that would have been much harder.

Despite knowing that there will be things that I’ll miss about Ireland, I know that I’ll find a way to go back one day if it’s something that I really want. However, during my time in Ireland, I also realized how many places there are in the United States that I’m longing to visit too. Therefore, maybe when the travel bug bites again, I’ll settle to head somewhere in my home country. I’ve got so many options regarding terrain though. I think that’s what’s so great about the US. There are so many different places that are a relatively short distance apart, especially compared to the distance between the US and a place like Ireland. Now that I’ve been to Ireland, I have no doubt that I’ll want to explore all the different areas in the US as much as I can.

Fun Sick Days Don’t Exist In College.

12 Apr

During my childhood, being sick was an exciting time (if it wasn’t the stomach bug or another nasty equivalent). Being sick in the middle school days meant staying home from school, being curled up on the couch in pjs watching tv, having my mom make me soup and get popsicles and ice cream from the store, and best of all, sleeping. Sometimes when I was younger, I looked forward to those days, even if I was feeling pretty crappy. It meant having a break from school, which wasn’t exactly needed during the younger years, but something I gladly took anyway.

Being sick in college is not nearly as fun. Since there’s so much schoolwork to get done and most teachers penalize you for assignments being late or for missing a test, there’s no “fun” in being sick. Yesterday, I had 2 classes and worked at the bookstore for 4 hours despite being tired and coughing so much that I thought I’d cough up a lung eventually. Once I was done with classes yesterday, I came back to my dorm room to try to sleep, but I had no luck due to my constant coughing. After I had “rested” for about an hour, I had to get back to working on all the schoolwork that my professors have piled on over the last week.

No matter how old I get, I think I’ll always want my mom when I’m sick. Someone to make me soup and buy me popsicles and basically spend the day babying me. Everyone feels rotten when they’re sick, and all anyone wants is to feel better. Though moms can’t wish away sickness, they still do a pretty good job making sick days the best of the worst days. Ever since yesterday, I’ve wanted to be at my house curled up on the couch in pjs not having to worry about anything but sleeping and getting better. Though I know it’s important to get better now too, I’ve got so much due. As a kid, I never thought I’d need more time for “life.” I used to think there was so much already. College beats that thought right out of you, but leaves the sickness lingering….waiting to attach itself to the next tired and stressed college student.

Writing Quotes.

9 Apr

Over the past few days, I’ve been looking for quotes that explain what I’ve been feeling as I’ve been writing my book. Through the quotes I’ve come across, I’ve realized that all writers struggle with loneliness, dark days, insecurity and days when it feels as if those that aren’t also writers can’t understand what they are feeling. I’ve compiled a list of quotes that either resonated with me or helped encourage me to keep on digging up memories of my past to ultimately share my story with the world.

  • “Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.” -Anton Chekhov
  • “Tears are words that need to be written.” -Paulo Coelho
  • “Write what disturbs you, what you fear, what you have not been willing to speak about. Be willing to be split open.” -Natalie Goldberg
  • “Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.” -Stephen King
  • “With writing, we have second chances.” -Johnathon Safran Foer
  • “When you’re missing a piece of yourself, aching, gut wrenching emptiness begins to take over. Until you find the link that completes your very soul, the feeling will never go away. Most people find a way to fill this void, material possessions, a string of relationships, affairs, food…I bear my soul, with words, for all to see.” -Jennifer Salaiz
  • “You cannot hope to sweep someone else away by the force of your writing until it has been done to you.” -Stephen King
  • “I am simply of the opinion that you cannot be taught to write. You have to spend a lifetime in love with words.” -Craig Claiborne
  • “If a story is in you, it has to come out.” -William Faulkner
  • “A story isn’t a charcoal sketch, where every stroke lies on the surface to be seen. It’s an oil painting, filled with layers that the author must uncover so carefully to show its beauty.” -Amelia Atwater-Rhodes
  • “To me, the greatest pleasure of writing is not what it’s about, but the music the words make.” -Truman Capote
  • “Becoming a writer is about becoming conscious. When you’re conscious and writing from a place of insight and simplicity and real caring about the truth, you have the ability to throw the lights on for your reader. He or she will recognize his or her life and truth in what you say, in the pictures you have painted, and this decreases the terrible sense of isolation that we have all had too much of.” -Anne Lamott
  • “Sometimes a book isn’t a heartbreaking work of staggering genius. Sometimes it’s the only story you knew how to tell.” -Tahereh Mafi
  • “When I am writing, I am trying to find out who I am, who we are, what we’re capable of, how we feel, how we lose and stand up, and go on from darkness into darkness. I’m trying for that.” -Maya Angelou
  • “You are lucky to be one of those people who wishes to build sand castles with words, who is willing to create a place where your imagination can wander. We build this place with the sand of memories; these castles are our memories and inventiveness made tangible. So part of us believes that when the tide starts coming in, we won’t really have lost anything, because actually only a symbol of it was there in the sand. Another part of us thinks we’ll figure out a way to divert the ocean. This is what separates artists from ordinary people: the belief, deep in our hearts, that if we build our castles well enough, somehow the ocean won’t wash them away.” -Anne Lamott

Those Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days…

5 Mar

….of summer. Though it’s not summer, it’s been a lazy day for me. I’m on Spring Break though, so I’m allowed to be lazy right? I think so!

I started off my lazy day by sleeping til noon. Though that may seem insanely late to most of you, it’s pretty typical of most college kids when they come home for breaks. However, I don’t think I’ve slept til noon since last summer, so it’s been a while. I needed the sleep though. Last week before Spring Break I had 3 midterms, a paper, work, and regular classes, so after all of that, I was WIPED! Also, during that week I didn’t get much sleep since I spent so much time studying in the library or going to class or work. Whew, busy busy! It’s been so, so nice to have a break, and I’ve needed it.

Anyway, my lazy day then continued by making black beans and brown rice with green salsa for lunch and watching re-runs of Grey’s Anatomy on Lifetime. Ah, gotta love it! Though black beans and rice was my staple for a while, I haven’t had it as much recently (not including the days that I work at the campus bookstore since I only have 15 minutes to eat). Anyway, it was nice to have it again. It’s a nice comfort food, even though my favorite comfort food is chicken perlo (which is a moist version of chicken and rice that’s incredible! If you’ve never had it, you should definitely give it a try).

After lunch, I curled up on the couch with a blanket and immersed myself in the words of Jodi Picoult’s newest novel, Lone Wolf. As I’ve said before, Jodi Picoult is my favorite author. I’m loving Lone Wolf as much as I have enjoyed all of her other novels. I’m even more amazed by her because in March of 2010, I got to opportunity to hear her speak about her book, House Rules. It was one of the best days I’ve ever had. Getting to hear her speak was the equivalent Bieber-crazed teenager having a front row seat to a Justin Bieber concert. Since my mom and I got to Jodi Picoult’s talk so soon, we got to be in the front row (since the tickets for the event didn’t have assigned seats). I also got House Rules signed by Jodi and asked her to put in one of the comments I enjoyed from her talk. It was: “Writer’s block is for those who have a luxury of time.” It’s something I have to remind myself as a writer, and I just love that my all-time favorite author was able to teach me something so valuable!