Category Archives: bullying

Calling them names because they’re different is wrong

(I can be your friend—VeggieTales)

I hate election time because of all of the hatred and hurtfulness that people spew. The headlines are full of stuff like “Hillary should be in prison, not the white house.” First of all, we have a legal justice system in this country that determines whether or not someone belongs in prison. We also have an innocent until proven guilty policy. Oh, and it is “we the people” who get to decide whether or not Hillary will move into the white house…well, we the people with the help of the electoral college, but that’s a conversation for another day and not really relevant to this conversation. Second, how do you think Hillary feels seeing that kind of headline? Why must we be so cruel to those with whom we disagree? And then the headlines of “your body belongs to Trump.” I can’t say I read the article to which this was attached, but I am guessing it was surrounding the topic of abortion. No, your body doesn’t belong to Trump, and I can guarantee he did not say that. I know you know how you feel when someone makes comments about your actions that are false. Do you really think Trump feels any differently? Your body does not belong to Trump. I might be lousy at history, but even I know slavery was outlawed a LONG time ago. And abortion isn’t about what you do with your body, abortion is about what you do with someone else’s body who isn’t yet able to defend him or herself. If it isn’t okay to murder your children when they can scream then it shouldn’t be okay to murder them when they can’t. (Side note, if it were YOUR body we were talking about then post abortion you would be dead…not sayin’ just sayin’). Today I got onto facebook and 90% of what I saw was people spewing hate about the candidates. (The other 10% was mostly the adorable children posts that are part of why I even have facebook). It really bothers me to see this hurtfulness towards those two people and towards anyone who has a different opinion.

Y’all you might only see these people on TV, and they might look kinda funny, but they are not just TV characters; they are real people. They are people with real feelings and real thoughts and real emotions.

You are entitled to your own opinion. So are they. So is your neighbor who voted differently from you or didn’t vote at all. In all reality, the president doesn’t have THAT much power over our everyday lives. No president is going to mandate what time you set your alarm or whether you shower in the morning or at night or what time to have lunch—the things that really affect your day to day remain unchanged. When I woke up this morning nothing was different than yesterday in my life—nor will anything truly change the day that our new president gets the keys to the white house. (Side note that the vice president kinda gets the short stick–how come the vice president doesn’t get a cool house). You don’t have to like the opinions of the person elected, but you should be a decent human being and show respect to the person elected. You don’t have to like how your neighbor voted, but you are still going to have to live with them the other over 1400 days until the next election, so it is going to be best for both of you if you can get it through your thick skull that your neighbor is another person worthy of respect.

Perhaps the news media and the social media folks need a reminder that as the adage says, if you have nothing nice to say then say nothing at all. Have we forgotten our manners? Did we forget “the inside is the part that we’re supposed to care about; that’s where we’ve got feelings that are very much the same…it’s okay if we are different.” It is okay to be friends with people who do not share your exact same opinions. If everyone had the exact same opinions the world would be pretty boring. If you refuse to be friends then let’s remember that being rude and hurtful towards other people doesn’t show how superior you are; in fact, it pretty much just makes you seem childish. Let’s grow up and be civil towards people—even the ones who *gasp* aren’t identical to us.

Do you reach out and touch them?

(Dreaming Jacob’s Dream–Michael Card)

Supposedly over break I have been writing letters of intent, organizing things, preparing for upcoming rotations…all sorts of useful relevant things…

In reality, I am super distractible. I found this video and found it really powerful. Imagine what it is like to go through every day like the first half of the video. Some people don’t have to imagine. It is hard when despite your efforts to be friendly and positive the only interaction you get is negative if you get any interaction at all. The video was so powerful–being ignored or cast aside hurts, and it is discouraging when most interactions in a day are like that. Maybe I reacted mostly because I notice things–I see the facial expressions and body language, but even without the visual and just listening, the tone and words (or lackthereof) is a reminder that every interaction counts…and a reminder of how negative interactions have hurt me.

I also found this video. So good. But honestly, the first thing I thought when I saw it was “I wonder what their parents were thinking when their kid came home from day camp with a word like worthless scrawled across her face.” The video was super well done though.

Yolo…or like the Caribou cups and napkins always say, “Life is short. Stay awake for it.”

I wouldn’t trade your love for all the candy in this great big world

(Me—Plumb)

 

Ironically I actually had a conversation yesterday with a teacher about how isolation hurts so much more than almost anything else that happens in life…and then today my stupid ID wouldn’t work to let me study where I wanted, which equates to a sense of isolation, since it separates me from all my friends and everything else that I want. Although I was thinking about it overnight, and I don’t agree anymore that nothing is the worst thing to say to someone…Nothing is worse than an unintentional wrong thing, but the worst thing is actually to tell someone that they aren’t grieving. (At least I sure hope that wouldn’t be an accidental wrong thing…I have a hard time believing that telling someone they aren’t grieving when they clearly have something hard going on could ever be an accident). This makes me sad but also makes me laugh a little remembering a particular day I am not going to write about.

 

On the positive side, on a whim a week-ish ago I went looking for where the microwave in the other studying building on campus got moved to, so I still have a way to eat…which is good, because I like eating. Girl would be very crabby if she had to wait to get to church to eat lunch.

 

A few days ago an email went out that we have to sign that we agree with who is joining our fraternity (the one whose whole attraction factor is that you can go greek without having as many mandatory meetings to attend…so I did pretty much as a resume booster, because it is the most stupid and pointless group ever). Hahahahaha. You tell me I am required to sign that I agree with who is going to join our fraternity, and if I don’t agree I have to write a letter stating my preferences, and you know what, you could be telling me that Hitler was joining and I’d still say go for it…it doesn’t really change anything for me if someone else is joining. Not going to lie…I didn’t necessarily read the list before I signed my name to say I agreed. Sometimes I don’t care if my opinion is heard…besides, I am fairly certain there is only one more mandatory meeting left, so it isn’t like I actually have to be in the same room with this group more than one more time (and you wouldn’t believe how many people don’t show up for the mandatory meetings anyway…and I don’t blame them, because I’d rather go stick my head in a pot of boiling water than go to the meetings. So yeah, I do have the best friends that money can buy, and you know what, money doesn’t buy very good friends…the biggest problem is probably that leadership in the group is a popularity contest just like student council and when you have stuck up people who have no leadership skills running a group it isn’t going to go very well. (Side note that not the entirety of the leadership is stuck up, but the “president” is, and that sets the tone for the rest of the leadership).

 

I decided that living in an apartment is something that I am going to stop doing ASAP…Apparently once you tell them that you are officially planning on moving out, you are required to keep your apartment completely clean and presentable at all times and if they find out you didn’t then there is a significant fine. I have so many problems with this. First, I am a college student and I have a lot more important things to worry about than whether there is a stray shirt of the floor next to the washer or if the pile of books is starting to look like the leaning tower of Pisa. To me, it is my apartment and if I am stressed out and don’t want to deal with laundry and dishes until after an exam then I should be able to do that (assuming that there is not a science experiment brewing). Second, how in the world do I work on moving out while keeping my apartment presentable. Moving out is a huge process that usually spans over the course of a few weeks when I am *only* going home for break, so you can imagine that it is going to be an even bigger project when leaving for good…especially since I am trying to sell my dresser so once that is gone it will be pretty limited where I can store my stuff. I spent a significant portion of yesterday cleaning…and then of course getting ready in the morning takes twice as long when the bed has to be made and the pajamas neatly folded and…and…and…etc Not so bad when I have some extra time, but the majority of the time I do not have extra time.

 

On the positive side, now that they might be showing my apartment to prospective renters, perhaps they will finally fix the ceiling I have been complaining about since I moved in, and fix the broken burner I have been complaining about since November…

 

On the note of cleaning…I determined that if things were still halfway (or fully) shrink-wrapped then I probably didn’t need them…yep…which resulted in a trip to the dumpsters in the dark and rain…which was frustrating because the fire escape was slippery and also apparently they said they changed the codes on the gates, but what they didn’t say was that they only changed it on some of them, so I was frustratedly trying to release myself to go back to my apartment and the stupid code wasn’t working…I mean, it doesn’t work 70% of the time with the correct code anyway, but eventually I tried the old code and got to go home.

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There’s a chemical in your brain it’s pouring sunshine and rage

(Manic—Plumb)

 

I’m not sure about the physiologic accuracy of this lyric…I mean, lack of serotonin and norepinephrine is suspected to be an underlying cause of ADHD and depression, so you could link the depression to rage and the ADHD to sunshine…but that is kind of simplistic…and not at all what I think the song is trying to express…in any case…it’s crazy how a single situation can change so dramatically with the introduction of tiny new variables…

 

Back to the song, it is a Christian song, but it also not totally theologically sound in my opinion. “I won’t forgive again because she takes so often.” Umm I’m pretty sure that 70×7 wasn’t intended to mean that you got to stop forgiving when you hit 490…in fact, the song goes “70 times 7, don’t use a calculator to figure it out, forgive as God has forgiven you, that’s what it’s all about.” (Yeah, I know, I shouldn’t necessarily get my theology from children’s songs, but I’m pretty sure the forgiveness isn’t something where you can meet a quota and then stop.

 

Also, this blog post made me cry a few days ago. There are people in the world who make bad choices, but there are also SO many good people. Sometimes God orchestrates some pretty awesome people to work together to make big things happen. http://themighty.com/2016/03/to-the-strangers-in-whole-foods-who-surrounded-me-after-news-of-my-fathers-suicide/

 

Speaking of bad choices, I almost made one today…but then, like usually pops into my head, I remembered the book “Song Lee and the I Hate You Notes.” I honestly have no clue what that book is about, but the title has stuck with me a lot longer than the actual content of the book. I do remember that in the book, Song Lee got an I hate you note (I don’t remember whether it was intentional, a joke, or intended for someone else) and I was very sad for her. I don’t want to make anyone feel like that…so it isn’t okay to post online that I think someone stinks (not in the sense of smelling bad, necessarily, but in the sense of personality)…although sometimes smell makes me really want to punch someone in the face even though I would never do that, because I am no longer nearly as picky as I used to be, but there are still a lot of food that not only will I not eat, but I can’t stand how they smell…including ketchup, wine, salad dressing, cooked fish, barbecue sauce, greek yogurt, funyuns, and beer…I’ll tolerate it, but it will drive me insane…

 

But…just a PSA…I have a personal bubble that I like to be respected…My getting up to go to the bathroom is not an invitation for you to stand by my stuff. As far as I could tell nothing was taken, but there was absolutely no reason to stand there, and you’re not going to get any juicy gossip because I mostly leave only notes out, and not things like my journal or my facebook, so it isn’t going to be that exciting unless you are thrilled by antibiotic resistance or whatnot…When I sit back down it is certainly not an invitation to come on back. It is my opinion that if someone would like to use a particular space that my stuff and/or my body has already claimed then that person owes me the dignity of a smile or a hi or some other form of acknowledgement…obviously an exception would be if I am quite obviously in the zone and won’t notice the difference anyway, but if you are someone who doesn’t think I should receive that level of respect then you should probably not be invading my space…especially when there is absolutely no reason to do so and it actually is seemingly an inconvenience to you to be there…IDK about you, but I like to be respected.

 

Discussion was awesome today for at least part of it because there was pizza…who wouldn’t be thrilled about being in class when there is pizza? However, while it was okay to eventually accept the fact that I forgot to turn in an assignment last week, that acceptance quickly disappeared when I found out the teacher was still deciding whether to enforce the syllabus and give me a zero or how to otherwise penalize me. I am so thankful that this teacher was so much more compassionate than my teacher last semester who told me I wasn’t going to be a good pharmacist because I cared about my grade…it was also completely false when the teacher last semester said a particular assignment I got a zero on (because I got 7 wrong out of 50…) wouldn’t impact my grade, because at the end of the semester I was like 3 points away from the grade I wanted in the class…so clearly if I had even gotten three points on the assignment it would have impacted my grade, and dramatically impacted my self-esteem.

 

I thought about drowning my sorrow today in half a pizza, but I didn’t know if by the time I picked up the pizza and found an okay place to set it down if I would have enough time left on the ticking time bomb of my brain to get somewhere alone before I lost control of my emotions…but I kinda wish I had taken some, because now I am hungry…and I need to run, because I just looked at the clock and have class in 5 minutes!!

You are All I Need

(Sing me a Love Song Again—BarlowGirl)

This week has had a lot of frustration, but God is totally in it. I am so blessed. For every bad thing there has been at least one good thing without which I would have ended up completely crushed. Instead I couldn’t fall asleep last night because while my body was exhausted, my brain was still on overdrive jumping up and down laughing and smiling…joy was overflowing…I suppose it is a good problem to have despite being a bit annoying when I finally fall asleep just in time for the alarm to go off…

Doesn't everyone clean their glasses with lemon scented bathroom cleaner when they get home?...also, I don't want to eat whoever's lemons thought that this cleaner smells like lemon...it doesn't even smell like chemically-lemon
Doesn’t everyone clean their glasses with lemon scented bathroom cleaner when they get home?…also, I don’t want to eat whoever’s lemons thought that this cleaner smells like lemon…it doesn’t even smell like chemically-lemon

So yeah, yesterday went swimmingly…my stupid glasses fell in the toilet. (Lol, swimmingly…toilet…I had to call my dad as soon as I got out of class to share the humor). It could have been so much worse though. See, I got to school in the morning and since it was a Thursday, and not only that, but the Thursday after forgetting to turn in an important assignment, was both mildly sleep deprived and a bit stressed out. Within the first 10 minutes of being at school I had washed my hands 7 times in addition to using hand sanitizer multiple times. So clearly, the early part of the day was not going super well and would have ended in major crisis if the incident had happened earlier. My actual response later in the day when it happened: “Oh no.” And then I thought for a second if I really needed them. Answer: yes, I probably can’t even make it back to the res hall after class without them not to mention that sometimes in class it is necessary to be able to see more than an inch or two in front of my eyes. So I picked them up, super thankful that they were brightly colored so at least I didn’t need to feel around on the floor first and could easily find them…and also thankful that I could get to the sink to wash my glasses without wearing them. It was a good thing I had intended to get to class early to study for a few minutes, because that gave me enough time to wash my glasses with soap and water like ten times and find a hand sanitizer wipe to use on them and still slip into my seat just before class started.

Knowing that could have had a lot worse consequences: like if it had happened when the water wasn’t “clean”…clean is in quotes, because just going to say that I would never truly classify toilet water as clean…and also if I had already been living in the land of the germophobes, it would have been a major issue and it might have been the first time OCD kept me out of class, I used my problem solving skills. This was not the first time my glasses fell off in the bathroom…this is just the first time I didn’t catch them and put them in my pocket before calamity occurred. Here is a picture of my old glasses and my current glasses. The problem should be easy to identify.

Lol...you can probably also see why I pay extra for the ultra thin and light lenses...
Lol…you can probably also see why I pay extra for the ultra thin and light lenses…

So solution so far: wearing my old glasses for whatever I can get away with it for and carrying around my current glasses for when I really need to be able to see…like in class. It isn’t a perfect solution; the prescription is somewhat old and also not evenly wrong so I’ve only been up for a little over two hours and my eyes are already tired, but at least they are close enough that I can feel safe driving in them as long as I don’t need to be reading street signs…and this is why I try to remember to get my glasses re-adjusted whenever I am home…but I forgot over winter break…side note: if anyone knows anywhere close to school that will adjust a pair of glasses they didn’t sell, I might be very interested.

Also, I was talking to my friend and there were a lot of awesome things that happened, because talking to my friends is the best thing in the whole world, but in particular she said “want to know what (name removed) did?” And I was like “umm, maybe,” so she told me. Apparently (name) was super rude to her and then got all passive aggressive so my friend was all passive aggressive right back in her face. And there was one particular part of her response that I was like why in the world would you say that?! And her response was something along the lines of “because I love to talk and so I’m going to drive her crazy talking her ears off. It’ll be like so what did you want to talk about? Everything. Just wait.” So yeah…I didn’t want to say thank you, because I don’t really want to condone being passive aggressive and payback and stuff, because that isn’t really very loving…but I might be twenty three (and a half), but on the inside I am still a threenager sometimes, and my inner threenager absolutely adored the idea of repaying rude and passive aggressive with a little bit of passive aggressive taste your own medicine. I mean, my friend wasn’t rude and had no plans of being mean or anything…just passive aggressive which is bad but not SO bad, and maybe a little time-wasting, but I mean, if you are wasting someone’s time who is paid to do it, it is kind of a win win…but anyway…instead of thanking her, I was proud that she was standing up for herself, because I really wish I had had the confidence and gall to do that when I was in the situation. I suggested a possibly more useful pathway, but she’s kinda like me in that once we come up with a solution we are pretty sure that is the way we want to do things…

One of my friends told me not to let other people limit me from the things that excite me…I do agree to some extent, and I had contented myself with my half agreement…until I was on facebook this morning and saw yet another thing I desperately wanted to do that I wasn’t sure if I could and even if I could, wasn’t sure it would be a good idea…when the excitement has already started bubbling over inside my heart it is super hard to try to shut that down…maybe it is time to just go for it, be strong, and hope for the best…at least if I know what I am getting myself into I can prepare myself in advance and have a safety plan in place if things aren’t going in the right direction…plus, this is going to be a lot less hurtful and scary topic to share…We’ll see. I don’t want to set myself for another “worst ‘exposure therapy’ of my life.” That was not a good thing and definitely impacted my academics and pretty much every other aspect of my life. I don’t think this one would be as bad, but considering that I know in advance what I would be walking into this time, it also might not be the greatest idea to do it just from an external safety perspective…but I want to so bad…

Completely unrelated: I was reading through peer-assessment comments on my presentation from a couple weeks ago…my opinion is that if the worst thing you can say about me is that my posture isn’t the greatest then I must have had a pretty kick-bottom presentation.

You Won’t Know Until You Try

(Never ever ever give up—Thomas & Friends)

I thought I was ready to focus in class Tuesday. Then a stupid truck with a flashy light on top decided to park in front of the window for the entirety of the class. The truck won. Amount of antibiotic resistance material Wiggle Worm learned: minimal…Amount of time spent looking out the window and watching the light go on and off: umm, well, a lot? I tried really hard to focus, but even if I turned so it wasn’t even in my peripheral vision, I still knew it was there and besides, everyone knows I can’t sit still in class, so it wasn’t that long before I was once again facing the window and therefore was drawn into watching the lights again. Someone please explain to me why anyone thought a building with windows in pretty much every room was a good idea for a school. Also, please explain why the blinds for the windows are 100% see through—what is even the point of that?!?!? Also, people should recognize that I am trying really hard to learn and not do distracting things like have a flashy light right outside the window…sorry, but this is a school, and there are certain things that just aren’t okay at schools…kinda like how some schools send girls home if they forgot that they were supposed to wear clothes they didn’t outgrow ten years ago…

I thought I was totally 100% recovered from an incident last week…until I wasn’t wearing my headphones…It probably isn’t a good idea right now to go into details, but basically last week Tuesday ensured that my week would be from my nightmares. I thought that I was doing totally fine aside from a little frustration from the academic setbacks resulting from the fallout. And, I mean, I was doing REALLY well, but really well does not equal 100% recovery. I thought I was rocking it—I could see BPG* and it was annoying but didn’t really hugely negatively impact my day, and I didn’t feel all my muscles tighten to make me as small as possible (as if this girl who likes vibrant colors could really shrink down and be unseen…lol…literally). Yay! Progress! Until I was not wearing my headphones and heard The Voice…without even the visual I was once again hiding. Luckily, I was doing well enough that it wasn’t a major setback, but it definitely was not comfortable…so I guess we’ll go with that I am 96% recovered from that particular incident. Still, I am thankful for how much better baseline is than it was a year ago, because a year ago I might not have been doing this well even without an incident.

*no, I will not tell you what BPG stands for…trust me, you don’t really want to know…I will throw out there that the B definitely does not stand for the B-word though…I might not always be nice inside my head, but I definitely don’t use swear words to refer to things, because I have a vocabulary of real words.

Annoying is a snow day when I can look and even go outside and see that people are still speeding way too fast outside on the roads and don’t appear to be having any difficulty stopping and turning…well, aside from the fact that about 50% of people seem to have difficulty understanding what those big red octagonal signs are for regardless of the weather…

Speaking of idiotic drivers, yesterday someone WATCHED me make a three point turn so that I could park behind them…and then got back in her car and scooted back so that there was a space precisely the size of my car behind her (which obviously means I wasn’t going to be able to get into it), and a space just slightly smaller than my car in front of her. Oh my…if I hadn’t been busy turning around to look again for a place to leave my big iron thing, I would have given her a piece of my mind…so it is good that I was busy, because my mind is valuable, so I shouldn’t be giving it away to undeserving people 🙂

Also, I really appreciate that school no longer waits until everyone is seated in class to cancel classes for the day—that is super obnoxious and something they did repeatedly a few years ago…but it would be nice if they could cancel it before I pack my back pack and lunch box and walk out the door. I did check my email as soon as I got up AND before I finished packing up…luckily, my mom saw the email immediately when it was sent and texted me so I got the memo prior to arriving at school and potentially discovering a half-full water bottle without any way to fill it up on my own…which meant a detour to the lobby to turn in homework, send emails, and finish this post before throwing everything from my backpack onto my bed to have a do-over on today’s plans…frustrated, but All Things…

Love lets others go first and love leaves no one behind

(Love is—Little Dogs on the Prairie)

I have been listening to this song on repeat for the past like 3 Sundays, and it hasn’t gotten old yet. I feel like every weekend a different part of the song speaks to my heart…and this is what it is at the moment. Love lets others go first and love leaves no one behind. It incorporates a lot of me—I want the best for others and sometimes forget about myself in the process…and also, because I have been marginalized, I am uniquely sensitized to when other people are being marginalized and I want to fix it so that those people aren’t left out. I sometimes am powerless to these ambitions, but even when I can’t change anything, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t tug at my heart. Like an article I skimmed recently stated, I don’t want you to ever understand how I feel. No, that doesn’t mean that I desire isolation, but what it does mean, as this article pointed out, that to truly understand you’d have to experience the pain and trials that I have experienced to at least some extent, and as meaningful and deep the connection may be if there were someone else who had experienced it and with whom I could relate in that way, I would never want anyone to experience anything like that.

Sometimes surrendering looks like cancelling FCA on Wednesday, skipping Cru on Thursday, ordering extra frosting on Friday, and not even bothering to pretend on Saturday that I’m only going to eat one bag of skittles…

A lot of things have been going wrong, most recently the grocery store only having two bags of frozen peas left and not having the kind of apples I wanted and prior to that accidentally driving into the curb at church triggering another OMG I miss my old car episode…but like Kati so eloquently said in her Thursday video this week, I am human, and humans make mistakes.

On the positive side, I haven’t fallen into another OCD episode (yet), but I am just really exhausted…and I don’t mean just because of the time change…I wanna sleep in my bed at home and get up with absolutely no responsibility besides maybe getting ready for work…Although I am tired from the time change too…when I was at home my parents always made me set the clock back the night before so that I’d have to stay up late. Because I hate staying up late, as soon as I was on my own I waited and set the clock back in the morning (’cause I’m a rebel you know the kind that dies in the streets ’cause you refuse to perform won’t eat the king’s meat). And every year I think (and forget by the next year) that it might be better to change it on Saturday and have an extra day to at least sorta get used to it before Monday comes…although that might just mean that I’d be even more tired on Monday…it’s hard to say…but that last hour of fighting to stay awake on Sunday night is hard…lets just say I filled a water bottle with ice-y water and put it in my mouth so if I started to fall asleep and let go of the water bottle it would pour cold water on me…yeah, supposedly I still have 8 hours to sleep, but I don’t make up night sleep in the morning very well, so scooting the clock backwards really just extends torture time which is what I just named the time between wake up and alarm, it’s melodramatic, but that time is quite unfun.

I also read an article recently about how both entitlement and unworthiness steal our joy. It was really interesting. I would have RT”ed it, but that would have required making a second twitter account because it was blocked from being retweeted from my primary account. The example the author used was that a kid on any other day would be thrilled with pretty much any piece of candy, but if you gave a kid just one piece of candy on Halloween that kid would feel slighted. Similarly, if you feel unworthy of an award then when you receive it, it doesn’t make you feel very good because you have already self-determined that you didn’t really win. The author also made the point that at the core, a diva feels both entitled and unworthy which I think makes a LOT of sense.

Writing for me is like breathing…some people hyperventilate when they are excited or nervous or otherwise adrenalized…I write.

(Apparently, adrenalized is a real word…I wrote adrenilated and autocorrect in Microsoft word told me I meant adrenalized)

I used to mostly read psychcentral and (in)courage day in and day out and thought I could never ever give them up. I now almost never read those blogs…it is funny how these things change…now I am reading Scary Mommy and The Mighty. Scary Mommy is okay, but I really love The Mighty. The Mighty is about empowering the disability community, and engaging in empathy, and enabling acceptance. What I like about it is how inclusive it is. Their definition of disability is not narrow, rather it includes everything from having a birthmark that you think is ugly to respiratory disease so severe that you live most of your life in the hospital, and from severe developmental delays to a broken finger. In my opinion, the majority if not all people have something that they feel makes life more challenging for them, and so I love that this community can supportively celebrate these differences and respectfully acknowledge that what feels good and normal to one person may feel offensive and hateful to another. Basically, everyone’s opinion is valid.

Sometimes what needs to go first and not be left behind isn’t a person, but the circumstances. I don’t like anyone else telling me what I am not capable of. If I think I can do it then please let me try and let me have a chance to succeed before you say I can’t because I will fail…I understand sometimes this comes as a form of trying to protect me, but sometimes I need to stretch my wings and find out if I can fly…other times I know it might be coming from avoiding the inconvenience if I try and fail, but either way, I just want the same chance as anyone else to try. I will admit that I wasn’t the best greeter and sign in person ever as a senior in high school, but with just a little extra direction I could do just fine…and if I’d known the purpose of the sign in sheet in advance then I wouldn’t have needed the extra guidance that writing “Sam” for the name wasn’t going to be enough. This having people tell me what I can’t do isn’t a situation I come across very often anymore; it was much more common when it was profoundly obvious even to an outside observer that I was not a confident communicator. A situation more common now is that I hate having to inform myself that I cannot do something. The adventurous and creative side of my brain is quite fun-loving and is going a million miles a minute thinking of ways to insert more joy into my day. That is the half of my brain that doesn’t wanna let me close out of the internet when I found a new awesome D-blog, and the half of my brain that writes letters to people inside my head while it really should be learning the ADR’s of AED’s. The other side of my brain takes on the task of reason. Reasoning with an adventurous fun-lover is hard…but after a look at my grades it was time to have The Talk. Yeah…It is time to stop analyzing who is most likely to be within a reasonable driving distance and have the best child options for me to hang out with for Thanksgiving. As much as I would like to tell myself that I will only stay for an hour and so it will just be a really good break to have some fun and hang out with people*, I know myself a little too well. I know that this extravert** cannot leave in only an hour…too much FOMO (fear of missing out). I am so excited to be surrounded by all these people that I can’t say goodbye. I just want to stay forever…which is how a lunchtime meal somehow ends with me getting home past bedtime and shoving food in my face on the way to bed. Clearly it is not realistic to give up an entire day of studying to celebrate a quasi-holiday. In my opinion it is only a quasi-holiday, because it involves no candy and because I don’t even really understand what we are celebrating.

*I do recognize that most people would include eating a good meal on this list. Combining the fact that I am a polite but picky eater, with the fact that it seems at other people’s houses the food isn’t actually on the table in front of me and I am too distracted with everything going on to actually obtain food, I don’t tend to eat much if at all when having a meal in a new situation. It took me until this summer before I actually ate anything at all at the Night to Unite celebration. The first year I did it, even being told repeatedly to take a break from what I was doing and eat, I didn’t. After that I was less awkward and therefore no one noticed that I wasn’t eating, but at some point this year I was finally comfortable and used to the situation enough that I had no problem getting what I wanted to eat.

**I am and always have been an extravert. It used to be tightly concealed, because no one really understands how a girl who is terrified of being around other people could possibly thrive on connection and crave friend time. It was kind of an oxymoron that being with people required a significant amount of energy and planning and required alone time to recharge, yet I needed to be around people to obtain energy to recharge the alone time. Now I try really hard not to be obnoxious or a time hog, which sometimes comes across as not wanting to be with people, but I still crave being with my people. As long as I still feel a sense of control, I am in my happy sweet spot when surrounded by chaos…not so much when I feel like I am being pushed around but any other time, the right kind of adrenaline makes me feel alive.