A Year Can Pass By In A Blink Of An Eye

A year ago today, I posted my first blog post with this post right here, and little did I know my life would never be the same.  I started this blog with a mission in mind to stop stereotypes that are put on the disabled unnecessarily.  I can honestly say that while the problem is still out there, I have made an impact in people’s lives to be more mindful of the stereotyping that happens.

I have also shared a lot of stories and things I have gone through throughout the year as I live in the craziness that is known as Hollywood as I pursue my dream of working in the music industry.

Crazy how much can change in just one year, and how fast one year can go by.  I have learned a lot in many different ways over this past year, including by all my 245+ followers and I look forward to connecting and learning more from all of you in the next year(s) ahead. So this is my huge thank you to all of you that have put up with me these 365 days and here is to many more days and years together.

Is the Kylie Jenner Wheelchair Picture Really Worth the Debate?

A few days ago a picture came out of Kylie Jenner posing on the front cover of Interview Magazine in a wheelchair.

Then I started seeing people saying that it was disrespectful of people that are actually wheelchair bound because she isn’t disabled herself and it pokes fun at disabled people. When I read that I was really confused.  I do not understand how it is hurtful at all, and I am disabled as well.  From what I know of the research I have done, she referenced a British artist named Allen Jones.  Also, speaking from the artistic/entertainment industry side of things, this is normal.  People like Kylie will go outside of the box to get publicity (and lets be honest, the Kardashian/Jenner crew has been known to do that for years now).

I also saw a post saying if they had tried to recreate this picture it would not look as glamorous as Kylie’s picture.  Now this is understandable, but let me get you in on a little secret, neither did Kylie when they took the picture.  Please take a look at the cover and realize how photoshopped it is.  She doesn’t even look real.

When it comes down to it, I say we move on from this situation and focus more on more important issues like the mass shooting in San Bernardino where developmentally disabled people go to get help, and focus on ways in which we can help the people who were affected by this horrible tragedy.

An Ode to the Annual Food Coma

To say that I am beyond stuffed from all the eating I did today would probably be the ultimate understatement of the year.

Even though the food is always a big hit when it comes to Thanksgiving, it is never the most important thing.  For me, it is a day to reflect on the things that I am thankful for, and a day to reflect on what has happened over the past 11 months.

I was talking to my friend tonight as we were working on dinner and we were telling each other what we were thankful for and I realized I have a lot to be thankful for.

First of all, I have a roof over my head and I am able to live in LA and pursue my dreams. I am also thankful for my family and friends that are there for me and support me in anything that I set my mind to.

I am also thankful for the job that I had with Wag for a few months.  I may not be working there anymore, but my time there left an impact in my life and I met some pretty awesome people that have impacted my life in many ways.

I am thankful that I have good health. It may not be perfect, but it could be worse and I am thankful that it is not.

I am thankful for a certain someone who has been a positive influence in my life and helped me grow and step out of my comfort zone in ways that I did not expect.

I am thankful that I found my voice through writing and for starting my blog earlier this year.

And last, but certainly not least, I am thankful for all of you, my readers, who put up with me randomness and are there for me when I need to vent and voice my opinion on things.  Thank you all.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

What are some things you are thankful for?

When It Rains It Pours

I just wanted to write a quick blog post letting you guys know that I am still around.  Life has been crazy and throwing a bunch of stuff at me and those around me all at once.  When it rains it pours right?

I do have some blog posts that I want to write up when life calms down a bit (and I honestly hope that it’s soon lol) so bear with me and be on the lookout for them!

Talk to you all soon!

The Roller Coaster Day at The Happiest Place on Earth

On Saturday, my friend and I went to Disneyland to see the 60 year Diamond Celebration they were having.  Of course, we decided to go on probably one of the hottest days that Los Angeles/Orange County has had in a while.  It was almost 100 degrees, but we were determined to not let that stop us from having fun.

I decided that I was going to forgo a wheelchair or scooter and walk the entire day.  When I told other friends or my family about it they were skeptical but supportive, which I will say that I completed successfully 14 hours and almost 8 miles later. I was so tired and sore by the end of it and the next day, but it was so worth it.

There are days when I really love being disabled and will pull the disability card and anytime I go to Disneyland that is one of them.  Because of that, I get to skip the lines, get a time to come back (which is usually about 20 minutes) and be first in line to get on the rides.

However, there is also a downside to this as well.  It seems like some people will see the walker and see my physical limitations and assume that I must have some mental limitations as well. Words cannot describe how much this upsets me.  Let alone people thinking my friend was my mother because they don’t think that I can take care of myself.  I know I look young for my age, but that does not mean that I can’t take care of myself and have some normal fun with friends.  Normal is boring anyways.

Even though all that happened, my friend and had a blast going on the Radiator Springs ride, California Screamin’ (which gives me anxiety every time I go on it because of the loop lol), Soarin’ Over California, and The Little Mermaid ride.  My favorites were the ones that were indoors because of the air conditioned rides.

After that we headed over to Disneyland and had lunch at Cafe Orleans.  Their food is so good!  I didn’t realize how hungry I was because I ended up having not only my food, but some of my friends as well, and of course A LOT of water.   After lunch, we hit up the Pirate of the Carribean ride, The Haunted Mansion, The Jungle Cruise, Indiana Jones, and Big Thunder Mountain.  After all that was done, it was going on 9:00 and the park was getting ready for their big Paint the Night parade.  This is when the night started to go downhill just a little.

First off, my friend and I wanted to go into Fantasyland, but were unable to because they closed everything off for the fireworks that were going to be happening right after the parade, so we ended up going to Main Street and did some shopping while that was going on.  Second, it was so crowded and people kept running into me and my walker.  I was getting so annoyed!  I think everybody was feeling that way though especially with the weather and having it be a long day.  This is where a security guard assumed that I was younger than I am, gave me stickers, and said that my friend was my mom.  First of all, my friend is near my age, and does not look like she is in her 50’s at all and once again, I know I look young for my age, but that does not mean that I cannot take care of myself and if people actually got to know me they would see how intelligent I really am, as well as a sarcastic smart ass half the time.

We finally made it to Fantasyland after the fireworks and hit up the Snow White ride, Mr. Toads Wild Ride, and after waiting about an hour because people who were working the Peter Pan ride didn’t know how to communicate with one another, we finally headed off to Neverland.

It is tradition that every time my friend and I go to Disneyland we get ice cream afterwards, which we did.  This is where my patience with people got even more thin.  After we got the ice cream we were looking for a place to sit, and there were a couple of people taking over 2 tables with 4 seats each.  They did not offer any of the other chairs to us (they were by themselves with no one else with them) and my friend and I ended up having to find seating outside, which was a struggle in itself.  People were running into me as I was trying to steer my walker and hold my Coke float at the same time and no one asked if I needed any help.  My friend couldn’t help me because her ice cream was melting and falling apart so much it was going down her leg.  It just frustrates me how inconsiderate people can be sometimes.

While the Disneyland trip had some rough parts, I had a great time nonetheless, and I am glad that I went.  I am especially proud of myself for walking 8 miles, and in the heat too!  And yes, I drank a lot of water!

I’M ALIVE, I SWEAR!

So, remember me?  I’m BAAAACCCCKKK, or at least for just this second.  I haven’t updated in so long, but my crazy life in Hollywood got in the way.

I have some quick updates:

1.) The other week I had my Movement reunion.  which was the program I was in when I lived in LA for the first time.  It was so great to see everyone after 5 years.  It is crazy to me how much things can change in that amount of time.  I’ll probably write a more in-depth post about that later when I have the time.

2.) I get to see my family next week!  I am going home for the 4th of July and I get to see my family for 10 whole days!  I am so excited!  However, I am hoping and praying that Oregon’s allergy levels for the pollen is down so I am not dying the entire time.

And most importantly:

3.) I GOT A JOB!!!  Well, it’s an internship right now, but it has a very good chance of turning into a job!  What are you doing, you might be asking.  Well, let me tell you.  I work with a startup company called Wag!  and they are a dog walking app/company.  They are basically the Uber for dog walking.  If you have a dog and it needs to be walked, you download the app, schedule or request a walk for right then and there and someone comes and walks your dog.  It is pretty genius if you ask me!  I was going to help with their social media, but they really needed help with finding dog walkers so that’s what I do.  I have always loved dogs and I am so happy that I get to work with dogs on a daily basis.

If I get quiet for a long period of time again, this is why.  I am staring at my computer for almost 7 hours a day and when I come home, I don’t want to look at my computer anymore.  Hell, I am so far behind on blogs it’s not even funny!

Well, duty calls in about an hour, so I should go, but I thought I would give everyone a quick update.  Have a wonderful Monday and rest of the week everyone!

Happy Anniversary to Me!

Today marks the one-year anniversary that I have been living and pursuing my dreams of working in the Music Industry here in Hollywood, or Hollyweird as I like to call it. And honestly, looking back, so much has happened, but it all seems to have flown by in super speed.

Hollywood is a crazy place. It is also a VERY hard place to live in at times. It WILL force you to grow up and mature fast. You have to get used to being on the go at least 99.9% of the time. Believe me, being a girl who grew up in Oregon for 26 years, this was a huge adjustment for me, but I honestly would not change it for the world.

In just the last year alone, I have learned so much about myself. When I look back on the last year, I think the biggest thing that was the toughest for me to learn was on the friendship side of things. I was shown who were true friends and who were friends that over stayed their welcome. At least I know that all people who come into your life are supposed to be there for a reason, it was just their time to go, I guess. Yes, it was tough, but I am better and a stronger person because of it.

I have also learned to express myself more and be honest with my emotions and not run away from them. I am a creative person, so it is important for me to let it out, and hell, something beautiful can come out of it creativity wise. I also started going to school for Music Business and have learned a ton of interesting things just in the first two classes I have taken. Another thing I have started to dabble in is some song writing. Honestly, I never in a million years thought I would do this, but I really felt like God was calling me to be more creative lately and this is the way he wanted me to go. I don’t have a lot done, but it will get there.

One other important thing that I grew in, was my acceptance with my CP.  Over the past few months, I have gained more of an open mind with the disability world and through that this blog was born, and I am so glad it was!

When I first got to LA a year ago, the first thing I did is  what every person on the planet has probably done and gone to The Happiest Place on Earth and that basically was the kickoff to something amazing. If I could live at Disneyland I would. One of the plus sides to living where I do, I am literally only half an hour away.

Then in August I was able to go to Las Vegas for a few days with some friends. While I have had been there before with family a couple of years prior, I was really able to see The Strip and experience it a lot more than the first time. Let’s just say it was A LOT of walking and very little sleep. But it was probably one of the best trips I had taken last year.

Most recently I was able to go to a series of American Idol tapings and this really helped me network with people in the business from a business standpoint as well as personal. I met some pretty amazing people through this experience. Idol crew even called me a professional audience member. (Hey, I’ll take it!).

So in conclusion, I cannot complain with where my life is at this moment. To be completely honest, I am in the best place I have been in a very long time. And this makes me super excited to see where the next year will take me. I have some pretty awesome goals set up for myself and they are starting to look like they will all work out.

I’m off to spend this day at the beach celebrating the anniversary as well as Memorial Day! I know, life is rough when you live in sunny Southern California! 😉 Have a great holiday weekend everyone!

A Letter to the Most Influential Woman in my Life

Dear Mommy,

Words cannot describe how amazing you are. You are one of the most hardworking, caring, selfless, beautiful, smart, and funny person I know. You are always there for me when I need it, and I am forever grateful for it. Our conversations can be serious, filled with advice, or for me to be a smart ass with you, I know I can count on you for all of it.

I appreciate all the times that you have been there for me when it came to dealing with me as well as the CP. You were my cheerleader when I put my mind to something and it was going to be a little bit more difficult for me to accomplish, but you told me to pursue it anyways. You were there by my side through the surgeries and doctor’s appointments, putting your foot down with me or the doctor’s if need be. You have also been there for me if I was down on myself and beating myself up when I felt insecure.

I know life has had it’s struggles and you deal with a lot for yourself, but I just want to say that I am super proud of you for the person that you have become and are becoming. This year you found a passion of yours, one that everyone could see for years. You get to work with dogs every week. Honestly, I am surprised as all hell that you haven’t come home with every single dog yet.

Earlier, Kimmy said that you were a rock star and a legend, and I could not agree any more! Keep kicking ass, and you will become even stronger while doing that.

The Beginning of My Musical Journey

Everybody has dreams and aspirations in life. Some people may want to become a doctor, or scientist, or a teacher. Some people may even want to become an actor, Broadway star, or musician. I thought today, I would talk a little about my dreams and aspirations for my life and talk about how important music has been to my life.

For as long as I can remember, music has been that special thing in my life that was always there. There is a song out there for every situation and emotion that comes with it. Because of this, I have known since middle school that I have always wanted to work in something with music, I just wasn’t sure what exactly. I took band and choir in middle school, but band was short-lived. Choir was the one that stuck for me through all my middle school days and most of my high school days. As much as I loved it though, I knew deep down I wasn’t meant to be a singer.

It wasn’t until about three years later when I was living in Los Angeles that I got the opportunity to intern with a record label that I finally knew what I wanted to do. I love social media and I love helping artists and record labels out, so why not incorporate both of those? So that’s what I decided to do.

I ended up going back to Oregon a few short months later, but with the dream of working in the music industry still very strong inside of my heart. I had school to worry about first anyways. I tried going to my local community college at first but they didn’t have anything that would help me in the direction that I wanted to go into at all, so that ended up being a major fail. However, I did look into University of Phoenix and found a perfect major for me for my Associates Degree and quickly jumped on that train to pursue that. After 2 and a half years of doing that I finally graduated with my Associates with a 3.5 I believe.

After that I jumped right into getting my Bachelor’s Degree, which was fine for about the first year of the course. About a year after starting my Bachelor’s Degree I finally decided to take the plunge and finally move to Los Angeles full-time and pursue my dream of working in the music industry.

A few months after I made the move to LA, I decided that University of Phoenix was no longer the way to go. The area I was studying wasn’t going in the direction that I wanted to go in. I decided I wanted to go into more of the Music Business side of things. So I ended things with University of Phoenix (much to their disappointment) and applied for the Music Business Extension Program at UCLA, where I am currently attending, and love it.

Being out here almost a year, I look back on it and see that yes, there have been a lot of struggles to get to where I am today, but that it has only made me stronger. It also comes with the gig that I chose, and that is okay with me. I am still learning every day about the business and myself. I am making connections on business levels and personal levels, because I know that is one of the best ways to make my way up in this business. Yes, it is tough, and yes, it is super competitive, but I would not change it for the world. Every day is a new adventure and I love the ride.

That One Time That I Was Told I Should Have Been Aborted

It is no secret that having a child with a disability can be difficult and hard to deal with at times. I can only imagine what my parents thought process was when the doctors told them that there was a huge possibility that I may have cerebral palsy. I am sure they were scared shitless, nervous, and probably had no idea what the hell they were getting themselves into. With that being said though, they loved me and knew that they would do anything to help me live the most normal life possible.

There have been times though that people have not understood why my parents made the choice they did and not choose abortion or adoption. I remember a specific time where my mom ended up having a conversation with someone who we know about this. Now, before I continue on with my story, I just want to say that my intention is not to attack Pro Life or Pro Choice. If you believe one of those choices that is totally fine and I respect that. I also would like to add that I do not hold ill will against this person and believe that since this conversation has passed, they have changed and grown up since then.

From what I remember of the conversation it started by this person talking about how a friend was going to have tests done to make sure that their baby was healthy. They then proceeded to say that they would not be able to handle having a child with a disability and would then abort the baby if they had found out that the baby was not “normal”. My mom told them that she believed that every baby is a gift from God, no matter if there are differences or not.

This person then made it seem like my mom should have either had me aborted or given me up for adoption. To be completely honest, this pissed both my mom and I off really bad. It was also very hurtful. They made it seem like my mom and dad made a horrible choice by keeping me and attacked them on their parenting. And it made me feel like I was worthless and I did not deserve to be alive or be with my parents.

They also asked me if I was glad to be alive and be where I was even though I deal with my disability on a daily basis. My first thought was to be a complete bitch and come back with a smart ass remark, but I decided against that and took a deep breath (even though I was fuming on the inside), and told them that I may have struggles and that it may be hard some days, but I am glad to be alive and be with the family that I have. This question also really confused me and made no sense because I do not know a life without my cerebral palsy so how can I answer a question that I do not have the answer to?

I love the life I live and the life I have. Like I have said in the past, my parents have raised me to be independent and taught me how to live as much of a normal life as possible. If it was not for them, I would not be pursuing my dreams in Los Angeles and in the music industry. Because of what they taught me, nothing is off-limits.   And because of that, I can strive to make a difference to change people’s mindsets that it would be too hard to raise a child with a disability.