#MusicMonday: My Name is Blurryface

This week I chose the song “Stressed Out”by twenty one pilots,

Twenty-One Pilots are a band that I just recently heard about after this song started playing on the radio.  They have actually been around for about 5 years.  The band, which consists of Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun, hail from Columbus, Ohio.  “Stressed Out” is their third single off of their album “Blurryface.”  To me, their sound is unique.  A mix of hip hop, mixed with alternative with a pop feel.

You might be wondering why blurryface and what does it mean?  Trust me, I was wondering the same thing too.  Well, according to this interview here, blurryface represents the insecurities that the lead singer feels.

Honestly, I think this represents people in my generation.  I believe that a lot of people my age have the same insecurities.  I will be the first person to tell you that I also suffer from these types of insecurities.  Being an adult is overrated.  I wish that I could go back to childhood where there was not a worry in the world.  I wish I could go back to the day where it didn’t matter what I wore,  what I looked like, and back to the day where I didn’t need to worry about job hunting or paying bills.  When I was growing up I was always greeted with, “Go for your dreams!” “Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t accomplish your dream!”  Is it just me, or was it the previous generations that taught us this powerful lesson?  However, if we do that, we are labeled as rude and disrespectful as well as greedy and lazy.  See the problem here?

This is just an idea, but maybe our dreams look different then people in previous generations.  Nothing is wrong with that.  Different dreams include different ways of achieving them.

That’s just my two cents.  What about you? Do you agree? Disagree?  Why?

#MusicMonday: This Is My Fight Song

This weeks song that I chose was Rachel Platten and her song “Fight Song.”

If you haven’t heard of Rachel Platten, she broke out into the music scene last year with this song and it was an instant hit.  It seemed like everywhere I turned, or every radio station that I turned on was playing this song every hour on the hour.  She just recently released her first full length album “Wildfire” at the first of the year and is continuing with hit songs like “Stand By You.”

This song really speaks to me and about my life here in Los Angeles and being in the music industry.  Like I have said about a thousand times before, living here in LA and being in the music industry is not easy for anyone, let alone being disabled and pursuing a life in the music industry. It takes a very strong willed person to keep pursing and fighting every day.

My dad came to visit me a few weeks ago and he finally got a glimpse of what my life is like here in good ol’ Hollywood. I was excited to see him, and am very happy that I got to spend some time with him.  I know my dad loves me unconditionally and supports me in anything that I want to do with my life, but I sometimes feel like he doesn’t understand why I decided to move all the way to LA to pursue a job that probably has the most unstable job market out there.   Yes, it is not the most stable job environment, but it keeps me on the edge of my seat most days.  But want to know something?  I wouldn’t have it any other way. For example, a wise person once said that if there is something else that you are good at, and pursuing music isn’t your only option, go do that because the music industry is no cake walk.  I have never been one to settle down with a 9 to 5 job. To me that is way to boring.  I want excitement.  I want something new to happen every day.  This is why I am pursing a certificate at UCLA in their Music Business program.  This is why I go to tapings and concerts and network with people from all around.  I am learning every day, and yes, there are days where I have no idea what the hell I am doing, but it’s all a learning experience. This is why I always ask people to trust me.

I am a fighter and I don’t give up easily and when I set my mind to something I make sure it is accomplished, come hell or high water.  Because like the song says, “I still gotta fight left in me.”

 

Life Is Full Of Choices

Life is full of choices.

Sometimes this can be as simple as what clothes we want to wear that day to what we want to eat.

However, we also can make bad choices as well.

Recently, I have been going through some personal stuff and it has not been the easiest to deal with.  I had been holding on to the anger, anxiety, and hurt.  This caused me to not be easy to be around.  I was withdrawing as well as on the verge of losing some great people in my life. Thats when my best friend came to me and told me that it is all about the choices we make.  I could sit there and be depressed and pissed off or I could make the choice to let it go and be happy.

I decided to do the latter and let it go and be happy.  Yes, I am still pissed off about certain situations but I am choosing to move on and not dwell on it.  If I have a moment where it does bother me, then I will be honest with it, voice it, then move on.

Has anyone else had issues with making the choice of holding on to bad emotions and letting them control your life?  If so, what did you do to let it go?

The Year of Learning How to Surrender

In past years I had tried making New Years Resolutions, but to no avail they never stick.  So I decided to do something a little different this year.  I would think of a word that would help define my 2016.   It took a while for me to figure it out, but the word came to me last night.  The word for my 2016 is: Surrender.

The last couple of months have not been the easiest for me health wise. Nothing too serious and it isn’t life threatening, but it is very annoying and there are days where I feel like the health issues control my life.  Last night was one of those nights, but it also was different because that was also my breaking point.  It was clear, I needed to surrender and let it go.  I suck at that, always have, but this is the year where I am going to grow in that area.  It’s not just going to help in health issues that I may have, but also other areas of my life, whether that be in relationships, or jobs etc.

So the motto for the year for me is “Let Go, and Let God” and remember that I cannot control every little thing in my life.

Changing from a Hobbyist to a Career

Lately I had been feeling lost with what I wanted to do with my life.  I have been living in Los Angeles for a little over a year and a half pursing jobs in the music industry.  But as time has gone on I have found a new found love for writing (hence the blog). I was starting to think that I wanted to switch from music to writing.  After talking to a good friend though, I realized I could do both.  The problem though: I have a hobbyist view on music and writing, meaning I am more passive and more of an observer with others instead of making my own content, as well as with my blog, and need to change my thinking to thinking about it as a career.  I honestly do not know how to change my thinking with that, and I know I need to in order to fulfill what I want to do.

My question to all you wonderful readers out there: Do you have any advice on how I can do this?  Have any of you had a similar issue?  If so, how did you change your thinking?  How do you become a successful content creator?  Lastly, how do you get yourself in the right mindset to become a content creator?

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.

Trusting God and Doing Good

Last weekend I had the opportunity to see Joyce Meyer speak at a conference in Long Beach, California.  Now, if you don’t know who Joyce Meyer is, Google or YouTube her.  She is amazing and hilarious to boot!

Sadly, one of the sessions was cancelled due to a power outage in the area, but that did not stop the rest of the conference from happening the rest of the weekend.  Her topic for the conference that weekend was about trusting God and doing good.

I think this is a very hard lesson to remember for anybody, but also very important. I think it is so easy to see how hard life can get and easily forget that God has it in the bag.

I think God wanted to see if I was really listening this past weekend because I was constantly tested with things that were going on in my life.  It was like the inner voice in my head kept saying “Trust Me and keep doing good.”

She also said something about healing that really struck a chord with me and something that I completely agree with.  Joyce said that healing is a process.  Now, if you have kept up with my blog you know my thoughts and feelings on healing and being healed.  She went on to say that many Christians think and believe that being healed should be a instantaneous thing and they end up not enjoying the process and journey that comes with it, which in turn brings bitterness, anger and hatred in my opinion.  If I were to use praise hands, it would have been during this segment of the conference.

Going into this next week, I feel more encouraged and positive that things will turn out for the best, I just got to keep pushing forward and doing good.

Mythbusters Disability Edition: Diseased and Needs Help 24/7

All of my life I have heard, “Can I help you with that?” “Here, let me get that for you.” Or one of my favorites one yet, “So, are you helping out that disabled girl?” This is the type of things I get on a semi regular basis when it comes to people and dealing with my cerebral palsy.

Ever since I moved to Los Angeles almost a year ago, I have been pushed out of my comfort zone on a daily basis and have done things that I did not think that I could do, especially when it came to things dealing with my cerebral palsy. Although, I will say that the hardest and most eye-opening thing that I have had to deal with is people’s perceptions of me. And there have been a multitude of things that have come up in the last month or so that have really gotten under my skin, that I believe people need to be aware and mindful of.

What is that you ask? Well, let me tell you: Not all disabled people need a caretaker, and just because we have a disability does not mean we are diseased and the person I am going to be standing next to is going to get it. Now, you may be asking, “Katy, where in the world is this rant coming from?” Well I am going to tell you of two different instances that literally happened on the same day about a month ago.

The first incident happened when I had gotten an email to come in for an interview for an internship. To say that I was excited for this opportunity was an understatement. Sure, it wouldn’t be a paid internship, but it would at least help me get my foot in the door in the music industry. But as I continued to email with this person, the whole situation began to feel off. They wanted me to come in on Monday’s, Wednesday’s and Thursday’s until six, and the place where the internship was a good half hour away from where I live in Hollywood. I would do it, but I also had school to worry about as well and I told them that I couldn’t work until six on two of the days because of school. They of course fought back saying that I had ample time to get to class, and I was put in a position where I felt like I was backed into a corner where I had to mention my cerebral palsy. Now, I will be open and honest with anyone about my disability, that’s not an issue. I mean for crying out loud if I had an issue with it, I wouldn’t be writing this blog. But I do not tell jobs that I am disabled because I do not want that to be a defining factor in whether I get hired or not. I had to tell them that it takes me longer to get to places because of my disability and I have to leave enough time for that. This is the part that bugged me: They emailed me back and said, “I’m so sorry you suffer from this disease.” Um, last time I checked I wasn’t dying. To me I always looked at a disease as something you can die from, not a disability like mine, where it just hard for me to keep my balance and walk. However, according  to online resources, cerebral palsy is considered a disease, just not one that is considered deadly. I was unaware of this until just recently. Even I am still learning things from my disability, even after 27 years.  I ended up still setting up an appointment to have an interview, but after a couple of days I cancelled it because it just didn’t feel right going after everything that happened.

While I was dealing with the email situation, my roommate and I were doing laundry. After going to go check on the clothes, my roommate came back in and had told me of a conversation that she had with one of the other people in the apartment building while she was down there. They had actually asked about me. They had seen me around with my roommate and they thought that my roommate was my caretaker. Now, this is not the first time that this has happened. We will be out and about and people will just assume that she is my caretaker. I am setting the record straight right now. She is my best friend and roommate, not my caretaker. I do not and have I never needed a caretaker to take care of me in all my 27 years of life. My parents raised me to be strong and independent and I believe that they did a pretty damn good job. It can be very upsetting for me, as well as my roommate, and other people who I am close to because we can see what I am capable of and to have people assume that I cannot do things can be hurtful.

The positive that I take out of both of these situations is that I have a chance to share my story and show people who I am not some sick person who cannot do anything for themselves. I was able to tell the person I was emailing that there was no need or reason to feel sorry for me, that I am still the same Katy that will work her ass off when it comes to a job and that I do not give up easily.

I just want to encourage anybody that does see somebody who is disabled to not automatically jump to conclusions about whether they are sick, or cannot do things for themselves. Yes, there are people out there who have diseases, which make them not feel well on a daily basis, and yes, there are people out there who do need some extra help and do need a caretaker, but that does not mean that everyone does. I encourage you to get to know the persons story before you jump to such conclusions. I can tell you that it would make the persons day if you did something just as simple as that. Who knows you may make a new friend just by getting to know them.

To Be Healed, Or Not Be Healed….That Is The Question

Throughout the years I have had to deal with many struggles when it came to my disability. Whether it be learning how to walk and gaining my balance without my walker, or just something as trivial as taking a shower, or tying my shoes. But I think one of the biggest struggles that I had to deal with (and still deal with to this day) was being healed or cured from my cerebral palsy.

Growing up, that never came up in conversation. I was who I was and that was okay. But as I grew older and started to find my place in the world and check out different churches, I kept hearing, “Have you prayed and asked God to heal you?” I would always be honest and answer no because I was under the impression that I was fine, that I didn’t need to be healed. But the questions continued. So much so that I started to believe that there was something wrong with me if I was not praying for this.

When I moved to Los Angeles for the first time and was a missionary for about a year, I dealt with this on daily basis. I honestly felt like I had a target on my back. It was like “Oh, look, there’s that girl with her walker, we should go try to heal her so she doesn’t have to use that anymore.” Most of the time it came from visiting churches and not the people who I was around 24/7, so this made it super difficult. I honestly felt like I was being bullied and being told, “You’re not worth it unless you’re healed.”

Now don’t get me wrong, I did not and still don’t have an issue for people praying for me in their own time, but if you want to pray with me I just ask that you get to know me first as a person and get to know my heart before you ask that question. Please do not just assume.

I actually had an incident about a month ago where a guy was eyeing my walker and trying to make eye contact with me during a church function and he started to talk to me. I had never seen this guy in my entire life, so he knew nothing about me. He asked me why I used my walker, and not even ten seconds later, he asked if he could pray healing over me. I told thank you but no. This is just a prime example of someone not really caring about me as a person but wanting to “play God”, so to speak.

One thing people would get to know about me if they really took the time to listen is that there was one time that I ended up not having to have surgery on my foot when I was supposed to. I had surgery about a year before this incident and it did not heal correctly as it should have, so my foot started to hurt really bad again. I went back to my doctor and they said that they were going to have to graft some of my hipbone into my toe to help the healing process. To say that I was not happy about this would have been the understatement of the year.

Fast-forward about six months later, I felt like my foot was feeling a lot better. I was able to walk on it for longer periods of time, and it wasn’t swelling anymore. I really felt like I did not have to have the surgery. So my mom and I headed up to Shriner’s on my surgery day and all I remember talking about on the two-hour ride up there was that I was not going to have to have surgery. We finally make it up there and me being the person that I am didn’t even say hi to the person checking me in, I automatically said, “My foot feels better can we please take an x-ray so that way I don’t have surgery if I don’t need to.”

I don’t remember much after that other than the fact that the doctor took FOREVER to come in after the x-ray, but when he did it was only to bring good news. He said that the toe had indeed healed and it looked like there was some tissue or cartilage that had formed over it so I did not need to have surgery. I was so excited! All I remember after that was saying thank you a thousand and one times and then surprising my dad by being home later that night.

So I am not saying that I don’t believe that God cannot do miracles, the story that I just told you is one of them, but I am not going to live my life searching to be healed. I am going to live my life and I believe God has a plan for me with my cerebral palsy. I believe that this blog is one of them and I am beyond grateful for it.

For the people who are disabled and do not like it and wish to be cured from it, which is fine, but please, do not make that your idol. Do not obsess over the fact that you need to be healed to feel whole. You don’t. Find what you love about yourself in the here and now and work with that. I guarantee that you will find out a lot about yourself when you do that. Trust me that is what happened to me, and hell, I’m still learning to this day!

Also, to the people who would rather focus on curing someone from their disability rather than getting to know that person, maybe you should slow your roll, take a step back and live in the here and now and see what good this person is doing, and honestly just get to know this person before you make the assumption that they need to be healed. Because believe me, it is a huge turn off and makes the whole “Christian church” look horrible when someone is pushy and narrow-minded like that.

Would I change any of those situations that I mentioned above? No, I wouldn’t because through those situations I became the person I am today, and I will be forever grateful for them. I can confidently say now that I love who I am and would not change it for the world.

#TheStruggleIsReal

When I decided to start this blog, I knew that I wanted to change people’s thoughts and perceptions on how they saw people with physical disabilities. However, I did not know how much I, as well as some of those close to me, would be put in situations where I would actively be learning as well, and to be honest, it has been a hell of a week with being put to the test.

Throughout the week I got to see first hand how naïve people could really be when it comes to viewing people who have a physical difficulty, and all in different ways. First, was an incident that dealt with my roommate where someone had asked her about me and assumed that she was my caretaker. Now, this is not the first time that this has happened. This is super frustrating for both her and I because she knows I am capable of doing a lot of things by myself, and I pride myself in knowing that I can do these things.

Second, I had a job opportunity come up that I took advantage of, but as I was talking to the person I would be working for, their mood instantly changed when I told them that I was disabled and used a walker. Their response basically said that they were sorry that I had a “terrible disease.” This no doubt upset me tremendously because I do not see how it is a terrible thing in the least. I mean, good lord, I’m not going to infect anyone if I am in the same vicinity as the people I am around.

Lastly, and this is a constant struggle that I have to deal with, I came in contact with someone a few nights ago while I was at a church function who saw my walker and asked if they could pray for healing for me so that I could walk without the walker. At this point you can only imagine that I am now rolling my eyes and getting super frustrated. On top of that situation I was dealing with a building that was hard for me to get into with stairs that had no railings (or ramps for that matter), and someone once again asking my roommate questions that I could have answered myself.

Over the next couple of weeks I want to delve into these situation a little bit deeper because this is not the first time that these situations have happened. Although they can be super frustrating, every single one of the situations have taught me valuable lessons over the years and I am looking forward to sharing them with you over the coming weeks.