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.

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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?

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.