#MusicMonday: Sometimes You Just Can’t Fight It

Music has always been a huge part of my life. I mean, I wouldn’t live in the entertainment capital of the world if it wasn’t, so I’m going to start doing something new every Monday.  I am going to share a song or music video that I love at that moment. So without further ado. I introduce to you Rayvon Owen and his music video for his new single “Can’t Fight It.” (see below for video).

Rayvon has come a long way since his stint on American Idol (where he was in the top 5), musically and personally.  You see, not only did he release his music video today, he also used that platform to say that he identifies as a gay man.  In the song he sings about how there are those moments where you just cannot fight the feelings that you have for people and that is where learning to trust and surrender to those feelings comes into play.

I have had the honor to meet him during his stint during American Idol, and have seen him numerous times after Idol ended and I cannot express how proud of him I am.  He is quite possibly the sweetest guy on the planet as well as humble. When it comes to his music he is a hard worker and is very passionate about his craft.  I can safely say that while yes, I am a fan of him and his music, I consider him a friend as well.

With the platform that he has, he will make a huge difference in the LGBTQ community as well as the music industry.

Please check out the interview that he did with Billboard here.

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Let’s Be Friends

Tonight I finally made a public Facebook page for my blog.  You can give it a ‘like’ it here.

While we are at it here is a list of all my other social media site you can follow me on:

Twitter: @OfficialKaterz

Snapchat:katywalker25

Instagram: @katerz23

Email: walker.katy0@gmail.com

So go ahead and click follow on any of the links above and the door is always open for anyone to email me if you have any questions or you just want to stop by and say hello!

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?

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.

#DearMe

Dear Me,

Oh boy, where do I begin? Right now you are just a teenage girl with so many dreams and aspirations, even dreams and aspirations that you know nothing about yet. I am sure that you are scared shitless of what the future holds and for what it looks like, but guess what I am here to tell you that that is okay. You will survive.

First thing to remember, life gets so much better after school. Like Brad Paisley says in his song Letter to Me, “They say that high school is the best years of your life…well I’m proof that they are wrong.” This is so true. Yes, you will have great times in high school, but you will have an even better time after school. Sure you may take a little bit longer to finish, but you will get there and it will be beyond glorious and exciting when you do.

You may struggle with wanting to be “normal” because of your CP, and I won’t lie to you, it will be a struggle for years to come, but you will get to the point where you become more open-minded in quite a few different ways with your disability. You will learn that you are just fine the way you are with your disability, even if people will want to “cure” you and make you believe that there is something wrong with you. You will also start an awesome blog telling people of your story and your struggles and highlights of your journey. You will also meet some pretty awesome people, as well as some not so awesome people throughout the years dealing with your cerebral palsy.

Speaking of finding your voice, you will become more honest with time. Probably so much so, that people will want you to shut the hell up and wish you weren’t right all the time. Trust me, you will hear this many times from your family and friends. This will eventually be coined “Honest Abe” and it will be hilarious.

When it comes to your family, you are probably dealing with a lot when it comes to them at this point. I get that it was stressful, and you cried a lot when it came to things with them. Your parents end up getting divorced, and that will probably be the hardest and darkest time in your life, but don’t worry too much, things will start to look up in a few years and your relationship with both your parents individually will be better because of it.

Speaking of better relationships, you and Kimmy will have a stronger bond over the years. Maybe it was the divorce that made you guys’ get stronger, or just the fact that you two grew up and matured and stopped fighting like five-year olds. The important thing is your sister will become one of your best friends and someone who you know you can go to with anything no matter how small or stupid it is.

As for relationships with guys…don’t worry so much about needing a boyfriend during school, you have too much going on during that time to even focus on that. Sure, you will have big crushes on guys, but those will fade over time, some quicker than others, but you will find the right guy for you in the future. Spoiler Alert: You’re still looking and he’s still hiding, but he can’t hide forever right?

When it comes to friendships with your friends in school, most of them will still be your friends for a very long time, others not so much. There will be friends that you had been friends with for years that you just have to cut ties with and be done with the friendship to better yourself, but there will also be friends that you may lose contact with and get reconnected and have a stronger friendship after the fact. Cherish every single friendship though, because every single one gives you a lesson to learn.

You will eventually move to Los Angeles and this will be a great learning lesson for you that you need to grow up. Through this, you will gain a stronger relationship with God, and learn not just a lot about yourself, but how the world can be. It will be hard, and you will get knocked down quite a few times, but you will stand back up and be stronger after the fact. You will also start to believe in your gut a lot more. Trust me, it is Hollywood after all. This is also around the time that you realize that you want to work in the Music Industry, and through that you are able to work with a record label. Through this you will meet your best friend and start a friendship that you will cherish for a long time, even to this day.

As for other inspirations, you will have a special place in your heart for a little known band called The Jonas Brothers and they will help you get through a lot of personal stuff, even if they don’t know about it yet. But just a warning, they will break up and go their separate ways, but don’t worry too much, they ARE still brothers and they won’t disappear altogether. Also, while you may think Zac Efron is a beautiful person as Troy Bolton in High School Musical, trust me, he gets better with age.

Most importantly, know that you are loved, funny, confident, strong, beautiful, as well as very stubborn, but that will help you not back down with what you want to do in life. If anything that shows how much you refuse to give up. So keep shining your light. You will change lives, trust me.

Letting Go and Moving On Part II

Please read Letting Go and Moving On Part I before you read this post if you have not done so already.

People always say that hindsight is 20/20, and sometimes you have to separate yourself from a situation to look at it with clear eyes and a clear mind, but then there are times that you think you can see clearly when you are right smack dab in the middle of a situation. This is what happened to me, and boy was I wrong and looking back I could not believe that I bought so much with what my friend Francis was saying.

As I mentioned in the previous post, it seemed like her attitude changed practically overnight. While the old Francis would be outgoing and wanting to talk to anyone and everyone, she became withdrawn and refused to get out of bed for days. Now, when this happened I was not living in LA anymore, but I did talk to her on the phone on a regular basis. When I would talk to her on the phone she was very emotional most of the time. I will say though that during this time, one of her dogs passed away unexpectedly, which I will agree would make anyone emotional with a loss like that, and I did feel for her. But after that, things just continued to get even stranger.

Shortly after her dogs untimely passing, I got a phone call from her and she was absolutely hysterical. It took me a while to figure out what was going on. When I was finally able to understand her, she had said that her apartment had gotten broken into and her laptop was gone. I could understand why she was freaking out and scared, I would be to if it had happened to me. However, my sympathy for her only lasted for a short time after that. A few weeks later, I found out that her new laptop that she had bought was once again “stolen”. This is when I started to get suspicious. Now I knew she didn’t live in the best area and that yes, break-ins happened frequently, but with her recent change of attitude and the recent events that happened, something was telling me that she might be on drugs, which she has admitted to being on drugs at one point in her life.

I have personally been around and seen people who I am very close to that have dealt with addictions so this is not something I am new to. I remember asking her if she was okay because she seemed very weird and off to me and she claimed she was just depressed and that she would be fine, and I believed her. That’s the thing though with people who have drug and alcohol problems, they will do anything and everything to convince their family and friends that they are okay, when they are clearly not.

After the whole laptop incident I started to keep my distance from her. It wasn’t like I was in town to see her all the time anyways. As more time passed she became more and more possessive and stalker like. I would come into town for a couple of weeks to visit and I could not go a day without hearing from her either via Facebook, texting, or calling me on a daily basis asking me to hang out with her. What she did not seem to understand every single time was that I was continuously busy doing my own thing and I had prior commitments that I had already made with other friends. She would either make it seem like I needed to a) ditch my friends and hang out with her every single day, or, b) have her tag along everywhere I went. As you can imagine, this became very annoying. I finally talked to her about it and her explanation was that she really admired me and wanted to hang out with me all the time because of that. Do not get me wrong, I appreciate the fact that she looked up to me from the CP standpoint, but the admiration was honestly starting to look and turn into some sort of obsession thing, because it only got worse from there.

As time went on, she continued to pressure me for attention and would constantly like and comment on almost everything on Facebook that I would post. Once again, it got to be too much so I would talk to her about it, she would get upset and feel bad, back off for a month or so, then she would go back into her old habits again. This is when I decided that I needed a break from her for good, (or so I thought), and I decided to block her from everything social media wise as well as the phone.

It was also about that time that I started feeling like something was once again off with her, and it was not like the first time with the laptops. I had this gut feeling that it was a bit more personal and had to deal with me on a more intimate level. With the way she was acting towards me, as well as the vibes that I was getting from her I started to believe that she may have developed feelings for me on a more intimate level than just friends.

Before I go on with this part of the story, let me tell you first that I am a HUGE supporter of the LGBTQ community and will defend anyone who is getting shafted because of their sexual orientation. However, that does not mean that I am by any means a lesbian. I am straight. Always have been. Always will be.

Fast-forward about four or five months later, and by this time I am living in LA full-time once again. I was minding my own business one day, going about my everyday life, when my friend tells me that she got an email from Francis and she wanted to talk. We decided that we would talk to her together and work out our differences and move on. A few days later, we headed over to talk to her at her place and we ended up talking about everything and make up so to speak. I was thinking, “Okay, maybe God wants to restore the friendship and maybe, just maybe she has changed and isn’t as weird anymore.” I was willing to give it one more shot. But honestly, as time went on and as I was hanging out with her again, I could not get the nagging voice in my head and gut feeling to go away that she had stronger feelings for me than just friendship. It honestly started to eat away at me. I would get physically sick. I am not one for confrontation usually and ESPECIALLY on a topic like this one.

After many, and yes I mean many, days and nights of praying and talking to family and friends about it, I finally decided to bite the bullet and just ask her straight out if there was any deeper feelings there, and believe me I dreaded having this conversation like the plague. Once again, I was physically sick. I could not sleep at all the night before I had dinner with her to talk to her about this because my brain was going a million miles a minute.

When I got there, she knew something was up and that I was nervous about something, and I was not quiet about being nervous either. I had told her that the question that I had to ask was probably the hardest question I had to ask anyone because 1) I did not want to come off as a hateful bitch in the slightest and make gays and lesbians think I do not care for them because of their sexual orientation, and 2.) I have never had to have a conversation with someone like this before so I was uncomfortable and did not know what I was getting myself into. When I finally blurted it out, I felt this huge weight being lifted off of my shoulders, but at the same time, a look of shock was replaced onto Francis’ face. I also noticed she would not look me in the eye and would just focus her eyes more on the ground. She instantly started to cry and deny anything of a sort. She has admitted that there have been other people in her life that have thought the same thing, which honestly to me raised some red flags with whether or not she was being honest with me or not. I also told her that if she was that it was okay to tell me and that I would support her in that, but I would not share the same feelings that she had.

At the end of that conversation, I was left feeling a mixture of emotions. I felt very drained from the conversation and it also did not help that I was running on no sleep and was basically living off Starbucks. Also looking back, since hindsight is 20/20, I felt very confused. I was not sure how to take the conversation as a whole, and maybe that is because of the red flags that were raised. I only got it more confirmed for me the next day when she called me to see if we were okay and she had told me that she was up all night crying because of the topic I had brought up. Personally, I thought that was strange considering she swore up and down that she did not feel that way.

Because of this conversation that we had about six months ago, as well as her getting a little bit more obsessive in the past few months with doing the Facebook liking and commenting, as well as text and call me constantly wanting to hang out (after I had told her that I was super busy since I had come back home from the holidays, which fell onto deaf ears), I finally decided it was time to cut her out of my life for good. I was done trying to explain myself.

I fully believe that friendships are put in our lives for a reason and I believe that she was put in my life to really help me see how a lot of people with disabilities as well as other people who are not disabled label and stereotype themselves or others basically saying that they do not and cannot get the independence to do everyday life things independently. Because of this situation, a fire was lit under my ass to start the Stereotypically Able movement, so for that Francis, I thank you. And goodbye.

Letting Go and Moving On Part I

Life has a funny way of giving us what we need. Whether it be necessities, situations in life, or the people that come in and out of our lives. And sometimes these things will not be the greatest of things. That is where it all comes down to choices.

I have been lucky to have some of the best friends that a girl can ask for. But that does not mean that all of them were good for me in the long run. They have all been there to teach me a lesson and yes, some of my friends that have taught me lessons are still very big in my life today, but with some others it was time to say goodbye and move on. This is my story and my way of finding closure with one of them..

The friendship with Francis started about five years ago after I had moved to Los Angeles for a year. We met through church and I noticed that she was in a wheelchair. Turned out she had cerebral palsy just like me and I would be lying if I said that I didn’t like the fact that there was someone like me around who could relate to me. With that being said though, I was quick to realize that we had two totally different ways of thinking when it came to our disabilities.

While I use a walker to help me walk in large crowds and can walk without any aids while I am at home or work and it doesn’t effect me as physically, I am fortunate that my cerebral palsy is more on the mild side. With her though, just walking around can be very difficult for her, which is why she uses a wheelchair and while she can walk without anything she cannot do it for very long without stopping, or the support and aid of others, so it is clear to me that she has a more serious case of spastic diplegia. While it is okay to not be the same in the disability department, the thing I tended to have a problem with was her attitude towards her disability.

As time went on I noticed that Francis would complain about how she hated being disabled and because of that she would wouldn’t help make her disability become any better because she didn’t do what she needed for her body, like exercise and stretching. She would also obsess over the fact that God was going to heal her, so much so she completely forgot to live in the moment. Now, don’t get me wrong, God can heal, but I believe that it will come in a time that God wants and that he wants us to live our lives in the meantime. This is why I do not focus so much on being healed and focus more on being an inspiration and living my life positively without that hanging over my head. I believe that I was created this way for a purpose and damn it, dare I say that I am comfortable with the woman that I am today. I would constantly tell her that while I understood her struggles, that it was important to work her legs so that way she could become stronger, but as time went on it felt like my words were falling on deaf ears.

As more time passed though, our friendship became more awkward, weird, and forced on her end because she started to want more attention and she would want people to drop everything so that way they would pay attention to her. By this time, I had moved back home to be with my family so I was not around to hang out as much. But when I would come back to visit with friends I would hang out with her a couple of times, and through the times that I would see her, I could tell something had changed and something was telling me it was not a good change.

I am the type of person that would do anything to help my friends and yes, I wanted to help Francis, but for the next couple of years I had to learn that sometimes you can’t help them and they have to help themselves, and this was a lesson that I had to learn the hard way.