Monday, July 25, 2016

A Letter To My Future Self

Well to start, right now I'm in a very confused emotion state of mind. Not completely sure what I want to do with my life, but at the same time positive where I want to go. Hopefully, by the time you're reading this you've already figured everything out and you're doing exactly what you want to do.

Don't overwork yourself. We do not stop until the job is done and is perfect to your standards.  Don't get so wrapped up into perfecting things, because nothing is ever going to be perfect. Leave a little "me time" in your day, drink some tea or coffee, read a book. Just unwind and let yourself relax. Don't get to the verge of a mental break down and then decide it is the time to stop, you've done enough of that in the past. If things don't end up exactly how you thought they were going to, that's okay, it was supposed to happen the way it did.

Present me has always wanted to travel the world. You know that! We've been wanting to do it our whole life, maybe you're reading this in a coffee shop in Amsterdam, or drinking tea with a new friend in London, maybe you're sitting on the beach in LA or hanging on a rooftop in New York, or maybe you're just at home wherever future us may feel that home is. Just remember to travel, because you've always loved traveling.

Don't be afraid to throw yourself out there. If there is something that you want to do go for it.  Sure it may sound like a good idea and once executed it wasn't, but that's the risk. Don't let the anxiety of failing or looking like a fool hold you back, you've done that enough. If something sparks your interest go for it. You never know, you could love it more than you thought.

I really don't have any type of demands or expectations for us. I just hope we are happy wherever we ended up. I guess I’ll stand by whatever you do, because even if you aren't who I imagine I'll be now, I’ll stand by you, because maybe who I’m imagining is someone else, and - well you’re not someone else, you’re me. So, I guess I just hope we're happy, I hope you're happy.


Sunday, April 19, 2015

Four Pieces of Advice to My Future Children

The other day while strolling through our local Walmart looking for some type of  "canned diced tomatoes" my mom had texted me about I walked past an older looking woman and (what I'm assuming to be) her son who looked to be just a couple years older than me. What they were talking about, I don't know but it did consist of many "I don't know what to tell you" and a "Do I look like Dr. Phil?"

For some odd reason, hearing that while walking past the pair stuck to me. It got me thinking, in 20 years time I might have a family that I am responsible for. Children of my own who are in the same place where that boy, myself, and so many other teenagers are at this very moment. Juggling school, sports, a social life, and the overwhelming push from society and parents to figure out what you want to do with the rest of your life when you really don't even know if you have found yourself yet in the first place. Then it hit me, "Oh god, I'm eventually going to have to give my own child advice." So I did what I do every time I get one of these moments, I wrote everything down. And so I present to you, Four Pieces of Advice for My Future Children.

First of all, I know what you're thinking.

You're having a little conversation with yourself, thinking away in that little head of yours saying "Mom could never know what I'm going through, she doesn't get what it's like to be a teenager." But I do, I so get it. I get that you think the world doesn't understand you, that everyone is out to get you, even me. I get how you are feeling because I at one time, felt exactly the same way. My mother nagged at me, probably the same way I will to you, about REALLY needing to pick colleges to look at, or finishing your homework. I can guarantee you will get sick of me asking you every time you leave the house if you are SURE  you have everything you will need for that sleepover. I know you're going to get irritated with me really quick over and over again, but I've learned that the constant questioning is only being done out of love.

Second, do what makes you happy.

These days people are so fascinated with the idea of success, power, and the quickest way to get there that when they do, they realize they really aren't happy where they ended up. I want you to wake up every morning happier than you were the previous day. Life is full of SO many amazing and spectacular things. I want you to dive into the world head first and experience it with all of the happiness in the world. Life is way too short to see the world in only black and white. Listen, if you find happiness in playing music on the side of the street, play that music until your fingers bleed. If you're happy in an office cubicle working nine to five every day, you sit in that wheelie chair! If backpacking through the island of Fuji is where you find happiness, do it. Even if you find your happiness working at some random carnival every other weekend, I will be proud, because you are happy.

Love yourself and be who YOU are.

I see so many people, including myself at times be so picky about what is wrong with themselves. Whether it is about your body, your personality, your voice, whatever it is, I'm telling you this right now, I never ever want you to be ashamed of who you are. You are so lovely and I want you to love yourself in everyway possible. So what, you don't look like the model in the magazine, I'll let you in on a little secret, the model in that magazine doesn't even look like the model in the magazine. Everything in that picture has been somehow retouched. YOU are beautiful or handsome or whatever word you want to use. Please, please, please, always try to keep a positive out look on yourself. Don't let society's ideals of acceptable and unacceptable ruin your self worth. As long as you are being you I couldn't be anymore proud. Don't worry about what others are thinking about you, if you're comfortable wearing that crop top, you go and rock that crop top. If you want to go to the store in an animal onesie, you zip that sucker up and strut through that store. If you like dating girls, great! If your happy dating guys, go get them! It doesn't matter as long as you are being true to yourself.

Lastly, learn to laugh at yourself.

I CAN NOT stress this one enough. Don't take yourself too seriously, have fun. There are going to be plenty of times that you are going to be absolutely mortified, and if you're anything like me you better get used to it because you're clumsy as hell. When you roll your ankle in the middle of a store and workers are staring at you, don't get mad or embarrassed, work it. Hell yeah you just totally face planted  in the middle of a mildly busy store, but trust me in a week or two everyone that saw it happen is going to find something else to talk about. Don't worry about it, it makes a hilarious story to tell all your friends when they ask you how you cracked your phone.

I guess what I'm trying to say is enjoy the beauty in everything, have fun, live life to the fullest, and just make sure you're happy doing whatever you're doing.

 Love Always,


Monday, November 10, 2014

Rolling With Dad

Some would feel having a parent with a disability would be tough, but I feel as if it has only made my life more interesting.
When I was four years old, my father was in an accident and broke his neck and is now paralyzed. Even though there were many sad things going on around this time, in the long run there are many positive and hilarious things that have happened as a result.
Our first family vacation after his injury, keep in mind this was our first and LAST time on an airplane, was quite an adventure. Everything was going well; they let us board the plane early to make sure we had enough time to get situated. They helped my dad transfer into a special “aisle” chair and wheeled him onto the plane. This is where the fun began. When they arrived at where my father was being seated on the plane, without knowing my father’s lack of capabilities, they unknowingly unbuckled him without any support. My father then started to tumble like a weeble wobbles, but in this case, he fell down. As my mom saw my father start to fall she attempted to reach him as fast as she could, hurdling the seats like Usain Bolt.  Unfortunately, she is not Usain Bolt, and she did not make it to my father before he crumpled face first onto the aisle floor.
The attendants in a panic grab a hold of my dad and try to flip him like how you would flip a pancake so they could lift him back into his seat. As I’m sure you can figure out, it is not possible to flip a human being with a dead weight of approximately 280 pounds in an aisle that is approximately two feet wide. My fathers head continued to be whacked against the base of the seat like he was a mole in a “Whack a Mole” game.
Eventually, they came to the conclusion that what they were doing, wasn’t going to work out. They decided to call in paramedics for assistance; their plan was to roll my father until he was upright and could lift him into the seat.
Before I continue, let me explain that my father wears tear away pants. These pants are designed with snaps that run the full length from the waistband to the cuff of the pant leg. This makes it easier for him to get dressed with assistance. However, they are not ideal pants to be wearing when rolling on an aisle floor of an airplane.
The paramedics begin rolling my father, grasping at anything they can to assist them. As they went for one last tug, the snaps let go, and my dad was now sitting upright. However, his pants were now in one of the paramedic's hands. My mom was quick to take the pants and get them back on my father before everyone received a show. With the pants returned to their proper place, the paramedics were able to place my father into his proper seat. This was the last time we ever flew on a plane.
Our family has several stories similar to this, some of them even more entertaining. When people ask if it’s difficult having a father who is disabled, I say no because I have actually gained empathy for others, ability to adapt to any situation, and a great sense of humor. In fact, I feel I would have missed out on a lot of moments and memories that have  brought my family closer. Learning to accept what I can’t change and working through difficult situations with humor has molded me into the person I am today, and I would not have the optimistic outlook I have on life without the experiences we have had.
(Picture of my father and I in 2010)