Saturday, September 12, 2015

The trip I forgot to update you guys on, leaning on friends, 1am milkshakes, and the little act of kindness that made my day

It's strange to think that when I started this blog nearly three years ago, I was just barely a freshman in college and just barely comfortable writing about my cerebral palsy. I feel as though I am in a much more confident place now, and I owe much of that to YOU guys, my incredible readers and supporters. Thank you for your encouragements throughout all of these years...they mean so much, and it's been such a privilege to have your support as I navigate through my college years!

I feel like I owe you guys an update, and I'm going to make more of an effort to post more often again. First, thank you to everyone who commented on my last post, in which I was trying to decide whether to go on that trip with my friends. I WENT, in large part because of your encouragements...and I'm so glad I did.

I had such an amazing week with them. We spent a couple days shopping around in the nearby tourist town, went on a boat ride, swam in the lake, played card games, watched movies, stayed up late into the night, and visited a historical museum (my favorite part!).

My CP complicated matters a little bit, but it didn't impact the trip nearly as much as I had anticipated...partly because I have such amazing friends! They didn't make fun of my Crocs when we went to the lake ;) (flip flops don't stay on my feet), they matched my pace when we were out walking, and they waited for me when I lagged a little behind. Getting to the lake was a challenge for sure because there was a lot of uneven pavement and TONS OF STAIRS, but it was manageable. In the lake, I just swam in areas that weren't much over my head, and I asked one of my friends to take my hand for balance when we waded through the waves (which was a Big Deal for me...but I shouldn't have been nervous to ask! She took my hand with a smile and it was No Big Deal after all. :) ).

At one point, they wanted to walk out onto a narrow dock that didn't have any rails on the side. I laughed and said something like, "You guys go ahead, but I think I'll just sit on the side of the dock. I can just see myself losing my balance and falling in." One of my friends took my hand just then and said, "Let's just sit here, then. This is the perfect spot." So we sat on the edge of the dock together, and as we watched the sun setting in the sky, I felt so lucky to be surrounded by such amazing people, people who accept me just as I am.

And here at college, I am still surrounded with amazing people. Just the other day, I was walking back from class in a torrential downpour, and I was absolutely SOAKED. I didn't mind too much, because I was so wet that I was past the point of caring (do you ever get to that point? haha), but as I was making my way back to my dorm, I passed a boy walking in the opposite direction with a giant stack of boxes in one arm and an umbrella in the other. A few moments later, he had turned around and was shielding me with his umbrella.

"You live in that dorm over there, right?" he said, gesturing with his armful of packages. "Let me walk you back to your room."

It was such a simple gesture, but his kindness made my day.

Speaking of amazing people, I spent the day yesterday with my incredible cousin, who is just one year older than I am, and who was diagnosed with late-stage brain cancer when she was in eighth grade. After a battle with surgery, chemo, and radiation, she went into remission, and she has been cancer-free for a number of years now. I won't go into details because her story isn't mine to tell, but we had such an awesome day together...and she brought chocolate cookies! :)

And then last night, I went to my first horror movie in theaters with a group of really good friends. We had such an awesome time, and then we went to a rundown old diner at 1 in the morning and ordered milkshakes and enjoyed the fact that it was (finally!) Friday. I know it sounds silly, but I am just getting comfortable enough to ask my friends for help up and down curbs—they helped me with several yesterday and it wasn't awkward at all. :)

I would love to write more (I have so much more to write about!!), but I have hundreds of neuroanatomy terms to memorize (how I wish that was an exaggeration...), so I'd better get to work. I'd love to hear what my readers have been up to, though – it would mean a lot to me if you'd leave a comment! I'll try to make time this week to catch up on the blogs on my sidebar too. I've missed you guys so much, and I will never be able to thank you enough for being such an awesome support system. xoxo