I Am So Much More

In a Rapunzel frame at Shanghai Disneyland

I was able to go to Shanghai Disneyland which was wonderful.

Knowing limits is good. I need to remember that I do not have the superpower of speed to get ready for the day in five minutes. Nor can anyone read minds. We cannot fly, breathe under water, live without food or water, etc.  Limits can be helpful.

However, they can also be a hinder. So many times, I have let limits on myself – whether inflicted by me or others – that have hurt me. There were things that I was and wasn’t, limits set and dreams shattered.

This past year has shown me that I am more than my limitations. I need to stop living bound to my past or my struggles.

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To China and Back Again: The Year 2017

Walking over a bridge in China

2017 was filled with many challenges but so much growth.

When I look back at the year 2017, my head spins a bit. So much happened in a fairly short time. My life changed dramatically as I moved from Florida to China in 2016, settled there more in 2017, and then moved back to the USA.

However, I changed even more than my geographical location. Not understanding a word around me but having to find my own apartment and find directions taught me to ask for help even if I looked clueless. Teaching children and planning creative lessons taught me to trust myself more as a leader and artist. Working with children and feeling alone in a new culture taught me that I did want a family one day. Having a happy relationship continues to teach me that I’m lovable with all my quirks and faults.

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Cleaning Out Boxes of the Past

A lake near a mountain

A lake near the mountains

After arriving back in the USA a few days ago, I’ve been busy cleaning out all of my old boxes. Although I just moved back from China, my goal is to move abroad again for my Master’s Degree soon. Thus, all of the clutter in my old room and closet needed to leave.

As I pulled out old boxes and rummaged through dusty drawers, glimpses of the past kept appearing.

My fingers were stained pink and blue from oil pastel paintings made in residential treatment for my eating disorder. Babies surrounded by darkness, blood-red monsters devouring me, trees half blossoming and half diseased – images of despair and hope mixed with every color.

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Chasing, Gaining, Losing, Desiring Dreams

Cherry blossomsDreams are etched deeply into part of our being – our memories, minds, or spirits perhaps. They influence many vital decisions and alter the courses of our lives. You can choose to stifle them deep inside, never allowing them to see the light and grow into a branch of your life. Alternatively, you can take a wild chance and follow them, knowing they might lead to pain and difficulty. In the end, you will always wonder what would have happened if you never give those dreams a chance.

Still, chasing a dream and catching it only to have it crumble in your fingers is agonizing. Having a fleeting idea fail or not enjoying a temporary situation is frustrating. Yet, realizing your dream that you fought for is a thing you no longer desire wounds much deeper.

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Feeling Depressed in a Wonderful Life

At the beach

My beach adventure today was wonderful!

How can someone feel so sad but elated at the same time? Depression makes no sense.

Today was wonderful. I walked on pillow-like sand, laughed with new friends from Japan, swam like a dolphin in the ocean, ran across the beach for the first time, and then relaxed shopping a bit.

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A Night at the Ball

My picture with With Cinderella and Prince Charming

Normally they are never in photos together, but they made an exception.

Last night was one of the best of my life! My sisters came into town to see the parks for the first time and celebrate my birthday. On our final evening together, we went to 1900 Park Fare.

Here you meet Cinderella, Prince Charming, Lady Termaine, Anastasia, and Drizella. It was truly magical!

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File That Under “Happiness”

Me trying on a huge hat

Trying on huge hats at Chapel Hats in Downtown Disney was certainly a moments for my “happiness” folder.

I like labeling and arranging things. Putting my books in a new order (alphabetical by author, similar genre, date published, etc) was an exciting task that I did around once a month. Color coding priced items for a garage sale, rearranging the school supplies in my drawer, checking off items on a to-do list – being an Aspie might contribute to my enthusiasm of these tasks.

Similarly, filing things brings me joy. I have folders full of programs of shows, recipes to try, pictures of places to visit, and medical information about my medications. The things that I keep serve some purpose; I want to try to accomplish/make it some day, remember the time a moment happened, have information for later, etc.

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It Must Be the Rapunzel Hair

Thumper and me

Posing at Disney with a Thumper animal

Yesterday, while moving strollers and sweating terribly, I was stopped by two lovely girls. They were around my age and dressed like Rapunzel in beautiful purple dresses and braided hair with flowers in it. After I complimented their dresses, I expected them to smile and move on to a ride or show.

Instead, they stopped and very kindly asked me to take a picture. I agreed quickly and reached for the camera. Then, to my surprise, they shook their heads.

They wanted a picture with me. Both took turns posing with me. A feeling of excitement and honor filled. me. Sure, I was a bit awkward like in all photographs, but it was still lovely.

I am not sure if I looked enough like Rapunzel or they simply wanted my picture to remember the park. Either way, it made my day so much better. You never know what will spread joy to others. 🙂

Note from a Graduated Woman

Students at Oxford

Students at Oxford

Dear world,

I am free. Well, I am free from my university to embark to new places, meet new people, have new experiences, and face new fears. Sure, there are still things that hold me back such as student loans, anxieties, commitments, and finances. However, those do not control my life completely.

Today was lovely. As I walked across stage and listened to my commencement, tears welled up in my eyes and trickled down my cheeks. Being in this position, fighting so hard to recover enough to get through school, refusing to back down on my beliefs or give up on my university – my college journey has not been easy. No, not easy but it has valuable and empowering.

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Listening to the Silence

Little girl looking out over water

Losing my childhood innocence and security in the world shattered part of me.

I wrote this personal essay for school and wanted to share it with you. Hopefully, it will make you think about your first memory and the loss of childhood. This experience still haunts me at times.

Childlike, haunting music repeating endlessly – that’s the first thing that I remember. I was two years old, snuggled into my bed. Warm, safe blankets with loving, present parents in the next room, I understood the world as a child does: concrete, simplistic, beautiful, self-focused. Yet on that one night, one song motivated the cackling Greek fates to unwind the darkened portion of my life’s ball of yarn.   Continue reading