To Do List for 2018

Sitting in a conservatory on Christmas 2017

I’m making new goals to keep myself on track in 2018.

I love lists especially to do lists. Checking off what I’ve done, keeping my life in order, seeing progress made – everything about these lists leaves me feeling satisfied. Or guilty. It’s always one of the two. Hopefully, this year it will be the satisfied feeling only.

Anyway, I decided to make myself a to do list for 2018. Last year was filled with so much growth. I don’t want to lose any of that momentum in this next year.

Continue reading

Listaliciousness: Tom Hiddleston Moments, Sleepy Prayers, and Responding to Trials

Finals week is here! I just hope that I can get through it and be prepared to leave for Disney next Sunday. That being said, I will try to write a bit each day. However, some of my posts might be reblogs. On the positive side, that will let you read some material that touched me.

Here are some links. There are not 10 today, but I hope that you enjoy them.

  1. Halle Berry’s daughter raises money for charity with lemonade stand – What a cute idea! Children can be so considerate.
  2. Tom Hiddleston: Top 10 moments – He is a great man and wonderful actor. These made me laugh.
  3. Joining the Fellowship: Catholic Lessons from Tolkien – Here is another article that I wrote. The Lord of the Rings has so many deep lessons in it.
  4. Why Sleepy Prayers Have Value – Wow, I really need to remember this as I try not to doze off at Mass because I am so tired.
  5. Writers Are the Best Speakers – Interesting post. I never thought about it that way before.
  6. Responding to Trials – What a beautiful post! Thank you for sharing these wonderful stories with us.

Top Ten Quotes on Aspergers and Autism

The Emphatic Aspergian

The great gift of human beings is that we have the power of empathy. – Meryl Streep

When someone begins to talk about Aspergers or autism, I have learned to prepare by taking a deep breath. Whether it is to complain about a friend whose kid has that awful condition or a child who had trouble making friends for a year but now is cured, the things that people say regarding people on this side of the autism spectrum are often incorrect and a bit irritating.

There are many helpful quotes, however, that I find inspiring. Aspergers is inconvenient but brings great traits along with the struggles. Hopefully, you will see that with these quotes.

Continue reading

Is Calling Someone a Name Ever Ok?

Recently, I have called someone (other than my siblings) a negative word several times. To his face.

“You are kind of selfish,” followed a few weeks later by “You are a real jerk,” and finished up with “You are delusional.”

Thinking about this is rather shameful for me. Sure, the words were not horrendous. I did not curse or degrade him hatefully. My tone of voice was exasperated and frustrated, yes, but not spiteful or cruel.

Continue reading

Fat Talk Scarily Becomes Easier

Looking in the MirrorThrough my teenage years, I never engaged in fat talk. After all, why draw more attention to my disgusting body? When other girls complained about their appearance, I cringed inside because I knew that they were healthy while I was obese.

However, anorexia and losing weight has made talking negatively about my body easier. Scarily, each day this talk becomes even more simple. Now, I can spout out the very language I hated other people saying. Worse yet, there are sometimes people who weigh more than me in the room. I am, in fact, becoming the very person that hurt me growing up without ever intending to be cruel.

Continue reading

When a Compliment Turns Sour

Mario with sunglasses years ago

What happens when a compliment you are given turns sour?

Compliments are one of the best gifts that can be given. When you honestly affirm people, you acknowledge their worth and strengths. Even those of us who struggle with self-hate feel touched (if a bit embarrassed) when complimented by another person.

However, a nice comment can go horribly wrong and leave you feeling icky, frightened, and confused. PTSD can play a major factor in this, but many other mental illness or disorders (autism, bipolar, eating disorders, etc.) can complicate the situation. These brain differences might heighten the anxiety and bewilderment in how to handle the soured compliment.

This happened to me a few days ago at work. People appear to viewer servers and waitresses as subhuman sometimes. Men and women alike will take out frustration on me or order me about in a way that they would probably not do to anyone else. I am learning to breathe deeply and ignore these types of people after I help them.

Continue reading

Flattery versus Encouragement

Gabe dressed funny for "The Yellow Boat"

My friend dressed up silly before a performance – what would it mean if I said “Your hair looks perfect”?

Compliments can be seen as a wonderful gift, an insincere jab, or a manipulative ploy. Why is it that these kind words are sometimes twisted to hurt others and aid only the speaker? How can we know the difference?

A friend related to me how a professor taught his class the difference between flattery and encouragement. The definition has stuck with me ever since. Not only does it aid me when others speak, I also use to guard my own language. Compliments mean kindness and honesty, according to my Aspergian brain. However, even someone on the autistic scale can twist words to be self-serving.

Continue reading

Helping Others While in the Midst of Suffering

Standing with Joni Earkson Tada who struggled with depression after being paralyzed

Standing with Joni Earkson Tada who struggled with depression after being paralyzed

Yesterday, I was honored to receive an award that I dreamed about winning ever since I heard about it several years ago. My classmates and faculty nominated me to win the Friend of ADA (American Disabilities Association) Award at my university. The reason for this was my work blogging and advocating for those with mental illness and aspergers.

For most, yesterday was a dream come true. A lightness lifted me as I carried my bouquet of flowers around campus and blushed as people congratulated me. This award seemed like the first step toward helping others on a more global scale and winning the Noble Prize one day.

Yet, another part of my day was filled with gut-wrenching sobs and suicidal thoughts. As I cried so hard talking to my mom that I nearly collapsed, I shuddered to think of what people must think when they passed by my heaving form. What a failure I was to the award that I had just received!

Continue reading

Happy Birthday to Me!

On the bridge in Bath
On the bridge in Bath

On the covered bridge in Bath which is one of the two in Europe to have shops on it

Today I turned 23. Wow, that number makes me feel so old. That might sound silly, but I feel like I should be done with school and moving on with my life. Perhaps I should be engaged or in a serious relationship. My job should be more professional and sophisticated.

Anyway, I am trying to remember that I am on a different path than the typical 23-year-old. By the way, who really is that typical young adult? Could I meet them? Everyone is unique and has a different life journey. Fitting into certain boxes because of our age does not work always.

Continue reading

Turning Stress into Victory: A Followup of Yesterday

After having such a stressful morning yesterday, I wondered how I could keep going.  Perhaps dropping the speech tournament was the best idea.  Many ideas and anxieties sped through my mind.

Finally, I decided to leave with another group of people.  Although this required leaving a class early and not picking up a classmate, it saved me the pressure of driving to a busy and unfamiliar place.  Thus, the transportation was figured out despite my desire to please everyone.  Instead of worrying about my class believing me the perfect student or taking care of the other girl coming, I needed to think about myself.  As selfish as that sounds, sometimes you need to focus on your own life instead of trying to control everyone around you.  In the end, we only can choose our own actions, thoughts, and feelings.  I can influence others but not force them to react in a certain way.

Continue reading