Bask In Your Own Awesomeness
So the first couple of months this year were... rough. Between health issues, bad news, and more, I really struggled. But I pulled through. And though there are still waaaay too many things going on at the same time right now, I'm doing a lot better. I survived a 2-month flare up and am back to my normal level of discomfort & mobility struggle (yay!), I worked through some really hard stuff (much more devastating & life altering things than anyone should ever have to deal with... but such is life I suppose), dealt with some of the biggest & most challenging business struggles I've ever been faced with, all while also talking NINE different friends through some pretty substantial relationship, work, health, and just general life struggles. It was a shitshow of a few months. I seriously, very literally almost didn't make it through. And, as I discussed with a friend who was in a similar situation, all the well-intentioned "just look on the bright side"s or "lighten up"s in the world don't actually help anything. In fact, it's kinda gaslighting... but I digress.
March has been better though. Still a lot going on, tons to manage and handle and figure out, but things have been less full of despair and hopelessness. I'm getting my shit back together. I've re-organized my life, laid out all my goals and plans and aspirations, broken everything down into action steps, and systematized all my basic business operations. I've even made checklists for all my self-care and recreational items. It sounds ridiculous, but it's really turning out to be quite good for my productivity and sanity. I'm actually in a really good, beautiful, empowered place. Like, damn girl!
But in all that hard work and efficiency, it's easy to get bogged down in logistics and checklists. So for my birthday obviously I did some fun stuff, shared some cool photos I had done, which was awesome and empowering. But I also worked most of the day & late into the night on my actual birthday (which was a Wednesday), and the weekend before, and the one after, and every day since and in between. It's fine, I don't mind. I like my work. But the feel-good badassery does get a bit... let's say watered down by piles of paperwork and client emails and clinical write-ups and government forms. My feelings of kickass disabled babe-ness tend to get lost pretty quickly in the overworked business owner, or boring med student. It's natural, I think, but it still kinda sucks.
So my best friend, Moriah, is a graphic designer and branding goddess. And in addition to that, she designed her own oracle deck! It's an illumination inspiration deck. No trying to tell the future, no divination or psychic-ness. Just good, solid, really important reminders on gorgeous cards. See, I'm not big into tarot or oracle cards or angel cards and so on, but I did get her set. And today I did a drawing. Just one card. And it said, "Bask in your own awesomeness." So I decided to do just that! And I'm using this blog to do so. (Feel free to navigate to another site if you don't want to sit through a beautiful woman appreciating her own hard work).
And it's funny, because over the past few months I've been doing a self-appreciation course (because I'm not good at actually acknowledging or appreciating myself). "Coiencidentally" this actually lines up really well with that. So here we go! Today I am acknowledging that:
- I am 30 years old, and have several very painful, limiting, and degenerative disorders, with no cures, that deeply impact my daily life. And I use that to educate and advocate for people with disabilities in one-on-one settings as well as in large group environments, and everything in between. I have spoken to congressmen, professors, and folks in line at the coffee shop about disability and accessibility issues, civil rights, healthcare, and more. I also try to harness the pain and struggle to nourish a deep empathy and compassion for others, and fuel my passion for improving the world around us. Cheesy? Perhaps. Do I care? Not even a little bit!
- I am the owner and operator of 4 businesses! While there is a lot of overlap, there's still a ton of work and innovation that goes into maintaining and growing so many things at the same time. I am grateful for my amazing team that helps make my dreams possible. I am thankful that I am unreasonably driven enough to think that a disabled, tired girl can do all this at the same time.
- I run several support groups to help take care of folks who are struggling.
- I am working on my doctorate in Natural Medicine! Yes, while working well over full time. Because fuck common sense and reason! (big shoutout to coffee, here)
- I am working on starting a formal program for disability rights and accessibility awareness, which will be pretty great. It's also a lot of work. This does tie into the first point, btw. I'm doing some pretty cool stuff in this field, and I'm taking Moriah's cards advice and basking in it!
- I write pretty amazing articles (not all so self-indulgent as this one) for this blog, magazines, papers, and other sites, on topics ranging from personal issues, health and wellness, and science communication, to biology, disability rights, society, and entrepreneurship. Badass!
- I'm continuing to deepen my self-improvement game, getting more comfortable with who I am, and addressing those parts of me that I'm less than 100% happy with.
- I'm getting bolder! I stand up for myself, for others. I love really deeply and freely. I tell people when they matter to me, and I take no shit from anyone. But I'll also always bend over backward and go way out of my way for those I care about.
- I draw bones pretty well for never having had an art class :)
- I'm a disabled babe who learned to ride a motorcycle! & I'm kinda awesome at it.
- I'm brave, and push the limits of my comfort zone on a regular basis. From cliff diving and free climbing to traveling alone to a fancy event in the City where I didn't know anyone.
- I'm pretty clever.
- I'm pretty creative
- I'm pretty... pretty! (never thought I'd say those words, but here we are!)
- I'm absurdly driven. I'm passionate, innovative, and once I set my mind on something, there's just no stopping me. Which I think is kinda something, don't you?
Okay, that's all I've got for now. But yeah! Basking my own awesomeness. Don't mind if I do :)