I was sitting in my Living a Meaningful Life class this last Friday, and I just got this feeling that I need to write a blog post. Besides, I kinda miss being on my blog. I haven’t done much with it in a while. - School’s crazy. ;)
Something I have been thinking a lot about as I have been off in college, is trying to learn who I am and what I want and also just being patient and being ok with myself. I’m going to be honest in this blog post, since coming to school I have had some very off days, which is ok but I feel like I have had more off days than I should. This has been a really hard thing for me because, deep down, this is not what I want and this is not who I am.
I have many high goals for myself and many things I want to do with my life.I want to be a motivational speaker, social media influencer, and/or create my own podcast… those are just a few ideas. I want to inspire others and change the world. I want to do service and do good in other people's lives. This is where I want to head in life. But saying this, I have been feeling like I can’t do this. I can do it, but if I do, I feel like I would be fake.
I truly mean what I say in my posts. I want other people to know those things because I know they are true and I believe them with all my heart. Sometimes, especially on and off in the last year, I feel like I just haven’t exactly lived my own words so I ask myself, “Why am I sharing this when I’m not even living it…?” I do live them but I feel like lately I just haven’t fully lived it and I know we aren’t perfect… and we all have our bad days… but something just seems different in my life right now.
I decided to do a social media fast (Instagram). I won’t get back on until January 1, 2020. There are a few reasons why I decided to do this. One, I was prompted to do so. It was a very last minute decision. It was 10PM and I was scrolling and then I randomly decided to do this challenge. I deleted it that night and bam. Here I am. Another reason is because I decided it would take one thing away from my life that was a distraction. This time of year is pretty much the most special time of year in my opinion. This is a holiday season and I wanted to make it a more special one by taking out this distraction and living it up with my friends and family and making it the most special holiday season yet. (speaking of, I have never had Christmas vibes so early in the year, maybe because it’s cold and the other night I saw christmas lights on campus? But literally I just want to play Christmas music… I do it alone to avoid judgment hahaha.) Also, it’s my first semester of college and I just really want it to be mostly perfect ya know? ;) Another reason, I wanted to just take this time to also figure myself out. I want to take this time and decide what I want for me. One of my goals is to grow my social media and do more with it. But with where I am at in life right now, I felt this is not the time. It’s been almost three weeks now, since I have been off social media. And honestly, it has been very freeing. I feel like I’m having more real life social opportunities. I’ve noticed that I've been on my phone less and I’m more productive. (I will say Netflix has been my new substitute;) but that's ok, I think that's a way better addiction than social media. Haha. ;) But really I feel like I have been able to have real conversations with people at the dinner table. And just be in the moment. I feel like this is allowing me to figure out what I want for my life. I am very glad and excited to be doing this social media fast because it is doing a lot of good for me right now.
Anyway, again, I have felt a little different in my personality lately. And it’s something i want to figure out. I decided to go to counseling and not going to lie but at first I was very much nervous about it. I think because of the little stigma behind it. But after going a few times, it really has been a blessing already. Honestly I think everyone should have a counselor because it helps with a lot. I think it has really helped me and I’ve been doing a lot better since. This last week has been a toughy bc of some life situations. I’ve just had time to think of what I can do for these life situations. And I’ve come to a fact for all of them. Basically all these things I’m going through will be ok. And everything will work out!!
This weekend I have felt very optimistic about my life. Today I feel so motivated to just get out there and take on the world. And just do the best I can at whatever I do but whatever happens in those things I just tell myself that life is going to be ok. :) one step at a time;)
To end this part of the blog post I just want to say, I’m not trying to make anyone uncomfortable or anything. I am just sharing real feelings I’ve had.
Anyway, besides all that stuff I shared, the college life has been awesome. It’s an adjustment for sure but dang I feel like I have been transitioning pretty well. It’s been fun being independent. Also I LOVE my roommate. I lucked out. (You’re the best Tayler;) She’s so fun and just the coolest. I love most of my classes (there’s always one that’s not the best… haha) but really I have a good schedule and awesome classes and awesome professors. And I have made some awesome friends:) Guys, I’ll just wrap it up here and say college life it freaking awesome!!
My wonderful, amazing, out of the world roommate Tayler:)
Fun fact: Milo Ventimiglia is my celebrity crush. Dang he's cool. Also This Is Us is literally one of my favorite TV shows and I have been loving Season 4 so far.
Have a good week everyone and know that life is oh so good. Love y'all.
My whole life, I have dealt with challenges that comes with having a different face. I have encountered many stares, many comments, also accepting who I am. I have had 23 surgeries in my life. All of them have been associated with Pfeiffer Syndrome. They have helped me to hear, breathe, and to see. After every surgery, it was a huge healing process. It was an emotional and physical healing process. As I have gotten older the emotional healing has gotten harder because I care about my looks more now than I did when I was little.
From 2014 on, that’s when I really started caring about my surgeries and what I wanted to happen. All of them were successful and I remember coming out being so happy with the change. Early 2016, I had jaw surgery, and I loved everything about it afterwards. There was still a little bit of emotional healing because it was a change. But it was something got over really fast. (fun fact: this was the time I decided to start a blog. I’ll have to share that story in another post) When I made plans for my next surgery in the fall of 2016, I honestly was so excited. Until after it was done. it wasn’t what I hoped for. In fact it was even worse. I call this my dark surgery. I remember waking up and honestly it was hell. I couldn't see, and I couldn't hear, my arms were numb, with two IVs that weren’t working. They had to replace it and I honestly felt like I was screaming. I even asked my mom later if I did and she said I didn’t but I definitely was screaming on the inside. I just felt like I was in so much pain. Mentally and physically. It literally felt like hell.
After getting home from the hospital a few days later, that’s when I started to see what I looked liked. I remember seeing myself and just crying. I didn’t like the way I looked. This went on for days and I was miserable. I remember just yelling at God in a prayer and saying “why did you let this happen?!” It was so hard because this was a surgery I was just so excited about.
The night I came home from Chicago, I had choir practice. I was trying to decide all day whether I should go or not but I felt I needed to go, and there was a little peer pressure involved. I honestly don’t know how I pulled myself to go, given that, I just went through a really hard surgery. But I decided to go and I honestly felt really good when I went. I wore a hat to hide a little but even still it was really good for me to go. And something hit me during that practice that everything was going to be OK. I felt bad for yelling at God. I decided to pray and ask for help.
I was doing a little better until I went back to school. One day I was in seminary and I went to the bathroom. When I was there, I looked in the mirror and I hated what I saw. I started asking myself why do I look like this and I remember kind of trash talking myself in my head. I started becoming a different person and I wasn’t my happy self. One of my friends noticed I was not me. She and I were in the same seminary class and I remember both of us ditched class one time and went outside and talked. Then she asked me, “well what are you going to do?” Another question was, “What do you like about yourself?” It was hard to answer at the time but I came up with stuff. And it made me think “ok, I need to appreciate what’s still good. I’ll get used to the change and I’ll make the effort to love how I look.”
This was still a process and still just an emotional rollercoaster. I went to Chicago and met with my psychologist. I told her what has been going through my mind in the last four months or so. She told me to start having confidence in myself. Start looking at people in the eyes when I talk to them. I went home honestly feeling a lot better because I felt she really helped me gain self-confidence. It still took work for me to accept my face. But in the end I decided this is me. And I’m ok with it.
Today, I still struggle with the way I look. No, it’s not as bad or depressing as it was in the past but it’s still there. I still have my bad days. But that is when I need to remember to put my faith in Christ. He will help me if I let him. When I am struggling, I fall on my knees praying to God, asking for help. Times, it is hard to do so but when I do, I feel so much comfort and peace. My experiences have really helped my testimony of faith grow. I honestly believe this trial brings me closer to him because it requires me to put my faith in him. When I do I am comforted and blessed. I feel closer to him because I feel his presence. He watches out for me. I know he watches out for all of us in the midst of our trials.
Christ has been a big part of my life. A HUGE part. There have been several times in my life where I have had to put my faith in Christ. I have had to put my faith in him when I’m scared, when I have to make big decisions, or sometimes when I’m taking a new path in life. To be honest my faith goes on and off. BUT I know that when I do put my faith in Jesus Christ, I feel so amazing. I know I can trust him. He guides me in the right direction even when I’m unsure. He is watching over me. He knows me by name and he knows what I need to make me who I need to become. My Savior loves me and he loves YOU:)
Wow. Last semester of high school went fast…. Well looking back on it, it did;)
Senior year has been one crazy year. I came home from traveling the world in July 2018. Then I started a full schedule at Eagle High School plus 10 online classes through BYU independent study. (I was catching up from what I missed from traveling). In November, I had surgery and I missed 2-3 weeks of school.
On top of all of this I was dealing with a little depression. It was a dark time for me and it was something I never went through before. It was strange to me. Then second semester began and things started their way to getting better. In February, I had the opportunity to go back to Ghana on a women’s trip (I missed two weeks of school). This trip was so good for me. I loved being back.
In April, I got selected for the “Mayor’s Award” from the mayors in my area. It was a recognition of strength and character, ability to overcome hardships and obstacles and dedication to serving their communities. The night I received it, I was able to hear a bunch of other kids stories. It was so amazing to hear other kids stories and to hear what challenges they have/had to face in their lives.
I just want to insert quote here about that night:
“[Be kind. For everyone is fighting a hard battle. And if you really want to see what people are, all you have to do is look.]” (This is from Wonder)
Now I’m here. Just the other day I finally was able to complete the last of my 10 online classes. This was a huge relief for me. Now I have seven school days left, I REPEAT, SEVEN SCHOOL DAYS LEFT!! I am beyond excited to be done with high school! It’s weird to think I am at this point in my life but I’m ready to move on to a fresh start. I got accepted to Brigham Young University in Provo, so that is where I will be attending in the fall. I am so so excited.
Looking back on this whole year, i just can’t believe how crazy it was. It was a non-stop year for me. But it feels oh so good to have made it to this point in my life. I couldn’t have done it without my parents, family, and my friends, and my teachers.
A few weeks ago, I was pondering why did I have to go through all of this, especially the depression stage. I don’t really have the full answer but I have gotten some strong feelings about why I went through it. It has taught me how to work hard and it has strengthened me as a person. Even though this was a hard year, I was able to have some crazy good times with my friends and family and honestly I wouldn’t change how this year went. I’m so grateful for the good times and also the challenging times. :)
It’s been quite the ride. College life here I come!!
Hey guys! So it’s been a really long time since I’ve written a blog post. It has been crazy busy catching up with everything coming home from my around the world trip, catching up with friends, going to school, and just other life stuff. So… a little update on my life: I came home from my around the world trip in July. Seriously for a long time it was so weird to be home. I thought I was dreaming… haha. A few weeks after I got home, my friends and I went to my grandma’s cabin. That was sooooo fun. We all had a blast. Then I started back in school at Eagle High. It feels so good to be a senior (ALMOST DONE!!) haha. Going back to school, it was good to reunite with everyone after being away for a year.
So there is something I thought I should share in this blog post. I want to be honest and share my experience. For the last few months (basically since I’ve come home) I have found a big change in me, a change I don’t like. I found that I was comparing myself to others. I would compare myself to my best friend. I would compare myself to other friends at school. I would get on Instagram and be so jealous of other people's lives, smartness, or beauty, etc.. Also for a while, I couldn’t even stand to look at myself in the mirror. I was wishing so bad that I could wake up the next morning and look like a typical person. I kept letting this happen for so long that I was feeling my shoulders get heavier and heavier. All this comparing has brought me down in other things. I was letting negative thoughts enter my head. For the first couple months these negative thoughts came in waves, then as time went on it became constant. I felt like I was drowning almost. I was (still am) confused why in the world this was (is) happening. I have always considered myself a positive person and I generally still do, but for the last 4 months I’ve had rare moments of positivity. I had some negative days in the past just occasionally (like anybody else) but never for a long period of time.
Part of the reason that I think all the sudden this has become a problem for me is because I’ve been living in Ghana/traveling for the last year. I’ve been in my element and not even worrying about the troubles in my life. I was so focused on other things. In Ghana, I have never been asked “what’s wrong your face?” I get stared at a lot over there but every obruni (white person) does. But now coming home, it’s like i’ve had to find myself all over again and remember the troubles I have to face. So basically for a year, it almost felt like all my troubles went away.
About three weeks ago, I had a “chin advancement” surgery. This changed my looks quite significantly. Before this surgery I was excited for the change. Then a few days before, I started to doubt if I should do it at this time or not do it at all. I thought about it pretty hard for the next few days and still didn’t find a clear answer. Then the night before surgery, I’m not sure what happened but I felt so much peace. I just like had an “I’m gonna crush this” feeling. I felt all the prayers from all my friends and family just roll in and I instantly knew it would all be okay. The next morning I went in for my surgery and everything was successful. Sitting in the hospital after surgery, I just felt SO happy to be done. I felt so relieved that all I had to do was go home and recover.
The next few days, I had a lot of swelling, mainly on the chin and a little by the eyes. I totally had a black eye. That was crazy. But anyway the day after surgery, I started getting negative thoughts in my head about my looks. I didn’t even want to look in the mirror. I was scared how long this swelling was going to last. And with all the swelling “covering” my actual face, I didn’t know what I actually looked like yet.
The week after my surgery was hard because of the recovery and not being able to see my real self yet. But then a few days later, I started loving it!! Like I genuinely was happy that day and like I hadn’t felt this way in a LONG time. I felt like I had my old self back. It was like magic. That whole week… I was having such a positive week. It was amazing. That Wednesday, I had my church group and before, I was debating whether to go or not, but boy, I’m so glad I went! I felt sooo good at that event just to see everyone and hear the talks that I needed to hear.
Since that church event, I’ve been thinking a lot about my individual worth. Individual worth is definitely something I’ve had to work on this year. I have come to realize that I can’t change the fact that I have Pfeiffer Syndrome. I can’t. So I need to accept that fact that I do have it and I NEED to find the best out of it. I need to find the positive from it. This has been really hard for me and honestly it still is!! Honestly I’ve learned that there literally is no point in comparing ourselves because it’s impossible to be that person. NONE OF US should compare ourselves to others!! You can never be the same person as someone else but you can be you. ;) I’ve had to remind myself, that I was put on this earth for a purpose. I have a mission to conquer my trials in this life. So does everyone else. We all have a different missions to accomplish in this life. We need to be the person we are. I’ve decided to seek help from a therapist. I had put this off for a long time, because I thought I could do it all alone. I didn’t want help because I didn’t want it to be a big deal. But after giving it a lot of thought… I realize that it’s ok to receive help. So I will say upfront that I do need help. If anybody is struggling or going through a hard time, SEEK HELP. It’s ok to do so.
I’m still in the middle of this trial but I am working on getting better. And I am getting better. :) I KNOW that this trial will pass and I will learn from it. It will all work out. :)
Thanks to my sister Madison for taking my pictures!! I love you lots and lots. :))
I found this quote the other day, it’s kinda long so I just attached a picture of it so you all can read it. :) I think this is one of my favorite quotes.
Another really good quote :)
“There’s no lemon so sour that you can’t make something resembling lemonade. - My favorite TV show ever - This Is Us.
This is just a quick shout out to my best friend for always being there. She has done a lot for me during this hard time and hasn't given up on me. :) Thanks for all you do. I love you tons Cadee.
even when you make fun of how short I am. ;)
Hope you all have a good day!! Thanks for reading and being my great supporters. :)
God is the gardener here. He knows what he wants you to be. :)
Portugal was very similar to Spain - a lot of castles, old buildings, history, and a lot of fun. :)
We flew into Lisbon and rented a car, and drove all over Portugal and made our way back to Lisbon. We went to so many cool cities and even the long drives were amazing!! It was such a scenic view the whole way to our next destination. I would rate Portugal a two thumbs up. :)
Here are some pictures from Portugal!
Our first Sunday in Portugal we went to church and it seriously was so awesome! It was a branch and the smallest branch I had been to! There were only about 20 people (including kids). The people were so nice. I just thought it was cool that this small group came to worship Him. Going to church every Sunday and seeing so many different kinds of people live the gospel has been so beautiful for me to see. We are all part of God's army and seeking to follow and learn and return to him. God is good. :)
As we were driving around Portugal, my family listened to the book "Wonder" (by R.J. Palacio) if you haven't read it, you got to. I've read it like a million times. ;) But as we were listening to it in the car, I expanded my thoughts and related myself more to it. One of my thoughts after listening to this book was:
Sometimes I can get super like, "I don’t like this about myself, etc." (I'm talking about my looks) Now this isn’t often!!! But lets be honest we all can do it sometimes. A certain part that hit me in Wonder, reminded me that people really don’t care what you look like (they shouldn’t at least haha) but it's who you are on the inside!! In the book, Jack (Auggie's best friend) says, "You do get used to his face. The first couple of times, I was like, woah, I'm never going to get used to this. And then, after about a week, I was like, huh, it's not so bad."
One of my close friends was talking to me the other day about when she first saw me (which was in elementary school) and she said she definitely saw something but then she said now that she's known me for so long, its like its not even there. She doesn’t look at me that way. This actually really comforted me because it has made me realize, my friends don’t care how I look. They just care who I am on the inside.
Don't look on the outside to see who a person is, look on the inside. ;)