How My Tragedy Became My Passion

It was the fall of 2010 that change my life forever. I was a freshman in high school going through many changes in my life already and just trying to find out what I wanted to do in the next four years. Then something tragic happened that I would never forget.  On October 19, 2010 my longtime friend Daniel, who had cerebral palsy and a brain tumor, lost his battle to the cancer.

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How My Sister’s Invisible Illness Turned Into My Personal Mission To Make the Invisible Seenory

My sister Stephanie and I were born 5 years apart. I was born with Hemiplegia Spastic Cerebral Palsy,  so our relationship as sisters has always been unique. Stephanie grew up as self-sufficient, and extremely stubborn. She always knew better than anyone one else. She had the makings of a great defense attorney.

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Command Presence

I’m an introvert with an outgoing mind, the shy kid in the back of class, timidly raising my hand as if to say, "I have a voice, but I'm terrified my words will come out wrong." I only got my Masters because I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life, and I was terrified of living a wasted life. Wealth was always secondary to being meaningful, and, to me, being meaningful meant I wanted my day job to be something I was proud of because it helped others as much as the paycheck benefited me.

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One Day at a Time

The day my mother gave me a journal to help me cope with my grandmother’s suicide undoubtedly changed my life forever. That seemingly benign gesture, when I was ten years old, laid the groundwork for my life as a writer. Following this continuum, and after a serious health crisis, I made a decision which went against my character. I accomplished something I never thought I would be able to do.

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In the Mirror I See Who I was Meant to Be

I came to the realization very recently that I’ve changed a lot as a person. This whole embracing change attitude has really made a shift in me. Life can show you who and what matters in an instant. I am not sure how to put this, but I don’t miss the old me at all. I always used to feel timid, scared, apprehensive. Like I was back in middle school and even high school. 

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The Moment I Broke the Cycle of Anxiety, Insecurity, and Perfectionism

I was standing in a sea of college seniors, moments away from graduating.  I gently caressed the pure white tassel on my cap, poised to turn it at any second.  

In that moment, I did not worry about how many people were graduating with a higher GPA than mine.

In that moment, I did not convince myself that I did not belong at my own graduation ceremony.

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Water Protectors

In November, like many people, I watched a horrifying video of North Dakota Police backed by private mercenaries from Tiger Swan fire a water canon into a crowd of peaceful protestors, severely injuring several of them. It wasn’t the first moment that I had heard of the Water Protectors efforts against the Dakota Access Pipeline but it hit the hardest. I was a soldier. I served my country for five years and this… this offended me. And I wasn’t the only one. Veterans Stand for Standing Rock was started because of that video.

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