#diabetesawarenessmonth #doc #diabetesawareness (Looking back a few days later)

I really do wish that I had time for consistent blogging- My schedule is just as full as ever- and I enjoy the majority of it (except for classes). I am getting ready to lead two teen breakout sessions for TypeOne Nation; Atlanta in February and the South Summit in January. I am BEYOND excited for these opportunities. Dawgs for Diabetes is also going amazingly! I’ll be organizing and planning during the break.

Everyone tells me to stay in college forever, but there is so much I want to do, so many things I enjoy, so much I want to see and experience, and finally- I am not one of those who is okay with “C’s get degrees.” So of course, I spend my time making sure I do the work to my standards. I am also burned out on school, and I seriously need a break. I am excited for the days when blogging can be on a regular basis- along with writing, crafting, and reading (eventually I’ll be able to do more self-care what?). and I know there is even MORE out there for me to enjoy in the world. I want to go out there and DO something not just sit behind a text book or in a classroom. Do not get me wrong- I acknowledge the importance and how much I have learned.

As I take a break from my paper for International Social Work (which I’ll be posting about when I have a chance- writing about insulin access and diabetes education is getting me worked up). I wanted to take a bit to reflect on Diabetes Awareness Month.

November is over, which means my birthday has passed and I am 22. World Diabetes Day has passed, and Diabetes awareness month is over. It was a CRAZY and exciting month. Not including school and my internship. So much was going on. D4D, was filmed by CNN for CDN during this time. We spoke at two dorms about Diabetes, and we tabled for WDD. I was seriously so proud of us. I am so proud of how far this chapter has come, and it warms my heart. As of right now, when I graduate, I’ll miss the friends I have made here (but most want to move around the world like myself), and Dawgs for Diabetes.

I have been actively participating in Diabetes Awareness Month since I was about 14 when I learned about the blue circle- my how things have changed. I never saw it on any calendars. Organizations that I am a part of didn’t do a whole lot with it- but now things have changed so much already. I cannot wait to see where we go.

I saw more people living with Diabetes participating than I have before. I saw more campaigns and unity. I saw a lot of posts and action being taken. This all fills my heart with joy. Go us! Go Diabetes Community! Go DOC! Go Diabetes organizations! Go those impacted by Diabetes! Go Supporters!

my views on the following-

  • In the future, I hope to continue seeing more growth surrounding Diabetes Awareness Month.
  • I hope more people who are not living with or are directly impacted by Diabetes participate.
  • I hope that when people see the blue circle, they automatically think Diabetes.
  • I hope that the Diabetes community becomes more bonded.
  • I hope that I see more voices of those with Diabetes speaking out loud and participating.

I want to focus on the last two-

The Diabetes community is so scattered. Many people are fighting with one another. There are SO many different campaigns, that it is hard to find it all/be united/not be confused. How are we supposed to ask the rest of the world to listen and to respect us and to stand by our sides- when we don’t stand with one another? When we do not listen to one another. When we do not respect each other. When we are not united. Before we can expect everyone to change/listen, I honestly think within the Diabetes community we need to as well.

Do not get me wrong- I appreciate the caregivers, doctors, and diabetes organizations who stand up for us, and who raise awareness for us. They have seriously done so much and continue to do so much- BUT- those who are living with Diabetes are usually not as active. They are usually more silent. This has GREATLY improved this year. But don’t we want the world to hear our side of the story? Don’t we want to create the change? Don’t we want the change to help us?

I can see where this starts- I can see where children with Diabetes or others living with Diabetes start to fade into the background. They start leaving the Diabetes communities they are a part of- and very rarely do they stick it out or come back. Doesn’t that mean there’s a problem? Doesn’t that mean something needs to be fixed? I watch as kids and my friends grow up and stop attending walks. I watch as there are fewer older campers than there were younger campers (I know life happens and people have things going on and camp isn’t for everything). DKA and higher a1c’s increases as the teen years approach (which there are a lot of factors). I watch as mental health and Diabetes meet up and lead to Diabetes burnout. I have watched as more organizations acknowledge this is a problem. I have watched new organizations pop up for adults with Diabetes- but if the teens leave the the Diabetes Community- the likelihood of them finding their way back to become a part of these organizations is slim (in my opinion). I hope more continues to change. There is a gap here.

As I close out, Diabetes Awareness Month has ended for the rest of the world, but this month never truly ends for everyone impacted by Diabetes. I am truly thankful for all the people in my life who participated and stood up with me and the rest of the Diabetes community- those are the posts I love to see- from those who do not have to because that means a whole new group of people might be learning about Diabetes.

Again- Go US! Till Next Year? Psh. You know me better than that.

Diabetes Burnout- 1 year later

It’s really easy when hindsight bias is always around the corner; when the rest of the world looking in is pointing towards self-help books; when your a1c barely goes up; when you don’t believe it yourself. It’s especially easy when you ‘re looking in on yourself a year later (especially after an amazing weekend). As a social work major, I theoretically should have been practicing self-care, and taking care of my mental health. I should have been reaching out to the Diabetes community and my circle of friends and family. So many should haves.

You could have done this. You could have done that. These are the steps to take. You control your Diabetes. It’s not that hard. Others have it worse. Take a pump vacation. Just deal with it. -What myself and what others were telling me.

It’s not that simple in the moment. It’s not that easy to take advice and want to do anything at the moment. It’s not a snap of the fingers-quick-fix to accept it all again. Especially when you reach a certain level.

Even now, I have a hard time admitting it to the world let alone myself. I didn’t full acknowledge what was happening or what happened until mid-spring of 2014. I was still in the middle of it. But I was hiking up the mountain- trying not fall. I do not think I was “over” it until I arrived at camp in June.

I think this happens to everyone on occasion- at the end of a long day or a long week and Diabetes is not being a friend- and it is being who it truly is- a chronic illness- sometimes I forget about that. T1D- it’s a chronic illness. It’s something- that not everyone is living with.

When I looked in the mirror, I hated Diabetes and even asked why me. When I stared at my freckled fingers tips, I didn’t want to even check. I was leaving my meter at home, supposedly by accident, but was that a subconscious decision? The pump vacation didn’t work. I was doing even worse on shots. I dreaded changing my pump site- I was leaving it in longer than needed. I wasn’t rotating anymore either. I was concerned about diabetes management, but I was concerned that I was “failing.”

I didn’t want to talk Diabetes. I didn’t want to think Diabetes. I wanted out. I wanted the cure that had been promised to me when I was 17. Isn’t it a little late? Where is my cure? Are researchers trying hard enough? Does the FDA not want me to be happy? Do they and insurance companies and medical companies not really care about us?

There I was, the girl who all her life had paraded around; saying “I’m Diabetic” as her fun fact about herself; speaking about Diabetes to donors and groups and for school projects; bringing her friends to the walk every year; speaking endlessly about camp; knowing Diabetes inadvertently gave her a career and goals for the future; giving her a better understanding; and so much more.

But none of this was registering. None of this was at the forefront of my thinking.

I had been given the majority of the tools I needed to take care of myself and be positive. I somehow swerved out of the typical middle/high school experience. I had actually been warned. When I graduated high school, friends and doctors (especially doctors) warned me, this was a possibility. It happens to almost everyone, and you’ve been going full force all the time. I thought I was invincible. Surely, since I never felt that way in my teen years, it would escape me now.

But there I was in the fall, 2013, of my junior year of college just trying to get my blood sugars to cooperate with me, struggling to keep up with my commitments, my job, and my school work- and to be honest- not even doing a great enough job (at least- to my standards). My health at this point was at its worst in regards to my thyroid- my numbers were slightly out of range, but my body reacted poorly- which did not help. My insurance was giving me a hard time about getting supplies and endocrinologist appointments. I no longer had access to children medical services to assist when I turned 21 so that dark cloud was everywhere. This was one of the hardest semesters of classes I had taken. I was supposed to be studying for the LSAT already. I was also not feeling my best- physically, mentally, and emotionally. Events from my past were constant memories and nightmares. I was pushing people away. I was canceling endocrinologist appointments, but they also kept getting canceled. Finally, I was trying to do work with Dawgs for Diabetes because I wanted it to really take off- but that was a struggle.

But how do you do that when you hate the mention of Diabetes? How do you parade yourself and attempt outreach when all you want to do is hide from Diabetes? How do you speak to people about Diabetes and being positive and living and thriving when- at that moment you don’t believe it yourself.

I know everything took a hit. I can still see the remnants of my decisions and how I was feeling. I know that all things Diabetes took a hit at that time for me. (along with everything else in my life)

I was not blogging. You can see where I pretty much stopped. Claiming I would get back on track.

and this continued. and continued for months. as I wouldn’t admit out loud or even to myself. Going through the motions. This can happen to anyone. but not to me. These feelings come sporadically for people, and often it goes away- but occasionally it comes to stay for a while. The winter of 2013,/2014 things started to get easier, and in the spring- I realized and admitted what had happened. It started when I spoke to teens living with T1D at JDRF’s Type 1 Nation in Atlanta in February. My- this is it- I need to believe it. and then-

There I was at the College Diabetes Network Retreat at the beginning of the summer, and for some reason I said it out loud. I said the words I had acknowledged in the spring, but I wouldn’t dare say to a group of people who I had just met. I still do not know why I said it out loud, but just as quickly as it hit that fall- I said it Diabetes Burnout.

“Diabetes burnout is the term given to the state of disillusion, frustration and somewhat submission to the condition of diabetes.

Burnout can be characterized by a person’s complete disregard for their blood sugar levels.
They may also miss doctor appointments, forget or avoid taking insulin injections or other diabetic medication, or switch back to unhealthy eating habits.

Often it will be a state of mind that is reached after years of dealing with the condition.
Diabetes burnout is often marked by disregarding blood sugar levels and neglecting an individual’s diet.

What happens in diabetes burnout?
At times of diabetic burnout, a person will often participate in self-destructive behaviors.

Accounts of people who have experienced diabetic burnout report that they are seeking ‘freedom’ from this confining and often frustrating condition.

Burnout is also often accompanied by psychological changes such as:
• Stress
• Anxiety
• Depression
• Emotional states such as anger, resentment, shame, guilt and helplessness”

 

That’s what this was. In a nutshell with a few variations- because everyone is different.

What I really needed was time, and the people who wanted to be there for me. I truly wish I had opened my mouth  to reach out. But at the same time- I feel like Diabetes Burnout comes hand in hand with other events or stages in your life. Would I have experienced Burnout or to that extent if my thyroid had been dealt with and acknowledged by my previous doctor? Was the anxiety my thyroid or the burnout (etc, etc)? What if my class load had been different? What if, What if, What if?

What I do know- without Dawgs for Diabetes, I would not have been pulled out of it. If I had not been involved in CASA training, I wouldn’t have had something non-Diabetes to focus on.

I learned an extremely valuable lesson last year; self-care. It has been relentlessly thrown at me since high school and I would “practice” self care. But only when it was convenient for me. I’m a work-a-holic in training. and yes- I know I’m in social work, but still it didn’t click.

I’m looking at this a year later, and I can remember some things clearly. I dreaded Dawgs for Diabetes meetings. I wanted nothing to do with Diabetes awareness month. I didn’t even want to go to the JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes- I have never missed one since being diagnosed.

I think I am a part of the Diabetes generation that has been caught in the middle of everything- specifically change. With all of these resources and educational resources we are expected by society to practice perfect Diabetes management. We are expected to have THAT a1c. Pressure on us. Pressure on our families. The pressure to keep up with society’s standards is draining for everyone. Even if we preach that we don’t care about those standards, it still impacts us.

And I am JUST now starting to see more about Diabetes and Mental health. Why has it taken so long- Diabetes does impact our lives and our lives impacts our Diabetes? Is mental health not included?

And time- honestly time. No one wants to hear time. Everyone wants the quick fix. But sometimes, you have to do your best at that moment (even if it isn’t your usual) and allow time to run its course.

A year ago, I wouldn’t admit burnout. I wouldn’t acknowledge that this is what was going. This past weekend I had the most amazing weekend in my Diabetes “life” that probably tops most of my camp experiences; the JDRF Walk in Athens and the Campus Tour- I am surrounded by the most amazing people. A year ago- I did not think any of this would be possible in my wildest dreams.

But with time, and finally reaching out, and so many other things- the burnout faded into the background. and when I think of where I am now, and where I was- it seems like more than a year. I can’t believe I passed my classes. I can’t believe I studied for the LSAT, I can’t believe I kept up with commitments.

But why can’t I believe that- shouldn’t I know I can do it automatically? This is something I constantly struggle with but I have also improved upon this.

When I finally reached out to my friends- I realized who was truly supportive- and those who were- I am forever grateful. Not pushing me to speak. But listening when I finally did.

Self-care is now part of my weekly routine- even if I do absolutely nothing. I can see the difference when I utilize it- and when I don’t. I am still working on this- self-care is a struggle for me.

I make sure to be involved in things that have nothing to do with Diabetes and nothing to do with Social Work.

I know in the end that point in my life has made me stronger- I never want to go through it again, and I don’t want others to go through- but more than likely- they will- at some point. and to me- this is just as scary as DKA- another occasional nightmare to add to the list.

I think a few things are important to note-

  • Reach out- you may be surprised who will grab your hand to walk through a difficult journey with you or try to pull you out. Don’t close people out.
  • SELF-CARE- make sure that you are consistently doing things you enjoy- not including exercise, sleep, TV- I think something unique to you makes more of a difference. For me it’s reading, crafts, writing, and music.
  • It’s okay. This happens. Diabetes does not determine your worth. at all. you can’t be perfect.
  • Do what you can in the moment- even if it is sometimes going through the motions.
  • Be involved in something that makes a difference for others- the impact is amazing.
  • Back off from the Diabetes community if you need a break.
  • Know that you are a strong person even before you add the Diabetes to the mix.
  • Believe in yourself

These are just some of the things I took away from this. and after years of struggling with some of this- I have gotten better at applying it.

and everyone is different, and everyone experiences things differently. and I think Diabetes Burnout is similar to Diabetes- because we do not completely understand it yet. You Diabetes may vary, and everyone is on a different point in the Diabetes perspective spectrum.

from one of my favorite authors “Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.” J.K. Rowling (I didn’t completely rebuild- but I am such a different person than I was a year ago)

-Mindy

Why I Live for Today- in terms of Diabetes- a contradiction in my life. (so much talk of a cure)

In all honesty, I’m terrible at that whole live for today concept. I live by a John Mayer quote- “People say: ‘live for today’. I don’t think it’s right. You gotta live for the big picture.”

It’s really how I feel. I LOVE looking at what is ahead for me. When I’m stressed or upset; that light at the end of tunnel keeps me going. It serves as a reminder for why I am working so hard, and why I am putting in so many hours. It’s nice to think about when my hard work will pay off, or the next phase of this journey we call life. I also do like to look back on occasion and see how far I have come and how much I have changed and where I have been and where I have met.

I know I need to enjoy life’s little moments, or big moments, and I have gotten better at that- BUT I still live for the “big picture.”- and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I love Life’s Contradictions- well fun ones; hoodies and flip-flops, converse and dresses, etc etc.

But throughout my life, there has been one glaring contradiction that relates to Diabetes. Diabetes is the one place where I live for today in a sense. I have my whole life, and as I have “dealt” with my changing of plans for after graduation and with everything Diabetes News related, I have realized this fully.

When it comes to Diabetes, I live for today. I have to. I cannot focus on that cure supposedly coming down the track. I cannot put all of my “eggs in one basket” because I will be so focused on that I’ll miss out on what I might need.

When I got diagnosed in 2000, EVERYONE in the medical community kept telling me that a cure would arrive in 10 years when I was 17. When I was 14, I knew that wasn’t happening. Stem cell research had come to a halt, other possible cures had not worked or the complications were way too much. So my 17th birthday came and went, my 21st birthday is about turn into my 22nd birthday before I know it- and a cure- it’s still not here? But I have watched the news before my eyes; test trials are going on; new breakthroughs, etc etc. But honestly, I think of a cure as that date that stood you up, again and again, and you told yourself ‘this time will be different.’ But it’s not. It never has been. Someday, who knows when, there will be a cure I am sure- that new date who proves you wrong and shows up (early).  But scientific progress or new findings do not guarantee us a cure right now or even “soon.” I think it’s cool to watch and be up to date- but I cannot and will not say “this it- my cure is coming.” Because realistically, I don’t think it’s here yet. Research is definitely on the right track, but we are not there yet. not too mention all of that red tape and policy and making sure it is all okay- especially in the US, takes A LOT OF TIME.

Sometimes, I feel like the Diabetes community (and other people in general- ESPECIALLY the rest of the world) gets so caught up in a cure, they forget about the people and families who are living with Diabetes 24/7 right now. They forget that there is this whole mental health side to Diabetes. They forget that teens and young adults are still here. We are still living with Diabetes.

But we also forget all of the scientific advances that have been made- I would NEVER take a pump vacation if there hadn’t been a huge change; Regular and NPH anyone? being the only choice anyone? Now I can take a pump vacation. oh yeah and I wouldn’t have POLI- which I LOVE. I don’t have to change the code every single time I open a new bottle of strips. Meters have lights and can take less than 5 seconds. Pumps can calculate your insulin for you. You can have sweets! CGMs. and so much more. I am benefiting, along with many others, from research and breakthroughs that are not a cure- maybe looking for a cure lead us there- but my Diabetes management and even my mental health has benefited from all of that- and I won’t forget it.

I think if my parents and I put all our focus on a cure, I would be a different person today. Instead I have focused on taking care of myself because who knows when a cure will come. I don’t want to wait my life away waiting for a cure; I have stuff to do. I have places to see. I have Dawgs for Diabetes and the College Diabetes Network to be a part of. I want to make sure that teens and young adults don’t get lost or left out of the Diabetes community. I have little moments to enjoy. I have ideas and hopes and dreams I want to follow and tackle with my clumsy grace. I have a CASA kid in foster care who needs me. I have school. I have a big city to move to soon. I have to travel. I have to meet new people- AND SO MUCH MORE.

and if I focus on that cure- would I stop trying to take care of myself? Would I get so hopeful, and then possibly let down because a cure didn’t work- I feel like that happens a lot for people- and your mental health takes a hit.

I’m not saying- don’t get excited- by all means get excited- but use your critical thinking and make sure that’s not the only thing you are living for in terms of Diabetes Management.

I’m not saying don’t stay up to date. Be informed. that is SO important.

I’m not saying there won’t be a cure. There will be- SOMEDAY.

I am saying- please don’t send me articles that say Diabetes is cured; or article after article. I might like to just talk to you? Instead of just speak in Diabetes Articles- feel free to send them- but maybe ask how I am doing or tell me how you are doing?

Because honestly, I have probably seen and read it; I am VERY involved in the Diabetes Community, and I read the news (from many different sources- always check EVERY bias).

I like to think of it in the view of People’s First Language- I am MORE than a possible cure. I don’t know when that cure will be. In my lifetime? I really don’t know. But until we have one, in terms of Diabetes management and self care, I need and have to live for today.

Until next time!

-Mindy

It’s just data.

D4D Newsletter

I have elaborated on a few of these. Enjoy.

I’m more than a number.

  • a1c, blood sugar readings, blood tests don’t tell the whole story. These are just numbers that guide me to better Diabetes management. I am not simplified to a little number on a screen. It’s just data. This is NOT a reflection of who I am as a person or even the work I put into my Diabetes management. I cannot be belittled by a number. I cannot put everything into one number. I cannot let this reflect the value of myself as a person. There are no Good or Bad Blood Sugars….

I’m more than a future possible complication.

  • Enough Said. Please do not tell me how I am going to (insert possible complication here) in the future or because of one blood sugar.

I’m more than my diagnosis.

  • Getting diagnosed on my Diabirthday was not the end of the world. It was not when I would stop living- it was when I started. That is where my life begins- it’s one of my first memories that are clear as day. BUT. That is not all of who I am. I got diagnosed with Diabetes- but I am LIVING and THRIVING with Diabetes. There is so much more to me.

I’m more than a Diabetes joke.

  • KitKat lasagna- DOES NOT MEAN DIABETES. STOP THAT NOW.  Pan of cookies does not equal Diabetes. I could keep going. These are cruel and mean and ignorant and so much more more. Just stop. Stop the jokes. They are NOT funny. Educate yourselves.

I’m more than an insurance policy.

I’m more than a dollar sign.

I’m more than a statistic.

I’m more than a “sad story.”

  • When I send my JDRF, Camp, or D4D letters to get donations. I briefly mention how many times I have to check my blood sugar or change my site. Honestly- that number surprises me. I focus on all that I have accomplished. My focus isn’t despite having diabetes. I just share all that I have accomplished. This is NOT despite diabetes. These are just my accomplishments. I don’t want people to feel bad for me. I don’t want them to say look at what she has done even with Diabetes. I want people to say- look at her accomplishments, and we should offer our support because she is so passionate about (insert here).

I often find myself thinking this when I interact with the world, but I also needed to be reminded sometimes. I can get caught up in numbers and comments and insurance nonsense, but there’s more to me and Diabetes than that.

 

Plans Change! Why I did. (Part 2 of 2)

Part 1 of this post!

“That was that. I had my plan. My plans don’t change much unless I have room for them to change. Well- until this summer when I decided to change my plans- well actually I delayed and kind of changed them. AND for those who do not know me. I like to plan and I do not like to change plans. This hasn’t been easy, and I’m still adjusting. “

I’m still going to a major U.S. city in the North after I graduate. I will be going to Law School, but not right now. That’s the change. I changed my plans without another plan already in place, and for those of you who know me- that is a scary thing. I did A LOT of thinking this summer- after going back and forth, making lists, talking with loved ones, thinking, research, and so much more- I made my decision.

A lot of people mentioned taking a break before law school, but it was never on my radar. I didn’t want to lose momentum. The question of health insurances is ALWAYS on the brain; Diabetes will do that to you. And it’s what I wanted to do.

Well, after Junior year of college- honestly probably harder than my Freshman year. The combo of Diabetes Burnout and school work and how busy I was all added up. I started to feel burnout on school; I was over it. I was ready to be done. I was ready to graduate. But in my head I wanted to keep pushing through.

This summer- I realized that might not be so good. If I am burned out right now for senior year, how am I going to feel about 3-4 more years of school? Not just school- law school and grad school!

I took the LSAT, and according to the world- I did pretty well. BUT- to my standards, I didn’t do as well as I wanted to. I want to do well enough to not just get into a top 50 (Tier 1) Law school, but I also would love to get as much of it paid for as possible.

This summer when I got my scores back, I decided I wanted to take it again. The next test is in October, and I wanted a break from studying for it. I also couldn’t imagine studying adequately with everything going (including feeling better). I will be taking the LSAT in February as of now- I do not want to take the LSAT during my year or so off. I want a complete and total school break.

The Thyroid stuff didn’t help at all. My new endo is thinking Thyroiditis, and she feels bad that nothing was done until my number got back to normal which is recent. From what I’ve read and hear, it takes a while to get back to normal.
I’m starting to feel better. My hair isn’t falling out like it was. My skin isn’t as dry. I’m not getting as over-heated. I stopped taking aleve (for sleep and so I wouldn’t ache and feel crummy during the day). Exercising isn’t painful- I am getting my strength back. I’m not feeling as anxious. I still have problems focusing- but it’s better. Plus so much more. I’m not all the way better, but I’m on my way- it takes a while. I kind of threw myself into my normal pace a little too quickly. But I wanted to get back to normal- well my normal. I cannot imagine studying for the LSAT and applying to law school when I still don’t feel all the way better- and what if it takes a while to get there? I want to make sure I study adequately and fully for the LSAT, and I want my applications to represent me correctly.

There is also so much going on this year. I feel just as busy as ever even without my part time job. Dawgs for Diabetes is taking off. My senior year with classes and internships is crazy. Plus the other things I am involved in, and hobbies and such. 
As I am thinking about it- I cannot imagine applying to law school or taking the LSAT right now. Instead I am throwing myself into Dawgs for Diabetes and other activities I enjoy. I’m making sure I relax.

This is what I need to do in all honesty. It feels right to me. For some, it took people a lot of convincing that law school was the way I should go- because it wasn’t in their plans or their views- sorry too bad. But now they have to be convinced of this again? Some people accepted my major (Social Work) because I was going to law school, and now they are questioning this because I am not going right away.. I enjoy my major thank you very much. My career/life aspirations are “too liberal” “why does it matter?” “you won’t make any money” “the north is not the place for you/why would you want to move to the city?” Well too bad. Are you me? Is this your life? And typically- did I even ask you?

I’ll follow my own dreams and “plan changes,” shouldn’t you think about focusing on your own?
“Let the refining and improving of your own life keep you so busy that you have little time to criticize others.” –H. Jackson Brown JR

Making this change is hard enough as it is honestly. I’m still accepting it myself. I’m still adjusting to making a change without having a plan already set. I have moments where I freak out a little bit still, and they have become less frequent than this summer. That’s how I live my life. Everyone says you can’t plan your life out- well I try to plan a lot of it out as much as I can. I have always accepted there are some things you cannot control, but I enjoy planning. I enjoy working towards something.

Someone in my life told me that they are more proud of me for this decision than they would be if I had gotten into Harvard Law school- because changing plans is hard for me, and I am doing what I need to do for myself.

But having people making comments and judgments and disapproving- it’s a little hard. I do typically run with I don’t care what others think. It’s true to an extent. I don’t really care about what the world thinks. But it can still hurt- especially coming from people in your life that you care about.

I am tired of having to justify myself. Explain myself. Hear that someone found out and passed judgment. Decision made. No offense- but what you have to say won’t change my mind. My mind is set.

It’s a little hard thinking that right now- in my plan- I should have been applying to law schools right now (or early October- depending on when applications open). It’s also hard because I keep getting emails from Law schools- some even on my list- telling me to apply, that my application fee is waived, that I already qualify for scholarships and grants. Until later right?

I have some ideas; there are definitely some solid and hopeful options for my time off. – and I cannot wait to explore them and find out more about them. I have hope and  hopes for my time off. I also haven’t set a time frame yet- it depends on what I end up doing. I want to make sure that I am making a difference with my time off in a city doing something I enjoy- and that’s what matters.

Who knows exactly where I will be in a year? And in all honesty- It’s terrifying and exciting all at the same time. But that’s how life can be. All I can do is try my hardest and make a new plan over this school year. Let’s see what comes my way. (while I still freak out and adjust to not having a plan at the same time).

Stay tuned for updates! I cannot wait to share when I do have plan!

-Love, Words, Inspiration, and Insulin! -Until next time! and Until We Have a Cure!

Plans change? What lead me here- (Part 1 of 2)

 

Plans change right? Things happen and you need to adjust? That’s part of life, right?
That’s not typically how I “roll.” Basically I have planned out my future for as long as I can remember, and besides right now- I have only switched once, at least for major plans. I don’t remember exactly how long I wanted to be a vet, but I wanted to be a vet since I was a child until the age of 14/15 when I realized that two subjects, science and math, were not my thing. Not that I cannot do math or science, and not because I am a girl who was “taught” to not be into it. I realized I did not enjoy it, and how was I supposed to be a vet while disliking science and math. Yeah- NO. My love for animals still has not changed, but I do not want it as a career.

As I realized I did not want to be a vet, I started to realize my other passions and strengths. I started thinking about what I had done up to this point in my life. These were not a certain subject in school, but some subjects were geared towards what I wanted to do.
I am FOREVER grateful for our theatre director. I chose theatre on a whim. I did not intend on continuing with theatre after I took introduction. I wanted to be more outgoing, and many said a theatre class was the way to go. Needless to say, I feel in love, and I stayed in theatre for all four years of high school. I started to get more involved my sophomore year. It took the quite girl who never spoke, and changed her. I consider myself to be an introvert in some situations, and an extrovert in other situations. It really depends on where I am, what I’m doing and who I’m with. I developed my skills as a speaker which I still utilize to this day. I had a group of friends. I was receiving constructive criticism and an adult who believed in me at the same time. Theatre gave me so much more though. I could go on forever. Theatre and Band- shaped my high school existence, and who I am today. Although I have not continued with those things in college I still appreciate everything they gave me.
My sophomore year, I was also in an AP Government Class and an AP Language class. These classes, and my AP Lit class from Junior year, truly prepared me for college. I was pushed in both of those classes. I was encouraged and again given constructive criticism again in these classes. AP Lit and AP GOV scared me and pushed me to my limits. AP Language did this, but we also had to give a speech on a topic, and although I did crash and burn because my subject was all over the place. I realized I enjoyed speaking. In AP GOV, I realized that I did enjoy history, but I REALLY enjoyed the topics of government and law.
I am not sure I have written my AHA moment for sure- and I will look into this- if not, I will provide a more detailed one later on.
Sophomore year, because of a multitude of factors, my mom and I got the head nurse in hall county involved in school because we needed a space for Diabetes supplies- but not just Diabetes supplies. Diabetes is not the only thing in the world. Literally, no one had a place to go if something happened- no one had a safe place to store supplies. That changed. We got a part time nurse, a room, and a fridge for medical supplies. What? We also had a meeting with other students with Diabetes in our school. We talked about a lot including but not limited to; 504 Plans, safety, stigma, and much more. The feeling I had after all of this was life changing for me. It felt so good to have done something that I didn’t just benefit from.
Through that situation, and my classes, I realized what I wanted to do. I had an AHA moment of sorts. That AHA moment was that I needed to go to law school so that I could be an advocacy lawyer. Over time I realized that the right major would be Social Work, and that is still my major. It took a while for some of my friends and family to get on board, and some thought it was perfect for me.
I would go straight into law school after undergrad- that was the plan. I wasn’t sure exactly where I wanted to go, but I knew a major city was where I needed to be. I knew I would need to like the schools I would be attending, but how much I get would be a determining factor. I wasn’t set on undergrad, and in the end it was between Iowa State and UGA. UGA won in the end- in state tuition, HOPE scholarship, and the fact that I had wanted to go to UGA since I was young all made my decision easy when I received my acceptance.
That was that. I had my plan. My plans don’t change much unless I have room for them to change. Well- until this summer when I decided to change my plans- well actually I delayed and kind of changed them. AND for those who do not know me. I like to plan and I do not like to change plans. This hasn’t been easy, and I’m still adjusting.

Part 2

-Love, Words, Inspiration, and Insulin! -Until next time! and Until We Have a Cure!

Wait. Where did August Go??

I’m a little in disbelief right now. How is it already September 5? How did I just complete my 3rd week of classes, and better yet survive? How am I already into my senior of college with the real world right around the corner? I find myself asking is this real life?

Spoiler- I will not be going straight into law school- more on that to come- with my experience about getting ready so far- Law school is just delayed for now.

My schedule for the next 9 (well 8 now) months-

  • Monday- 8-4 Internship
  • Tuesday- 8-4 Internship
  • Wednesday- 9-3 Class
  • Thursday 12-4 Internship
  • Friday 9-1 Class

This does not include the meetings I have sporadically on Thursday mornings. Dawgs for Diabetes. CASA. Camp For a Cause (now that I can be more involved). A Social Life. DSAB. JDRF. CDN. Camp Kudzu things. etc etc.

What’s missing?

…………….a job. BUT- after being on constant freak out mode since I “lost” my job in July. I am now enjoying not having a job. For the first time in forever- I am not working (I include babysitting). Don’t get me wrong- I am still looking for a job, but I am no longer stressing. I am enjoying it. I forgot what a real weekend was, and it took a little adjustment. But I can devote times to other things- and you know I am just as busy as always.

Senior year with social work? It’s a little crazy. This has been an off week for me- procrastinating like no other. Time management I do okay with- but my workaholic in training tendencies are my problem. I also realized that everything I do has social work flavor to it- and without my job I’m not taking a legitimate mental break from everything. So I need to figure that out. The problem is I enjoy things social work related- so I’m in the right major.

I have senioritis- but THANKFULLY- I am in a wonderful placement for my internship- apparently the professor knew where I needed to be more than I even knew. So those 2.5 days a week will tide me over in my 2 full days of classes right? I’m registered for 17 hours of classes- 11 spent in class during the week and the other 6 for my 20 hour internship. But so far I really enjoy my internship- I also feel that I am going to learn SO much and gain so much experience from all sides of social work! I also really enjoy my International Social Work Class! So it gets me through. Sundays MUST be school work day- what I keep telling myself.

Dawgs for Diabetes? Well honestly- this is OUR year- I am so excited to see where my last year with D4D will take us. I am even getting comfortable with delegating (shocker).

Not knowing where I will be next year by spring semester is slightly scary for me honestly- I have always known what is next- but now with law school on hold- I am not sure. I am even toying with the idea of also getting my Masters in Nonprofit Management? Who knows- What I do know? I WILL be in a major city in the northeast.

I’m supposed to be studying right now- but I decided I needed to post so I could expand on law school soon- luckily my roommate is in a productive mindset- she encouraged me to come, and hopefully the productivity rubs off on me? We’ll see. Friday is a struggle- but with a coffee in my hand and a good atmosphere who knows what I’ll get done- I mean I finally cranked out a post right?

 

Blog posts to come

  • Why I love the DRC
  • Law School planning experience
  • What’s Next?
  • Diabetes Burnout
  • Why “adults” need camp

-Love, Words, Inspiration, and Insulin! -Until next time! and until there’s a cure!