28 January 2008

Cause for Celebration?

I know it's still almost 2 months from now but it's just something that I was thinking about... 15 March 2008 will mark 8 years of living with diabetes. 2920 days. 12000 tests or so. Countless injections. Tears. Laughter. A lot has happened in 8 years, I've graduated high school and college, found AYUDA, went to ecuador, moved... a lot, and just had the ups and downs of daily life. Things keep happening even though at times you wished they would just stop. You force yourself to stand even though you're not sure if your knees are strong enough to hold the weight of your body, still you stand.
I was just wondering if anyone else 'celebrates' their anniversary. I've always done something small... usually with my mom but I've been thinking of doing something bigger... like taking a trip... trying to take time off and get away for the weekend, maybe alone, maybe with friends... I don't know. Do you do anything special to commemorate this crazy life-changing day?! If not, why?

24 January 2008

Finding My Way

I read this at a time when I really needed it and I hope it might open your eyes and see things the way the are; not as they necessarily should be.
A time comes in your life when you finally get it... When in the midst of all your fears and insanity you stop dead in your tracks and somewhere the voice inside your head cries out - ENOUGH! Enough fighting and crying or struggling to hold on. And, like a child quieting down after a blind tantrum, your sobs begin to subside, you shudder once or twice, you blink back your tears and through a mantle of wet lashes and tear stained cheeks you begin to look at the world through new eyes. This is your awakening. You realize that it's time to stop hoping and waiting for something to change or for happiness, safety and security to come galloping over the next horizon. You come to terms with the fact that he is not Prince Charming and you are not Cinderella and that in the real world there aren't always fairy tale endings (or beginnings for that matter) and that any guarantee of "happily ever after" must begin with you and in the process a sense of serenity is born of acceptance. You awaken to the fact that you are not perfect and that not everyone will always love, appreciate or approve of who or what you are... and that's OK. (They are entitled to their own views and opinions.) And you learn the importance of loving and championing yourself and in the process a sense of new found confidence is born of self-approval. You stop complaining and blaming other people for the things they did to you (or didn't do for you) and you learn that the only thing you can really count on is the unexpected. You learn that people don't always say what they mean or mean what they say and that not everyone will always be there for you and that it's not always about you. So, you learn to stand on your own and to take care of yourself and in the process a sense of safety and security is born of self-reliance. You stop judging and pointing fingers and you begin to accept people as they are and to overlook their shortcomings and human frailties and in the process a sense of peace and contentment is born of forgiveness. You realize that much of the way you view yourself, and the world around you, is as a result of all the messages and opinions that have been ingrained into your psyche. And you begin to sift through all the crap you've been fed about how you should behave, how you should look and how much you should weigh what you should wear and where you should shop and what you should drive how and where you should live and what you should do for a living, who you should sleep with, who you should marry and what you should expect of a marriage, the importance of having and raising children or what you owe your parents. You learn to open up to new worlds and different points of view. And you begin reassessing and redefining who you are, what you really stand for. You learn the difference between wanting and needing and you begin to discard the doctrines and values you've outgrown, or should never have bought into to begin with and in the process you learn to go with your instincts. You learn that it is truly in giving that we receive. And that there is power and glory in creating and contributing and you stop maneuvering through life merely as a "consumer" looking for your next fix. You learn that principles such as honesty and integrity are not the outdated ideals of a bygone era but the mortar that holds together the foundation upon which you must build a life. You learn that you don't know everything, it's not your job to save the world and that you can't teach a pig to sing. You learn to distinguish between guilt and responsibility and the importance of setting boundaries and learning to say NO. You learn that the only cross to bear is the one you choose to carry and that martyrs get burned at the stake. Then you learn about love. Romantic love and familial love. How to love, how much to give in love, when to stop giving, and when to walk away. You learn not to project your needs or your feelings onto a relationship. You learn that you will not be more beautiful, more intelligent, more lovable or important because of the man on your arm or the child that bears your name. You learn to look at relationships as they really are and not as you would have them be. You stop trying to control people, situations and outcomes. You learn that just as people grow and change so it is with love.... and you learn that you don't have the right to demand love on your terms... just to make you happy. And, you learn that alone does not mean lonely... You look in the mirror and come to terms with the fact that you will never be a size 2 or a perfect 10 and you stop trying to compete with the image inside your head and agonizing over how you "stack up". You also stop working so hard at putting your feelings aside, smoothing things over and ignoring your needs. You learn that feelings of entitlement are perfectly OK.... and that it is your right to want things and to ask for the things that you want...and that sometimes it is necessary to make demands. You come to the realization that you deserve to be treated with love, kindness, sensitivity and respect and you won't settle for less. And, you allow only the hands of a lover who cherishes you to glorify you with his touch... and in the process you internalize the meaning of self-respect. And you learn that your body really is your temple. And you begin to care for it and treat it with respect. You begin eating a balanced diet, drinking more water and taking more time to exercise. You learn that fatigue diminishes the spirit and can create doubt and fear. So you take more time to rest. And, just as food fuels the body, laughter fuels our soul. So you take more time to laugh and to play. You learn, that for the most part, in life you get what you believe you deserve... and that much of life truly is a self-fulfilling prophecy. You learn that anything worth achieving is worth working for and that wishing for something to happen is different from working toward making it happen. More importantly, you learn that in order to achieve success you need direction, discipline and perseverance. You also learn that no one can do it all alone and that it's OK to risk asking for help. You learn that the only thing you must truly fear is the great robber baron of all time... FEAR itself. You learn to step right into and through your fears because you know that whatever happens you can handle it and to give in to fear is to give away the right to live life on your terms. And you learn to fight for your life and not to squander it living under a cloud of impending doom. You learn that life isn't always fair, you don't always get what you think you deserve and that sometimes bad things happen to unsuspecting, good people. On these occasions you learn not to personalize things. You learn that God isn't punishing you or failing to answer your prayers. It's just life happening. And you learn to deal with evil in its most primal state - the ego. You learn that negative feelings such as anger, envy and resentment must be understood and redirected or they will suffocate the life out of you and poison the universe that surrounds you. You learn to admit when you are wrong and to build bridges instead of walls. You learn to be thankful and to take comfort in many of the simple things we take for granted, things that millions of people upon the earth can only dream about: a full refrigerator, clean running water, a soft warm bed, a long hot shower. Slowly, you begin to take responsibility for yourself by yourself and you make yourself a promise to never betray yourself and to never ever settle for less than your heart's desire. You hang a wind chime outside your window so you can listen to the wind. And you make it a point to keep smiling, to keep trusting, and to stay open to every wonderful possibility. Finally, with courage in your heart and with God by your side you take a stand, you take a deep breath and you begin to design the life you want to live as best as you can.
I'm not perfect, I'm not trying to be. I'm just trying to be a better version of me, to make myself happy, not anyone else. For me, it's easy to make other people happy, to put them before me, to make things easier for someone else. Slowly, I am learning to do things for myself. Take working out for example. I'm not going to the gym 6 or 7 times a week for someone else... to get my body in shape so some guy might think I look good... I do it for myself so I think I look good. Over time I've learned the importance of caring for others but have left myself in the shadows, for once, I want to be the one in the sun. Don't I deserve that? Haven't I been through enough in my life? I think so. The things I want and the things I need are not necessarily the same. I don't need anyone to make me happy but I do want certain people in my life who make me feel that way. It's a consious decision, don't take it for granted.

16 January 2008

Help AYUDA Win!!

So I talk a lot about AYUDA so you most likely know a little bit about the organization.... ooor maybe not.... AYUDA is an amazing non-profit [citizen-sector] organization that helps children with type 1 diabetes lead healthier, happier lives. AYUDA holds a summer camp [Campo Amigo] for children with type 1 throughout the developing world. Our first camp was in Ecuador and we have continued having Campo Amigo for over 10 years in Ecuador. There are now programs in places like Bolivia, Bermuda, Croatia, Mexico and Belize.... I have been a volunteer at Campo Amigo Ecuador for the last three summers. AYUDA is a small but growing non-profit, always in search of help. Which leads me to my point - Parade Magazine is having a contest in which AYUDA could win $50,000!!! All you have to do is donate a little bit yourself. The organization with the most donors [not the greatest donations] wins. Below I have posted the link and I hope you are able to donate, if not pass on the word!! The contest ends at the end of this month [january] so spread the word fast!! To learn more about AYUDA please visit the ever-changing website. To donate and help AYUDA win $50,000 please click on the link below or on the cute little widget on the left side of your screen :)


Thank you for supporting!!!
Much love.

15 January 2008

There is a difference!

UGH!! [[I need to rant. Caution: run-on sentences and grammatical errors ahead. You have been warned.]]
Life with diabetes can definitely be frustrating. Something that frustrates me even more is that people have no idea what the heck type 1 is vs. type 2. I'm sitting here reading a book... which I will not reveal... and it keeps mentioning how horrible diabetes is and how it can be preventable and how it is associated with obesity and not once in any of those above statements does it say that he is talking about type 2. Come on people, seriously. Maybe it only bothers me because I'm type 1... but still there is a difference. Type 1 is crappy and type 2 is sucks, too... older, set in your ways, blah blah poor fat you. Yes, it is preventable [for the most part]. Yes, it is associated with obesity. BUT HELLO! Type 1 is not, which is unfortunately labeled by the same nomenclature... diabetes. ::sigh:: I want to re-name type 1. I don't want to be grouped into the same category as type 2 anymore. Any suggestions? Yes, I was diagnosed at 16 and not at 6 but that does not make me type 2. But yet I still have diabetes. Great example of people's misguidedness of diabetes... I was sitting on a plane waiting for 30 minutes to take off when I decided to eat my lunch. I test my blood sugar and begin eating. When I finish eating I take my shot. The guy next to me turns to me and says "So, how long have you been type 2?" No lie. So I say to him, "actually... I'm type 1." He shuts up. I guess he actually knew the difference, which is rare. Just because I am in my 20s does not mean I no longer have type 1. I still have type 1. I will not magically rid myself of diabetes nor will I turn into a type 2 because I got older.
I feel like I've written this post before. Maybe I've just thought about it for so long it seems like I should have already.
Back to my point... Ok... I don't think people other than people with diabetes care that there are more than one kind or that one is associated with the haunting image of obesity running rampant through America and the other is genetic [according to popular belief] and unavoidable... for this I highly doubt anyone will care enough to change the name. I'm fine with being type 1. That's just dandy. Then type 2 should be type 2. Things need to be labeled properly. X's with X's and O's with O's. I'm an X, thank you. There is a difference. I don't want to be lumped into the same category as someone with type 2. I eat well, exercise daily and did not allow my pancreas the opportunity to stop functioning properly when I was 16 by stuffing my face full of fat... it just did it all by itself. I have even read articles posted by the ADA not mentioning which type they were talking about... and it was usually type 2. While I do understand where the confusion comes from... there is a difference. And the ADA of all things. Come on!!! Seriously!? This is why so many people are confused and cram them into the same disease. They are not the same disease, they work in different ways, they have different catalysts. I'm not going to go on and on and explain what the difference is, I just don't feel like doing that right now... maybe some other post. Go read Diabetes for Dummies if you're that curious. It bothers me. Maybe it shouldn't. Maybe I'm being trivial. But it bothers me nonetheless. There is a difference.

Not in the majority.

03 January 2008


This blog doesn't have much ado about diabetes... but anywho... here it is.
It is, yet again, another new year... and I have welcomed it appropriately. Time seems to have escaped me in 2007. Where did it all go? What did I do? Geez. Where am I? What am I doing in this crazy place? But more importantly... what have I learned?
What I have learned, or come to realize, in 2007:
* I am full of questions and few answers but that's the way uh- huh uh-huh I like it. I'd rather be more inquisitive than less than lackluster. I like learning generally. More specifically, I enjoy understanding. However, I've come to know that not everything is meant to be understood. Just take it for what it is and live with it. Somethings are incapable of change as are many people.
* No matter how much you beg the universe you cannot make someone love you. You can only hope he/she realizes your sheer awesomeness and then accept the decisions made by those involved.
* I am southern. I do not have an east coast mentality, personality... insert any other words that end in -ality.
* I enjoy living in new places.
*Somethings in life are free but still should not be given away freely.
* I don't want much but apparently it is still too much to ask for.
* I will always have diabetes - as long as there is a president in office who is opposed to the funding of and research of stem cells.
* Politics are important.
* I will always have diabetes.
* Only the strong survive, survival is an aquired knowledge.
* My mind will run rampant if I let it.
[there may be more but so far... that's all I can come up with]
As this time is a time to make resolutions and swear to the high heavens that we will in fact change that thing about ourselves that we've been meaning to change for the last 8 new years... I resolve to enjoy the journey and accept whatever comes to me. I am no stranger to change and take my days in the manner of which I am acustom to... I'm rather laid-back to say the least. Unless you harm someone/thing that I deeply care for. That's another topic though probably for another time.
I will not make any resolutions to lose weight, save more money, be nicer to... anyone, be more social or whatever other things people tell themselves. I will not because it is something that I constantly need to work on. Saying that now that it is the year 2008, will make no difference to my personal progress to wear a different size pant.
I have written before on change and it is a never ending cycle if you allow it. You should allow it. I have learned more about myself, relationships, friendships, cultures and life due to the changes that have either come willingly or were forced upon me. As they say... change is good. I'm ready for more.
Happy 2008. Enjoy the ride.