I-dropped-out

someone wanted to know my academic background/majors 

i was a double science major in school (although i dropped out of school for personal reasons)

biology with a concentration in ecology/evolution & environmental science with a concentration in urban ecology/conservation biology.

i landed a paid research assistant position after my freshman year of college that focused on atmospheric ozone levels in Chicago. later on, i was able to use my research from my internship at the lincoln park zoo for my thesis which focused on behavioral patterns of captive animals. 

anonymous asked:

i got into overwatch cause my thirst for reaper was so strong. it was getting popular and i was kinda like "meh looks cool, that 76 guy is attractive" then i saw some reaper fanart and immediately dropped 50 bucks on the origins edition. i was doomed from the start.

76 was the popular gateway drug wasn’t  he

 I remember everyone being all over him when it first came out. I mean a lot of them still are but like, man there was a lot of thirsty people out there craving that specific old man dick. 

“I got pregnant when I was twenty-two. It wasn’t planned. The father and I weren’t even in a relationship. But I thought I could handle it on my own. I felt like a modern woman. I was in law school. I wanted to be a diplomat. But oh man, it was hard. I wasn’t emotionally prepared to deal with it. Society doesn’t treat the child of an unwed mother like a blessing. When you’re married and pregnant, people come up and ask all kinds of questions: ‘Is it a boy? Is it a girl? How are you feeling?’ But that doesn’t happen when you’re single. People saw me getting fatter, but everyone avoided the subject. Instead they asked each other: ‘What happened? Do you know anything?’ I felt invisible. I dropped out of law school because I felt so ashamed. Thankfully a few close friends carried me through. My daughter is eighteen now. Everything turned out fine. But I wish I could have enjoyed my pregnancy more.”

(Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)

Six Years and Seven Days

This is pretending that Bellamy could hear Clarke talking all those years, she just can’t hear him responding, and that the ship at the end is them coming back to Earth. 

So…pain. 


Day Three

“Bellamy…are you up there? Are you alive? Is anyone alive?”

Static.

“I only woke up yesterday. At least, I think it was yesterday. I barely made it into the bunker in time, but I made it. And the computer says it’s been three days since the radiation hit, and I was so hungry I thought I might die. Please tell me you didn’t die.”

Silence.

“Bellamy, my mom was right. In a way. My face is disgusting, covered in boils. You’d be laughing at me…probably. Because she was right but so were you. I’m not dead Bellamy. I hope you aren’t either.”

His fingers slammed on the respond button, pushing it down to the point of it feeling like it would crack from the pressure.

“I’m not dead, Clarke. I’m not dead.”

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please help me

i really hate doing this i really really do but it’s come to the point where i physically, emotionally and mentally cannot take it anymore.

my family physically, emotionally and mentally abuses me.

long story short, i live in an abusive household. my parents are forcing me into debt by threatening me to go to university (when my job career path does not call for it). 

i cannot come out, i am not safe. they do not believe in mental illness and have THREATENED ME (physically as well) if i chose to take medication (which i desperately need for my mental illnesses, i still take it even with the backlash from my parents). they have threatened to kick me out and block my bank card and phone if i do not go to school, even when i dont need and and they make me take a ridiculous amount of classes, hence digging my own grave of debt. ALSO, adding to the school thing. i will have NO INSURANCE AND NO FINANCIAL AID (if i drop out) for my mental and physical illnesses in which i need medication for.

basically, im living in a house that in inhibiting me from transitioning, draining me of all my money and forcing me through an expensive education and debt and threatening me to do so . im sorry if this isnt making sense but im so tired and stressed.

i’ve done my part though, i have gone to school (from highschool, summer classes and university without a break), kept up my grades, DROPPED ALCOHOL AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE, i am now straight edge (this has saved me tons of money and has helped my emotional state tremendously, ive spent more time being productive and less time in the hospital and in therapy which also costs money) and even gotten 2 JOBS. i do commissions and i work COUNTLESS HOURS at mcdonalds, unfortunately because i have mcdonalds, my parents are now trying to make me pay for EVERYTHING, even things they want, and i really REALLY CANT AFFORD THAT.

my goal is to move out into the apartment with my boyfriend @animeadult and our awesome friend @cruciphix by april. however, my family has already drained my first paycheck and yet they take it out on me (even though it wasn’t a lot in all honesty, it was a lot to ME), ive been trying to earn DOUBLE by taking in more commissions and snagging as many hours as i can from mcdonalds.

im so tired and so desperate to leave my abusive family, and find a way to pursue my transition in a safe environment for me physically, emotionally and mentally. i genuinely apologize that it has come to this but PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE if you can 

please donate to my paypal, its kaidenmichaels@gmail.com

and if u cant please spread this i just need to get out so badly i need to leave i really need to leave please help me.

if anything i will send a small drawing to those who donate as a thankyou, and you can even commission me its the same paypal just please.

i really need help and i know tumblr is a great place to go when someone needs it.

thank you for reading this and please share for me.

10

Sketchy Behavior | Hellen Jo 

Never afraid to speak and/or draw her mind, Los Angeles based artist and illustrator, Hellen Jo and her characters can be described as rough, vulgar, tough, jaded, powerful, bratty and bad-ass - AKA her own brand of femininity. Known for her comic Jin & Jam, and her work as an illustrator and storyboard artist for shows such as Steven Universe and Regular Show, Hellen’s rebellious, and sometimes grotesque artwork and illustrations are redefining Asian American women and women of color in comics. In fact, that’s why Hellen Jo was a must-interviewee for our latest Sketchy Behavior where we talk to her about her love of comics and zines, her antiheroines, and redefining what Asian American women identity is or can be; and what her ultimate dream project realized would be.  

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restingbitchfaceisnotsadface  asked:

"I can start with how I went to marine science camp as a kid and end with that time I accidentally brought a flamethrower into the county courthouse" --- PLEASE EXPLAIN IM SO CONFUSED D:

So, when I was a kid, my parents worked full time, so during the summer, my sister and I were enrolled in day-camp so we’d be adequately tired when we got home, and my FAVORITE  camp was Marine Science Camp, run by MSI on the banks of redwood creek, right off the San Francisco bay.  It was AWESOME: we got to dissect squid, there was a literal shark tank, which we got to fish leopard sharks out of and Tag Them For Scientific Research, ad we’d go out on the boat once a week and do things like haul a net full of fish out, use a scoop to study benthic creatures and look at plankton under a microscope.  I realize now we were essentially doing transects, dissections and other field/lab work for a bunch of grad students but it was FUN.  

I totally wanted to be a marine biologist when I grew up and would tell anyone who asked me what I was into about nematocyts and oceanic acidification until The Adult realized their mistake and fled.

At the same time, I was pursing an aggressive interest in the visual arts, which my parents heavily encouraged, becuase they are excellent parents and because it;s was a QUIET hobby unlikely to result in bodily harm, unlike my sister, who got into karate and Theater, which is a surprising dangerous combination.

But then i got to college and realized an issue with this plan: I, hands down, SUCK at chemistry.  I did okay in into becuase I’m great at taking standardized tests, and the teacher got suspended halfway through the semester for getting into a fistfight with another prof for poaching his grad student, but Organic Chemistry was a disaster.  I’ve never been good at arithmetic, and balancing chemical equations is something i need the dang molecule models for. So marine bio was a No-Go.

So I switched my major over to Art, which turned out to be kind of a disaster (the school managed to lose an entire semester of my grades because the Art Department kept really sloppy records and i ended up dropping out and resuming college elsewhere) and AMAZING, becuase I took a human figure drawing course with professor [REDACTED] who announced on the third day of class:  “SWEET THE FOOLS JUST GAVE ME TENURE.  CAN’T FIRE ME NOW, SO LEMME SHOW YOU HOW TO MAKE A FLAMETHROWER”

The thing she actually taught us was how to modify a culinary butane torch to empty the canister at a much higher rate than any manufacturer anywhere recommends, which gives you and AWESOME bigass jet of blue flame, but only lasts about 30 seconds per container.  She also showed us how to make bandeliers so we could carry multiple containers, “just in case”.

In more practical lessons, we were in class when the first gov’t shutdown happened, so we didn’t have money for models, so she oped to bring in various animals for us to draw instead.  there was the usual cats and dogs, but also chickens, horses, a farm hog, a 12-foot Burmese Python and a baby deer that had been abandoned on her porch.  It was really fun, both becuase animals are amazing, and becuase they don’t hold still, so you learn to draw REAL FAST, which is a skill that’s served me well since.

A few years later, I was summoned for Jury Duty, and had to show up at the courthouse for selection.  HOWEVER, I’d put my usual bag in the wash the previous night, so I grabbed my old school backpack to take with me because I knew I had a sketchbook in there to amuse myself with.

I forgot I also had my flamethrower in there.

I live in a pretty low-crime area, so the metal detectors are actually pretty far into the building- you don’t get scanned until you’re actually going into the courtroom.  So for about three hours beforehand, I was sitting in the hallway having a Nice Chat with one of the state park rangers and the CEO of the local call center.  We get called in, and as we walk through, my backpack sets off the alarm.

“Fuck.” I say abruptly remembering what would have set it off.

“Do you have anything metal in your backpack?” the security guy asks me.  I think he was expecting me to say glasses.

“I forgot that I have my flamethrower in here. I’ll just leave this outside.”  I explain, hoping I’m not about to be arrested.

“Please open your bag or leave it outs- your WHAT?”  Dude stops halfway through his routine.

“Flamethrower.  I made it in art class and will definitely be leaving it here.” I say, carefully putting my bag on the table, zipper open , and pointing at the small butane torch.  The guard looks at it, looks at me (pls note, I am small, white, feminine and conventionally attractive so YOU BET privilege was happening here), before deciding that Art People Are Dumb and waving me in after wanding me to make sure I hadn’t accidentally brought anything else in my pockets.

I was not selected for jury duty.

In other news, I still have it, and it still works.  I use it for mass-toasting creme brulee.

  • My kid: I want to drop out of high school
  • Me: Let me tell u a story about this band
  • My kid: Uh okay..dont know how this is relevant.
  • Me: One guy in this band thought flip flops were thongs
  • My kid: How is this relevant to my question
  • Me: Let me finish, that same guy thought the possibilities were endless and the drummer thought tadpoles were baby turtles
  • My kid: Mom answer my question.
  • Me: They dropped out of High school. Dont become luke and ashton.
  • My kid: ill ask dad.
  • Me: He was in the band. He was the bassist he said some dumb shit to

I’m an emotional dude, so I wrote a song about it.

The verses are talking about a true story of me being late to class, I was in college trying to do that whole thing because that’s what you’re meant to do I guess, I dropped out after that…the point is, I was late to class and I forgot to lock my door and when I came back out everything had been gutted and stolen out my car. At the time financially I was not able to replace anything that was taken, the GPS, the radio, all my CD’s. When I get in the car my first reaction is to put the radio on and for a while I wasn’t able to do that and finding out that once I removed that piece of me I realised that sometimes music can act as a distraction and can get in the way of where your mind wants to go

—  Tyler Joseph on the song called ‘Car radio’
10

SKETCHY BEHAVIORS | Heather Benjamin (RH)

Through her dense and detailed packed line drawings to her more focused ink brush pieces, Rhode Island based artist Heather Benjamin’s work is visceral, cathartic, and autobiographical. It offers a completely unapologetic and unflinching look into an artists’ own struggles with life, body image, self confidence, and sexuality.  We find her and her art to be inspirational, honest and badass.

We recently ran into Heather at her booth at the LA Art Book Fair and caught up with her a few months later to ask about her art, her experiences at RISD, her influences, and her thoughts about her work and her life. 

Photographs courtesy of the artist.

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Things Witnessed in High School
  • White Kid: *sighs while reading about imperialism* “white people ruin everything”
  • “I go home and try to do my homework but oops I left my motivation at school”
  • Random Guy: *runs down hallway* “raise your hands if you want to die!” *everybody raises their hands*
  • “WHO WANTS TO BE PART OF THE PRE-TEST PRAYER CIRCLE?” “I’m Buddhist but can I?” *clears throat* “DEAR GOD, OR WHATEVER ELSE-”
  • “is the test hard?” “if you didn’t study” *high-pitched hysterical screaming*
  • “hey did you do the-” “No”
  • *looks down at test, looks up at ceiling, waves arms desperately*
  • “I’M GONNA WING IT!” “but-” “I’M GONNA WING IT!”
  • “that’s not the right-” “it’s fine” “but you just need to-” “it’s fine”
  • *while taking a test* “Does anybody have a crayon I can borrow?”
  • “Can I just drop out?” “And do what?” “I dunno dude hitchhiking seems fun”
  • *drinks aggressively from water bottle* I WISH THIS WAS ALCOHOL
  • “What do you want?” “I’ll pay you a dollar for your lunch”
  • *rolls down hallway in a swivel chair, calmly sips Coca Cola*
  • *frantically searches through binder, pulls out a crumpled packet, makes the sign of the cross*
  • “when is this due?” “on february 10″ “i’ll start it february 9″
  • *slowly sinks to the floor* “I just need a nap. A nice, long, nap.”
  • “What time did you go to sleep?” “You don’t want to know”
  • “You can’t paint on glass, though” “Not with that attitude”
  • “I will pay you $5 to do my homework” “That’s awful! I need at least forty”
High school!Voltron head canons because I have no self control

Lance

  • Super athletic. He does at least one sport a season, soccer in the fall, swimming in the winter, lacrosse and baseball in the spring.
    • Don’t ask how he does it because nobody knows
  • The person everyone asks to proof read their essays before they turn them in. He just…has a way with words.
  • Never has pencils.
    • Even when he goes out and buys a brand new box…he just loses them so easily.
  • He always loves the books they read in English, and like, he actually reads them.
  • The kid who just does not get math no matter how hard he tries.
    • Shiro becomes his tutor and things actually start to make sense.
  • He’s best friends with almost all of his teachers.
    • They really just love his banter.
    • There’s two teachers who absolutely loath him though bc they’re old fashioned and he never stops talking.
  • “Hunk, how long could I survive if I just dropped out of high school? I could get a job at McDonald’s, it would be fine,”
  • Convinces everyone to go to the school musicals/plays in the name of supporting Allura.
    • In reality he just doesn’t want to go by himself.
    • It becomes a tradition bc the squad all lowkey love plays and musicals.
  • Took French so he could be trilingual

(this ended up being hella long so I’m inserting a read under line)

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anonymous asked:

I've seen you say a couple times that you don't see or that you're disabled. Do you mind talking about it? I ask because I am an aspiring writer and it is really hard for me. I wanted to know how you managed or what it was like?

I don’t mind talking about it. It’s something that made me who I am.

When I was about 12, my health sort of started to eat itself. I suddenly had a ton of allergies, and there were days I couldn’t get out of bed. I got sick all the time. In freshman year of high school, I suddenly couldn’t see. For a long time a thing had been going on in my eyes, but I guess I didn’t think it was abnormal until it made it impossible for me to see. Basically this hole was kind of growing in my eyes, but it was more like a rainbow.

When I started having trouble with colors and detail vision, my mom freaked out a bit, because at the time, I was an award winning artist who had ideas of going to college for art. Then I started tripping over things, hitting my head, having trouble with depth perception. Then I got sick, and I mean sick.

I spent about 23 hours a day in bed. I had almost constant migraines. I had pain in my entire body. My skin turned yellow. I went to every kind of doctor you can think of and was tested for everything there is. One day, I had about 12 vials of blood drawn. No one knew what was wrong. The eyes weren’t that big a deal at first, because it seemed like I might have something really serious. The first couple of eye doctors I went to kind of looked at me and said “Oh it’s nothing big.” I actually had one guy tell me that my brain was just shutting off my eyes because I wasn’t using them properly. Yeah.

Then finally, my mom took me to a friend of our family who happened to be an eye surgeon. She did a free exam. I’ll never forget it because it was the first time anyone believed me. I’d been told by doctor after doctor that there was nothing wrong with me. I’d been referred to therapists, told I needed depression meds, told I was just going through a phase or needed attention. Then this doctor put on her head gear, looked into my eyes…took off the head gear…got new head gear…looked into my eyes…took off the headgear…got hand held tools…looked into my eyes…and then stared at me with her mouth hanging open.

“I can’t see the back of your eye,” she said. And suddenly the world simultaneously healed itself and flipped upside-fucking-down for me.

Then it was all about my eyes, the one symptom we could see happening. The one that was the most dangerous. But by then it was too late.

What happened is pretty simple: I apparently have some weird recessive DNA. It triggers certain bizarre immune issues at puberty. My immune system decided to attack my body. The eyes are a delicately balanced system. They show symptoms first. My immune system attacked them with a vengeance. They swelled up like balloons. Normal eye pressure is about 14-17. Mine was at a 22 at its best. It put a tremendous amount of pressure on my Retina, specifically my macula, cutting off blood flow like when you sit on your foot. You know those little shadowy things that float across your eyes? They’re called protein floaters. My eyes had produced so many of those that the doctor could not see through them. It was a fog.

They had to find a way to map my eye, to track the damage. Cue the eye exam from hell. I have always been, even before my autoimmune disorder, deathly allergic to melon. Any kind of melon. But now I was allergic to all sorts of shit, fruits vegetables, all kinds of crap. My dad is allergic to contrast dyes. So when the retinologist suggested this dye-based eye exam that is kind of like a CAT scan, my mom said “no”. See, they inject you with this dye and then they flash this weird light in your eyes. It causes the dye to glow, and then they can see the things through the fog. My mom told them I was too sensitive to stuff for that to be safe. The doc assured her they’d put a butterfly in my arm, meaning the vein would be kept open, and a syringe of benedryl was set on the counter. They’d never had anyone react, and they needed the pictures or there was nowhere to go from there.

So they put this dye into me, and it was like I’d been injected with fire, but there was no way around it, and to me, I knew they only had about 90 seconds to get the images they needed. So I sucked it up. finally the burning began to spread. Suddenly my back felt like I was being stabbed, and I suddenly couldn’t speak. I tapped my hands on my mom, then began sneezing spontaneously. My mom lifted my shirt, and I had quarter-sized hives. The nurse said “Stop sneezing on the camera”. Yeah.

My mom went ballistic. The doctor flew up the stairs and gave me the emergency meds. I slid into a dissociation state and nearly out of my chair. They had to prop me against the camera for the next couple minutes and reinject the dye. No other way, you see.

They did this test every few months for a few years.

But then there was treatment. Not much they could do, except try to get the swelling under control. Only way to do that was corticosteroid injections in the eye. Yup. A needle in the eye. No, they don’t knock you out. They numb the surface of the eye with the same numbing drops they give you for the exams and then they come at you with a needle, tell you to look down and to hold still. And you fucking do.

I was 15 when that started.

I went to experimental clinics, labs, and joined studies. I dropped out of those. Why? It’s pretty simple. The first day I came to the exams, I was kept waiting for over two hours. I was taken into a room. I was left there. No information, no talking. Suddenly a man came in followed by a group of people, all in lab coats. He started moving me around like I was a doll and talking like, “The patient presents with…the patient this, the patient that…”

I shoved him back and said, “The patient’s name is Kristina, and she is 16.”

He finished his exam, and when he left, after the students had gone, he took two Q-tips, dipped them in that pink shit your dentist uses to swab your gums before an injection, and SHOVED them under my eyelids with a cocky smirk.

The patient will never be an snotty little bitch again, I guess.

So yeah. Fuck those guys. They gave me two injections in one day, which no one had ever done before, because it was almost impossible to function with two pimple-like bubbles on your eyeballs.

Still my health was bad. Then all of a sudden, when my mom had given up, It just wasn’t anymore. Suddenly, I was fine, and all that was left were the eyes. I went back to school, except now I was blind.

In a few months, I’d lost about 80% of my perfect vision. I was photophobic. I got horrible and constant headaches. I walked with a cane. And not a single fucking teacher believed me, except my civics teacher, who had gone blind at a young age due to some other weird eye disorder, and my physics teacher who was deaf. I had teachers send me to the office for wearing my sunglasses (with a note on file). I had teachers get on my case about having an audio recorder and CD player for my books. I had teachers call me names, make fun of me, make me leave class to photocopy their notes larger, so that I missed the lecture the notes were on. I had teachers take my medications which had to be in my possession because of their time-sensitive nature and constant administration and hide them in their desks as punishment for asking questions or demanding help. I had classmates pick on me, but luckily, I was well-liked, and I was an officer in the ROTC. I even excelled there in spite of my vision, because my Captain believed in my leadership skills.

I always tell this story because I think it is funny. We had this special boot camp we got to go to if we were in the upper ranks of the ROTC. If you joined the military after high school (which I could never do) you got a higher paygrade for having gone through it. Almost like taking a couple JC classes in the military. It was grueling and all physical fitness, obstacle courses, PT, classes, guard duty…fucking blah. Our unit was allowed six participants. I sort of figured that it wasn’t really fair for me to go, even with my high rank (a company XO). To my complete fucking shock, my Captain recommended me to go, cutting out a classmate (and ex) of mine who was higher in rank. The boy went ape-shit. He went on and on about how unfair it was. He even went to the school board. My Captain made his reasons clear; he told them that the academy isn’t about military sponsorship. It’s about skills and quality. He didn’t care if I had a disability. In his eyes I had more innate ability than anyone there because I had worked so hard just to be where I was. The boy was angry. I told my Captain I appreciated the gesture, but honestly, we ought to make it fair. I told him that we should train to meet the PT standards, and that if this kid could make his, but i couldn’t make mine, he should go. I made mine. He didn’t. He complained about that too. At the last minute, we were told one extra person could come because another school had lost one. So he came anyway. The whole time he bitched about me being there. When I got there, the real military officers gave me shit like you wouldn’t believe, because they weren’t used to dealing with disabilities or recognizing that they can’t discriminate against high schoolers by law. The commander of the unit tried to dress me down in front of everybody for wearing sunglasses. I was pretty pleased with myself for telling him off but still sounding respectful. He kept saying “Take off my glasses”. I told him they weren’t his. They were mine, by law, and that if he had a problem with that, he could consult my attorney, the DOJ, and the doctor who prescribed them. He tried to fuck with me. I didn’t say anything except to ask him if he wanted me to have a migraine, because that’s what taking the glasses off means. He was so confused by me he walked away and called my Captain over. There were words. After that, he came up to me once or twice, almost like a test, to ask me if I needed him to slow down or if I was getting around alright. He wasn’t being nice. He was egging me in a condescending tone and with very bullying language. He’s a drill instructor, and you know what, that’s his job. I told him I was fine. But I made a decision: I wasn’t just going to make the female PT marks. I was going to test out of this fucking place at the male PT marks. And I fucking did. That boy…had an asthma attack on the track (I had asthma too, but I worked my ass off while he coasted on his “boyness”) and failed. At the certificate ceremony, the commander came up to me and said I had really impressed him, and that it was a shame I couldn’t enter the Navy. I thanked him, but what I wanted to say was, “Go fuck yourself and take the NAVY with you”. I ended up the Battalion XO Senior year. This would have given me a guaranteed spot in Westpoint if I could have taken it. My Captain cried when he told me he was sorry he had to give it to one of our Company XO’s. I told him that it was best for everyone, because I am not the type of person to enjoy taking orders. I had learned that about myself.

He laughed.

Around Junior year I got people to pay attention. My doctors got the DOJ and the Social Security people involved. A woman came to my school and enforced compliance in a tone of voice I’d never heard anyone but my mother use. She threatened to rain brimstone down on them if they didn’t give me what I needed, and things changed.

My parents wanted me to take a full scholarship to a local school, but I wanted to get away. So I did. I wanted to travel abroad, so i did. And when I was 19, they perfected one of the surgeries they had been working on the entire time I’d been struggling with this.

See, the injections had brought and kept the swelling down, but that meant that the fog was still there (since ocular fluid doesn’t replace), and the structures in the eye had been stretched all to shit, and were laying in my eye like melted plastic wrap. The old surgery was like a blind man hacking with a machete, but the new surgery used fluorescent dyes to track movement. Dyes that wouldn’t kill me. The old surgery had a 50-50 shot at complete loss of vision and made you lay on your face for three weeks. The new was fool proof and took 45 minutes. So, I got one eye done. They swapped out all the fluid and replaced it with saline. They peeled the distorted membrane off the macula. They stitched up my eyeball and gave me a sick metal eye patch. Looked like a fucking space pirate. It was rad.

But the blind spot is still there. The cataracts caused by the steroids are still there. The scars are there.

A few years later I had the other one done too.

My college was great. It took a lot of work getting all my reading done, about 500 pages minimum, per week, done via audio. I used to spend hours at the pool table in our residence hall, listening to my books and practicing. I got pret damn good too, at pool. It was difficult taking notes or working with a note taker. It was scary traveling by myself. It was hard to get people to understand there wasn’t anything WRONG with me. Just that my eyes don’t work even though it seems like I’m normal and fine, and like they should. People always think to be legally blind you have to be completely blind, and they think you’re not going to be able to defend yourself. I’ve been targeted by pickpockets. I’ve been followed by scary dudes. I’ve been treated like shit, laughed at, and accused by full grown adults of faking to get privileges, all because I can look at the place where their head should be and smile at the blank spot there. All because I can walk down a flight of stairs with a few neat tricks I know that have nothing to do with a cane.

But shit…you probably didn’t mean to ask for my life story. I’m going to get back to the point. My writing. What has it done for that? Like how can you be a writer if you can’t fucking see? Technology. It’s been amazing. I can use a computer same as anyone. The Kindle has been a fucking revolution for me because for the first time in a decade and a half I could read without pain and suffering. Just…all the things it does have made life so much easier than it used to be. It got me out of bad relationships with people who used my disability as a control. It gave me a little bit of confidence back. It helped me know I could handle myself.

And really, I think my vision loss had a lot to do with my writing. In some ways it gives me different perspective, sure, but it’s more than that. I was undeclared when I entered college. I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I thought about history or sociology. My mom had a degree in that and she was an English teacher. I wanted art history, but what the fuck was the point in that? Couldn’t see a damn thing. And then I had a class in poetry, and shit…That made sense. I’d always loved language and writing. Always been okay at it. Dorte stuff but never thought about doing it for a living. But then it was like yeah…yeah I’m gonna fucking do that. Just like when I decided to meet the male PT standards.

If it is in you. If you love it. If it defines you and possesses you, it does not matter how fucked up you are. You will find a way. You don’t have a choice. You are that thing. And you’ll adapt. You just have to let yourself. You have to keep pushing. You have to learn how to handle frustration. you have to train yourself into stamina. You just keep going. I’m nowhere near as successful as I want to be. I’m still going. I hope I get even better. I hope I can say things that make truth more obvious, or that help people put words to things they have always wanted to say.

I don’t need my eyes to be a fucking firestorm. That’s just me. Eyes don’t mean shit.

So keep going. Keep doing whatever you need to. Do it better and better. Bend yourself around it. People who see you struggle will think they’re lucky, but you and I know the truth: they’re not even close to the kind of strong you are. Not even a little bit.