Wait, You’re Deaf!? 

So here’s the thing, let’s talk about something that is never talked about.. developing a disability. In our lives we talk about people who are born with disabilities and we talk about people who have obtained a disability through an accident; however, we never talk about people who have developed a disability due to an underlying condition. We don’t talk about what it’s like to slowly lose an ability you never thought you’d lose. So let’s talk about Otosclerosis. 

Otosclerosis is a genetic condition that causes the inner ear bones to slowly freeze over time, meaning they can no longer amplify sound by themselves. Thus, causing the effected person to require hearing aids in their day to day lives. 

Now, this doesn’t sound that bad, as long you have a hearing aid, you can hear. What’s bad is the process of losing your hearing before and after the diagnosis. Here’s my story:

When I was in highschool I had no idea that I had a “disability”, I thought my ears worked just like everyone else’s. I also thought that my left earphone was always broken. I would buy a new set of earphones about every two weeks because I thought the left one was faulty. It made no sense to me. Then one day I was sitting with my parents, complaining about the inconvience when they suggest I put the left, broken, earphone in my right ear.. It worked perfectly. That was when we decided to get my first hearing test. 

That first test gave us little results, they basically said that I could benefit from hearing aids, but it was not a necessity, so obviously I passed. I didn’t want to be labeled as a weirdo with hearing aids in highschool, it wasn’t fair. 

However, fast forward a few years and the word “what” becoming a staple in my vocabulary, I decided I needed to be checked again.. this time the results were different.

This test told us that my left ear was severely impaired and my right ear had mild impairment. After running a few more tests it was decided that I had Otosclerosis and would most likely be deaf by the time I was 24. So I had to make a decision. Be the college kid with hearing aids, or never hear again. As you can assume, I chose the hearing aids. 

Now, it’s amazing because I can hear all of these sounds I didn’t know existed before! Did you know that a blinker makes a noise? Or that when writing with a pencil you can hear the way it scrapes on the paper? Zipping up a bookbag actually makes a sound! The TV on volume 40 is actually really loud… and so many more things I hadn’t known or had forgotten. 

While there is this amazing upside to hearing aids there is also a few downfalls. When I take them out, I lose a majority of sounds. Talking on the phone is extremely difficult. If my hearing aid gets to close to something it gives an awful feedback. Also, insurance does not cover them.

According to the insurance companies hearing aids are not a need. You can live without them. My glasses are covered under insurance, but hearing aids that allow me to communicate and live a normal life are not. How is that allowed? How is it not a necessity? Without my hearing aids I don’t know where I would be. I wouldn’t have the job I have, I would not have the life I have, nothing would be the same. 

So long story short, sometimes life is not fair. Sometimes you lose an ability and sometimes insurance doesn’t cover it. However, I have become not only a much stronger person, but also a more understanding person. I no longer pitty people with hearing aids and I no longer see it as weird. I am a 21 year old with hearing aids. Why should that be weird? I mean I’m also a 21 year old with glasses. It’s the exact same thing. Both just enhance the quality of life. 

Back to the original statement of opening dialog and talking about what’s not talked about, I beg you, ask questions, seek answers, and never pitty. Losing an ability is hard, but overcoming the challenge is everything. 

Saying Goodbye.

Around six months ago, my grandpa died. I never really talked about it because it hurt too bad. We weren’t close in the traditional sense, but he bought me Mac’n’cheese and payed for my first set of hearing aids. He also sent me a birthday card every year and it was one thing I could always be 100% sure of. 

So when we found him it was the worst day of my life. 

When we found my grandpa on the bathroom floor, we panicked. He was still alive and conscious so we called 911 and stayed with him. 

Because I am first aid certified I looked after him and made him talk to me until first responders arrived. 

His body was swollen and you could tell he had been there for a while. 

However, he let me hold his hand and he told me how he had been robbed and beaten. This did not happen though, his mind was slipping due to lack of oxygen and he had begun accepting a fantasy. 

When EMS finally arrived and put him on the stretcher, I didn’t recognize him. He was weak, swollen and had sores on his face from laying still too long. 

He made it to the hospital and was in ICU for a little over a week. I don’t think he ever fully regained his memory, but he knew who his family was and he told me he loved me. 

When my grandpa died I was at work. 

I met my family at the hospital where we stood in a room with his body. I cried, a lot. I said goodbye. I left. 

Death comes at its own pace and its own time. My grandpa lived a week longer than he should of. We were given a chance to say goodbye and I am so thankful for that. 

There are still some nights though, like tonight, that I’m haunted by the image of him on the floor and in the gurney and it’s hard. 

But then I remember the fact that I was able to spend every Sunday with him and he lived a long life. 

My grandpa and I were not close in the traditional sense, but he was still a big piece of my world. 

It’s been awhile…

Im going to be honest. I started to hate blogging. I recieved a very rude tweet a while ago about my blog and it hurt me. This tweet was from a previous best friend and was then retweeted by another previous best friend. They belittled this blog into nothing. 

However, four months later I now realize I was being dramatic and the views of a few bitter people mean nothing to me. So maybe my blog is poorly written. Maybe my ideas and views are old school. Maybe I actually suck at everything. You know what though, I don’t care. I have a story to tell and I am going to tell it. I have experienced things that no one else has ever experienced. 

And I now realize the only difference between me and the people who crushed me is I post my words in a useless blog, while they post theirs in useless tweets. Everything we say is useless or poorly written to some. But to others, it could be just the connection they were looking for. 

So long story short, I’m back and will probably be posting frequently as I have so many new things to share. 

Thank you for supporting my poorly written blog ❤ 

New Year, Same Me

Every year I make a list of things I’m going to change about myself. I put things like ‘weight loss’, ‘exercise more’, ‘save money’, ‘don’t eat out’, ‘no dark soda'(this is the only one I’ve ever accomplished), and of course ‘be a better person’. But why? Why is it when the clock strikes 12 we have the urge to change our lives and turn into completely different people? On December 31st all we think about are the the things we didn’t accomplish. However, what about the things we did accomplish? 

Sure, I didn’t lose weight, I eat out way too much (taco bell, you’ve got my heart!), I’m ending the year with less money than I started with and being a better person is highly debatable. 

What I did do though is I grew closer to God, made important education decisions that will help me reach my goals, visited Colorado, voted in my first presidential election, found a job I love, got engaged to the love of my life, and filled my life with positivity while expelling the negative people. 

My year wasn’t great, I lost my grandfather and many friends who I thought I’d have forever, but when I look back at the amazing things that have happened to me I can’t help but be greatful. 

So 2017, you’re in God’s hands. I just ask that next year is as productive as this one, all negative space is filled with love and positivity and that as a nation we can come together instead of falling more apart. Amen. 

Happy New Year Everyone! ❤ 

Why I waited 

“Everyone’s doing it”.. that’s what I was always told. Everyone was doing it and hell, even my college roommate was doing it.. right under our bunked beds I may add. It’s not like I didn’t have opportunities or relationships that it could have easily happend with. I even put myself in situations where saying “No” was a tough decision, in full disclosure alcohol was normally involved. However, I waited. 

I did not wait for reasons most people think though. I didn’t wait for religious reasons. I didn’t wait because my parents told me it was the right thing to do. I waited because I wanted to. I wanted to wait until I met the one guy who knew me better than I knew myself. The guy who loved me for my physical and mental imperfections. The guy who no matter what would hold my hand and help me through life’s toughest moments. So I waited, until I met him. 

I didn’t wait until I was married or until I was engaged but I did wait until I was in love and with the person I wanted to spend forever with. 

Now the reason I’m telling you all this is because today it is so common for girls to have sex, not because they are in love, but because they think they should. Their best friend is doing it, TV shows are encouraging it, we have terms like “f*ck buddies” and one night stands are ‘cool’. Sex is no longer special. Sex is just a hobby. We are encouraging girls to embrace their bodies and their sexuality all while ignoring their mental health. We don’t tell them that sex won’t make him love you and we don’t inform them that it’s more than just a physical game. It’s a connection, it’s a feeling, and it’s not something that needs to be given to everyone who smiles at you. 

So embrace yourself. Love yourself. Remember your worth. And do what is right for you not for everyone else. 

How to be a Christian in College

Let’s be honest, being a Christian in a world such as ours is not the easiest thing to accomplish; people will degrade you, offend you, and make you question everything you believe. So what’s harder than being a devote Christian? The answer: being a devote Christian in college. 

I grew up in a Lutheran Church. Twenty years of my life have been devoted to early Sunday services, participating in and teaching Sunday school, church get-togethers, praying before meals, before bed, and well really just praying at all points of the day, and being asked ‘why I believe in God and His teachings’. Now, normally I love this question. It gives me an opportunity to tell people who I am and what I believe, along with sharing God’s word and love. However, what I don’t love is when these questions turn into judgement and anger.

 It is unfair for Christians to feel obligated to forfeit or hide their beliefs in order to feel accepted in this current society. 

As a twenty year old Christian in college I have made my decision to follow God and his word despite what other may think or say. So here are my unprofessional and unsolicited tips to being a Christian in college. 

1. Do not confuse earthly happiness with spiritual happiness. 

2. Make friends with like minded individuals, talk about your faith, and talk about the struggles and judgement you feel from those around you

3. Make friends with individuals who do not share the same views as you. Talk to them about your faith. Let them tell you what they do and do not believe. Keep the environment calm and listen to eachother. Let them know not all Christians are the same as the ones seen in the media

4. Fall in love with someone who loves Jesus. Help one another grow in faith. Not only will it strengthen your relationship with God, but it will also strengthen your relationship with your significant other. “Couples that pray togther, stay together”

5. Talk to your parents or someone you can trust. Whether they share the same beliefs as you or not, they love you. And if you are struggling they will help you find your footing. 

6. Read the Book. Whether you read the Bible cover to cover, or you’re like me and just have a Pinterest board filled with versus, read it. Absorb the word, find meaning in it, and trust what it says. God knows what he’s talking about. 

7. Pray. I cannot promise instant results, but I can promise a feeling of ease. Know that God loves you and is always listening, even if it feels like He’s not. 

8. Be open. Do not hide your beliefs for fear of judgement. We love God because he first loved us. Embrace that

9. Find a church or community to worship with. This can be a small group, campus ministry, local church, or those friends you made thanks to tip two

10. Understand that everyone makes mistakes. Everyone sins. Everyone questions their faith. Believe that God loves you and that he is with you and that unlike your earthly people, He will never leave your side, nor lose faith in you. 

Walk by faith, not by sight” 

-2 Corinthians 5:7

The UnCollege Experience

College. Studying. Papers. Work. Family. Friends. Relationships. Laundry day.

It’s a lot to handle and frankly I wasn’t as prepared for it as I thought I was.

Freshman Year 2014-2015: I had everything figured out. I knew how much I could drink and how late I could stay up without feeling terrible the next day. I knew how many classes I could skip before it would start impacting my grades. I even knew that as long as I pretended everything was okay, it was. That was until I found out my first college relationship was built on deception. Then everything came into light. I realized I had actually nothing figured out and if I kept going at the pace I was going I would actually self-destruct; and that was not me.

Sophomore Year 2015-2016: After the travesty that was my freshman year, it became apparent that I needed some time off. I needed a break from University and some time to find myself. So, I left all of my friends and the bad decisions, moved back home and enrolled in community college. That decision was the best decision I ever made. Obviously I missed my freedom and friends, but living at home, driving to class, and having a job gave me the exact structure I needed. Not to mention during this semester “break” I found the ‘perfect man’. You know, the guy who understands and supports you in everything. The guy who the second after you meet them you know you will never be able to not know them. The guy who 11 months after meeting and 10 months of dating I am still, unfathomably in love with.

Fall semester didn’t last long though and I made the decision to transfer back to university and with the support of my family and boyfriend, I knew it would be better the second time around. I was wrong. Apparently I am one of those beautiful humans that only thrive with structure and without it I turn into a slimy ball of depression.

Junior Year 2016: So far it is only four weeks into my Junior year at university and honestly I am not sure what to think. I have my friends back, I have an organization system, I’m in bed by 11pm every night, and I’m still rocking this whole distance thing with my boyfriend. However, driving home every weekend to work endless night shifts is more tolling than I thought. Not only does it throw off my sleep schedule, but it is also just plain exhausting. Between work, classes, homework, laundry, and socializing, along with keeping in contact with those farther away, it all seems impossible when you look at it as a whole. However, I wouldn’t change a single thing.

I am currently working at a job that is going to enhance my future career goals an exponential amount. I am taking classes that are preparing me for this future career I dream so fondly about. Not being around the people I love everyday makes the hours we have together that much more enjoyable. And, I am also growing closer to God and growing stronger in my faith, because without Him, there is absolutely no way I would still be functioning. He has blessed me with patience and a generally positive outlook, along with giving me not only a family that always supports me and loves me, but also someone who chooses to love me no matter how much we both seem to be struggling.

It’s easy to think you have everything together. It’s easy to pretend life is great and you are having the ‘perfect college experience’, but to be honest I would rather struggle everyday while at university and have an amazing adult life, than party every weekend and secretly hate myself.

I still have a lot of growing to do, I have many lessons to learn, and I may cry a lot now, but one day it will all be worth it.

Stay Cool and Stay Smart. May you reach all of your goals and fight your own demons. Much Love ❤