Nana went home yesterday! 51 hellacious days after her fall later, and she finally got to go home. God is so good, y'all. She's still having trouble with her speech, and she's not quite back to her sweet self, but I'm still praying for that to change in the coming months.
I finished my semester yesterday, and I have to say my partner and I kicked ass on our group project presentation. For the assignment we had to watch a movie, or read a book, about someone with a mental disability and then present our thoughts to the class. We chose to review Radio. I aced the written part of the assignment, but I'm more proud of how we presented it to the class. Advocacy about Asperger's/Autism is something that I am incredibly passionate about. I can't express how badly I want to travel around the country (with Penny, of course) speaking at conferences, talking to media outlets (**cough cough** Ellen), about my experiences and the things I've learned from my own diagnosis. A few years ago when I spoke on a student panel at the Autism conference I thought I would be terrified speaking in front of people like that, especially when I realized the auditorium had become standing room only due to so many people. But once the mic made its way to me? There was no panic or anxiety to be found. It came so easily to me, I didn't have to think about what I was doing or what I was going to say, and I easily could have talked for a couple of hours had I been able to. Having strangers, parents, come up to me after the panel and thanking me for being the voice they wish they, or their children, had are moments I can't forget. In a small way I made an impact on the people in that room. Isn't that what we're called to do though? Make a positive impact and be the change in this world?
Earlier this week I emailed someone from NIH about participating in a study they're wanting to do on people with Asperger's. I haven't heard back from the director of the study yet, but I'm excited about the potential opportunity to be a part of it. Sure it won't put me in the public spotlight or anything, but it's still worth being a part of.
These past four months, this entire semester, has been one of the most hellacious, terrifying, fucked up, periods of my life thus far. Three family members in the hospital back to back to back: one for heart issues, one in ICU for eight days, and one in ICU for a month while the first two weeks were spent in a medically induced coma. Family fallouts while Nana was in the hospital/rehab center. My own mysterious health issues. Blackouts. Iron transfusions. Baffled specialists. And watching what little financial stability we had once again crumble in the blink of an eye and watching, once again, the toll it's taken on Dad. All of this took a significant toll on me and I feel like I was never able to really get my shit together this semester; I'm still pissed at myself for having to drop that class.
That's not to say this entire year has been shitty. There's been a lot of tears and panic attacks, but there's been some wonderful moments too: it's been a year full of laughs and adventures with Penny, getting my knee fixed after years of pain and issues, meeting my sweet physical therapist Debbie, shooting my first wedding with Holly, growing with my photography, closer friendships with friends from church, and of course sweet doodle bonds with people who are halfway across the country from me 😉.