Grad School: The Third Summer

This summer could have easily been titled “the summer of my discontent,” and school commitments played a big part in that, not just because it takes up a substantial portion of my summer either.

I learned a lot from last summer in terms of class logistics. It’s tempting to load up on courses since they’re readily available. But just because you can doesn’t mean you should.

One class a day is enough, because there are plenty of ways to fill your day; formation requirements, exploring campus, meeting people behind the avatars, and studying.

As much information you can get your hands on before class starts is good, but somehow it’s never enough. Thankfully it being my 3rd summer I had enough resources to pull together (read: friends) in the same situation so we made it work.

My days basically went like this:
-Breakfast in bed, literally as I didn’t pay for the meal plan this year, so I had some Netf!ix time then too.
-Class
-Lunch
-Library
-Back to my room to finish studying
-Dinner
-Shower
-Bed

For basically 2 weeks straight.

This was the 1st time I’ve had assignments due during the week other than “just” reading. Honestly I hope it’s also the last time, although that’s highly unlikely, because it made things more difficult. It’s hard to truly learn anything when you’re focused on the oral exam at the end of the week.

I’ve never been a fan of oral exams, like most people, they aren’t any easier as an adult.

I had it in my head that last year would be my “summer of suck” but I feel like I had two of them, for different reasons obviously but the feelings were/are the same.

I’ve never spent so much time in a library, ever. In an odd way I’m proud of how I stuck to much of what I had planned. Usually I say one thing and get caught up in the plans of others, however most of us where in the same classes so that had an effect on things.

I did have time to spend one on one time with a few friends, another benefit of not having the meal plan is that you have to get out of your room (and the library). As much as I have enjoyed having a sole focus for a week (in the past) I think my favorite moments from this summer are ones in which I spend time with classmates outside of class.

Many classmates graduated this past spring so they weren’t with us this summer, at least not physically, so I wondered how that would impact my experience this year. Thankfully, well not really, I was kept busy enough that I didn’t think about what was missing this year compared to previous years.

I also relearned what I love about this school and the community. Although I only spend a few weeks a year with people in person it doesn’t feel that way. It just adds to the feeling of community I have every day (even if some days it does mean being underfed, overtired, and stressed out; at least we’re in it together).

A Girl & A Pair Of Shoes

I do not understand shoe obsessions, I have better luck understanding people who have shoe obsessions, until they start doing anything with shoes.

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I hate shopping for shoes more than I hate wearing shoes. I’ve been known to wear shoes much longer than one should simply to avoid the torture of looking for a newer pair. Nevertheless, I make myself attempt to find a new pair every year (usually during tax-free week, just to take some of the sting out of it).

I’d rather be doing anything else on this particular day, still I rolled into the store hoping that just maybe I’d find a pair of shoes without much emotional distress, but I see at least two sales associates I don’t particularly like so I duck into an aisle and start pulling any pair in my size.

Suddenly there was a sales associate standing three feet from me.

“Those are 860s. Those are great shoes. I didn’t mean to overhear your conversation.”

At this point I’m looking down at my feet wondering how on earth she knew what shoes I was wearing based on sight, especially since they were on my feet and I couldn’t find the number printed on the side.

 “If that’s what you’re looking for I can try to find them for you.”

I didn’t like the shoes I had on, but they had a few things working in their favor, they weren’t painful their first second they were on my feet, they fit both of my feet, they still fit without much wear and tear or any deconstruction.

“We keep the smaller sizes in the back. What size do you need?”

I’ve been through this song and dance before so I tell her what I need and continue my own search.

“Are these OK?” she says holing open a box which I look upon with skepticism.

Footwear viability has to pass three phases for me:
-Can I get them on my feet?
-Can I tie them without discomfort?
-Can I walk in them?

The first phase may seem silly but you’d be surprised how quickly a pair of shoes gets a failing grade.

“We’ll have to see if they fit to answer that.”

I make my way to the nearest bench, conveniently out of the eye line of the other sales people and most customers, and proceed to “take apart” one shoe fully expecting the sales associate to voice an objection under the camouflaged as help or left to help someone who actually seemed to need it.

Instead she picks up the other shoe removes the insole and precedes to re-lace the shoe in the same way I had before handing it to me, without making a single comment.

I cautiously put on the right shoe, because if the right shoe doesn’t work there’s no point. Then the left.

Somehow, somewhat miraculously, they fit.

I got a pair of shoes that day, that will probably last until next year, when I repeat this process (and I’m already dreading it).

It’s highly unlikely that the right pair of shoes will help me change the world but a sales person who spends most of her week with shoes changed my experience, even if it might be just once (although I hope it’s not).

Becoming A Road Map

Since swimming reentered my life I can’t get enough of it, so much so that I spend far more time thinking about swimming than anything else. The first thing I plan to pack on any trip is a drag suit & pull buoy, just in case there’s a pool nearby.

A visit to my aunt’s place in the dead of winter was no exception, except winter in Florida is like summer in New England. Plus, she lives within walking distance of multiple pools, and we’re not expected to clean a single one, ever. So being asked, “Would you like to go to the pool?” has me in a suit and out the door as fast as my coordination allows.

I learned to swim in her backyard pool (& almost drowned a few times) as a kid so she’s used to my unorthodox methods of navigating in and around a pool. Rarely does she ask if I need help, in fact she rarely says anything, probably knowing how much joy I get from the water.

“You look like a roadmap.”

It’s hard to hide anything physical in a swimsuit. So you can see each and every one of my surgical scars.

The nearly 30-year-old SDR incision is well healed, but still one of my most noticeable scars. The bilateral scars on both sides of my legs from the tendon transfers, that at one point during my Catholic school days, doubled as dress code marker since skirts could be no more than 2 inches above the knee. Then there are the most recent scars that run along my outer thighs that look similar yet distinctly different from each other, proof that a surgeon does have a trademark style of closing an incision. Everything down to the scar tissue that marks where surgical probes were inserted during who-knows-which surgery that gave surgeons information they needed.

It’s not unusual for me to try and hide at least a few of my scars, especially for formal occasions. I want (and would rather) people look at me because I look good, not because they’re wondering why I have 2-foot-long scar along my spine.

I don’t care about any of that, 99.9% of the time, particularly when I’m in a swim suit. My concern is following that black lane on the bottom of the pool, as many times as I can, as fast as I can.

I care more about executing turns and streamlined body positioning than if anyone is wondering about any (or all of) of my scars.

I do look like a roadmap. A roadmap that only tells portions of roads I’ve traveled. In reality they’re just visuals left up to interpretation. I’m sure people see me around the pool and feel pity, or sadness, or courage, or a sense of inspiration. I have no idea. Honestly I think I’d rather not know what people think of me.

I know what I need to know, that without these scars that have made me look like a human roadmap I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing. I wouldn’t have returned to the pool or found a sense of freedom I’ve missed out on in the not so distant past.

I’ve been asked why I would want to “destroy” parts of myself when I’m perfectly healthy. It’s a legitimate question but the same people who ask such questions don’t know the need for the so called “destruction”.

Each scar was created with the hope of a better future, and in the process I’ve been created to be a map with no known final destination.

It’s like the movies where the main character is given half of a treasure map and needs to find the other half before the story can be completed.

Preparation + Opportunity = Luck

I’ve been spending far too much time watching the Olympics (like most of the 1st world, I suspect) and I’ll keep doing so until the Paralympic closing ceremonies.

(For those of you with Olympic fever and wished the games would last longer, they in fact do, the Paralympics just aren’t on TV as much).

With the Olympics comes a lot of discussion about what it takes to be an Olympian. I think anyone who is an Olympian will tell you that although the destination is the same, the paths can be different. That’s also what draws people to the Olympics (I think), the stories that the athletes have. I still remember hearing about a swimmer who had some kind of respiratory condition that was like the equivalent of an average person breathing through a straw, and he was a world class athlete.

I remember thinking, if he could be who is and do what he does than I have a chance too.

I don’t remember his name so I have no idea what happened to him, but he still comes to my mind on occasion.

The philosopher Seneca said, “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”

This has become my philosophy on athletes, especially world class and unknown ones.

People can argue that blessings can get you anywhere you’re meant to be in life but that’s like saying wishing a flight of stairs would turn into an elevator and having it actually happen.

Blessings are great and they do have their place but no amount of blessing is going to make it possible for you to win a gold medal without some amount of training beforehand.

For example, as much as I want to be a world class athlete I have yet to be “blessed” with the resources to even be able to a serious recreational swimmer. But I have been damn lucky and chased every potential opportunity I can come across. I’m not where I want to be but I am putting forth the effort in the unlikely event that one day enough opportunities align themselves to make things a little easier.

It’s nice to call someone blessed but that can downplay the hard work and dedication that goes into achievement. It’s like calling someone an “overnight success” when they’ve been working towards their success for countless years.

Just because you haven’t seen the blood, sweat, and tears, doesn’t mean they didn’t (and don’t) exist.

God is great and everything and unbelievable blessings do happen but not as often as people like to think (not unlike other things in life).

Luck and blessings are real but rarely do they ever come alone. Instead they come mixed in with blood, sweat, tears, disappointment, hard work, early mornings, late nights, busy schedules, sacrifice, and a host of other things you don’t catch on camera.

Sitting On Saints

Catholics have an interesting relationship with saints, we ask for their intersession, visit shrines, we may even stand in line to view their relics (which sometimes includes their actual body).

I admit that I don’t fully understand the significance myself. However, I also need to admit that I have also taken an already misunderstood relationship with saints to a new level.

I sit on them.

(Yeah, you might want to read that again and let it sink in.)

It wasn’t something I was planning on doing, but it just kind of worked out that way.

I made an offhanded comment about whether or not St. Joseph of Cupertino would intercede on behalf of the safety of my wheelchair during flight. Because every wheelchair user has at least one airline horror story that’s wheelchair related. He is the patron saint of air travelers, and I have admitted that I often refer to my chair as a person, so I didn’t think such a question was that far out in left field.

 

And before we go any further, my chair does not share a name with a saint, at least not from what I can gather. Besides, that would be a little too strange.

I had this idea to get a patron saint medal and somehow attach it to my chair. But it just didn’t work out. I might’ve had better luck if I was within walking distance of somewhere that has every patron saint medal under the sun, but that was so long ago now.

It the flurry of preparations for my swim meet the thought resurfaced, although I had no idea if there was indeed a patron saint for swimmers. I knew of St. Sebastian, patron saint of athletes, but I wanted to find something a little closer, if at all possible. Because I really could use all the help I could get, even if I doubted it would make a difference.

There seems to be a saint for nearly everything, until you get specific.

It turns out there is a patron saint of swimmers/swimming, Saint Adjutor of Vernon, who, escaped, apparently swimming to freedom.”

Considering my history with swimming and my goal of not drowning during a race it seemed like a good fit.

I embarked on my original mission, with a different saint, get a patron saint medal and somehow attach it to my chair. However, finding anything on obscure saints is a challenge, and if it isn’t, it costs more money than you want to spend given one’s individual needs.

I got the idea of putting something inside my seat instead. Wheelchair seating typically comes in layers so it wouldn’t be completely out of the realm of possibility to slide something under the cover and leave it there. But if the top layer gets wet it tends to seep all the way through, requiring a complete dismantle of the entire cushion, which is if nothing else, annoying.

I found a workable solution however.

Yup, pictures of saints in plastic baggies.

I slide them into my seat cushion and no one knows any difference (well now you do, because I said something).

There you have it, I sit on various saints, albeit in the spirit of intersession & reverence.

 

Luck Is For The Unprepared

A few months ago I achieved a lifelong dream. I’m not exaggerating either.

I dove into a pool. Nothing unusual really, except this time I dove in after a buzzer.

I (finally) swam in a meet.

When I showed up for my first team practice in the fall I knew competing could be a possibility, but I kept my expectations low. Even when the email was sent with available meets I didn’t answer. Why would someone think I would compete? Why would I expect the “OK” after two decades? I settled for being able to be on a team, that was enough.

It wasn’t until I saw “TBD” next to my name that I thought my coach might be serious about my entering a competition, even still I was prepared to hear “No,” right up until I was at the end of the lane waiting for those three magic words “Take your mark.”

So how did the day go?

There’s a saying, “Luck is for the unprepared.”

If there’s any grain of truth in that at all then I got lucky, really lucky.

I set really low goals for myself for the meet, so low in fact that my coach had to talk me into raising them a bit.

Still, my only goals were to not come in dead last, if I didn’t drown first.

I was planning on swimming in 6 events, which ended up being 5 the day of the event, which ended up being 4 because of a disqualification at the start of one race, which really ended up being a blessing when was all was said and done.

I was happy with how I swam, even if I wasn’t really looking forward to swimming in some events, and would have preferred to swim others. I prepared for what I planned for and planned what I prepared for.

I didn’t come in dead last or drown either.

I prepared myself in any way I could. I scheduled extra practices in a colder pool, because everyone kept telling me how freezing the pool would be. I asked hundreds of questions. I researched and planned my meals. I sought out ways to become faster. I had contingency plans for my contingency plans. I even attempted to desensitize my nervous system to the starting bell.

Being my first meet I needed to get classified first, which included a swim. Having no idea what to expect in that respect I was extremely happy with how it went. I was also happy I invited a friend to come along, because in hindsight I have no idea what I would’ve done without him.

I had some time between my classification and the warm up time so I had something to eat and reviewed the plan for the day, again.

Everyone was right about the pool. It was freezing but I had prepared myself for much worse so I convinced myself that once I got going I’d be fine. And true to form I collided with a teammate, which was even captured on film. As funny as I found the moment I hope “collide with another swimmer” doesn’t end up on my list of pre-race rituals.

I had decided pretty quickly that I should have someone on deck with me so I asked my friend if he would stay on the deck rather than head up to the bleachers. I figured at some point I might need someone to peel me off the roof and if there was one person there capable of doing the job it’s him. I guess that’s what happens when you share so many interests, you’ve been friends for over a decade and he’s peeled me off a ceiling or two before.

Little did I realize how much I’d need him for practical matters, like remembering my heat and lane numbers or when would be a good time to eat something.

My first race was one of my most comfortable strokes but I was focused most of my worry on turns. Short course pool means more turns. If my third race was my first race I think I would’ve been a complete mess the whole day so having a race I was more confident in helped a great deal.

It was after I touched the wall after my first race when I realized how far out of my comfort zone I was and how much I would need to rely on the practice I had put in, pure adrenaline, and my self-confidence.

I couldn’t see a thing (for one). Without my glasses I can’t see much. I didn’t realize just how much until I was somewhere I had never been before, which is a problem when you need to get in the correct lane and/or see the flags hanging over the pool. But it does give me the opportunity to swim my own race, because I can’t see anyone else.

The day went by fairly quickly I think I only looked at the clock (meaning a traditional wall clock) once and made a comment about how it couldn’t possibly be so late in the day (even though I had had a pretty long day at that point).

It was probably a good thing I had the schedule I did for two reasons 1) There was little to no time to think about the details I concerned myself with for countless practices and 2) my muscles didn’t have much time to become too tight, or too loose.

I won’t say that having some of my expectations for the meet met made me happy with how the day went because it’s not exactly true. More than anything the meet gave me a chance to really see what I need to work on for next time, because I wasn’t even out of the pool after my first race before I knew there would be a next time.

Even though I was able achieve a lifelong dream I now know how unprepared I was for the day, even with all of the preparation I had put in. If luck is indeed for the unprepared then I can honestly say I was one of the luckiest people on the planet for at least one day in my life.

Being A Human Pincushion

I probably should’ve written this post closer to when these events actually happened, but, life.

I’ve made no secret that I’m not a fan of in office medical procedures, especially those that can and often are performed in an OR. It’s not due to fear of needles, but rather a dislike for the planning and upkeep involved. Call me crazy, and most people have, but I prefer a longer recovery for a “one and done” thing. Plus, I’m not good with keeping track of things that need to be regularly scheduled. If it doesn’t need to happen at least once a week or twice a year it just escapes me.

So imagine how happy I was to have 2 in office procedures scheduled for one day. It helps in the planning in one aspect but not in others.

I’ve accepted the idea that Botox injections once a year, with a few rounds of trigger point injections during the year, works for me. I’m still not a big fan but I’ve accepted it until another plan actually works.

I have yet to fully accept that the best course of treatment for lingering muscle strain is a regularly scheduled cortisone injection, even though I know every other alternative is less than preferable. The doctor in charge of managing my strain knows my concerns, so much so that she addresses them at each visit taking things on a case by case basis even though I think we’ve reached the point of a sustainable treatment plan.

I didn’t want to get Botox and Cortisone on the same day, but at the same time I just wanted to get it over with.

The Botox came first mostly because I know that 99% of the time the doctor in charge of that isn’t late. So there was little chance that the day would get backed up, but I did leave my mom in the waiting room with everyone’s contact information, just in case.

The appointment itself went OK aside from the fact that there’s another new medical assistant who asked me if I had fallen in the last 3 months. My guess is she’s not aware of the fact that people with CP can’t go 3 days without falling never mind 3 months.

I talked my way out of anesthetic and there were no residents hanging around so it was a pleasant appointment overall. Trigger point injections are scheduled for about a month from now but that can be moved up or back depending on how I’m feeling.

Then I was off to hospital #2 for the cortisone.

I actually don’t mind these kinds of appointments either the waiting and procedure prep (which is really just more waiting) is far from my favorite, especially when they ask you to arrive at least 15-20 minutes prior to your appointment. It’s times like this when I would actually bring something to read or other work, if it wasn’t for the need for a sterile environment. I realize that bringing a book probably won’t make a difference but I’d rather not take the chance with a very large needle going very close to my femoral artery, any and all chances for infection and/or bleeding need to be kept at a minimum.

What I neglected to realize when scheduling these appointments was that I would probably be jumpier than usual on the second round of sticks. I know there’s a high likelihood as is that my muscles may jump at the exact moment I need to stay completely still.

My PM&R knows this and knows just how to pin me down & stick me with only 2 hands at his disposal, although he could call someone else in he doesn’t need to.

The sports medicine staff has been more than accommodating when I tell them they’re going to have to pin me down even after anesthetic has taken effect.

As a result of my extra jumpiness I was given more anesthetic prior to the cortisone injection. So much so that I couldn’t feel a thing from my waist to my knee. It came to me pretty quickly that I was not told to bring crutches or my wheelchair to the appointment and I would need something to just get off the table, never mind put my shoes on, walk back down the hall, and then walk out to the car.

Thankfully I did have my wheelchair in the car so while I was resting for the mandatory 10-15 minutes I told my mom to go get the wheelchair and bring it in, because this time they were not going to let me go without using some assistive device.

I had scheduled a follow up in case I wasn’t feeling too great but that day has come and gone so I’ll schedule another appointment when I feel I need it, which will probably come in a few months.

At the end of the day, although it was long and got increasingly uncomfortable as the day wore on, I probably would be a “pincushion for the day” again. I would come better prepared however, like having one time use icepacks in the car, or asking for an extra when leaving my appointments, and having some OTC painkillers on standby.

About Help Continued

I had no idea this was going to go this far, but God had other plans I guess.

What stated with a Tweet:

“If someone with a disability needs help they’ll tell you & how. DON’T tell them what they need to do & how. That’s the worst thing to do.”

Evolved into a post*:

When someone tells you they need help ask how you can help them. It probably took a lot to even ask for help because honestly who really wants help. It’s like admitting weakness. To admit you need help you need to come to a point when you realize admitting your weakness might actually work out for the best. To turn that around on someone is at times just cruel, not to mention a break in trust someone had in you. Speaking for myself, I don’t ask for help from someone I don’t trust on some level, no matter how badly I need it (I have plenty of scars from bumps and bruises to prove it).

Help comes in different forms. I don’t like knowing I’ll need a lot of help from others, or at least I like to think that way, so I try and avoid it as much as possible. And if I do end up needing help I try to tell people I trust and I know they don’t usually mind it, and if they do they’ll be honest about it.

Ask how. Don’t tell how. In all likelihood someone’s put more thought into it than you realize. Attempting to think you know better, and then actually saying it, you may as well spit on them or slap them in the face. Not only are you not helping, you’re making someone wish they never asked in the first place.

Who wants to live in a world where no one wants to ask for help for the simple fear of being disappointed? Certainly not me, and I’m someone that needs some help from time to time (but find someone who doesn’t).  *portion of original post

Has now moved into conversation:

While spending time with a friend’s parents her dad told me about his recent experience with trying to help someone; which left him not wanting to help someone ever again (which I know he won’t stick to because he’s not that kind of guy). I should tell you that he is an amazing man & anyone to receive any help from him will not be disappointed. He’s also the type of person you can talk to about anything for any length of time; he may be a physician by trade but he’s been known to have conversations about church history, bridge structure, and wars in the 1800s without difficulty. So I thought explaining “the help thing” to him would be a good place to start if this were to ever become a thing.

I had my post, and previous experience, in mind when choosing to wade into the waters with this one. Unfortunately, things didn’t go as well as I hoped it would, which is totally my fault.

In the end I told him about Jennifer Rothschild’s book Lessons I Learned In The Dark. I had 2 reasons for this. The first being I know he likes a good read which this book certainly is. The second being I could never put the right words to disability before this book, but now I can, or at least I try. Really it just seemed like the best way to save my point the best I could, begin at the beginning and all that.

In the end I can’t remember what I said. All I can do is hope I did the right thing.

And have faith that one bad experience in trying to help someone won’t stop a person from trying again (and again, and again).

Because if it does that doesn’t help anyone at all.

Now that I’ve gone this far what’s next?
A book?
(God help us all)

*A similar version of this post first appeared on an old blog on December 9, 2011

About Help

I sent out a tweet I feel I should explain, because 140 characters just doesn’t do this topic justice.

“If someone with a disability needs help they’ll tell you & how. DON’T tell them what they need to do & how. That’s the worst thing to do.”

I should also mention that after I clicked “tweet” I realized the last part should be, “That’s not help,” but you live and learn.

I’ll attempt to keep this somewhat vague yet relevant since it does apply to several life areas, even if it basically falls into one of mine almost exclusively.

Growing up I always had help. I didn’t always need it, it wasn’t always given, but it was always there. In a lot of ways, I feel like my childhood was idea for an individual in my position. (I also had very few people to compare myself to before the age of 5 which I think also helped, but not really the point here)

More often than not someone could be heard saying, “She doesn’t need help, she’s got it,” or something to that effect.

People may have had doubts, but they were rarely voiced in my presence. And if they were, they were quickly shot down. I can only see now how helpful that in fact was for my wellbeing.

Somewhere into my late teens/early 20s the help changed. The pontificating started and has only increased. I may be sensitive to it, but that doesn’t mean it should be there as often as it should be.

It started in college. At the time I was attending a cousin’s alma mater, as I had planned, when he called me. We talked about life on campus, particularly dorm life, considering he lived in the same building a few years before. I had heard about the parties for years, particularly the rugby thrown ones, now he was telling me not to go. Was I a little disappointed? Maybe. I knew with age came wisdom so I took his advice, although not to the extent I think he was hoping for.

Upon graduation things took on a different intensity. It happens when you pick a career field people enjoy from a certain distance but few understand fully, no career services does not always live up to their name.

Now that I’m a not-so-new graduate things are different, yet the same. Most have established lives by now. Others are still free spirits. One group tends to “help” the other, whether they want it or not. (I’ll let you guess who)

A lot of discussions tend to take the same path, although well meaning, it’s often torture. You can tell where it’s going 2 lines in and you’re dying for a quick getaway, but you’re yet to find one, somehow.

I have to ask myself, “Did I do too good of a job proving that I’m pretty average? Why can’t people see that this is different for me?” not the heaviest of questions by far, but valid for sure.

I try to keep up the act but one day I had my fill. I had to point out that this wasn’t one of those times when a cute pep talk could straighten me out and pull me through the situation. I needed help, not advice. Help. Telling and helping really are two different things.

When someone tells you they need help ask how you can help them. It probably took a lot to even ask for help because honestly who really wants help. It’s like admitting weakness. To admit you need help you need to come to a point when you realize admitting your weakness might actually work out for the best. To turn that around on someone is at times just cruel, not to mention a break in trust someone had in you. Speaking for myself, I don’t ask for help from someone I don’t trust on some level, no matter how badly I need it (I have plenty of scars from bumps and bruises to prove it).

Help comes in different forms. I don’t like knowing I’ll need a lot of help from others, or at least I like to think that way, so I try and avoid it as much as possible. And if I do end up needing help I try to tell people I trust and I know they don’t usually mind it, and if they do they’ll be honest about it.

Ask how. Don’t tell how. In all likelihood someone’s put more thought into it than you realize. Attempting to think you know better, and then actually saying it, you may as well spit on them or slap them in the face. Not only are you not helping, you’re making someone wish they never asked in the first place.

Who wants to live in a world where no one wants to ask for help for the simple fear of being disappointed? Certainly not me, and I’m someone that needs some help from time to time (but find someone who doesn’t).

*A similar version of this post first appeared on an old blog on November 3, 2011