original oil painting

Taking a Step Back After the Las Vegas Tragedy


This is the first time I’m talking about Vegas since finding the news out on Monday morning.

My heart is still aching for the families who lost loved ones, friends who know people who were shot, and for the friends I still haven’t heard from. I wish I could take the fear and pain away my friends are feeling.

I feel guilty for not being there to support them, but I learned an important lesson in the days following the shooting: I learned to slow down and appreciate the little things. I learned the importance of not rushing my future.

As someone with a chronic condition that is not accepted by society, unless I continuously prove what I can do, I can’t tell you the last time I’ve slowed down and appreciated the little things.

Over the past few months I’ve wanted to get my license, degree and move out as soon as possible so people can stop assuming I will be dependent on others forever. After the shooting, I found myself stuck between wanting to be a totally independent 20-year-old to stopping my dreams to stay with loved ones — since life is a precious gift that is not a permanent guarantee.

Family support and personal goals are a hard balance, but I hope I (and you) can understand I am doing the best I can to treat them as equally important.

Don’t stop working towards what makes you your own person, but don’t forget about the importance of relationships with family and friends. They made you who you are, and life is a gift that won’t always be here.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Thinkstockphoto by Andesign101

JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Related to Cerebral Palsy

On World Cerebral Palsy Day, Let's Shift Our Worldview

Every hour on this planet, another child is born with cerebral palsy. Every hour, another individual enters our world with challenges and potential, awaiting a torrent of future successes, sadnesses, obstacles, and joys that will unspool over the years. I tell my son Thomas, a glorious 20-year-old full of ambition, cleverness, and snark, a boy [...]

6 Truths People With Cerebral Palsy Want You to Know on World CP Day

October 6 is World Cerebral Palsy Day. If you’re like most people with a passing interest in Today’s Very Important Day, you may check out a few facts and learn things like 17 million people have cerebral palsy and 1 in 500 babies is diagnosed with CP. You may watch a viral Facebook video. Maybe you’ll [...]
Sad girl holding heart symbol by her finger.

The Friend Who Accepted Me When I Struggled as a Teen With Cerebral Palsy

I’m sure you have all heard the phrase “life works in mysterious ways.” I really do believe this saying with all my heart. However, I think my story is a matter of fate rather than mystery. To tell this story properly, I must force myself to think back to when I was 17 years old. [...]

Finding My 'Spasticity With Sparkle' as a Caregiver With Cerebral Palsy

One day over a year ago I was amidst fluorescent lights, in a tiny waiting room, waiting to hear what I already knew “Your mom has a form of dementia, most likely Alzheimer’s. That moment, everything I knew in my heart became instant reality. There I was in my instant vortex. My whirlwind of reality [...]