A few months ago Healine Magazine, the publication for the British Columbia Brain Injury society, approached me about running a profile on my post-accident story. The idea being that my story could inspire others, and also is a powerful recount of how professional interventions and supports can lead to long-term success even in the midst of drastic changes. I was honoured, excited and hesitant all in one. I was given the opportunity to maintain creative control, which allowed me to write the story and focus on the aspects of my recovery I wanted to. I elected not to focus on the logistics of the accident, or the nitty gritty of the years of continued rehab. Instead I kept it positive and choose to focus on the impact the accident and subsequent injuries have had on my educational and professional pursuits.
However, even with the opportunity to share my tale in my own words I was still anxiously left feeling less than brave. The story of my accident is something I keep close to my heart and only a few people, mainly my mom and Jay have been let in to see the full extent of my injuries. I often frame all the ramifications in positivity (because regardless there is a vast silver lining to my experience), and down play the severity. A brain injury is permanent, so although I have come a long way thanks to an amazing team of rock stars, so many of my challenges remain. Therefore, I still spend so much of my time and energy compensating for the long-term effects or masking my perceived deficits. Ironically, this level of protectiveness has ultimately been the only cause of conflict surrounding my accident. I have learned through trial and error that when you aren’t transparent with your needs, others are not aware of them and that is when a breakdown in communication occurs. Therefore, over the years those closest to me have challenged me to be candid with my experience. So when I agreed to do the story I shared with a few trusted people that it was going to print. However, I held fast that I wouldn’t share it with the wider world because no one I knew would be reading Headline and I could still protect my story. They all gently prodded me to be brave (since that was my goal in penning the story at all) and trust that those who loved me would only be appreciative to glean greater insight into my experience. So with their words bouncing around in my head I am now letting you, my big world of dedicated readers, friends and family, in on the story.
The print versions aren’t on shelves just yet, nor is the latest edition up on their website yet. But with that being said if you are in any medical center, neurological office or rehabilitation space in the province of British Columbia grab a print copy of the magazine in the next week or so. Otherwise, feel free to download the PDF version right now and head over to page 10 for my article: 2014 winter Headline. I hope you enjoy, and please share your insights and stories with me in connection to the article. Getting queries and e-mails from readers is one of my favorite aspects of up keeping this blog.
So we took along our fancy camera with all the intentions in the world of capturing our trip home with it. However, we got too caught up savoring the people and events of being home that the only remnants of our visit are pixelated iPhone snapped photos. I would be more bummed if it wasn’t a testament to just how wonderfully full and heart filling our time at home was.
We were honored to celebrate the most exceptional bride and groom. The wedding wound up being perfectly wonderful evening of catching up with old friends, and on top of that making some pretty spectacular new ones (Y’all come visit now!). As for the bride and groom, these two are a truly remarkable couple. They have been together since early high school and are seriously going to kill it as husband and wife. We love them. So much so that after the wedding night I lost my voice for the remainder of our trip because I talked, laughed and cheered way, way too much.
I don’t fancy myself a die hard unionist, and it is difficult being across the continent when my school district is on strike. I am reading all I can digest from both sides, and talking with my teacher friends about the political climate in BC schools at the moment. I also have a brother who is a strong, assertive, kick ass teacher, who happens to also be well versed on the topic. I have been browsing the social media comments from teachers and the general public, some which frustrate me and others that make me stop and think. So luckily I am able to be kept in the loop even with geography limiting my influence. Through it all I am trying to sort out my stance on the matter as I watch it unfold from a far. This morning I read a teacher blog, and although I don’t share all her beliefs I feel like she did an excellent job summing up and articulating the teachers position in layman’s terms for students and the public alike.
At the end of the day I believe in BC education. So much so that much to the chagrin of all New Yorkers I routinely brag to about how exceptional the schools I have taught in are. We are progressive and we are innovative. I have shared staff rooms with some of the most inspirational teachers. So I know there is a middle ground that can be reached that will better serve our students, teachers and government. After a year working in a Harlem public school, I see a lot of strength in the BC education system, but I am also mindful that we have such a robust team of teachers and educational resources because teachers before me fought for them. So, now, today we need to move forward, and not further dismantle the state of our publicly funded education system.
Some moments are for life. This weekend was one of those moments. We filled our days with good Friday services at Hillsong, coffee dates in Greenwich Village, Easter Sunday services, bocce in Fort Green park, potlucks in Brooklyn and the most exceptional, imperfectly perfect people. So although this was our first major holiday without family (and we missed them bundles), we consider ourselves truly blessed to be able to spend it the way we did and with whom we did.
My contribution to our Easter potluck was Cilantro Lime Bean Salad, peanut butter cookies and Naniamo Bars (get excited fellow Canadians). Being from Vancouver Island, Naniamo bars to me are ubiquitous with cupcakes, cookies and brownies. So naturally upon moving to NYC I figured everyone had been enlightened to their awesomeness. I was shocked, no, I was horrified to learn that even my fellow Torontonians had no idea what I was babbling about. So this Easter potluck I set out to rectify that atrocity by trying my hand at what for me I had always considered a super complex dessert (I prefer simple, no fuss no muss baking that reaps rewards quickly).
My dear friend Alyssa, filled me in on her little tip that if you place each layer in the freezer for 30 minutes it makes the processes a little more seamless. So with that in mind I decided to stick to the basics and took the recipe right off the city of the Naniamo website (although I couldn’t help but throw in a few of my own twists), and after one batch of burnt chocolate and a forgotten egg in the first crust I alas mastered these delicious treats. However, my sincerest apologies because in terms of food photography this post gets a below failing grade, only because we were having too much fun enjoying our company to craft a pretty picture (and Jay had to cut the bars with a spoon because I forgot a knife. Opps.). So regardless of the aesthetic, enjoy as you soak in the amazing Canadian-ness that are Naniamo Bars. Continue reading “Our Easter Weekend and a Nanaimo Bar Recipe”
I am sitting here on my mom’s couch (American Translation: Sofa), not even having left the west coast yet, already going through a bout of recurring homesickness. I will miss the people and I will miss the beauty. However, during our time here I have come to realize just how spectacular and uniquely special it is that Jay and I get to call two very dynamic, wonderful cities home. I am in love with New York for all the bustle and activity it offers that Victoria doesn’t, while I cherish Victoria for all the charm, relaxed island pace and warmth that New York misses.
Well needless to say the past few weeks have been chaotic but so unbelievably amazing it has made all the madness worth it. Since the last post we have bought a house, moved into the house, reno’d the garage, got tenants, had my 25th birthday, visited my grandparents, had weekend visitors and managed to sneak in a quick 8 day getaway to Florida.
First and foremost my apologies for the quality of photo. Until my husband comes home and fixes our iMac I am left to suffer away snapping shots with my iPhone. However, photo quality aside this soup was just what the stomach asked for. I have been a little under the weather lately, and with Jay away in North Carolina on business my motivation to utilize my culinary prowess has been limited. So tonight I decided to change my attitude and use figured that a little homemade soup could heal what ails me. This vegan and paleo friendly bisque uses coconut milk instead of milk to give it a creamy depth and habanero peppers to give it a little bite. The result: Yum. Continue reading “Spicy Tomato Coconut Bisque”