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.
This month I was asked to find a spare moment in the chaos of finals to talk about our plans for Christmas, either near or far from NYC. I chose to highlight some of the festive activities that we managed to squeeze in between laborious paper writing and those lengthy library sessions where you sustain yourself on a diet of coffee and determination.
Next week we will be jetting back to the island to enjoy the Christmas season with family and friends back home. However, before that happens we have been taking full advantage of Christmas in our new home. The holidays in the city have a little extra sparkle and a dash more whimsy than anything I have previously experienced. The lights begin being hung around mid November and by the time Thanksgiving comes around almost every street is adorned with silky red bows and fragrant evergreen wreaths. It is beautiful, and even the grinch-iest of grinch would have a hard time not warming to the Christmas spirit this city emits.
Currently I am in the midst of finals insanity in a way only grad school can muster. However, Jay and I have been taking study breaks to explore the festive undercurrents of New York City. Below I have chronicled some of our top holiday highlights. Warning this list is long and only scratches the surface of holiday offerings this city provides. There just may need to be a Christmas in the city 2.0 post to follow.
Continue reading “Christmas in the City”
I think I have mentioned it before but one of the best, most exciting parts of being in New York has been falling in love with Jay on a new, deeper level. When we first settled in here I felt worlds away from the support network I have carefully knit with my truly remarkable friends and large, close family, and the distance from them made me feel as if the floor had fallen out beneath me. If I am honest, there are moments when I still feel this way. However, I have come to realize that the core things I need are found in Jay. This is no way diminishes the support I receive from others, because it is equally vital (and hasn’t changed at all). I have simply begun to realize what an unstoppable, dynamite team him and I are. He is the pinnacle of support, as he graciously talks to death all the big and small thoughts, aspirations and concerns that stir inside me daily. Through his hard work and passion he is constantly bolstering all the dreams we both have for our little family. This is nothing new, he has always been this way. The only difference is that I have begun to appreciate these attributes in ways I could never have done without stepping outside my comfort zone and taking these risks. So although we are slowly building a vibrant network of friends here in NYC, I have really enjoyed the us time as Jay and I explore this city and each other in a whole new way.
Now we are not the type of couple to schedule date nights, and in all actuality we are really, really terrible at the romance thing. We would not be the winners of any cutest couple award that is for sure. Although we do spend an unnatural amount of time together, I still tend to describe us as one of the least couply-couples. A friend from back home who now shares the city with us told me she loved being with us because we don’t make people feel like third wheels. This was one of the best compliments I have ever received. At the heart of what defines us is that Jay and I are best friends and that is how we approach life and our relationships with others. So with that in mind most of our dates are happenstance and are the result of the friends we invited being busy, not the careful orchestration of romance. Nonetheless here is a detailing of some of our favorite City dates thus far. Continue reading “Dating (my husband) in NYC”
We were incredibly blessed to be invaded by family the past week and a half straight. Our first visitor, my beautiful mom, came for a week which wasn’t nearly long enough. In the span of days we fit what could easily have filled weeks, and afterward we (with watery eyes) tucked her into her cab with sore feet and a full heart. It did both her and I good to explore mine and Jay’s new home together as we ventured into the heart of the city in hunt of exquisite shopping, good food and new running trails. I could not ask for a better excuse to be a tourist than her.
Then the evening after we waved good bye to mom, my dad, Peter, arrived. His entrance into the city was eventful with a less than ideal foray into the Bronx, complete with unhelpful misdirections from locals amidst the bombarding, cacophony of rush hour traffic. However, after his unwanted adventure we at last laid eyes on him and settled him into our apartment, turning him into our second excuse to explore the city a little further.
I should have been studying for midterms, and I should have been completing my literature review but instead I paused and tried my best to balance my demands with soaking in family and our city. In the midst of it all my little heart was filled to overflowing as both my parents assured me just how wholly proud of me they are and how excited they were for what waits us in the coming year as we plant roots in this crazy, overwhelmingly wonderful city. Below are some of our highlights, and suggestions for must do NYC tourist activities that make every study break that much more invigorating. Continue reading “Playing Tourist: Things to do in New York”
Columbia University’s Newest Admissions Blogger
After reading my blog the Admissions Office for Teacher’s College at Columbia University has asked me to serve as their newest student admissions blogger for the coming school year. Each month they will feature a post authored by me on their blog which will chronicle my insights as a current student with the aim of helping guide and inform future applicants.
The Jordan Project houses my personal, more intimate reflections on this new adventure in NYC. Conversely, the opportunity to write for the Admissions Blog will be an avenue for professional reflection on my time in the city. So keep your eyes peeled to the Admissions website to glean greater understanding into what brought me to NYC, the route and insurmountable paperwork I navigated to get here and the insider scoop on what life as a graduate student and teacher in NYC looks like for me personally.