My Story in Headline Magazine

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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.

Get out of Town: Northeast Road Trip

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Jameson and I strive to place people at the center of our lives.  Careers and life goals and adventures are all of great import.  But at the core of what makes our world revolve is the people we choose to share our mundane life with.  We know a remarkable couple (who happen to be our high school gym teachers and later our landlords) that possess this unbelievable ability to love on others.  When you are in conversation with them it is always intentional, and they truly have the gift of making you feel heard. In them both is the capacity to earnestly share in your joy regardless of circumstance.  Beyond that, they also love God with the same vigor they love others with.  We look up to them.  Jay and I would consider it our greatest accomplishment if we are ever able to walk out our marriage in the same loving manner they embody, and make those around us feel even mildly as cherished as they manage to do.

Fortunately for us, we have people quite literally across the globe that love us and we love whole heartily. Our circle extends from from Dallas, to Sydney to Victoria, with stops in Toronto, California, New York and everywhere in between.   It is friends and family who feed us. They possess the ability to transform a dreary day.  They are the ones able to speak encouragement, and wisdom into our lives; whether we connect daily or only every so often.  We are so grateful for all of those that are willing to come along side us to share in this crazy, adventure we are on. So thank you to each and every one of you.

So needless to say it was such a soul filling time for us this summer when we got the chance to carve out a week of road tripping with three of the people who are firmly entrenched at the center of our universe.  Truth be told Jay and I are in full agreement that it is probably one of the highest highs of our entire time in NYC thus far.  It wasn’t the adventure or the scenery or all the great food.  It was simply because of who we shared the time with.  We are so grateful to have created our own little New York family.  Even though it doesn’t replace or keep us from missing those at home like crazy, it at least helps bolster us in the place we currently are. Continue reading “Get out of Town: Northeast Road Trip”

New York City Living: Roof Life

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As you may know Jay and I began ardently church hunting when we arrived in NYC, and it had been quite the process.  It wasn’t until one day after a work out that one girl took a risk and asked Jay to come to church that we finally found a place to call home.  Beyond a church, what we gained was one of the most exceptionally amazing group of likeminded people that have become like our New York City family.  They have really turned around my perspective on living in New York and helped quell some of the homesickness (just a touch though. I still miss all you islanders don’t you worry).

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By growing in this new church I have also come to realize that although I would deem myself a Christian from birth, that really my  depth of understanding and grasp of the bible is not nearly as diverse as I crave it to be.  As such, two of those aforementioned friends have come along side me to study the bible.  Beyond being incredible friends and being utterly gorgeous, they are also so wise and loving.  I have so much respect for both of these women. They don’t balk as my misunderstandings, and answer all my questions with open hearts and non judgmental minds.  I am so fortunate to walk through this journey with them.

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That being said, this past Tuesday we met on Elaina’s rooftop and since I am still in my photography class I carted along my camera to do some of my “homework” at the same time.  These images are the result of a beautiful evening studying an incredible book with unbelievably wonderful women.

Trans America Road Trip Route

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It is almost the 1 year anniversary since we set out on our Trans America road trip from our little island hometown to New York City.  A week doesn’t go by that Jay and I don’t talk about the time we packed all we could fit into the back of a crossover and set out across country.  So far it has been one of the best adventures of our young lives.  I chronicled the entire adventure on the blog, and all those posts were and actually still is the most viewed entries on the Jordan Project.  They are still being pinned again and again on a daily basis.  I keep getting asked to map out the route we took to get ourselves across this great nation.  So in honor of the requests and in encouragement that everyone really, really should take this trip here is the route we planned.

Before leaving we fielded comment after comment about how fun it will be to take it as it comes and stop where the wind takes us.  Clearly these people under estimated my sheer level of A-type personality and the utter thrill I get in planning.  Every detail was accounted for. I had mapped our route 10 months before we left, researched and booked the perfect hotel in each location and even devised an itemized list of where to eat and what to see (including a route on how to maximize our time in each spot so we could do and taste it all).  Here is the result of my madness.  It was sheer, perfect bliss. 12 days of bliss. Continue reading “Trans America Road Trip Route”

Long Weekend Living: Brooklyn Style

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I love long weekends.

We had the most luxuriously relaxing few days (before Jay had to jet set off Monday morning).  Post-church rooftop hammocks, good friends and volleyball (where I somewhat held my own some of the time) in the park as the sunset. It was sheer, perfect bliss.

However, I will stop elaborating and let the photos which speak for themselves do all the talking.

Happy Memorial Weekend Y’all!

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Continue reading “Long Weekend Living: Brooklyn Style”

Playing Tourist: Arts, Food and Athletics in NYC

For the most part Jay and I save the “touristy” things to do until we have guests in town. This works out well since we never have to wait long since. We have had at least one set of visitors come stay with us every month since we moved to New York (and we wouldn’t have it any other way).

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This past week Keana and Teri brought a little bit of the west coast to us in the east.  We were so lucky to have them both, and we carved time out of our daily lives to dive into the arts, food and fitness cultures that pervade NYC living.   Continue reading “Playing Tourist: Arts, Food and Athletics in NYC”

Playing Tourist: Bike Riding Through Central Park

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After 5 weeks volunteering in Africa, my mom and aunt ventured to Manhattan for an extended layover before heading home.  We could not have been happier to have them.  Jay and I are truly blessed to have such wonderful family who surround us, and I am extra lucky that I have a plethora of strong, confident, beautiful women who are always there to encourage, love and care for me.

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Throughout the course of week we ate a lot.  We walked a lot.  We lunched a lot. We talked a lot.  Making it the greatest week ever.  Whether we were nibbling biscotti at the Hungarian Pastry Shop or sipping locally roasted coffee at Irving Farm the time spent was perfect.  However, the event that tops our charts as the best thing we did has to be spending a beautiful sunning morning pedaling around the entirety of Central Park.  We nabbed some Citi bikes at Columbus circle and set off from there, taking breaks to check out the Boathouse, Strawberry Fields, the reservoir and the Plaza Hotel (where Jay and I got to reminisce about our first visit to NYC together and our stay there). I highly recommend this adventure if you have the time in your jam packed manhattan itinerary.

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Today we tucked them into a cab, shed a handful of tears saying our goodbyes and then they were off. We are so thankful that they took the time to come explore our city with us. They filled our hearts (and our cupboards).  Now we are excitingly waiting for Jay’s family to arrive at the start of next week.

But the real question to all of you is whose’s coming for a visit next?

Exploring Brooklyn: Park Slope

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Today’s outing was inspired by one of my dearest, most adventuresomely vivacious friends, Erin.  Erin is one of those rare, inspirational and enviable people who don’t seem to let anything daunt them.  For college, she forwent the traditional undergrad degrees by opting for Construction Engineering at Texas A&M, from there she has worked for NASA, work studied in California, lived in China, moved her life up north after falling in love with the most wonderful Canadian boy and is currently being the most exceptional mother to the sweetest baby girl.  Needless to say, when I was homesick upon moving to the city I turned to her because I can’t think of someone who has embraced challenging herself and not only survived but thrived by stepping outside of any realm of comfort.  Erin’s suggestion to quell my homesickness was to explore my surroundings as I begin placing down roots in our new environment.  So today, Jay andI went and sauntered through the Brooklyn neighborhood of Park Slope.

Continue reading “Exploring Brooklyn: Park Slope”

Third Installment on the Columbia University Admissions Blog

Third Installment on the Columbia University Admissions 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.

Our Neighborhood

This is a great little video that highlights elements of Columbia, but I like it best because it showcases our neighborhood so exceptionally well. So take a look at where we live, work and go to school.