- My German Adventure: Part 1 The People
- The people in Europe are very interesting. In some ways they are just like Americans and in other ways they are totally different. It’s really cool to be a part of a program where students are from everywhere in the USA and so when someone sees something that is similar to what they have back home they tell everyone, yet some people in the USA would never have such an experience. Its just really broadening my perspective on how different each state within the USA is too. Europeans can be either really nice and cheery, if you bump them accidentily they will apologize, or they can be so rude and give you the dirtiest looks. People in Germany are especially colorful with tattoos and piercings all over their bodies. They also have the craziest hair including various colors. Some people wear matching clothes and others don’t but it seems like no one really cares. Then of course you still have those, usually young adults who wear hot and trendy “posh” clothes. The guys that go to work wear tighter fitting suits and are rather attractive! Most people ride around the city in Bicycles and they are everywhere, which I really like and would love to do. It seems like for the most part people are very tall and slender probably also from all the walking around they most likely do to get anywhere and everywhere. To some degree I don’t understand why people even have a car.
Just read this sad tragedy that resulted out of a helmet to helmet hit during a high school football game. Its heartbreaking to hear how football, our beloved pastime, can cause pain and death to so many players. Yet, instead we watch it more. I am the first to admit I am a fan of football and thoroughly enjoy watching football surrounded by family and friends with people cheering on either side. Yet, I am still disguested at how we can allow so much to happen to players. I know there are engineers out there working on developing a perfect helmet but still, football is a dangerous sport. Its a risk all players take but brain injuries are not something for the light of heart. I pray for Damon Janes family and friends to continue to heal and coupe with his loss. I hope that his death is not in vain but that people take the time to learn safer methods to tackling the opposing team and not touching the head, the helmet or the neck.
This year on the three year anniversary of the tragic day, my life took a leap forward. This time, I was fast asleep on a high speed train traveling to Prague in the Czech Republic from Germany. When I awoke, I was in a foreign place with a language I could not understand and people that sometimes looked rather angry. For the first time since the accident I briefly thought about the day and the pain but instead of mopping around I was doing something with my life. I was moving forward, literally. When we (I was on a study abroad trip) got to Prague, we walked to our hotel. I walked! We wondered all over the city and saw such beautiful sights. In the evening, I was even given the opportunity to pick where our group would eat. It was no longer the accident day it was the day the accident happened but also the day I went to Prague. It felt like I was letting go of the past and allowing myself to move onwards. To do great things and live my purpose. Change happens, if you let it.
Three months later, change came in the mail, unexpectedly. I was back home and dealing with lack of energy, extreme tiredness and major headaches (all of which are side effects of traumatic brain injuries). One of the only things I could do when not at doctors or therapies was lay down, rest and watch TV. When that’s all you can do, you realize just how boring TV can really be. ANyways, I had just watched the movie Julia&Julie [learn more at http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1135503/ ] where this woman needing some change in her life, begun cooking all these recipes and blogging about the experience. Then my much needed change came to me in a small package filled with 25 cupcake recipes. I already had loved baking but here was an opportunity to explore making cupcakes from scratch. And so it begun. Just like that. One small kind act a family friend performed, impacted and changed my life and I had no idea its impact. I blogged, baked and experimented with recipes. [Check out my blog through my facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Engineering-Cupcakes/205126702831301%5D. Baking became my life therapy as I was not in school and I was spending the majority of time at doctors and therapies. Baking was healing me. It made me feel like I had a purpose, like I could still do something, like I could make a difference. I saw the saw the joy cupcakes brought when I gave them to neighbors, family, friends and even my doctors and therapists. The taste of this change was quite sweet.
Since then, I have successfully baked over 120 cupcakes for a wedding reception, 100 for a college graduation party and many more for various occassions. Receiving change is hard to do as a small package does not always show up on your front door or in your mailbox when you need it. Just know that keeping an open mind is a quick and easy way to receive change and be able to recognize it. Here’s to openness, cupcakes and small packages.
TBI nuff said.
Like baby birds with yawning beaks, college football fans clamor to be fed. So fasten the chin strap on your helmet — ignore the warning label on it (“No helmet system can protect you from serious brain and/or neck injuries including paralysis or death. To avoid these risks, do not engage in the sport of football.”) and enjoy the seasonal festival of physical carnage, institutional derangement and moral seaminess.LSU offensive tackle Josh Williford, 22, will, however, leave his helmet off, having just retired rather than risk another concussion. A third concussion triples the risk of clinical depression for those with no prior symptoms, and autopsies performed on 334 deceased NFL players “found that they were three times more likely than the general population to suffer from neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease).” These figures are from a Wall Street Journal essay defending football from critics. These…
View original post 603 more words
More than three years ago I woke up a strange and yet somewhat similar world. I laid in bed in white room, with constant beeping of monitors I was unaware of. Strangers were constantly walking in, waking me up, asking me questions and probing me with painful needles. Life seemed ok though, as I was getting food constantly despite not being hungry. I watched movies and slept most of the day. Eventually one day they forced me up and out and I had to walk laps around the floor. I saw ill and injured patients but disassociated myself from them. I felt I was different that everything was ok for me. Little did I realize that I had packing in my nose, staples on my scalp, stiches all over eyelids, lips, and shoulder or the giant staples on my leg. I was pretty banged up. When I looked at myself in the mirror I didn’t know the girl looking back. Then one day I asked a question. That led me to a question which had an answer that still seems surreal and changed my life forever. I woke up in an Intensive Care Unit to learn that fate nearly had claimed my life during a fatal car crash. I awoke to a traumatic brain injury, a broken face and many other minor injuries. I thought I understood my life but learned I had no clue. When you wake up to a new world, its hard to face, embrace and move forward. Since then I have been on a long road of recovery and have been working rather hard at healing, improving and better myself. I still have many bad days and days with such intense pain that I am not sure I can move on. Thankfully as I move forward, those seem to be less and less and I seem to be able to do more and more. This is the effects of a Traumatic Brain Injury, or TBI. I have had to EMBRACE CHANGE more in the past three years than ever before. However I have learned change is not always bad but for me, embracing the knowledge that change is constant is what helps me to move forward.