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I’m Riding My Bike Across the Country

I want to ride my bike across the country. And I will be riding my bike across the country. I plan on doing it after I graduate. My goal is to do it within a year; or after I fully recover from bottom surgery! Bottom surgery is literally around the corner for me! Read all about the bottom surgery I’m getting here.

Staying Motivated

I’ve heard people ask me: “How will you do that?” They even say: “You need to prepare” or “People spend years training”. I sometimes get a laugh because people don’t think I’m being serious about it. It’s almost as if a kid said it. Although this may be enough to discourage some people, this is something my soul is really urging towards. I’m so passionate about doing it, that people’s reactions motivates me to problem solve and think abstractly.

Everything I need is right in front of me.

In my world, riding my bike everywhere is literally enough training. My asthma is well controlled. My allergies are well controlled now that I’m paying attention to my body. I can’t forget that I rode my bike over 16.5 miles from Bradley Airport to the South End of Hartford because my co-worker came in a few hours late: at 2/3 AM, and the last bus already left at midnight. In the moment, I was anxious that I wouldn’t be able to go to my morning appointment if my co-worker didn’t show up. But somehow, I knew everything was going to be okay.

That experience alone was extremely nice and calming. The scenery was just beautiful along the way. Something that people would’ve found extremely upsetting, I found to be a great experience to further push me in the direction I want to go in. Riding my bike from Bradley Airport was a confirmation that I am able to do something I want to do without ‘proper’ training.

Why I’m Riding My Bike Across the Country

At first, it was an impulsive thought that came from my unconscious desires. My old social studies teacher, Jonathan Williams, sparked my interest after he talked about how he ran across the country. This has been in my thoughts since my freshman year of high school. Now I’m a senior in college.

People asked me why I wanted to do this and the only think I could come up with was to prove myself to everyone. However, that reasoning never aligned nor felt accurate to say. It was just something I said in the moment of silence. Thinking about it now, I’m really doing this for myself. I need to exemplify to myself that it doesn’t matter what other people think. I honestly need to do this for my mental health and spiritual self. Whether it be valid or not.

The Proposed Outcome of Riding my Bike Across the Country

Throughout this process, I hope to have a better understanding of who I am. I also hope to develop a better connection to the land spirits and my ancestors. After-all, my ancestors were the ones who occupied this land first and the ones who were enslaved to build this country. So why not feel their energies and their emotions to understand my feelings in the process. My time in nature will only grant me the healing that I need; and maybe give them a little of the healing they need.

I just may even bring a notebook and pen to write in about my encounters/experiences.

– Dez 🙂

Self-Love 2k19!

I found this posted on the work dashboard and figured to share it with you all!

“Advice for my followers: self love addition
You do not have to think every part of yourself is perfect, you can want to change something. But if you find yourself wanting to change it so bad you would starve, hurt, or do something unhealthy, I want you to know that it is not healthy and you should seek help. Those feelings are irrational and can go away with care.

In addition, if your reason to change something is “because people will think it’s ugly.” Or “my s/o wouldn’t like the way I look.” Then yet again it is not healthy and not a good reason to change yourself. They should appreciate you, and if you ever feel degraded or ugly because of them leave.
Everyone is cringy. Every part of your life will be cringy in a different way, that’s just the way it is. You know what that is? Growth. So wear a ridiculous shirt, dye your hair neon yellow because it speaks to you, do your make up like everyday is your big concert. Enjoy life.

Take time every week for a little self love and self care. I don’t mean take a day and go to the spa. I mean do a cheap drugstore face mask, paint your nails, read a book, go on a walk, draw even for just 10 minutes. Or just take a couple dishes out of your room, sweep, take a nap, study for ten minutes, go on a walk even for just a minute or two.

Recovery isn’t gorgeous. It won’t just be eating non fat vegan foods. It won’t always look beautiful, it won’t always feel good. But in the end it’s worth it. Recovery can be eating a salad every day with one meal, or it can be eating three pieces of pizza and freaking out a bit but you still did it and hot damn are you proud.

The truth? Not everyone you meet will love you, someone people are just bad, and some people will just never be drawn to you. Neither of those makes you any less worthy of love and affection.

Self deprecating humor will never get you anywhere. Saying “I’m literal trash.” And “I hope I die lol.” May be a joke at first, but it becomes a real train of though that you are teaching your self, and someday, a little kid will here you say something like that and think it’s okay to do the same thing.
Replace self deprecating humor with overly confident behavior. “I AM THE BEST PERSON EVER!” Is okay to say, it’s funny, it builds confidence and honestly it’s fun.

And last but not least. Every time you start to say something hateful to yourself “I’m so fat, and ugly and worthless.” Or “I deserve to die.” Please take a minute and imagine that you are saying that, you just said that to a little kid. How would you feel? If that little kid was you, when you were younger, what would you tell them? I know I would start with telling him he’s good enough.

Happy Valentine’s… To Yourself!

So I know today is Valentine’s Day and I also recognized that society has romanticized this prospect of being involved with someone, or of being in relationship and I think the holiday itself has just been narrowed down to: you have to be a couple to enjoy it. But as a kid I never thought of it that way. I always envisioned this as a day of love and endearment regardless of being ‘single’ versus being ‘taken’. And I didn’t really give a shit which I was in order to enjoy it until I got older… Until ‘the status quo’ said: be in a relationship on THIS DAY OR ELSE.

I was having a discussion with my coworker about this and she told me that there’s no use in limiting myself to something like that; no use in ANYONE limiting themselves to something like that. And if I enjoyed it in the past, despite being on my own and happy about it, why should I not feel free to do the same n o w? The answer is simple: Don’t. Instead of making this a day about forcibly finding someone ELSE to love, or pining for someone else’s validation just solely for the fact it’s marketed as such, why not make it a day about loving yourself? And I loved her idea. So yes, I may be at work and on a six hour shift but I will still make today about self-awareness and love.

… Why stop there, though? It is a hard practice, I admit.

So here’s my prompt to those reading:
“What few things do you enjoy about yourself? What’s something about you that you feel is unique to YOU and no one else?”

Poem: "In Love".

To the person I wish I could love,

Sometimes, I look up to the same stars,
Comparing them to the ones in your gaze
Yes, the gaze I’d never known
The gaze I long for,
The very looks I wish we could share across a crowded room
The eyes I’ve seen so many times when I go to sleep
Assuring me with glances that all is well with the world

Sometimes, when I am alone,
I twist and untwist my fingers,
Wondering if you do the same?
Do you pretend to hold my hand too?

Or is that awful?
Is that weird?
Is that abnormal for a person to be imagining?

Sometimes, when the nights are the coldest
I like to imagine you’re here at my side
That we share pleasant memories
That maybe, just maybe, I am not as alone as I picture myself to be

Dearest muse that eludes my quill,

Do you like the words I pour out of my veins?
The ink that smears across the paper,
Carved out of my very soul with all the tenderness of a martyr

Do you?
Can you?
Will you?

Will there never be satisfaction in the sentiments you spin,
The critiques you spit
The woes you slur
How – when – tell me,
What will please you?
These words are all I can regard you with
In inspiration,
In adoration,
In all of it

To the one staring back in the mirror,
You needn’t look so far for love after all

National Disability Awareness Day 2018

Hi guys! Today (July 16th, 2018) is National Disability Awareness Day.
Disabilities come in all shapes and sizes; they affect people in a multitude of ways, and can be invisible or obvious.

The most difficult thing that I faced when being labeled as ‘disabled’ was my perception of my self and my ability. I had spent a great deal of my youth with large aspirations and goals, and believed I was capable of achieving them- however being told that I was unable to do certain things convinced me, I was truly incapable of “normalcy”. Now, in recovery, I am beginning to see myself in another light, I’m making friends with myself and the person I want to be, and I feel closer to happiness than I have in years. I’m grateful for the gift of self-reflection and the strength and will to change. And without the years I spent believing I was “less-than”, I would not have the incredible sense of empathy that I am so grateful to be able to use in my life.

If you or someone you love lives with a disability- today is your day. Recognize the strength you posses, congratulate yourself for the strides you make, and know you are capable and worthy of anything and everything.

What is the most difficult part of having a disability? What are you grateful? Has your disability given you any gifts?

What are you proud of yourself for today?

What are you proud of yourself for today?

Its so easy to go to bed every night thinking of what you did wrong, or what you wish you did better or different. Things you wished never happened. I think we’ve all been there. Up for hours thinking and thinking. Guilty, angry, depressed, anxious. Sometimes these feelings help us make change. But a lot of the time they just hurt us.

So, what are you proud of yourself for today?

Today I’m proud of myself for being a mom. I might feel guilty a lot about being a mom… working, losing my temper, not taking advantage of every moment the way I feel like I should. But I know that I’m a good mom. I know my daughter loves me, and that I love her. Being a mom is scary and hard and exhausting and it never ends. And every day I wake up and do the best I can. I don’t act selfishly just because it’s easier. I don’t run away from my responsibilities. I try to do better all the time and I will never leave her side. So I’m proud of myself for that. I proud of myself for stepping up, being selfless, and pushing aside my wants for her sake.

Forgiving myself for Willow

Hi everybody- I hope you’re all having a good week! Willow and I have been really busy- I’ve started leaving her in daycare a few days a week to work a few hours at turning point, and life is continuing to race past me at an extraordinary rate! Thankfully, Willow seems to be enjoying daycare a lot more than she did a few months ago. She’s also starting to move a lot! She’s pulling herself up really well, taking small steps while I hold her hands, and looking like she might crawl after all! I also attended a meeting on ending youth homelessness yesterday, and told my story.
So, it’s safe to say I’ve been really busy, but doing well!
So why do I feel so anxious?
Before I became a mother, I felt anxious constantly. It was like a dull hum in the back of my mind that followed me everywhere. Some days I was better at ignoring it than others. I couldn’t always pinpoint what my anxiety was about, and when people would ask,
“what’s wrong?”
a wave a nausea would come over me- because I often had no clue what I was anxious about. This would set off an avalanche of thoughts.
“Why am I anxious? I must be anxious for a reason… if I forget what I’m anxious about I’m forgetting something important! Am I anxious about nothing? Why would I be anxious about nothing? What’s wrong with me? Will this go away- will I feel like this forever? *Cue panic about feeling uncomfortable for the rest of my life and never being able to escape my thoughts…”
I used to tell people I could feel anxious over a doorknob or lightbulb.
Now, my anxiety feels different. It feels more important, heavier. At times I think maybe it’s not really anxiety, because I’m worrying about something that matters; I’m worrying about my daughter. Many times I can reach out and grab my thoughts and identify what it is I’m worrying about. Although sometimes it feels stupid when I think about it, or I’ll try to put it into words and get confused. But is it really anxiety if I know what I’m worried about and it really matters? These are rhetorical questions. I know it’s really anxiety. I know it’s really not very different than the anxiety I felt as a teenager. The difference is, now I worry for two (kind of like when I was pregnant I ate for two).
I constantly question if I’m being a good mother, am I screwing Willow up? Wasting her potential or brain by using my cell phone in front of her or not having enough toys for her? Am I allowing her to be free? What am I modeling for her? What is she watching that she will pick up on- are these good things? I have a constant barrage of thoughts overwhelming me throughout the day- the dull hum is more like a headache that never goes away.
But then I see my daughter fake laugh to get a reaction, or pull herself up on a toy, I hear her get into a screaming match with someone, or lay with her on my chest and close my eyes. I see her funny, beautiful personality, or look into her kind eyes. I watch her play with another baby at the shelter. She does something independent, but looks back at me for approval. A swell of hot, red love fills my heart and overflows into my chest. I feel like I’m floating, I’m so happy that I’m sad (if that makes sense). I love this beautiful girl so much it hurts. And she loves me. I feel happy and at peace in these moments. I see the beautiful life I created- this beautiful little girl that is becoming an amazing little person. I created her, carried her, I gave birth to her, and now I feed her- my body is so powerful and strong- I am powerful and strong. And I give myself the credit I deserve. I feel happy.
It’s becoming more and more apparent that people weren’t kidding when they warned me how fast time goes by; how quickly babies grow into toddlers and continue from there. Although I can allow myself to panic, trying to beat a clock I will always be running behind, I instead try to be still and watch.
I know several years from now, I will look back and hoped I had soaked this time in more, enjoyed it more and worried less. So when I catch myself ruminating about my baby’s growth spurts, development, or well being, I try to encourage myself to give my brain a warm hug. Remind myself that this time is so special, and give myself permission to enjoy it.
So today, as I lay in bed with my 7 month old sleeping on my chest, writing this post on my iPhone and thinking about how busy I will be in an hour, I instead chose to close my eyes for a moment, hug my daughter, and set my intention for the day.
Today I will catch myself in worry, I will take time to watch my daughter play, and join in with her. I will enjoy these small moments, and free my mind of the expectations I place upon it. Today I will be still. I will be a mom, and if that’s all I’m able to do, it will be a good day and I will have succeeded. If at the end of the day I still have bags of laundry to fold in my closet, a to-do list to complete, and phone calls to make- I will forgive myself. Because one day, my daughter will need to forgive herself, and I hope to be the person who teaches her how.

Inspirational – Make Good Art



No day is as lovely as today

No red carpets but youthful giggles spread the way

My heart whimpers for more of today

It is a lovely day beside the blue waters of the bay

Dark clouds come and go

And preparing for a hectic day is the sun’s glow

My soul can hardly believe it

And my mind tarries in guilt

Thinking t’s unreal, when real it is

The sky opens wide

In its dress azure and mild

Symbolizing, the epitome of authenticity

I don’t understand the perfection of today

It must be a miracle

For nothing seems to chuckle

10 Songs to UP your self-esteem and empower self-love

1. Stronger by Kelly Clarkson

2. Fly by Nicki Minaj featuring Rihanna

3. Born this Way by Lady Gaga

4. Beautiful by Christina Aguilera

5 Girl on Fire by Alicia Keys

6. Flawless by Beyoncé and Nicki Minaj

7. Run the World (Girls) by Beyoncé

8. Superwoman by Alicia Keys

9. Secrets by Mary Lambert

10. “You Learn” by Alanis Morissette

What are three things you like about yourself?

This thread had gone around before, but since it’s so important to value ourselves I figured I would start it up again. Please keep it going.

Three things I like about myself today are:

1). I am intelligent
2). I am hardworking
3). I am funny

What are 3 things you can say you like about yourself today?

Young Adult Conference – Constance Lane Arnold

unnamed-1Brian talks about his experience at the recent Speaker Series, by CTSTRONG, which featured motivational speaker and talk show host, Constance Lane Arnold. The event was held on Friday, September 9th, in Cromwell, Connecticut. This was a special young adult conference aimed at helping to transform young adult leaders through self-care, relationship maintenance, setting professional boundaries, and more!

“As I take my seat at one of the banquet tables in the Crown Room of the Radisson Hotel in Cromwell, I’m not sure what to expect from the day’s events.  I’ve heard the speaker – Constance Lane Arnold – more than once before, on her Think, Believe and Manifest! radio program, always enjoying her show and finding myself a little more inspired after listening than before.

Understanding the Power of Caring for Self.  Focusing and Getting Clear About What You Desire.  Identifying Action Steps and Setting Intentions.  These are just a few of the topics that comprised the day’s agenda.    

She stressed the importance of boundaries, and about who we choose to spend our time with and how we engage with them. unnamed-3

unnamed-2Those in attendance at the event expressed their struggle coping with trials and tribulations in their personal lives.  Constance discussed how the key is to not rely on external sources for your happiness, energy, fulfillment, etc.  She described certain unhealthy coping strategies as self-medication. “Medication is anything external that is used to help ease problems”. Constance also discussed how the key is to not rely on external sources for your hapiness, energy, fulfillment, etc.  

In addition to discussing the importance of mindfulness and changing your your paradigm, Constance also spoked about other practical ways to practice self care to improve life satisfaction.  “Be open to connections” she said, meaning develop healthy and enriching relationships with others, because that’s how we grow and develop.” —  Brian 


Constance Arnold

All I can say is …. OMG. The September 9th CT STRONG conference with Constance Arnold was amazing.

Constance was so cool and down to earth. What I like most is that she uncovered a lot of “why” things might not be working for people, and discussed “how to’s” to find the solution.

For example, Constance uncovered core beliefs. I don’t think we talk enough about them as a culture. A core belief of mine is that I “am not good enough.” According to what Constance says, “what you believe, you bring about.”

So, in my own life, I can see that in ways like caretaking (going the extra mile to win approval), or getting nervous around people, being afraid they will judge me. That is just one example of how core beliefs can play out.

Constance lays the foundation for change:


Has anyone learned something about themselves or wellness from the CT STRONG Conference?