Thank you, thank you, thank you to Shania (http://fightagainstocd.wordpress.com/) for nominating me for the Liebster Blog Award! This post is long overdue but I am very grateful to have been nominated. I am so inspired by all of the other mental health bloggers and just happy to be able to add my voice to the conversation.
So here we go with the post!
“The Liebster Award can be given to any blog that has less than 200 followers. It’s to help less widely known blogs get a boost in the community! You can opt in or out. Either is completely fine. Answer, ask and nominate!”
And if accepting your nomination you must write a post about the award: I am definitely accepting!
“Thank the person who nominated you, and post a link to their blog on your blog. Thank you Shania!! As I said above I really appreciate being nominated. I did not expect this at all so I was very excited to be nominated. I know I’m fairly new to blogging so I appreciate your support. Display the award on your blog — by including it in your post and/or displaying it using a “widget” or a “gadget”. Answer 11 questions about yourself, which will be provided to you by the person who nominated you. Provide 11 random facts about yourself. Nominate 5 – 11 blogs that you feel deserve the award, who have less than 200 followers. Create a new list of questions for your nominees. List these rules in your post. Once you have written and published it, you then have to: Tag your nominees and let them know with a link to your post.”
1. If you could do anything right now, without the fear and the “what-if’s”, what would it be?
Audition to work at Walt Disney World. It has been a dream of mine to work there dancing in the parades or as a character since I was a kid. Their casting directors travel and they do auditions in my town twice a year. I have committed that I am totally going when they come next semester. No more excuses. It is a risk because I will likely have to miss some classes that day and if I happen to get a contract I would have to randomly take a year off form school and go live in Florida by myself. But this is totally a dream of mine and I am determined to make it happen in some way or another.
2. What is your go-to song that helps calm you or inspire you?
Phantom of the Opera soundtrack all the way. A few of my favorites:
3. If you were to give one piece of advice on how to help someone with OCD, what would it be? The advice would be to a parent, family member or close friend.
Above all believe them and stand by them. Sometimes OCD can be hard to understand from the outside. Without being able to hear the dialogue in the person’s head I can see why it might be hard to understand why someone is so stressed about such random things or why they can’t stop doing these behaviors. I encourage friends and family to remain patient even though they cannot hear this dialogue because support is so important in facing these fears. Also, make sure to show how proud you are during/after someone does an exposure. Again, these may not look as hard as they are from the outside but it feels wonderful when you successfully do an exposure and not only feel proud of yourself, but someone else feels proud of you too.
4. What is it at this moment in life that you are most grateful for?
My mom, for sure! She does so much for me and always tries to help. Also my sister for her unconditional love. And my dogs because they are awesome and fluffy.
5. What makes you smile? (Do that more.)
Trees and the sun. I am so lucky this year that I am living on the 9th floor of my building. I have the most magnificent view of so many trees and right now I am loving watching all of the leaves change colors! I also really enjoy riding my bike around campus (aside from when I hit people of course hehe) Lastly, I love dancing! It is so addicting and very calming, and I am at a point in my life now where I am not doing it for competitions or coaches anymore. Now I dance only for my own enjoyment.
6. What is the most important thing so far that you’ve learned about life?
This is something a band director once told me. I tend to be a very reserved person at first, holding back until I am more certain I will do something correctly or perfectly. This has been the case through dance, playing the trumpet, and answering questions at school. What one of my band directors once told me is it is better to play louder and have the occasional mistake heard than to always play quietly and never have the opportunity for people to hear all of your successes. I love this idea because it is all about ignoring fear and the desire to hide, just in case you mess up. When you worry so much about hiding mistakes you also hide all of your talents and hard work. When you stop hiding, sure people might notice some imperfections but this is the only way you can really show what you can do.
7. What message do you hope people get from reading your blog?
Mainly I hope that at least one person feels less alone. OCD can be really confusing and it’s easy to get scared of your thoughts, thinking you must be going mad or are super weird. None of these negative self-reflections are true! Hopefully if more people with OCD see that they are not alone this will help others believe that they are still normal, super awesome, perfectly sane people that just so happen to also have OCD.
Secondly, I hope what I write can provide an example of what OCD can look and sound like. It is a very misunderstood condition so hopefully by disclosing some of my fears and experiences it may begin to both correct and broaden people’s view of what OCD.
8. What’s your mantra in life? Explain why this mantra inspires you/ why it resonates with you.
My mantra is the poem Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening, by Robert Frost. I wrote a post about this a little while ago.
This poem reminds me to always keep moving forward in life. There is so much in the world that I am excited to continue to see and experience. I use this poem to encourage myself to keep moving forward into this unknown, but exciting, future, rather than getting stuck thinking about the past or getting too complacent with the present.
9. What’s your top 3 favourite fruits?
strawberries, bananas, and watermelon 🙂
10. What’s your favourite TEDtalk? If you don’t have one, what’s one of your favourite blog posts that you’ve read?
My favorite TED Talk was given by a young dancer named Juliet Doherty. Not only is she absolutely mesmerizing to watch dance but she is also incredibly inspiring through her work ethic, maturity, and confidence.
11. If you were to give a word of encouragement, inspiration or love to a fellow OCD warrior, what would it be?
YOU CAN DO THIS! I believe in you. You are strong enough to do these exposures and you are going to come out of this so proud of yourself. You should be proud of yourself no matter what for being the warrior that you are today, even if you don’t win every battle against OCD. What matters is that you keep trying and I have faith in you that you can.
2. My favorite television show is The Twilight Zone. The writing is absolutely fantastic. I love how much the plots make you think either because they are so creatively odd or they are such clever satires.
3. I am a HUGE Harry Potter fan. and a Sherlock fan. and a nerdfighter. So basically I’m a nerd 🙂
4. I am learning Dutch at school. We have a 2-year language requirement at my university and I wanted to start with a new language. I pretty much picked Dutch on a random whim last year but I absolutely love it! I love learning languages and am so glad I choose to learn Dutch.
5. I think science is pretty cool. Putting aside all of the stress and pressure, science classes are so much fun because the material is fascinating. I think I am going to major in ecology and evolutionary biology at school. Beyond classes, I love watching nerdy videos on YouTube (AsapScience, minutephysics, minuteearth, SciShow, It’s Okay To Be Smart, etc.) in my free time because, like I said, science is cool.
6. My favorite animal is the cuttlefish. These are some seriously cool creatures and there are some great cuttlefish documentaries on YouTube.
7. Speaking of documentaries, I love ’em! They are a great way to take a break from homework but not feel completely like a lazy bum.
8. I realllyyy like UglyDolls. They are a series of different stuffed animal characters each with their own biography. However, ugly doesn’t mean ugly. To quote the company, “Ugly means unique and different. Real beauty is found in the little twists and turns that make us who we are. Never hide or cover up that which makes you YOU. Shout those twists and turns from the highest rooftops. Always be ugly.”
9. I can’t pick a favorite season. There is something great about each of them. I am excited though for the colorful trees, pumpkin carving, and apple eating of fall. I take pumpkin carving very seriously.
10. I’m not entirely sure why but my favorite movie is The Wedding Singer. I just find it really funny for some reason.
11. I’m not your average college student. I don’t drink, party, or anything like that. But I’m okay with that. It’s just my personality so I am choosing to allow myself to follow my personality rather than to fake it and try and act like everyone else. The good thing is though that I am not the only college student with no interest in the party scene. Most of my friends are the exact same way and I am so grateful for them! We have a lot of fun together going swing dancing, going to art museums, watching documentaries together, or even studying together. Sure, not everyone my age would find these activities fun, but we sure do 🙂
(in no particular order)…drum roll…(the names are links to the blog URLs…)
1. Diary of an OCD: For her wonderfully honest narrations about OCD and inspiring stories of triumph against it.
2. The Dreaming Panda: A blog written by a fellow teenager through her fight against and hope-filled recovery from PANDAS.
3. Smashing the Bell Jar: For her very insightful posts that show just how well she understands OCD but also help others better understand their own OCD.
4. De Morbo Sacro: A blog about the difficulties that come with navigating epilepsy, but always with a touch of humor embedded into the posts.
5. The OCD Chronicles: Elly documents the ups and downs of having OCD which helps others feel less alone in their mental health struggles.
Questions for Nominees!
1. If you could have dinner with anyone, alive or dead, who would it be?
2. What do you consider to be your best achievement so far? What makes you proudest to be you?
3. What made you want to start writing a blog?
4. What is your favorite television show or movie?
5. What is your favorite time or year or holiday?
6. Who inspires you?
7. If you had to leave for space tomorrow and could only bring three items with you what would you bring?
8. What book that you have read has moved you the most?
9. What is your favorite poem?
10. Do you have a favorite photograph? (either something you took or something taken by a famous photographer)
11. What is your favorite thing to do for fun?
Thanks again Shania!