It can be hard to figure out what you're supposed to do. I mean, we pick something to study in college, but that doesn't really mean anything when it comes to afterwards. I have a beautiful framed diploma that hangs above my desk but other than that, I am left wondering what's next. And while I've vowed not to plan as much anymore, I can't help but know that in some extent I need to plan enough to make sure that I am O.K, mentally, physically, financially.
I have been debating going back to school in the near future. I'd like to give myself at least a year to gather my thoughts, do some things I've wanted to do and really give myself a well deserved break from essays and deadlines. I have also been trying to find my place in the diabetes world. Which I guess isn't something most people do, but I know that I have a place and I was given type 1 for a reason (so cliche) but truly, I want to make sure that with this 'sweet gift' I am doing something good and giving back to the community.
What this meant for me was beyond my blog or climbing Kilimanjaro, it was actually meeting with people with diabetes and listening. I often tell my story at symposiums or conferences, but when it comes down to it each person living with diabetes has a story to tell and sometimes those people that don't get to tell their story too often are left feeling without a doubt alone. I wanted to create a safe place to talk about diabetes. A place without parents, without associations, without judgement, fear, or interruption.
While I'd like to meet with all the diabetics, I decided to concentrate my time and efforts on one group in particular. Teens, teen girls to be exact. I wasn't a teenager with type 1 diabetes but I was a teenager and while it was a few years ago that I left teenage-hood I feel like I can still remember the stresses of grade 8, high-school - the bullies, the boys, the girls, the grades, the pressure, the body image issues... all of that. Now living with type 1 diabetes, I can be empathetic to the teens that are not only dealing with all the issues I listed above but also diabetes.
I have hosted two free sessions thus far and while we are a small group, I can feel the support that connects us and I truly hope we can grow. As my dream would to have a close knit group of teen girls that can laugh, cry and share together and for me to be a person they can tell ask questions, feel safe around and most importantly know that they can count on.
Because let's face it, 'we all need somebody to lean on'
For more information please visit: T1 Empowerment on Facebook or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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