I recently learned that November is National Epilepsy Awareness Month. Purple Ribbons display your support of those living with epilepsy throughout this time.

Epilepsy is something that has effected me in many ways throughout my life. When I was younger I had at least 1 documented seizure and was in the hospital for several days, on daily medication, and had regular doctors appointments to control the symptoms. About a year ago, I was in the emergency room again after my friends realized I didn't know where I was or what was happening. Since then I have regularly seen a nuerologist and been diagnosed with epilepsy. When I'm actually having a seizure I don't remember much. I remember a euphoric feeling. I remember others taking care of me and not caring much about anything, but feeling safe and taken care of. After a seizure I feel increased anxiety. Sometimes depressed and scared about what is unknown.

Seizures are fascinating and effect everyone differently. I have personally experienced what are known as absence and grand mal (or clonic tonic) seizures. The reason is unknown. Neurological science is still excting and new. I've tried to continue with life in a way that is strong and independent. I'm not interested in using my seizures an excuse. I've also spent some time learning about other achievers that have had documented seizures. I was amazed to learn that Socrates, Julius Caesar, Vincent Van Gogh, Danny Glover, Leo Tolstoy, Sir Isaac Newton, Joan of Arc, Alexander the Great, Prince, Harriet Tubman and many others have lived very accomplished lives with epilepsy.

I've decided that throughout the month of November I'm going to post quotes as often as possible from people that lived and thrived living with epilepsy on facebook. I'm encouraged by the fact that epilepsy is not debilitating. Nuerology and brain function is still new and amazing. Understanding of seizures has changed even during my lifetime because of scientific discoveries. That is a scary and encouraging thought at the same time. I am reminded that I have the resources and support to continue to be postive dealing with epilepsy.

If anyone is interested donating to research in epilepsy look up your local chapter of the Epilepsy Foundation. In Colorado the link is
http://www.epilepsy.colorado.org/... Also if you have any questions for me, I'm happy to answer them...


Just FYI--I added some of my favorite music to the page. If you don't want to hear it you can scroll to the bottom of the page and pause it.... or turn down the volume on your computer.


2010 continues to be a year of change. Last year seemed to be the year that many of my friends got married. This year everyone seems to be having babies. I blame the recession. But I'm sure the blizzards throughout the country over the winter played some part as well.

The point is that as my friends are moving on in their lives and having families, I'm left in a funny in between place. I don't quite fit into the young adult/just out of college category anymore. And I'm not in the just married/new family category either. I love being single and independent. But my list of friends to be independent with is dwindling. It's forcing me to think about what comes next.

The possibilities are still endless. I recently began studying for the LSAT. I'm mostly interested in a combination law/social work degree. There are some interesting programs out there. Some offer dual JD/MSW. Some are just JD degrees with certificates in Poverty Law or Dispute Resolution. All of them sound exciting. But it also leaves me feeling a bit antsy. Does this mean leaving Denver? Does this mean having to start over again--in another place that I don't have many connections again? That sounds exhausting just thinking about it.

I found a blessing when I was browsing online a few weeks ago. It was very motivational for me in clearing my head and keeping me focused on what I find important in accomplishing in my life.

May you be blessed
with discomfort at easy answers, half-truths
and superficial relationships
so that you will live deep within your heart.

May you be blessed
with anger at injustice, oppression,
and exploitation of people so that you will work
for justice, equality, and peace.

May you be blessed
with tears to shed for those who suffer
from pain, rejection, starvation, and war
so that you will reach out your hand
comfort them and change their pain into joy.

May you be blessed
with the foolishness to think that you
can make a difference in the world
so that you will do things
which others tell you
cannot be done.

-Author unknown

Life happens. And I find I'm most happy when I remember the bigger picture. Rather than focusing on the details of who, how, what, where and when.


2009 has come with its share of life lessons. Some harder learned than others. One aspect of the holidays that I enjoy is reflecting on all of these experiences. I enjoy bringing closure to times past, and opening up to the possibilities of what is to come.

In this year, I have changed work schedules from overnight to PM shift--allowing my body the much needed rest its been craving. I've also let go of the thick curtains that once blocked out the sun during the day (what were my sleeping hours). Interesting how the world looks more alive when everyone is awake. In addition, this change in schedule allowed me to develop in my work with the kids. I spend more time with them and hear more of their heart-breaking stories. Earlier in the year, I was present when a youth took a handful of unknown pills and assisted in dealing with the aftermath of his actions. This youth died in a fight later in the year and after he discharged from the facility. I realized again after hearing this news that all of the hours and time spent with the kids I work with are only as valuable as the youth allows it to be. For some of the youth the unfortunate truth is that their life path is not taking them anywhere positive. This is a difficult realization in a field that takes so much personal investment.

I was also able to travel to the Middle East and experience parts of Jordan, Israel and Palestine with my brothers and parents. Time spent with family as an adult is always interesting. Old tendencies resurface. The older sister and only daughter in me comes out naturlaly as soon as we are all together. During this time with family, I am also able to separate myself from the crisis that are a constant in my work environment. I forget that it is not natural to forever be in crisis mode until I am away from it.

In late August, I experienced a seizure that sent me to the emergency room. The consequences of this included starting medication, losing driving privileges, relearning to ride the bus, lots of doctors appointments, and much anxiety about the whole situation. I still need to manage most of these--although the driving privileges have been restored with time.

Also this year I moved into an apartment on my own. Most of this experience has been positive. Although, the medical emergency made me think more realistically about what I am and am not capable of doing alone.

The year concluded with the addition of a sister-in-law to the family. That relationship is still building and is one thing that I hope will continue to develop with time.

What 2010 holds for me is unknown. I hope that it is filled with beautiful and wonderful experiences. I hope that realtionships develop with friends I already have and with new ones as well. I hope that my experiences at work develop into new opportunities. I hope that I can continue to travel and live life to the fullest.

I recently found a quote from Marilyn Monroe that expresses some of my desires for the new year..."Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it's better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring."


I've been riding the bus for the past 3 months...specifically the 15 which is a straight shot down Colfax to downtown Denver. The 15 bus and Colfax Avenue are an integral part of the history of Denver. The 15 bus that I ride is infamous for what a passenger one day called "the freak show." There's always someone or something interesting happening on the ride. Taking the bus to work is a 45 minute chore. I like to observe what's going on around me with a soundtrack--some music that I bring along to make the rides go faster.

Some days the bus is packed with people crammed in the isles. Some days its only me. One day a woman got on the bus and promptly fell asleep on the shoulder of a stranger blocking him into his seat. The stranger acted as though this was normal, but looked around with a glance to other passengers in a look of dismay. When it was time for him to get off the bus the man awkwardly moved the woman stepping over her and rushing out the door. Another day a woman with no teeth and balding dyed red hair got on the bus singing nonsense words in a baby voice as loud as she could. When a passenger asked her to be quiet, the woman began cursing at everyone who looked in her direction. On another occasion, a woman with a display of handmade earrings casually bumped a man with an oxygen tank. The man immediately began cursing at the woman. The woman apologized and was responded to with more cursing. The woman quickly stated, "Fine, then I don't apologize," and walked out the front door followed by the man who continued to curse. On occasion I'll see someone I recognize from previous bus rides. There's no protocol for how to respond. I usually smile and walk to a seat that is empty. There's an unspoken understanding that what happens on the 15 is just a part of life in Denver.

Right now, my soundtrack for the bus includes an artist called Brett Dennen. When observing the passengers on the 15, I like to hear the words of one of his chorus lines, "Darlin' do not fear what you don't really know." It helps me to remember that my observances are just that.


Sometimes I wonder, is my life in chaos because of my surroundings? Or am I looking at life through the lense of chaos because of what life is at the moment. When I'm able to reflect on my life outside of what is going on I have 2 choices. I can be overwhelmed, or I can shake my head and chuckle at the thought of what challenges life is bringing me. I'd like to say that the latter is what I do more often. Although, the overwhelming feeling has a way of sneaking itself in when I'm least prepared.

The recession has hit myself and those around me hard, and the effects have been felt intensely over the past few months. Struggling to pay bills, attempting to think clearly about life's next steps, and wondering when relief will come is part of common conversation amongst those around me. Relationships and smaller moments become more important in maintaining who I am and who I am becoming. Belly laughs that bring me to happy tears amongst friends are what I find myself cherishing.

I find that most often the simplicity of thinking positively is most effective in making it through waht some would see as impossible times.


I've become more interested in learning about the history of the urban place that I call home. "Why are things where they are? Why does that event have so much impact?" are questions I'm always asking. I live along "the wickedest street in America"--Colfax Avenue. It's also the nation's longest avenue at over 26 miles long. Parts of it are known for its prostitutes, child trafficking, hourly motels, drug dealers/users, and high crime rates. In 2008, Barak Obama accepted the democratic bid for president on part of Colfax. Pope John Paul II visited the avenue in 1993. Jack Kerouac wrote part of his book On the Road about his time on Colfax. Colorado's Capitol Building is along Colfax, as are other historic buildings that formed the original wild west that is now Denver.


I think that knowing this history is part of the appeal to me of living in this area. It's a challenge to understand the beauty in a place that is known for its atrocities. The experiences I have in walking to the store, the park, and taking the bus would be a book in itself simply because of the people I meet and observe. I've observed that part if the human experience is to become numb to some of these situations. I've felt for myself that in order to thrive in an area that comes with so many stories and life circumstances that one must normalize ideas that others find absurd. What most would find disheartening is the reason for some to continue to push on in an effort to preserve a human experience that others want to forget exists.