Sunday, May 10, 2015

SUNDAY MAY 10, 2015

Today's blog post is going to be a little different. It's meant to focus on the journey we've had while doing our projects and basically reflect on what we did. It's not easy to really think about what you may have done wrong or what may have been better, but i'm going to try.

So I think that my first mistake with my 20 time project was not changing it sooner. I knew for a few weeks before I changed my project that it did not feel the same as when I started. Not changing was probably my biggest mistake. If I had started sooner on my new project, I would have been able to get more done. All of the time I spent holding onto my old project and trying to make it work could have been used for my new project.

Another thing, is that I think I kept giving myself excuses. I would tell myself that I didn't have time to do something or that I didn't have the means to do it. I lacked motivation to do things and get stuff done. Just thinking about this makes me angry. Why didn't I just sit down and get things done? Some things would have taken merely minutes if I had really sat down and just worked. My laziness got in the way and I only have myself to blame.

On a more positive note, I loved having time in class to work on my project. It gave me time to sit and learn/research about what my friend was going through. Before this project, I couldn't have told you what a tilt test was, or what POTS stood for, but now I know tons of stuff. Every time I sat down on Fridays with the Ipad, I felt like i was getting closer to understanding what my friend was going through. I know that I will never truly understand what she is going through, or know how it feels, but it made me feel closer. Like if I knew more about some of the things she was experiencing, that I could better be there for her.

Though this project, I have learned a lot about what true strength is. If I asked most people, they would probably mention something about muscles, or how much weight someone can lift. I learned that this is so not true. Strength is watching someone get knocked down so many times, but never once see them fail to get back up. Strength is when a person gets constantly told that they are imagining things, or that they aren't really sick, but fights back and never gives up. Recently, whenever I am doing something and it seems hard and I feel like I can't do it, I get angry at myself. I f my best friend can go through all that she has and is going through and still have a smile on her face whenever I see her, then why should I not be able to do this? My friend has shown me what real strength is and I don't think I will ever forget it.

Thank you E, for never giving up when things get hard. For fighting even if it feels like you aren't getting anywhere. Thank you for being an amazing friend to me. And most of all, thank you for showing me what true strength and courage is. I U

Monday, April 20, 2015


So this week, our 20 time projects are taking a shift. We are now meant to focus more on what we our going to write our speeches on. They are meant to be focused on what we have learned throughout this year through our projects. I thought about it for awhile, and I think what I learned the most about, was hope. Watching my friend go through this terrible journey, I realized how powerful it really is. Sometimes hope can be the only thing that keeps people going through hard times. It is the thing that we cling to, when there is nothing else left. I found this anonymous quote that says, "When the world says, 'Give up,' Hope whispers, 'Try it one more time.'" This has been so true for my friend. She has been to see countless doctors and specialists, who each time give her a new sense of hope. She does not give up hope, that one of these solutions are going to be the one. The solution that gives her back the life she had before. This hope is one of the most important things, because it gives her and people like her the strength to keep fighting for a solution. Another quote I've been liking, is, "There is no medicine like hope, no incentive so great, and no tonic so powerful as expectation of something tomorrow" (Orison Swett Marden). This quote is so true. Hope is like its own form of medicine, that does not come in a bottle and doesn't need a prescription, but can sometimes be way more powerful than anything else. This is why I want to talk about it; because it brings light to those who are in darkness.

Monday, March 23, 2015


I've been pretty busy this past week, with lots of school related things, but I did do a little research. I'm hoping that this week will be a little quieter and allow me to get some more things done. I did however find a really cool foundation in the time I had. It's called the LiFe as a Zebra Foundation. It was cofounder by these two women that have not let their invisible illnesses define them. Life as a Zebra has been nominated for multiple health activist awards and one of the founders was a finalist for the WEGO Health Award. At this point you are probably wondering why it is called the Life as a Zebra Foundation. Well, according to the website, doctors are taught to diagnose their patients based on the condition that is most obvious. They say that the idea goes along with the saying, "When you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not zebras.” They go on to explain that "The horses are the likely explanation, while the zebras are less likely. A medical zebra, then, is a person with a rare medical condition." The foundation has an awesome saying that they put on their apparel, that says, "zebras have hoof beats too."  I will leave a video below for more about the two women who started the foundation.

Friday, March 6, 2015


So this week I did  a lot of research on dysautonomia organizations. In looking I found Dysautonomia International, an organization committed to researching and raising awareness for dysautonomia. They have loads of information about the disease and how it affects people. They also have pamphlets and articles available for families and friends, or just anybody who is interested, that explains what people with dysautonomia go through and how to be there for them. When my friend first got diagnosed with dysautonomia the first two things I looked up, were what dysautonomia was and how to help and support a friend who has been diagnosed with it. During both of these searches, the first website I found that I liked that answered my questions was Dysautonomia International. The website also has a really cool interactive map of the world, that shows people with dysautonomia from all over the world, as well as the doctor that specialize in it. For anyone who's interested, I'll leave a link to the map below. I think things like this map are important, because people who live with these in invisible diseases often start to feel alone and isolated. When they can no longer go ou with their friends or go to school, or even do the simple things in life, they begin to feel that the world is leaving them behind. They need to know that they are not alone. This is one of the reasons that it is hard to believe that barely any doctors know about dysautonomia. If there are so many people in the world that have been diagnosed with variations of this disease (over 70 million people worldwide), then how can it not be important enough for doctors of this day and age to know about? People should not have to wait years before they get diagnosed and recieve medical help!

This week I also joined Dysautonomia International's Awareness Army.  People in the Awareness Army volunteer their time to help set up fundraising events and raise awareness. There goal is to "make  Dysautonomia a household name." I sent in my volunteer application, but I am still waiting for someone from th organization to email me about what I can do to help. Hopefully they will get back to me soon.

Another thing I have been doing, is looking into buying wristbands that say Dysautonomia on them to sell to raise money for dysautonomia research. I did some research on the Mayo Clinic website and they have a way to choose what part of the clinic you want the money to go. I will be doing further research into these wristbands this week.

Sunday, February 22, 2015


This past week, I've been making a lot of decisions and changes. The biggest change, is the focus of my 20 time project. It is no longer going to be about starting a jewelry line. I've been feeling for awhile that it was not what I wanted to be doing. The passion for my project just seemed to be slowly fading. So I took this midwinter break to really think about what I wanted to be doing.

So let's back track for a moment... A couple of months ago, one of my best friends became sick. She couldn't do the things she wanted to do anymore, and the simplest of things became a struggle for her.  Her life became filled up with doctors appointments, as she tried to figure out why she was feeling this way. I started hating doctors at this point, because they would basically tell her that it was anxiety or that it was just in her head. It drove me insane! Why would nobody believe her?! Her parents had to fight the doctors to get tests done. It felt like no one was going to be able to help her and I felt useless. As a best friend, it killed me inside that I couldn't do anything to help her. I wanted to just take all of the pain and fear away from her, but I couldn't. All I could do is stand by and be there to support her. Eventually a doctor diagnosed her with a disease called Dysautonomia. This seemed like a good start, it felt like maybe now that they knew what it was, she could begin to get better. Then she fell into some days that were worse than usual and very scary. I was constantly checking my phone for updates and through all the fear I felt, I knew that she was way more scared than I was. A few weeks ago, we found out that she had been accepted into the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. This gave us all a new wave of hope. This clinic is known for helping those who don't know what's happening to them. At the start of last weekend she journeyed to Mayo Clinic and began working with doctors. I have now excluded the Mayo doctors from the list of doctors I hate, because they sounded amazing. They didn't dismiss what she told them, instead they wanted to hear every detail about what she was feeling. They told her how strong and amazing she was for not giving up, as they said most would have. After a week of testing, they came to the conclusion that she had the symptoms of multiple diseases including Dysautonomia, that were causing her own disease. She has a new disease, that is uncharted in medicine. She gave the clinic permission to use her blood and test results to research this new disease and uncover more about it, so that they can begin to help her get better. I can't put into words how proud I am of her for not giving up and for being the strong, beautiful person I have always known her to be.

Throughout all of this I have found myself already doing lots of research on Dysautonomia and the other diseases like it, so It is now my 20 time project. I am going to raise as much awareness as I can for these invisible illnesses and give them a bigger voice. Because they are relatively new to the world, not very many doctors know about them, or if they do, they don't know much and it can take people years to get diagnosed.
I know that there isn't much I can do to take away my best friend's pain, but I can help get awareness so that research can be done to find a treatment for these diseases.

Monday, February 9, 2015


I have to admit that I didn't really make any progress this week, but two weeks from now is midwinter break and I'm hoping to do a lot within these two weeks. Below are some pictures of some of the sketches I have been doing. I want to try doing an etching onto some metal pieces most likely for necklaces. I went for the animal theme with most of them. I find myself really drawn to the panda bear because of the contrast between the black and white fur. It gives it sort of a ying yang feeling to it that I like. I was inspired by the logo for the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF) and the work they are doing all around the world for animals.

Sunday, January 25, 2015


 So I've been getting really frustrated over my project recently. It seems like no matter how hard I try nothing I attempt to make turns out how I want it to. But I read something by this woman called Tammy Powley, that said, "You need to understand the materials you use and how they work on the wearer before you can successfully design jewelry.Many times, I have what I think is a great idea, but when I sit down to make the jewelry piece, it doesn't always turn out like I think it will. Through trial and error and past experience, it becomes easier and easier for me, but still, I had to learn how to work with metal, gemstones, glass, fiber, and other materials before I got to this point." This made me realize that it's not going to be as easy as I thought. I can't just expect everything I attempt to create to turn out like designer jewelry; I have to work at it. It's about trial and error. I'm not going to be instantly amazing, it's something I'm going to have to work at.On a different note, now that I'm starting the actual production process, I'm going to need some tools. Amazon, the place for all your needs, has some metal saws and clamps that I have my eye on and can't wait to use. I also want to learn how to solder stuff. I think I can get my dad to teach me that. He's pretty handy at those kinds of things.

Sunday, January 11, 2015


Happy New Year everyone! I know it's been a long time since my last blog post, so I'd like to say sorry for that. I wish I could say I've been really busy working on my project, but unfortunately I cannot. The past month I seem to have been lacking the motivation to work and get anything done. Rather than dwelling on this though, I've made it a New Years resolution to do more work on my project.

On an upnote, I've gotten myself an Etsy account and I hesitantly add that I have a name for it. It's not set in stone yet, but I would like to call it "Precious Dimensions."  I feel like this name embodies the feel of my jewelry, as it is very angular and line based, but also has some pieces with a soft touch to them. I have also been working on a logo design for my jewelry line. I don't want to rush into anything on this part though, because all of the entrepreneur websites I've looked at mention this as one of those big steps in a business that takes time. If I want my logo to be as recognizable as that of Pandora  or Zales, I'll have to really think it through and make sure it's just right.

For Christmas my dad got me some special artist pens with different tips. They are really cool and I have been using them in my sketches. They are called Faber-Castell's 8 Pitt artist pens and it includes eight different tips for different sized and shaped pen strokes. I'll leave a link to them below if anybody wants to go check them out.

 I've been looking into doing volunteer work for animals this year. Even if I can't travel very far or do anything extravagant right now, I'd still like to help all I can in Michigan. There are a couple wildlife rescue centers here in Michigan that have volunteer programs that I have been checking out, and I'm   looking into one that might have a teen program right now. I know I could just donate to these wildlife rescue centers, but I don't want to just be one of those anonymous donators. I want to feel a real connection with these places and get something real out of it. It feels more heartfelt to me to get involved ad get active instead of just throwing money at these places.