The Real Me

“You mean there’s more to you than chronic illness?”

The wild concept that is discussed by all those who suffer from chronic illness, whether mental or physical. While my illnesses take up a major amount of time in my life, they aren’t all of who I am. I am so much more.

1. I am a musician.

Ever since I was young, I have been singing. I first started to sing when my parents got me a mini plush football that when you caught it or it hit the ground, it played the Eagles’ Fight Song. That was the first song I ever learned to sing. I joined choir in the 4th grade and have continued to sing at home, in cars, showers, and choirs even now as college student. I am also an instrumentalist. I first began to play the piano when I was 7, and since then, I have picked up the clarinet, bass clarinet, alto sax, tenor sax, flute, and baritone. I’ve played in several ensembles from marching band to jazz band to concert band in Pennsylvania, California, Germany, and Austria. Music is one of my passions, and I am continuing to pursue this passion in college as one of my majors is Music Composition.

2. I am an advocate and philanthropist.

After the passing of my father in March of 2015, I was convinced that I was made to become a doctor. What I didn’t know at the time was that I wanted to be a doctor for all the wrong reasons. After recovering from my eating disorder and other mental health issues, I was able to discover that I wanted to be a doctor out of revenge. I wanted to get back at all the doctors who couldn’t save my father by becoming a better doctor than them. I wanted to save people in a way that my dad couldn’t be saved. It was an emotional rollercoaster, and I eventually realized in my first semester of college how much I actually hated science. I did not want to be doctor, but I realized that I wanted to help people who could not speak for themselves, or did not know how to speak for themselves.

Today, I am an active member of a few organizations that I hold near and dear to my heart. I am a volunteer for the University of Pittsburgh chapter of Project HEAL. Project HEAL is an organization that raises funds to provide treatment grants for those who cannot afford the treatment for eating disorders. I was previously the social media manager, and I am currently the chapter leader at Pitt’s chapter. Being a member of this group of strong recovery warriors has helped me to stay grounded in my recovery.

I am planning to attend law school in the future with the hope of doing advocacy work in the fields of either international, or music law. I am a member of the recruitment committee at the  University of Pittsburgh’s Chapter of the Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity, International. Since I have joined in the fall of 2017, I have met several other students who are Pre – Law, made connections with law school representatives, and have been able to confirm that law school is what I want to do. With the help of the resources that have been made accessible to me since joining PAD, and the professors I have met and courses I have taken as part of my Legal Studies minor, I am hoping to reach my goals.

3. I am a world traveler.

I first got on a plane when I was 2 years old. I was going to the place that only the craziest of parents would be bold enough to take their young children – Disney World. I don’t remember the trip, but since then, I have been grateful to have been able to travel somewhere every summer from the ages of 4 – 11 and then some in between and as I got older. During my younger years, my dad worked as an insurance salesman, and every summer they got to go on a “business trip”. Since I was a child, the trips were basically free for me with the exception of the flight so I always got to go (except for the Rhein River cruise and I’m still salty about it). In more recent years, I have been lucky to be able to travel with my school’s language department to France, on a tour with an ensemble to perform with professional musicians in Germany and Austria, and perform with an honors marching band in the Tournament of Roses parade in Pasadena, California, and visit one of my college best friends at her house on a military base in Hawaii. I’ve also studied abroad in Ghana and done a research internship in Uganda!

So those are some things about me. If you want to know more, please feel free to send me a message. I’m an open book! Thank you for joining me on this journey!