Showing posts from August, 2021

My Introduction as a Guest Blogger for Blanket Fort Hope

My story began over 50 years ago in Birmingham, AL. An early value that was instilled in me was the importance of church. My first outing after being born was going to church and being enrolled in the “Cradle Roll” at two weeks old. I grew up in a family that was at church just about every time the doors were open. Though I was raised in an intact, lower-middle-class, Christian family, I had a lot going on. I had several medical conditions that were difficult to diagnose and I had to do a lot of things differently or apart from peers. I was considered gifted academically, which is a blessing, but that also made me different. Then as a teenager, I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression which made it hard to navigate life during those transitioning-to-adulthood years. I did experience success in my young adult years, graduating top of my class for both my bachelor’s and master’s degrees. But I also experienced a lot of failure – or at least times of major frustration and waiting. I wa

"You Can Do Anything if You Try Hard Enough" is a LIE

With the Olympics just finishing, I hear it even more than usual: "You can do anything if you try hard enough." This is simply not true and it's one of my biggest pet peeves. I was interviewing a mom whose daughter has a very rare condition with multiple physical and mental impairments and she mentioned this too. She realizes that her daughter can make great strides and do great things but can't "be anything she wants." I love her attitude, because it's just not possible. When I was young, I first thought about this, ironically, concerning fair employment practices and acting. I knew that an employer was supposed to consider each candidate equally for a position. But how did that work if the part was obviously for a child and the one who wanted it was a senior citizen? In the times we live in, it would be possible to do make-up or CGI to make that elderly person into one much younger, but in most cases, it would be cost-prohibitive... and frankly, unnece

My Hero - Simone Biles

It's something that very few would do... walk away from something they've prepared their entire life for, something that could easily disappoint an entire nation, something that many wouldn't or couldn't understand. But Simone Biles did it at this year's Olympic Games.  According to an article on, Biles said, "Once I came out here [to compete], I was like, 'No, mental is not there, so I just need to let the girls do it and focus on myself." I applaud her courage. I have a hard time letting my mental health issues get in the way of tasks that could disappoint just one person, much less potentially an entire world of fans.  Biles hasn't always had it easy or been a star. When she was young, she had a horrible home life until she was adopted by her maternal grandfather and his wife. She was bullied in high school due to her muscular build and was given grief by the public when it was discovered that she has ADHD. She admitted being one of the