Thursday, August 2, 2012

Meeting Carly Findlay, Part 1.

When I first began writing this blog, my world was very small. Oh sure, I had my friends and I had my family, but I was definitely a creature of habit. I was stuck in a rut of nothing, doing the same things day in and day out on a regular basis. I was full of dreams, but that's all they were. None of my goals had yet to become reality and a tiny part of me believed they never would.

Two years ago, as I lay in bed sick with pneumonia, I started this blog. I told myself to do one thing everyday that scared the crap out of me. Going to the movies alone. Driving. Meeting new people. Bit by bit, my goals got bigger. Saving for an apartment, moving out, traveling somewhere new. Never would I have imagined that I would achieve all of my goals in such a huge way. Because of this blog, I have met wonderful new people--online and offline. I have traveled to Hawaii on my own. I've driven everywhere. I have moved into a house with friends. I have been in a relationship. I have begun writing my first book. The best thing of all are the friendships that have formed through my blog. A few days ago, the opportunity to meet an amazing young woman became reality. Last year, I stumbled across a blog titled Tune into Radio Carly. Having no idea what her blog was about, I researched her About Me page and immediately became intrigued and inspired. Like myself, Carly faces the everyday challenge of having a disability. Similarly, she also finds that there is no time or need in life to sit and feel sorry for yourself. Unlike me however, Carly also finds no time to be fearful. In Carly's world there are no what ifs. There are only hurdles that you clear, sometimes with ease and sometimes not so much, but no matter.

Carly is from a suburb of Melbourne, Australia. She's traveled half way around the world to attend BlogHer 2012, a conference for women's writers and bloggers. Last year, as she lay the hospital, she decided to plan her big trip to America. When I realized the conference was in NYC, I knew only of two things. 1) I had to attend the conference in some way, shape or form and be surrounded by others who loved writing as much as I did. 2) I needed to meet Carly. We kept in touch through various forms of social media and I realized we had a lot in common. Quickly, I scheduled a train trip to meet her in the city.

After confirming the date and time and buying my train ticket, I realized quickly that I would be crossing off another one of my fears, which was traveling by myself in the biggest city in the world. I got up early on Monday at my parents, after dog sitting. Because of this, I had a train ride that was over an hour long, instead of my usual half hour. Dad of course, was worried about my boarding the train myself with my balance issues, moving through big crowds and meeting semi strangers. I suppose I wouldn't always recommend meeting people from the Internet, but I assured him that I would be fine. After a giving him quick hug, I slung my new bag over my shoulder and began my journey to New York.