Why I Light It Up Blue (for Autism)

LIUBAs many people know, April 2 is the World Autism Awareness Day. It was established in 2007 and it encourages Member States of the UN to raise awareness of the condition.

Though it is believed that the concept of Light It Up Blue was created by the Canadian Autism Society, there is one organization that promotes the event every year in the U.S.

This year, like every other year before (my son was Dx on 2008) I try hard to raise awareness by wearing blue, handing out information about the condition, sharing on social media and even getting my blue light bulb. The picture here shows the actual light bulb (party light) I bought from a hardware store. It’s not the one sold with the logo of the organization, is a simple party light that comes in a white package sold in any hardware store.  The only difference was that this year, I received a message on my Tumblr account asking me not to participate because the organization that promotes the event was “bad”and not really compromised with helping the families of those with autism. It prompted me to search the internet using the term “bad”along with the name of the organization. I have to say that I did. I have to say that there are countless people who do not support the organization because of how they spend the money – research on how to cure autism instead of accepting it, overpaying board members, using little of the funds to help families and those with the condition- to name a few.

After reading (and replying to the message) I had to ask myself why I decided to LIUB on World Autism Awareness Day. Was it to promote an event? To support an organization? the answer was simple… I don’t support organizations, I support my son.

It has been a long journey for us. Before your son gets a diagnose, the road is hard. Getting a diagnose is like re fueling your tank to keep on going. I’ve been on this road long enough to say that it is my duty as a parent to raise awareness and educate those around me so my son and  many other children don’t have to go through the pain of people staring, talking, and asking why is he/she is like that? So the parents (like me) don’t have to wrestle a school system plagued with incompetence, full of unqualified teachers that doesn’t want to help children (not all of them are like this but believe me, you will get more than a few).

In the years that I’ve been on this road (my son is 14 now) I had to learn how to be a psychologist, nurse, occupational therapist,  advocate, but above all… a mother of a special kid. It is my job as a mother to give my son the tools he needs for a brighter future. A future I’m sure no organization will give him, but I will. That includes the decision of giving him a better education in a school that I can’t even afford.

Will I light it up blue next year? Yes I will. Not because of any organization but because we have to raise awareness so our children can have a better, more inclusive environment. Not for a cure, but for better opportunities in a future. Not because someone asks us to do it, but because we choose to participate in their idea for our cause, for our journey.

 

 

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Resources: https://en.wikipedia.org

 

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Do. Or Do Not. There Is No Try

I’ve been in a Long Distance Relationship for over 2 years now and still there are days where I wish someone would’ve handed me a map at the beginning of it (or maybe just a Magic 8 ball ). When you finally decide to give it a try, it’s when you realize you are already there (yikes!). The good news is that the ones traveling that road -myself included-  will always leave some directions in every turn for the ones deciding to take the same route. As the Grand Master Yoda said: Do. Or Do Not. There Is No Try.

Here are some notes left for the ones standing in the middle of the road:

  • Make a decision. There is no “trying to see if it works”, no 50/50. If you decide to be in a LDR you have to give 100%.
  • Remember you were friends before you were a couple and if you weren’t, build a good solid friendship so you can feel comfortable with one another.
  • Get to know everything you can about the other person. You are not together physically so you rely on sharing to better know each other. Learn from one another in terms of language, culture, traditions. There is always something new to experience.
  • Involve friends and family when you can. You want to treat your LDR as a normal relationship and support may be needed.
  • Communication is the key (or one of them). There will be a lot of talking, texting, messaging and sharing in every social app/messenger you guys have. Learn to talk and listen and keep in mind you can’t actually read intonation from a text message.
  • There will be arguments. A lot. Don’t let emotions cloud your judgement and don’t make decisions when angry. Calm down, talk, understand and resolve your issues.
  • Knowing what you want is half the battle. If you want it to work, make it work. Make time for dates, calls, video calls…anything that can make you feel closer. There are lots of ideas to keep your LDR fun. Browse the internet or make your own. Each couple is different.

I’m sure there are a million advice for everyone that decides to embark on the adventure that is a LDR. It wouldn’t be an adventure if we knew everything that was going to happen along the way. We have to enjoy the ride while we arrive at our destination. With that said, the last thing to do is to remind you (and myself):The paths less travel by are for the bold so Don’t Quit. Live, Love, Plan your future together. You want your LDR to be a real love story and not some fairy tale  written in social apps. Just don’t forget to leave some notes along your road.

 

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To read more about Pre-LDR Advice and see the writing prompt that inspired this post, head to the LDRBN site. If you are in a LDR and want to be part of the experience, APPLY HERE. Don’t forget to mention my name  Gibran.

 

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My Monthly 3: March Goals

MM3MarchThis month I’m praying for the luck of the Irish so I can accomplish my goals. Each month our friends at LDRBN ask us to share 3 goals. I’m proud to say that I accomplished 2 of my February goals:

  • Save 1/4 of the money I need for my passport
  • Write about a specific topic

Two out of three ain’t bad huh? This month My Monthly 3 are:

  1. Go on a hunt for a new school: I have to decide if it would be wise to transfer my son to another school.
  2. Finish the book I’m reading: I abandoned the second of a series of 6 books. What’s wrong with me?
  3. Bake: I need to raise some money if I want to transfer my son to another school and there is no better way to do it than to bake or make some desserts.

Last but not least…Relationship Goal:

  • Learn and Practice Arabic: I only know some basic things and terms of endearment and Ahmad asked me to learn to read it (he will teach me). I’m going to learn a thing or two on my own and practice before we start.

Maybe this month I will find my Lucky Charm…

 

 

February: Love Love Me

image1 (4) (2) New month means new goals!

Writing 3 goals each month has helped me achieved what I want slowly but steady. Who knew this really worked?! Apparently our friends at LDRBN. Here are My Monthly 3 for February:

  1. Save 1/4 of the money I need for my passport: I have to start somewhere!
  2. Write: I was asked to write about some specific topics. We aim to please!
  3. Love Love me: Pay off the hair straightener layaway I did last month.

Last but not least…Relationship Goal:

  • Respect Boundaries: Because respect is one of the foundations of a relationship (I’m learning that the hard way).

Next month I’ll be sure to check on my progress.

 

On My Way To Better Days

Every month LDRBN asks us to set three goals for ourselves. Since is the beginning of the year, what better than to start 2016 with some new year’s resolutions after a brief look at 2015.

My year 2015 had many things in it. New office at work. New friends. This was the year i decided to use my blog as something more than a storage for silly thoughts and other people got to see what was in it. I joined an awesome community of bloggers where I can share and read about everyone’s experiences in LDR. It was my 2 yrs anniversary (ldr) too . Everything wasn’t peaches and cream. My SO left for army and that brought a new set of challenges that I hope we can overcome in 2016.

With that said… Here are my goals for 2016:

  • Eat healthy: I already drink tons of water but I have to keep that up. Less sugar, make all my meals and snacks so I can speed up my metabolism etc..
  • Save money: I want to pay off my student loan and save money to close the distance soon.

Last but not least..the relationship goal:

  • Getting my passport: My SO finishes his army time this year so we need to start setting things up and planning for the near future YAY!!

I will make sure to check my progress on these 3 during the year.