• I Don’t Know How To Be Independent

    Hi guysss!  Recently, I attended a friend’s party.  My incapabilities were definitely magnified.  Whilst playing Hot Potato. We were using this egg-shaped device that shocked you.  Following every round it had to be powered on.  Of course, due to my absolutely brilliant luck, for a myriad number of rounds, a person adjacent to me was eliminated.  Thus, insinuated that I open the round, meaning I had to revive the thingy.  However, the button was a pro at camouflaging, and consequently because of the addition of almost 30 pairs of eyes scorching into my skin, I failed to spot it.  Therefore, I feebly tossed it back to my friend.  On numerous occasions. They must think I’m so dumb stampeded through my mind incessantly.  More pressingly, I loathed myself for the inability to execute a seemingly simple task.  This was once again demonstrated when we played LCR.  By some wayward miracle, I snatched the victory.  A dollar had been passed to me and I clutched it by rolling the dot three times in a row, indicating I was safe.  Thus, now the colossal mountain of bills in the middle were mine.  I jumped up in joy.  However, gathering them efficiently, compiling into a neat stack, and aesthetically counting them was not possible.  People encompassed me, and my back prickled.  After painfully watching me outstretch my hand to grab the bill, flatten it, and repeat, my friend asked if I wanted help.  Gratefully but with shame, I accepted.  As she swiftly scooped them up and counted the grand total, resentment flooded through me.  Throughout the remainder of the night, that noncompliance haunted me like a ghost I couldn’t deter.  How am I ever going to be independent?  It presently is still a woe that I frequently ponder about.  But we live and learn.  We adapt, tweak the circumstances in our favour.  We find a way.

  • Advocating For Yourself: Be Your Own Star

    Hi guysss!  What’s popping?  In the preceding blog, I delved into my worries of lacking the capability of mounting the stage for graduation, (https://banaanyablogs.org/2023/05/22/i-want-to-be-normal-coming-to-terms-with-my-disability/).  Now, as a graduate, I can deliver an update:

    Amid graduation practice, as we strolled into the auditorium, my eyes immediately sought the stage.  It consisted of four steps on both sides with a railing latched onto the wall.  Presuming that we would walk across left to right, I exhaled in relief; the railing would be on the left side.  The creature boiling within me calmly went to sleep.

    However, that was short lived.  Whilst they began to seat us alphabetically, the realisation dawned upon me.  Apparently, by some wayward, ludicrous logic, we were climbing the stage from the right side, establishing the railing on the right side.  We read left to right, no?  The creature jumped up, snatching its jaws, ready to pounce.  And its eyes widened in fear.

    As the administration droned on about the procedures and expectations in the distance, the voice seemed underwater.  I was busy planning my plan of attack, my route to climb the stairs, attempting to stay afloat and not drown against the current.

    Following some rambling, we lined up to practice The Walk.  Thankfully, my name lies on the former side of the alphabet, mitigating time for the dread to build up and rile up the already raging creature.  Consumed in my thoughts, I accidentally stepped up on the kid’s name before mine.  My form was shaky with my arms flapping at my sides like a penguin.  The assistant principal informed me I could use the hand railing as he watched my uncoordinated approach.  Gritting my teeth, I bitterly thought, I would if it was on the right damn side (the right side meaning left).  My departure off stage followed a similar pattern with loose footing and the counselor outstretching her hand to aid when I had a singular step remaining, thanks.

    Proceeding mulling over the matter at home, the creature in my chest grew restless, aware that this wasn’t efficient.  I resolved to shoot the other assistant principal an email, requesting if we could enter the stage from the left side but ensuring it was okay if not because that would alter the entire program.  I mentioned that maybe someone could hold my hand, knowing of this responsibility (which is what ended up happening).  Even though I had walked on and off independently, with the addition of the nerves on the real graduation and plus seeing how silly I looked, this brought comfort and the creature within me quietly sang. 

    It honestly blows my mind that I managed to do this.  I don’t intend to sound prideful or proudy or be that person, but my past self would have never dreamed of doing such a thing.  I wouldn’t want to admit I’m unable and have accommodations taken that proves that.  I would have endlessly mused over how people would judge the extra assistance.  I wouldn’t have reached out.  But I’m so glad I did.  On graduation night, I didn’t have to dwell on the matter and could genuinely soak in the moment.  So please don’t be afraid to ask for help.  It only benefits you and saves much rumination.  Don’t be caught up on how people will perceive you.  Everyone has a different path and problems.  They won’t even think twice.  And those who do aren’t worth it 💞

  • I Want to Be Normal: Coming to Terms With My Disability

    Graduating- a memorable, intimate moment, a lifetime memory.  The air mingled with flurry, anticipation, fear, and reminiscence.  It’s one final gathering with your class and teachers.  The significance of it perpetuates endless thoughts.

    With graduation being in three days, the emotions are at an insurmountable level.  Graduating undoubtedly consumes my mind heavily.  Due to my Cerebral Palsy, the possibility of not managing to climb the stairs of the stage, relentlessly pines at me. As a response to combat this trepidation, I scoured for photos of the stage…as if they would change the venue because of my inconvenience.

    Graduation practice is tomorrow, and that is when this inanimate object that has littered my mind will be revealed.  I will be able to determine my compliance.  If failure to walk up those stairs arises, an alternative seems bleak.  Standing there in horror, cursing the abdominal steps and admitting my inability in front of the whole class instigates me wanting to shrivel and evaporate.  It’s frankly quite weird.  Sometimes I will be unbothered, whilst other situations I will be quaking out of my skin.

    Furthermore, falling is not what sparks the anticipated humiliation, but rather not complying to climbing the stairs.  Sure, falling would be embarrassing, but for some reason, it doesn’t initiate that same dread.  Perhaps, this ensues as I am under the anticipation that an able bodied person would never fret about stairs, but there is the most minuscule plausibility they could fall.  In all honesty, if someone paid me, I would fall intentionally.  I suppose there is this intense, burning desire and yearning to be “normal.”  And acknowledging or being unable to march up those steps would taint and tarnish that unrealistic aspiration.

    I have come a long way with coming to terms pertaining to my disability.  The once spreading, fire suffusing shame has diminished.  Advocating for myself has become more prevalent.  However, occurrences of being different still daunt me.  I feel like everyone could work on this.  It’s okay, everyone has struggles.  And what is normal anyway?  It is only something that we invent through our assumptions; it is perceived acceptance.

    Anyway, congrats to the class of 2023!!!  We’ve made it through these four transformative years.  As this chapter closes, a new one begins.  I wish you all the best!

  • Putting Yourself First: Learning to Say No

    Hii guys!!  Over the course of the past few days, a theme was introduced into my life.  Okay that’s a bit dramatic, but I learned something.  Yes, you should care and support your friends.  But at the end of the day, you are your own priority.  You come before them.

    My friend requested my presence at her choir banquet (who doesn’t go to my school) a week in advance.  Due to the absence of prior plans, I concurred.  She was so relieved another friend (who attends my school) and I were going.  However, there was the lingering uncertainty of when our Senior Sunset was taking place.  The school failed to disclose that in a timely manner.  And my friend and I heavily yearned to go.

     Two days following our commitment to the banquet it surfaced that Senior Sunset was occurring on the same day at the same time.  Damn it!  My friend who is at the same school reassured the other that the banquet held more jocularity.  Arriving late to the texts, not seeking confrontation, I replied with “okay!” but my mind was still perplexed, contemplating the two options.  

    Due to not attending the school that was hosting the banquet, it was evident that I would not be familiar with any of the people there.  I had no connection to it, besides celebrating my friend.  Had Senior Sunset not been happening simultaneously, proceeding shaking off some nerves, I would have braced myself and enjoyed the social event.  But the persistent nagging that I was going to miss out, ponder years down the line grew in prevalence.  I would know every single person there.  Plus, understanding that she had invited us, serving as a burden, an obligation to integrate us with her choir friends, gnawed at me.  But I had already given her my word; I did not want to disappoint.  I was torn.

    This morning my assistant principal sent out a mass email, reminding us of the sunset, encouraging the participation of everyone.  For some reason this perpetuated the vacillations to swarm.  It sank in, culminating awareness that in my heart I favoured the sunset.  After respectable deliberation, I ruled that the sunset it was.  I informed the friend that goes to my school and she echoed my views.  Together we apologetically approached my other friend, articulating in complete honesty and entirety our decision.

    Through doing this, I feel much more fulfilled, pleased that I will never ruminate “What if I had gone?”  Sometimes you really have to put yourself and your happiness first or else it will torment you in the long run.  The fear of hurting a friend inhibits the ability to do so.  But if they are true, they will come around and want your best interest.

  • Standardized Tests are Scary: I Can’t Help But Freak Out

    AP tests or standardised tests in general are an unforgiving, relentless black hole that suctions out any preparation, interlocks you into a cycle of consternation.  Your head spins, your brain is frozen, and the words cannot be untangled encircle you.  Or at least this is a repeated occurrence for me.  Failure and helplessness to escape the black hole, generate heavy breathing and excess sweating.  A dejected mood arises with the knowledge that you did not perform at the level of your competence.

    I studied for the AP test, but as it being my senior year, infected by senioritis, implementation of full effort was not plausible.  I utilised the few class periods (or at least partly) and attended a couple tutoring sessions.  Following revision and refreshing some concepts, I was at at the mark of achieving a 4.  The frqs were definitely my weakness.  To ease my growing discomfort, my teacher encouraged me to view those as bonus points and knock out the mcq section.  He reassured me that if I were to get a 1, it was okay.

    When the time approached to demonstrate what I learned, my mind went blank.  Simple terms and formulas were hurled from my grasp.  The nerves inhibited comprehension of the question.  All the answer choices mingled together.  Overthinking prevailed as I dwelled on each question for a superfluous amount of time.  As I heard the distant voice of the proctor announce ten minutes left, any remnant brain cell evaporated.  I glumly walked out of the room, knowing I would be lucky to get a 2.  I could kiss that 4 goodbye.

    Similar mishaps have happened to me on seemingly imperative exams.  I am so sorry to any one enduring such.  It is truly debilitating and antagonising.  Unfortunately, I have not found an adequate solution.  My only advice is to not place that much importance on the exam.  It’s not the end of the world.  If you have any helpful suggestions, comment them down below! 

  • Not Passing Up an Opportunity: Breaking Past the Mental Barrier

    The tepidity of lacking compliance deters you from executing that certain action.  It is like a straight flush, trumping whatever fiery desire present.  Unless you pull out the royal flush conquering it…

    This weekend my friends sought to stop by a frozen yoghurt place.  The idea appealed me, but once I envisioned my inability to press down the handle and hold the cup simultaneously, all previous interest evaporated.

    As we approached the back wall displaying the flavours, the scrumptious ones were enticing and perpetuated salvation.  Watching them eat that deliciousness didn’t seem practical.  And without further vacillation, I grabbed a cup while we discussed the flavours.

    I padded over to one called Pink Lemonade and placed the cup below.  Jokingly, I giggled “How do you do this!?”  My friend laughed and said “I’ll do it.” And she assisted with me in adding other flavours.  The royal flush was activated.

    Don’t disregard an opportunity.  Go for it.  Others will gain awareness if you are grappling.  If anything, shake it off as a joke. You go this! I believe in you 💞

    Comment below a time you broke through the mental barrier!

  • Pushing Past the Judgement: Going For it Anyway

    Judgement is a brick wall that cannot be penetrated; it blocks your path, instigating no further action.  Judgement will always be prevalent.  It’s just in people’s nature.  However, you do not have to permit it to debilitate you. 

    This past Saturday I had my Prom.  Months ago I ruled to wear a South Asian outfit called a lehenga.  I sought to display the beauty of our culture.  Concerned that I would be the only one wearing such clothing, my parents remained on edge.  Following a search for a western dress, alarmed by the prices and the colossal sizes that failed to suit me, they conceded.

    Exhilaration coursed through me especially as the time neared.  The tiktok audio “I remember thinking she can beat me, but she cannot beat my outfit” was music dancing through my ears.  I was going to stand out…for the better.  As the adrenaline pumped through me, I imagined heads turning.  I had never felt like this before.

    A couple weeks prior, the eagerness and anticipation peaked.  I began to watch tiktoks of girls wearing a lehenga to prom.  I couldn’t wait for it to be my turn!  I gushed to my friends how I was going to wear one.  Additionally, to further represent and enhance the look, I was going to wear our jewelry.

    However, a couple days preceding the monumental night, the mud of quandary dripped in.  Sweat trickled as I deliberated over going dress shopping.  Due to attending a primarily white school, the previous untainted confidence shattered and their possible remarks or glances surfaced.  I couldn’t concentrate on any given task.  

    After much distress, it dawned on me that it was my culture.  I shouldn’t be ashamed, and it’s honestly really beautiful.  Even through seemingly avoiding the matter by selecting a western dress, it did not ensure people wouldn’t judge.  So I wore it with pride.

    Enamoured by my fit, I received so many compliments!!!  People were genuinely starstruck.  I had never experienced this!  I got called a Bollywood Star, a Desi Goddess, and a Queen.  Plus much more!  It all made me blush.

    Please wear your traditional dress to prom.  It’s so rewarding! In general, don’t be perturbed to showcase your culture.  It enlightens people and leaves them mesmerised.  On a broader scale, don’t allow the thoughts of someone else to bestow doubt in you.  Someone will always have something to say.  But be free; go for it!  If you all would contain any interest, I can detail more about being a minority and my experiences.  Comment down below a time you did something despite being afraid of judgement.

  • Not Running Away From Situations: Asking for help

    A looming, foreboding event perpetuates a storm of butterflies, accounting for the multitude of possibilities that can arise.  You seek, imagine, and generate a remedy for all the probabilities.  You consider skipping the occasion all together.  Last week I was entangled in this distraught state with the dreaded class picture.

    Due to my Cerebral Palsy that resulted in poor balance, the lingering paranoia I would haul to comply with their instructions hammered through me.  I predicted there would be levels that one would climb and then turn around, and the awareness that this wasn’t in my abilities insinuated rumination.  I repeatedly antagonised over all the situations.

    After excessive, draining pondering and worrying I resolved to email the administration, articulating the issue.  They clarified it was on a staircase, while additionally ensuring they will find a position best adequate for me.  Grateful of their understanding, I replied with the most efficient spot for me was.  The next morning she confirmed it with me.  Everything was set in play and rolled smoothly in motion.

    Uncertainty supplies discomfort.  Simply running from it does not instill resilience.  If you are undergoing a tremendous amount of nerves, inform someone.  Do not be afraid to let others know.  They will assist in promoting utmost comfort and ease the assumptions.  I am so glad I reached out.  And you can too!  Comment below any similar circumstance you have undergone.

  • Coping With Bullying

    Being bullied, pinpointed as a target, instigates a spiral of dread and believing that venom.  I remember when I was bullied for years by a few a people; this one girl in particular blasted extra iciness. The dread and anticipation pulsed through me. Aaaa  Everyday I would brace myself for the nasty remarks, the scorn that would bombard me.  They would spew it to my face or let the magma build up by telling someone else who would deliver it to me.  I felt the wrath physically burn my heart and form scars.  In the shelter of the bathroom, I permitted the tears to flow down my face.  At home, the fracas thumped through my mind inexorably. The words struck poignantly true.  And I floundered in self doubt, my self worth crumbled and disintegrated.  The mental damage lingered years following the conclusion of this hardship.  

    Overtime, I learned how I can’t influence their actions, but I can control how I react.  I didn’t have to take it to heart. That was up to my discretion.  If I showcased the facade I was unfazed, the joy would dwindle.  I began to understand the motive behind such diabolical behaviour and that it stemmed from unhappiness in their circumstances.  It was a twisted method to uplift themselves.  I had to shift my mindset, be there for myself, vouch for myself, convince myself the opposite of what they ingrained. Understanding this and the origins of their attitudes perpetuated me to slowly release the venom that had stung and tattered me.  I empathise with anyone grappling through this or who underwent it.  You are so strong, stronger than the person bullying you.  Don’t succumb to it.  Comment down below your experience or some other helpful advice! 

  • Time Flies: Enjoy Every Moment

    Hii!!  I’m sure seniors will relate to this.  The looming presence of graduation only at 2 months distance evokes a multitude of emotions.  I remember when it seemed ages away.  Walking through those doors as a timid, apprehensive freshman seems like yesterday.  Now in 5 months it’s a 180.  From knowing the ins and outs of the school, securing a place, infected with senioritis to a timourous first year in college, learning to navigate adult life and live independently.  The foreboding fear of not making friends arises again.  Although, it’s exciting brainstorming ideas for my dorm.  No math and science classes (maybe)!  The freedom.  A new chapter is going to begin!

     But that also indicates leaving everything behind.  All the memories, the people I’ve seen grow and emerge the past 4 years, my house, family/friends, and oh god I’m going to miss home cooked food.  It’s going to be weird not seeing kids I’m accustomed to seeing everyday, even if we don’t talk.  I’m going to miss my teachers (at least a couple).  Soon everything is just going to be a memory.  I just hope I’m not crying whilst I walk across the stage.

    To all those starting or just entering high school, please enjoy and relish every moment.  Go to all the events.  It may seem superfluous and stupid but make the most of it.  I wish I had been more involved.  The regret of not soaking it all in haunts me.  Incredulous when people commented on how these years fly, I didn’t believe them.  Trust me they do.  Be bold, go for it.  Do it for the storyline.