The Importance of Having A Sense of Identity

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I was looking through pictures from the Cavaliers championship parade and rally in downtown Cleveland, and after seeing 1.3 million people jammed like sardines in the city, I wondered something. What is it about sports that is so powerful? Why is this such a magical moment for the Cavaliers and a celebration of the city of Cleveland itself? Why did my usually calm and reserved father give me the biggest hug with tears streaming down his face after the clock hit zero in game 7 of the 2016 NBA finals?

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The Sweet Life Of Perseverance

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I have Type 1 Diabetes. Those closest to me have seen how much of a toll it has taken on my life for the past 10 years while I’ve had this disease. My body cannot absorb the insulin from my Pancreas, and my blood sugars are unnaturally imbalanced as a result. Every second of my life has been devoted to this disease, from doing mental calculations before I’m about to do my favorite activities like jogging or playing basketball, to always lugging around a bag filled with medications and snacks, to always thinking ahead to where I’m going to be, and being aware of my surroundings in the event that emergency strikes.

It has been the source of a lot of sleepless nights, sick, lethargic days, and an unshakable anxiety disorder that has traumatized me for the last two years. I’ve almost died, been rushed by ambulance through the busy streets of New York. I’ve had to cancel travel arrangements, vacations, and nights out with friends. I’ve subjected myself to thousands of blood sugar finger pricks, and even more painful needle injections. There is no sick days, “call ins” or days off from this disease. It is 24/7/365, and will most likely be for the rest of my life.

But that’s okay.

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