The following is a blog post that I started as part of a social media blogging summit I had the amazing opportunity to go to this past weekend. The National Psoriasis Foundation and Leo Pharmacy put on a wonderful event for prominent psoriasic disease bloggers. I love being able to get together with my psoFamily! Can’t wait til July when we can all hang out together and have a blasty blast in San Fran! Whoop whoop!!
During the workshop, we had a writer’s block writing exercise where we explored many different ways to create content. After which we were given some time to start crafting a post. The following is my brain vomit from that exercise, followed by the posts of some of the awesome people who were in attendance.
A HUGE THANK YOU to the NPF and LEO for having me at the event. I learned a lot, really felt like my voice was heard and truly believe that LEO is patient focused and is moving towards a patient centric approach. Music to my ears 🙂 🙂 🙂
Additionally, a HUGE THANK YOU to the Arthritis Foundation for hosting such a great State Advocacy Day. A lot of work went into putting the day on and patients everywhere very much appreciate what you do!
NYC. South Street Seaport. I think about the 2 hour “all you can drink” brunches that I used to have with friends, eating greasy foods and playing board games at a local restaurant about a block away from where I’m currently sitting. I can’t help but wonder if that food had anything to do with why I’m sitting here now?
The National Psoriasis Foundation has given me SO many amazing opportunities within the last year to help expand my social media skills and my knowledge of psoriatic disease. Today’s activities are no different. Back when I was in IT consulting, I used to tell my boss all the time that I wished my job focused on social media. That THAT’S where my passion was. I remember I’d leave work and search for social media positions to apply to, but always became discouraged because the going rate for a social media consultant was SIGNIFICANTLY less than that of an Systems Integration Consultant. I knew in time I’d figure out what I wanted to do, and where life would take me, but at the time I didn’t know exactly where that was.
If I think back even further, I applied to college as pre-biology with the intent of going to medical school after undergrad. I had grown up in doctors offices and physical therapists gyms, so it seemed like a likely fit for me. After spending my first semester in that space, I ended up switching to the business school and eventually graduating with a management information systems degree. I’ll be honest, I had NO idea what I wanted to do and figured a degree in business and computers could get my foot in the door at a lot of different places.
As I sit here now, surrounded by 10 other bloggers, LEO pharma staff and some awesome social media gurus at WCG, I now know that I wasn’t completely misguided when I would make social media comments way back when or how I knew that my heart was into health. It’s like my inner self knew that’s where my passion and interests lay, but my journey had not progressed enough yet for me to fully immerse myself in that world. We all have very unique journeys and sometimes we have to take the out-of-the-way, down the back road, make 50 wrong turns and backtrack, route.
Earlier in the week, I had the opportunity to travel to Harrisburg, PA with the Arthritis Foundation for their State Advocacy Day. I attended for the first time last year and was just as excited to go back this year! I never thought I’d find myself sitting with State Reps and Senators advocating for other patients just like me. (Check back Wednesday to learn more about some hot initiatives we were talking about!)
Helping advocate for the patients that I get to interact with on social media platforms everyday, and the patients that I’ll never meet, is so exhilarating! Being able to share MY story with government officials is an opportunity I’m extremely grateful to have. Sure, if I had to choose whether or not to be afflicted by some of my health issues would I choose not to have them? Absolutely! But as Robin Roberts says, make your mess your message!
This week’s trips to Harrisburg and NYC, have not only exhausted me, but really have meant a lot to me. They’ve reaffirmed to myself that I’m FINALLY following my intuition and my true life’s purpose. When I left Pittsburgh yesterday, I left with only one crutch, rolling my suitcase all by myself. For the past 3 years, I’ve always had to have someone accompany me to the airport in order to drop me off at the door and to roll my bags in for me. NOT THIS TRIP! This trip has been the first time in 3 years I’ve been able to do it all myself. Now, I still asked for a wheelchair from baggage claim to my gate, but hey! I’m not going to expel my energy on something as silly as that.
When I started packing for this trip I got a bit discouraged. The last time I had flown I had told my cab driver that it was probably my last trip with crutches. That, however, did not seem to be the case. This trip I was still lugging my good old crutches (I feel like they should have a name or something at this point?) and I started feeling a bit down. It wasn’t until I started thinking – Holy cow Jul! Look at the progress you’re making by driving yourself to the airport! Sure, someone still helped you carry your bag up the steps so you could get it into your car, but you’ll be rolling your own bag, into the airport, by yourself, just like you used to do 3 years ago.
Growing up, I lived a very dependent life, like we all do. Leaving for college I began to grow my independence and post-college I became fully independent. Having to take a step back to becoming dependent again, the last few years has been rough. BUT, it’s been part of my journey. The journey who’s choices and twists and turns have led me to be sitting in the amazing company of some brilliant minds.
Life is ever evolving and can seem extremely daunting at times. BUT! If we have faith in our future, hope that everything will turn out right and the courage to persevere, we can get through any tough (or easy!) time. If you look at where you are right now with doubt, sadness and a hopeless heart, I urge you to take a step back and look big picture. And just remember – right when the Caterpillar thought his life was over, he became a beautiful butterfly. Believe that everything will work out in the end and if it hasn’t worked out yet, then it’s not the end 🙂
So I challenge you this.
Wishing You A Pain Free Day!
Make sure to check out my #Pso Family!
NOTE: I attended a Psoriasis Blogger Summit hosted by LEO and received a stipend for my evaluation and feedback on information presented during the meeting. All opinions expressed by me about the summit or LEO programs or products are my own.