revisiting my eighth grade letter (almost) ten years later 

When I was in the eighth grade, one of my teachers had all of the students write a letter to themselves four years in the future as graduating high school students.  The year was 2008: I had braces, loved making people laugh, and knew I wanted to have a career in writing.  To this day, not much has changed.  I received this letter but four years later – now 2012, as I was preparing to enter SUNY New Paltz as a college freshman.  I truly don’t remember my initial reaction upon opening the note, but it was sentimental enough and has stayed tacked on my bulletin board.  As time would have it, another four years have passed, and 2008 Bridget (that’s when people first started calling her Bird) never received a response to her letter, until today:

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leave patton alone, plz

Patton Oswalt is one of my favorite comedians for a multitude of reasons: his album Finest Hour was the first physical copy of a comedy album I purchased; he embraces his love of nerd culture and celebrates the idea that it is okay for people to love what they love; he makes me giggle each time I see a parking enforcement car making its round on the streets, thinking about what a world we would live in if it were advertised as Parking Enforcement & Homicide. (It’s a great bit you should look up because no retelling of a joke is ever as funny as the joke itself).  However, most importantly, I admire Oswalt’s always candid nature when speaking about grave matters including his battle with depression. Continue reading

don’t be afraid to acknowledge your flaws

When I was in the fifth grade, my teacher made a dreaded mistake by telling me I was  “practically perfect.”  I’m sure she meant it as a compliment: I’m a hard working gal and have always devoted excess time to whatever project I’m working on, but in that moment, I remember thinking that it wasn’t so much a praise as it was a challenge.  As in, if this is how I’m being perceived by at least some of my peers, I cannot be anything but.

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you & your friends will survive long-distance friendships just fine

When one of my closest friends got a job right after graduation, you could say I was a bit down.  Our moms met when they were each pregnant with their respective child (seriously!), so to not have that familiarity and that presence in my life was horrifying.  No longer would she be able to come over and watch guilty-pleasure movies with me or grab breakfast on Sunday mornings at our favorite diner.  She couldn’t text me to come over with ten minutes’ notice, because we no longer had the proximity that held us together for so long.

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nine things guys say when they find out you are chronically ill

Dating is hard enough by itself and having a chronic illness adds an additional level of complications. So yes, I’d like you to accept my normal “crazy girl” stuff, but I also need you to understand, accept, and deal with the chronic illness I face everyday. That’s a super awesome elevator speech for dating if I’ve ever heard one (…by the way: sarcasm is required when you are told you have a joint crippling disease at 18).

I’ve been on a lot of dates, mainly for the free food and drinks, and I have learned that your special someone is going to love you for you, chronic disease or not. The shiny fish I will eventually find in this overwhelming ocean of options will get over the days he has to carry me to the bathroom or let me cry on his shoulder. But for your laughs and my therapeutic writing experiment, here are some of my favorite quotes from guys I’ve dated in reaction to finding out about my chronic illness.

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