Michael Sylvia

Michael Sylvia at 18!

Hey everyone! I hope you all have been trying to enjoy the crazy amounts of snow we have been getting over the past two weeks. It was my 18th birthday a couple of weeks ago and, as a gift, my dad and I took a trip down to Fort Lauderdale for what was originally supposed to run Saturday through Tuesday of last week. However, we ended up getting “stuck” down in Florida for two extra days because our returning flights were canceled as a result of Juno. It was awesome, although, I did feel a little bit of guilt when I was lying on the beach while snow pounded my hometown.

Becoming 18 is a milestone for practically everyone so, as you can imagine, I was pretty thrilled to become a legal adult. Additionally, I felt a sense of accomplishment. My mom typically reflects and tells me the story of my birth every year around the time of my birthday. I have addressed the topic in a previous post. Usually, I don’t really think much of it, but, this year the story seemed to hit home. I realized that, in my 18 years on this earth, I have achieved nearly everything my peers have. That’s huge for me. When I was born, my parents were told I wouldn’t be able to stand on my own; I walked. My parents were told I wouldn’t be able to communicate; I write a blog. My parents were told I wouldn’t be able to learn; I will be attending Providence College in the fall. At this point, I feel like I have accomplished so much that I have to ask myself, “what can’t I do?” I strongly relate to the words of one of the rappers that I listen to, “There’s beauty in the struggle.” He is absolutely right. I feel that every single thing I have ever overcame has given me more strength and eagerness to tackle the next struggle that comes my way.

As a matter of fact, I will share with you one of my current dilemmas that I must conquer. Now, that I am 18, I will have to do tasks such as showing up for doctor’s appointments on my own. I will need to fill out forms that are required at doctor’s offices on a regular basis. This is a challenge because I do not write all that often. My dexterity has never been great due to my cerebral palsy so, writing legibly has always been an issue. Of course, forms ask for important information that needs to be printed in a comprehensible manner. Thus, the predicament. At this time, I am thinking that the best way to defeat this issue is to call offices ahead of time and dictate my information. Moreover, I hope that as technology becomes more and more prevalent in everyday society, forms will eventually be filled out on a tablet or computer rather than old fashioned pen and paper. Considering the amount I have needed to write in school has dramatically decreased as a result of technology, I do not see digitized forms as being too unrealistic.

All in all, I am both anxious and excited to begin this new phase of my life. I know there will be triumphs and happiness but I have learned firsthand that change isn’t anything that is easy. I am going to continue to post here and there but, seeing how tough it is too stay on a typical writing schedule, I can’t promise anything. February break is coming so, for those who are vacationing, I wish you safe and happy travels!

Michael