blogging is a wonderful thing. i've met so many wonderful, funny, interesting and inspiring people.
i'm not sure how i came about a dreamers daze, but it's become one of my daily reads. i fell in love with the way ariel writes, how it feels like i'm reading my own thoughts when i read her posts, the way she can make you feel like you're travelling with her on a train through europe, the way you can feel the love she has for her friends and family and every single person through every word, and how she replies to every.single. email and comment.
ariel lives with crouzon syndrome. i couldn't even begin to do her story justice so please read her post telling my story.
surviving the surgeries, overcoming the rudeness of ignorant people, spending a childhood in hospital, living with scars, they all make ariel awesome, but what takes her to the real life awesome podium is the way she deals with it all. how rather than letting crouzons disease destroy her or make her bitter she is thankful for it, thankful for the unbreakable bond it has helped form between her family, thankful that it has provided her with the will and drive to do whatever is required to succeed.
in her own words; ...though some days I feel more dead than alive, I look at the scars and think about how far I've come, and it becomes so much clearer- human compassion and love will always outshine the pain. And that makes it all worth it
introducing the very beautiful ariel tyler henley;
Hello! My name is Ariel. (I was in fact named after Ariel in The Little Mermaid.) I am a 21 year old college senior. I grew up in California, but currently live in Vermont. I love life and everyday adventures. My blog is my love letter to the world.
What has been your biggest hurdle or opportunity for growth?
I grew up with Crouzon Syndrome- a disease that has shaped everything about me. I spent most of my youth in the hospital, but I learned what it means to live and what it means to love and I'm so incredibly thankful for it.
What is the best piece of advice you've been given and what did you do with it?
The best piece of advice I've been given is to always be myself. No matter who you are, where you've been, what you look like, etc. there will always be people who love you and people who dislike you and even people that are completely indifferent to you. That's just how the world works. The best thing to do is love yourself and to accept yourself. At the end of the day, the only person that needs to like you is you. And life is so much happier when you're true to yourself. However crazy that may be. :)
Was there an event that was your turning point?
For me, my turning point was graduating high school. I graduated from high school early and spent senior year finishing up surgeries and other medical requirements. Moving away to Vermont for school was my chance at a fresh start. It wasn't an easy transition, but it taught me so much about myself and what I want out of life. Moving to Vermont gave me the opportunity to live in a town I adore, meet friends that feel like family, and even travel across Europe. It was a huge leap, but my life really has been a dream these past few years. I wouldn't change a thing.
Do you have any tricks to keep you on track?
I just really focus on who I am and who I want to be. I believe that life is too short to be anything but happy. If I'm unhappy or feel as though something in my life is missing, I re-evaluate where I am and what I need to do to get to where I want to be. The key, for me, is self- reflection and self- awareness. I really try to be proactive about creating a positive environment for myself.
Who or what inspires you?
My family. They are the strongest, bravest, and kindest people I've ever known. They've known so many trials and tribulations, but they have taught me the importance of staying kind and humble and working hard to try and achieve my wildest dreams.
What little nugget of gold would you like to leave us with?
Be you. And be the best you that you can be. Love yourself and love your life and everything will fall into place. Only you have the power to change your life and you can. Just remember, that no matter what happens, you are beautiful and you are loved.
thank you so so much ariel. you truly are beautiful. inside and out.
if you have any questions or comments for ariel leave them in the comments below and i'll be sure to pass them on. or visit her blog a dreamers daze. (could there be a better advertisement for a blog than calling it "my love letter to the world"?)