If you haven’t read our About page yet, then go read that first, you little rebel. (Or else you might feel a tad bit lost).
Feeling lost is really just another adventure though.
And if you embrace it, it can be beautiful: Such is the world of Jillian Michelle–
The Girl with Rusty Dreams
I’ve always been searching for something. I first knew I wanted to travel the world when I was three years old. I climbed my first mountain then. Except the mountain was a hospital bed, and I had no idea I’d be scaling it for over 15 years. When you’re stuck on a ledge for that long, holding on with bloody fingers, it’s easy to become angry or bitter. But I choose instead to be inspired. It’s that inspiration that is responsible for this picture. Not far from where my parents live on the west coast of Michigan lies a public park comprised of over 10 miles of endless sand dunes. Even though it’s steps from home, it feels like another planet. So I walk the sands pretending I am somewhere far away–somewhere where the world is more fair, people don’t get sick, and wishes can come true just from wishing hard enough. My skin’s become stained with dreams that have long since rusted, but I still hold them in my hands, careful to dust them off whenever the sand and grit starts working its way into their tiny crevices. I like to wander deep into the dunes where the land remains untouched by travelers and you can still see ripples snaking through the sand like tiny monsters. On my journey, I’ve learned that monsters are real. They exist inside us all. Some people are just better at slaying theirs than others. And I think there’s something absolutely beautiful about fighting to get to where you want to be in life. So where to next, you ask? There’s no place that I do not wish to go.
I’m a warrior who doesn’t have a large intestine. I’m a dreamer who still believes kindness can change the world. I think each and every one of you are beautiful. I believe in you, and I hope you never stop fighting.
2) I sometimes drink A1 Steak Sauce straight from the bottle.
3) I think monsters are real. They exist inside us all. Some people are just better at slaying theirs than others.
4) I’m stronger than you’ll ever know.
5) So are you.
6) I don’t buy cards from the store. I always make them from scratch. I think they mean more that way. If you are a close friend of mine, I have probably made you a pop-up card, written you a cheesy poem, or sent you on a treasure hunt to find your presents at some point during our friendship.
7) One of my most prized possessions is a poem my dad wrote for me on my 13th birthday. It’s 40 lines long, and I can recite every word of it by memory.
8) I love doing things that scare me. I love to face my fears.
9) I get bored when I’m not constantly being challenged. In school. In relationships. In life. I climb mountains until they are conquered and then look for other mountains to climb.
10) I’m a hopeless romantic, but I hate attachments. I hate being vulnerable. I hate giving another person power over my own emotions. And I hate how love can make a person feel weak. Or turn their soul ugly. When I love someone, it consumes me. I get so wrapped up in it that I sometimes lose a piece of myself. No, I definitely don’t like falling, and I fight it every time.
11) I’ve only fallen twice.
12) I don’t have a dream wedding planned out like most girls do. I don’t care about the size of the ring. A toy prize ring from the bottom of a cereal box will be just fine. I just want to be happy.
13) I’ve spent most of this year feeling pretty lost. I still feel lost. But I brought my survival gear with me, so I’m confident I’ll find my way back to wherever I’m supposed to be.
14) I’m always the first to say, “I’m sorry.”
15) I want to inspire people.
16) When I hear about shootings or mass murders on TV, I never feel sad for the people who died. But I always feel sad for the killer. I wonder how much pain they endured in their life before they got to that point. I wonder what decisions they made that led them down the path they took. I wonder if anyone could have saved them.
17) I try to fix broken people. While simultaneously understanding that those people have to be the ones to fix themselves. It doesn’t stop me from trying though.
18) Lately I’ve been really selfish. And I haven’t been as good of a friend as I should have to the people I care most about. To the friends I’ve neglected, to the friends I’ve smothered, to the ones with whom I didn’t spend enough time, and the ones from whom I demanded too much time– I’m sorry.
19) I will always care more about the underdog than the hero. I’ll care more about the guy who lost everything than the guy who won it all. I like to see people get knocked down, their faces rubbed into the mud until they’re gasping for air and they doubt they’ll ever get back up again. And then I like to see them get back up again.
20) I like when people point out my character flaws. I’ll pretend that I don’t. I’ll whine, complain, argue, make excuses, and maybe even get mad at you, but in the end, I’ll realize you’re right, and I’ll try to better myself.
21) I will never stop trying to better myself.
22) Writing feeds my soul.
23) So do brownies, pickles, and strawberry slushies from Sonic.
24) I am missing someone right now.
25) I believe in you. And I hope you never stop fighting.
I’m shy, awkward, uncool, and clumsy.
I run into walls and trip over curbs. But I will entertain you by giving you the pleasure of watching me fall.
I do not have a large intestine.
I was the Valedictorian of my high school, and I enjoy being a nerd.
Above everything else, I’m goofy, dorky, and silly. And I like being around people who will act just as goofy, dorky, and silly with me.
Being sick for half my life has taught me that life is too short to take yourself too seriously. You gotta learn to let go and have fun, and when all else fails, give the world the finger and go about your way.
Acting goofy Travel Random road trips Solitude Sarcasm Rollercoasters People-watching Pickles Challenging myself and learning new things Doing things that scare me Conquering fears Using my hand as a notepad for daily reminders Video Games Anime Cosplay Cultural Studies Thunderstorms Playing in the rain Starry nights Wishing on stars Sneezing Food Snuggles Fabric Softener Freshly washed sheets Going exploring Getting lost Adventure Getting my hands dirty Hiking Camping The wind blowing my hair Boating Skiing and Tubing Believing in Fairy tales Believing in the best of people in the worst of situations Making people smile when they feel there’s not much left to smile for Earning someone’s trust The smell of gasoline Campfires The smell of campfires Nerdy things and Intellectual Pursuits Bookstores Libraries The smell of libraries and bookstores Reading Writing Dreaming Being creative Art Photography Music Singing Composing music and song lyrics Dancing Bgirling Staring at the ocean Renfests Archery Martial Arts Pianos, Guitars, and Violins Fairies, Unicorns, Dragons Greek Mythology Studying Japanese and Korean Asian dramas and music Ancient Rome and Egypt Swords White tigers Whales and Seals Girls who kick ass Wearing elegant dresses Being a tomboy Disney World Getting bruises Being on stage Surprises Wildflowers Treehouses Honesty Science–biology, genetics, astronomy, anatomy Guys in hoodies Cuddling Guys who wear their hair long enough for it to fall in front of their eyes Family Inspiring others Being humbled by others Volunteer work
Handshakes Being so shy I hate my nose Hospitals Illness Insincerity Feelings of Inadequacy Being misunderstood Being judged Learning to say goodbye Vanity Racism Golddiggers Deception Peas Lack of Ambition Gum-smacking When people write “your” when they mean “you’re” Unavoidably becoming the cause of someone else’s pain Loss of youth Loss of innocence
Disappointing myself Spiders Heights Vulnerability Learning to trust Failure Loneliness Rejection Getting old The hopes and dreams I have that may never come true
- doesn’t have a large intestine,
- has had mouse DNA put inside her body,
- and even survived a full year without a single bite of food.
How’s that even possible?
Oh, look– We made you a pretty graphic.
Jillian Michelle’s Illness Explained