Sunday, December 24, 2017

Hallelujah! Christmas Eve is Here!!!

Hey guys!!!!
It's Christmas Eve!!!!!!!!! So I wanted to share with you my new favorite rendition of one of my favorite classic Christmas carols, Hallelujah (originally written and performed by Leonard Cohen) by the acapella (meaning a group or person singing without any music, only using their mouths and bodies to make the sound) group Pentatonix!

Pentatonix Lyrics "Hallelujah" 
[Scott:] I've heard there was a secret chord That David played and it pleased the Lord But you don't really care for music, do ya? Well it goes like this The fourth, the fifth, the minor fall, the major lift The baffled king composing Hallelujah Hallelujah, Hallelujah Hallelujah, Hallelujah 
[Avi:] Well, your faith was strong but you needed proof You saw her bathing on the roof Her beauty in the moonlight overthrew ya She tied you to the kitchen chair She broke your throne and she cut your hair And from your lips, she drew the Hallelujah Hallelujah, Hallelujah Hallelujah, Hallelujah 
[Kirstie:] Well baby I've been here before I've seen this room and I've walked this floor I used to live alone before I knew ya And I've seen your flag on the marble arch (marble arch) And love is not a victory march (a victory march) It's a cold and it's a broken Hallelujah (broken Hallelujah) Hallelujah, Hallelujah Hallelujah, Hallelujah 
[Mitch:] Maybe there's a God above But all I've ever learned from love Was how to shoot somebody who outdrew ya And it's not a cry that you hear at night It's not somebody who's seen the light It's a cold and it's a broken Hallelujah Hallelujah, Hallelujah Hallelujah, Hallelujah 
[All:] Hallelujah, Hallelujah Hallelujah, Hallelujah Hallelujah, Hallelujah Hallelujah, Hallelujah 
Mmmm, Mmmm Mmmm, Mmmm
Thanks to Jessica, Emily, Eline Philip, Maddison for correcting these lyrics
Pentatonix lyrics are property and copyright of their owners. "Hallelujah" lyrics provided for educational purposes and personal use only. Copyright © 2000-2017 AZLyrics.com

If you enjoy the story please take a little time to fill out my questionnaire on how I did. I can't wait to hear from you!!!! My Blog Questions If you would like me to answer your questions, just tweet them to @Mao_Yang2013 or facebook me using the hashtag #AskMao13 or email me at www.myinspireblog2013@gmail.com. I will reply to a few in a future blog post because we can all learn something from one another. Also, please don't forget to follow/like my Facbook page @MYInspirationBlog.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Sandy Hook Tribute

It seems like time has gone by so fast. Today marks the five year anniversary of the tragic Sandy Hook Elementary shooting, but that does not mean the people and the hearts of the nation are not still with the victim's families and all those involved as that tragic day unfolded. With the holiday season in the air, it gets harder and harder to move on, since you are meant to spend it with the people you love the most. I know this won't ease your pain, but I hope it helps you to know that they will never be forgotten. May all those who lost their lives on that horrific day rest in peace forever.

"Don't Grieve For Me"

Don't grieve for me, for now I'm free;
I'm following the path God laid for me.
I took His hand when I heard Him call;
I turned my back and left it all.

I could not stay another day,
To laugh, to love, to work or play.
Tasks left undone must stay that way;
I found that place at the close of day.

If my parting has left a void,
then fill it with remembered joy.
A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss;
Ah yes, these things, I too, will miss.

Be not burdened with times of sorrow;
I wish you the sunshine of tomorrow.
My life's been full, I savored much;
Good friends, good times, a loved ones touch.

Perhaps my time seemed all too brief;
Don't lengthen it now with undue grief.
Lift up your heart and share with me;
God wanted me now, He set me free.
Author: Unknown
 As you celebrate this Holiday Season, be sure to take time to remember all those you've lost this year and appreciate those that are all around you.
UPDATE:On Friday June 29, 2016, in a place filled with so much sadness and devastation, there was hope built in its place when the new Sandy Hook Elementary opened up to the pubic for the first time ready for students this fall.
New Sandy Hook Elementary School Open to Public Nearly Four Years After Deadly Massacre

Thursday, September 28, 2017

My 4th Blogiversary!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dear fans, family, friends, and my loyal readers,
WOW!!!! I gotta say, I honestly cannot believe that today, its already been FOUR WHOLE YEARS since I first started this whole crazy journey of mine. I know you guys have heard me say this before, but I will never get tired of saying it, Thank you for all your love and support throughout this past couple of years, I truly appreciate it and it means the world to me. I love you all so much.
It is not often I get feedback from you guys but when I do, It is overwhelming. This is overwhelming because as hard as it is to believe, I didn't think I would amount to anything because my muscles were always tight so I couldn't do anything that required perfect hand-eye coordination or anything with my hands in general and legs because I was unable to walk. I used to get frustrated because there were lots of times where I knew what I needed and should do in order to complete a specific task, but my brain and muscles just couldn't and wouldn't work together so what often resulted in the final product was worse than what I had originally envisioned in my head. Now to some people that may seem a little over-dramatic but for someone who has a difficulty controlling her own body and how it functions, this is completely devastating because this is just one more thing I couldn't control in my life. Which is probably why I turned into such a perfectionist and also why I turned all my attention and focus on doing my absolute best in school. I thought that if I could control nothing else, I could at the least control how my grades came out. School for me was concrete, most of the time, there was always a right or wrong answer and all I had to do was memorize it and do whatever I was told.
You see, because I had a disability, I had to depend on a lot of people to do things for me and get through the day and I had to ask or dictate when it came to writing so I felt trapped. I wanted to but couldn't figure out a way to express myself. Of course, this all changed once I got my very first typewriter. For the very first time in my life, I was able to express my thoughts and they would be written EXACTLY the way I thought and wanted them to be without any micro-management unlike other parts in my life, from people I know who had my best interest at heart but failed to see what was most important to me. That's when I knew I wanted to become a writer, I just didn't know how and what kind I wanted to be. It took a visit with my case manager's daughter at the time while I was at school to see that there was more to me than being smart and her suggestion to start a blog (even though at the time I had no idea how) that ultimately led me to this path I'm on right now.
I have to tell you, this hasn't been an easy road to get here. When I decided to go for it with this whole blog idea, I had no idea where, and most importantly what it was going be about. I didn't want it a just another cliché blog about my life. I mean, yes I talk about my life experiences but that is not ALL I talk about, it is never just the main focus. I wanted this blog to be different and stand out, so the night before I posted, I asked my sister and this (Blogger) was her suggestion. As I was thinking of what my blog could be about, I remember telling her that I wanted people to be moved, be inspired, make a positive impact in other people's lives, not to be famous or make money. Now as this came out of my mouth, I realized this was the bright idea I had been looking for but I never have imagined it turning it into what it is today.
All this just kind of started as a hobby, maybe doing this only once or twice a month working hard to find positive material but as I soon found out, I just had to look for it. But as I started doing it, it gave me a sense of purpose and brought me great joy so I just couldn't stop and here we are! Doing this blog has saved my life because it has helped me and forced me to see the good and beauty in life and further overcome my depression. Now because of you guys from all over the world, that I honestly thought would never come and actually read it, and the outpouring of positive feedback I received from you, I can see this now as not just only a hobby but also as a life-changing career.
My whole life, I have spent making other people happy, caring too much about other people's thoughts and feelings always feeling the need to please them. This blog and my Youtube Channel has allowed me to share and feel safe enough to show you the truest representation of myself, with complete openness and honesty with no filter.
Thank you for allowing me to show you the world through my eyes because there is more to me than just being a girl in a wheelchair. I am more than just a daughter, sister, aunt, niece, and friend. I am a person with thoughts and feelings too. Thank you for accepting me for who, what, and all that I am, sticking with me through my ups and downs, all the good and the bad. Thank you for letting me share my life with you. The stories I share with you are the ones most near and dear to me. I just want you to know that I would never exploit or compromise my integrity for the sake of more publicity. Don't get me wrong, I'd be lying if I said I didn't want this to reach as many people as humanly possible, but that is not the way I choose to do it. I understand that this will take time to do and I got to let it run its course. I can assure you, I truly believe in and mean EVERY WORD I type/write and say. It comes straight from my heart and is what I'm feeling at that very moment.
I felt that since a LOT of you devote some of your precious time to read my new postings almost each and every day, it is only fair that I told you what my true intentions really were, because it is truly the only way I knew how to explain and show you how much I appreciate and am extremely grateful I am to have each and every one of you for your support. Thank you for making my dream come true <3. I cannot wait to share more stories with you and to see what this year has in store!
Love Always,
Mao

If you enjoy the story please take a little time to fill out my questionnaire on how you think I have done these past 4 years, I can't wait to hear from you!!!! My Blog Questions If you would like me to answer your questions, just tweet them to @Mao_Yang2013 or facebook me using the hashtag #AskMao13 or email me at www.myinspireblog2013@gmail.com. I will reply to a few in a future blog post because we can all learn something from one another. Also, please don't forget to follow/like my Facebook page @MYInspirationBlog.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Remembering 9/11

As most of you know, today is the 16th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the world trade center in New York City and Pentagon in Washington. Almost 3000 innocent lives were lost that day. Most of who were just living their day-to-lives, going in for a routine day of work at the office, and boarding flights. Never imagining that the worse was yet to come, never picturing the tragic events that unfolded before them that now remain engraved in our hearts and minds, changing the way we think, act, and feel about our world forever.
I have no doubt that there are some of you out there who are thinking to yourself. "Oh great it's 9/11, cue the tribute posts on all social media and you are just sick and tired of it all right? Or perhaps you are one of the children of the victims who were left behind and you are afraid this event on this day is now all that defines you.
To the people that are sick of all those posts: I understand your frustration and it is perfectly fine that you feel that way but just remember that those innocent people all were loved my someone, all had families they left behind. They were mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, sisters, brothers, husbands, and wives, and friends. Some who gave up their lives, rushing in to try and save the lives of strangers. Some of who we may or may not ever get to know the names or stories of. But even so, it is important that we remember because as one very wise history teacher once told me, history ALWAYS repeats itself so the more knowledgeable we are about it, the more we can learn from it, the better we can protect and prevent ourselves from ever letting something this tragic happen again. Letting people know that even when a disaster strikes we are always ready and willing to come together and unite to help each other because there is ALWAYS good people in this world, you just have to look for them.
To all those left behind: This day and this horrible event is just a very small part of who you are, not all of who you are, remember that. Yes, to a lot of people you may still be known as the "Children Of 9/11" and I do not claim to know or even begin to understand the sadness, pain, or loss that you feel or go through and I'm really sorry that you even have to feel those things, but WHO CARES what other people have to say. Don't let it define you, because the moment you do then those who doubted you, have won. You have so much promise, possibilities, and so many amazing things to offer this world, so work hard and do the best you can in everything you do and make your loved ones you lost on that day proud because that is the best way I feel, to honor their life, loss, and memory. 
I'm sure all of us can remember when, where, and what we were doing on that tragic day. Well, I was six in kindergarten so I don't remember much but for me it was just a regular day at school. My teacher did not try to stop and talk or show us what was going on, I mean not that I would've understood it at all anyway. But I remember coming come that day and seeing my dad on the couch recording news coverage of the attacks, seeing one plane crash in the Twin Towers. I remember thinking of how this couldn't be real. I thought for sure my dad was just watching a movie with war and fighting because besides wrestling, those were the only two other things that he enjoyed watching on television, so I didn't think much of it. If only I knew how much that image I saw on that little screen would change and impact our world forever.
Here is just a little look at all the horror that unfolded that day.
 

But as horrible as that day was, there is now hope built in its place with a beautiful memorial.


And now museum reminding us not only of these events but how different and carefree life once was and how it has all changed since then, all captured in this unique time capsule.



Today and everyday we remember all the lives that were lost and sacrificed on that tragic day. We will never forget. May you Rest In Peace.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

My June 2016 Graduation and Speech

According to Google, Graduation is "the receiving or conferring of an academic degree or diploma." To me, Graduation always symbolized the bittersweet ending of a journey and the beginning of a new one, a celebration of all that one's accomplishments that got them to that one moment. I knew I would pride and nervousness too, just from prior experience. The pride that yes I had struggled but made it through, despite my own doubts, when I was working on a particularly hard subject or assignment (yeah that's right biology, I'm talking about you), but also the nervousness and anxiety of being front and center, having all the attention of both cameras and eyeballs on me. The spotlight may have only lasted all of five seconds but pictures last forever so I felt pressure to make sure my smile and handshake was perfect.
This Graduation, however, was unique in that I had to give a speech so not only was I battling with all the above emotions going on inside me like a storm, trying to find my inner peace but I could no longer just sit and look pretty, I was given a platform to talk about my experience at the school, what I learned, how I grew, my disability and how it has shaped me and molded my view of the world. I had given very few speeches in my lifetime up until then that wasn't for a class assignment and graded. My usual audience of just teachers and fellow classmates now included almost my entire family and various members of the school board, it was my very first big audience not in size but in terms of the influence, power, and success these individuals had. It was intimidating to get on stage to deliver such a passionate, vulnerable, emotional, and at times very personal speech in front of such people whom I love or respect. Yet, I knew what a privilege and honor it was to even be asked to do this so it was a rare opportunity that I couldn't pass up or take for granted. After all, I had just considered myself a student, not an expert of any kind but the fact that they appreciated me for who I was and saw something in my character and personality that they felt would make me the perfect recipient to be able to find the right words to define the moment and impart wisdom on the rest of my graduating class, meant the world to me.
 It had been a speech that was 3 months in the making, one that I had been nervous to give, unsure of what to say or how it would be received. But to my surprise, every person in that room, connected with it. I got my very first standing ovation!!!! As I looked around the auditorium just trying to appreciate and soak up the moment, I thought to myself how it felt so AMAZING and how much I hoped Brian was there to see it. As I was looking through the crowd for any sign from above, I felt a sense of warmth and calm travel throughout my body and I knew it was him. It was such a humbling and wonderful experience as I got to meet, talk, and, take photos with so many people that day. I was relieved, overwhelmed with emotion once it was over, yet happy, content, at peace with my job well done. Looking back now, if I was asked to do it all over again and could relive that day, I would, for it was a day I will never forget.
Of course, as with all milestones and achievements I have reached in life, I did not get there alone. While I worked hard, my family and beautiful friends were always never far behind me, giving me the love and support I needed to get through the difficult times and rejoice with me in the good.
There were so many people that helped me complete this journey and I feel so honored to know them and have them a part of my life. So before this blog is complete, let me share some beautiful photos from this day, of the beautiful faces and kind hearts that kept me sane, from giving in to my emotions, and carrying me through.
I LOVE this photo! Thank you to the sweet lady photographer who took this precious and candid shot of my parents and I. All a girl ever wants to do is make her parents proud and I'm glad I did just that. For my parents worked so hard to come to this country to provide my siblings and I a better life with more opportunities than they had growing up. And although they did not speak any English and struggled for most of my life to understand what was going on or being said around them. For them to be able to rise above it, to still be there for me and celebrate the moment with me in spite of it, to stand back with tears in their eyes to watch me shine beaming with pride as my dad is here, means the world to me. This photo to me is the proof that love and language need0 no understanding as it transcends all cultures, ethnicities, and backgrounds. Without their love and support, I wouldn't be who and where I am today. Thank you for everything you have done for me Mom and Dad, I love you .
Will and I, the first friend at this new school I met, the one I felt immediately understood and connected with in a way that I never had before, he is the best friend who always has the perfect words of advice and encouragement I never knew I needed to hear.
Amber and I, the girl I met in my 3rd year who captured my attention with her red hair, the friend who never fails to make me laugh, who is equally strong yet sensitive with such a big heart.
 
Emily and I, the girl I never knew I needed as a friend, with such a pure soul and a sweet and kind spirit. A friend who I knew that I could really count on, and really cares enough to make an effort to stay in touch with me and make sure I'm doing well as a human being.
 
Jessica and I, the friend I used to play the card game Garbage with, who always gave me great comfort with a hug or a shoulder to cry on when I needed it. She always saw the very best in me.

Todd and I, my fellow blog buddy who always believed in me and encouraged my writing, never failing to give me helpful tips in a way that allows me to think, grow, and improve upon my craft.
There are so many more people I could mention and thank, but that would, unfortunately, take me forever. So family, friends, if you're reading this and I did not mention you, just know I still love and appreciate you.
I was so proud to be part of the Class Of 2016...
 

And that they allowed me to give one final farewell to the place where I grew, loved, suffered loss, and figured out what I wanted and did not want as a woman.



Going through my whole middle/high school experience with all these people by my side was great, but to have someone like the now former Superintendent of White Bear Lake Schools, Dr. Michael Lovett supporting me was humbling and beyond exciting! I am so glad to have known such a man.


Thanks to my family and White Bear Lake for capturing these images that will stay with me forever.

Thank you to my brother for capturing my big moment on stage for that's what I would like to share with you now because I believe that we all have the power to impact people in the most positive way and connect with each other in the most basic human way. Saying "I see you" and "I hear you" is a powerful thing...
Part 1
 
Part 2

I know it's a little difficult to hear, so you can also read my full speech transcript HERE.
Music: Roots Before Branches - Room For Two
 
"I try, each day, to impact people in a positive way.  If I have known them for 30 seconds or a lifetime I want my joy and passion for life to be shared with them.  Remember to value everyone."
If you enjoy the story please take a little time to fill out my questionnaire on how I did. I can't wait to hear from you!!!! My Blog Questions. If you would like me to answer your questions, just tweet them to @Mao_Yang2013 or facebook me using the hashtag #AskMao13 or email me at www.myinspireblog2013@gmail.com. I will reply to a few in a future blog post because we can all learn something from one another. Also, please don't forget to follow/like my Facebook page @MYInspirationBlog. 

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Reflection On 2016, What I'm Most Looking Forward To In 2017...

2016 is now just hours away from coming to a close, but before we say goodbye, I would like to say a few words. Although this year has been filled with its own challenges with me graduating and figuring out who I am as well as what I want to make out of this wonderful life I have been blessed with, it has been one of the BEST years I have experienced in awhile. I got to see one of my favorite singers live, Mrs. Carrie Underwood Fisher!!!! I also got to meet Tou Ger Bennet Xiong, a fellow Hmong storyteller/motivational speaker/activist who I have looked up to for a little more than a decade now ever since he first gave a presentation at my elementary school. This year saw me get my first ever nationally published writing piece with the UCP or United Cerebral Palsy!!!! I have always considered myself a pretty strong writer and it's no secret how much I love doing it, but this year in particular was the year I got to see just the kind of impact my words, my thoughts, my writing can have on people. How what I write at one time can stand the test of time, become timeless. As when I was given the honor and beautiful privilege of speaking at my Class Of 2016 Graduation ceremony in June. It had been a speech that was 3 months in the making, one that I had been nervous to give, unsure of what to say or how it would be received. But to my surprise, every person in that room, connected with it. I got my very first standing ovation!!!! It was such a humbling and experience as I got to meet, talk, and, take photos with so many people that day. I was relieved, overwhelmed with emotion once it was over, yet happy, content, at peace with my job well done. Just when I didn't think it could have gotten any better, in August I was once again honored for my speech as I got to witness my friend the superintendent of the White Bear Lake School District Dr. Michael Lovett, quote a couple of paragraphs from it in his beginning of the school year staff commencement speech.
One of the other big highlights of my year was the fact that I got to add two new members to the family, first my sister-in-law, who has given me nothing but love and provided me with so many unforgettable memories and experiences, whether it be trying a new restaurant or enabling me to go and see one of my favorite artists in concert, she always makes sure I often get to have fun and enjoy life as well because she and my brother know that it can sometimes be difficult for me to get out of the house due to my physical limitations.Secondly, the other blessing that came into our lives, was my nephew George,who has given me so much laughter, love and so much more to discover through his eyes.
I am so happy I got to go on what I consider to be adventures such as going to see a play of Beauty And the Beast at the Chanhassen Dinner Theater, which was fantastically done and I enjoyed it. I also loved getting to visit the city of Chicago with all my sisters, seeing some of the most famous landmarks the "Windy City" had to offer, like the very unique Bean and the beautiful Millennium Park.
Overall,I got to see and experience some incredible things that I wouldn't trade for the world in 2016, but I honestly can't wait to see what 2017 has in store as we have a new addition coming soon and we have some adventures planned as we travel around the globe.
They say that life is short and given all the loss we've experienced in recent years, I am so grateful that everyone in my family is happy and healthy, especially my hardworking busy parents have taken this to heart for this is the year they have made the effort to take a break, have fun, and enjoy life a little more.
Thank you to everyone who has helped and supported me all along the way towards getting my diploma.
Source: White Bear Lake Schools.
 
I couldn't even really believe it, but there she was my idol in the flesh, the ONE AND ONLY Carrie Underwood!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Me with Tou Ger Bennet Xiong and Superintendent Dr. Michael Lovett.
Hello Chicago! I was beyond excited to be in you as you can see.


I hope everyone has a blessed New Year!!!! See you next year!
Bring it 2017, we're waiting for you!
\If you enjoy the story please take a little time to fill out my questionnaire on how I did. I can't wait to hear from you!!!! My Blog Questions.If you would like me to answer your questions, just tweet them to @Mao_Yang2013 or facebook me using the hashtag #AskMao13 or email me at www.myinspireblog2013@gmail.com. I will reply to a few in a future blog post because we can all learn something from one another. Also, please don't forget to follow/like my Facebook page @MYInspirationBlog.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Happy First Birthday George!

A year ago today my baby George nephew was born!
And it for him that I dedicate this poem I wrote on this very special day...
“George”  
George
Young, fragile
Loving, laughing, discovering, surviving, funny
The ultimate face of innocence
George
Happy Birthday little one!!!! I can't believe how fast you've grown. I wish you only more laughs and smiles and hope you know how much loved.💗

If you enjoy the story please take a little time to fill out my questionnaire on how I did. I can't wait to hear from you!!!! My Blog Questions If you would like me to answer your questions, just tweet them to @Mao_Yang2013 or facebook me using the hashtag #AskMao13 or email me at www.myinspireblog2013@gmail.com. I will reply to a few in a future blog post because we can all learn something from one another. Also, please don't forget to follow/like my Facebook page @MYInspirationBlog.

Featured Post

Sandy Hook Tribute

It seems like time has gone by so fast. Today marks the five year anniversary of the tragic Sandy Hook Elementary shooting, but that does n...