Dear Teen Scene Readers,
After attending the FACES Gala this past March I can say without a doubt that, above anything else, FACES celebrates people. While that was something I already knew, it was a true gift to see how a mutual cause brought so many types of people together. The evening was truly a party for all involved what with the auction, good music, many friends and Jon Stewart! It was quite a happening time. However, the most astonishing part of being there, the part I didn’t expect, was how much I was overwhelmed with both gratitude and pride.
For so many years, I carried these feelings of shame with me in my back pocket everywhere I went. Maybe my maturity finally kicked in or maybe I was just enjoying myself, but all those eyes that always seemed fixated on me because I was “special”, they weren’t judgmental at all. They were full of congratulations and tears of joy. Throughout the evening I felt that all eyes were on me but instead of with daggers, with olive branches.
Everywhere I bounced to and fro that night there was someone with their own connection to FACES; their own story. When I was able to share a moment with any given person, I knew we were there for the same reason. Smiles and laughter and giggles twinkled about the space. But underneath it all, I felt a wave of acceptance wash over me. I am finally content with my past.
Sitting at my table was where I felt my pride the most. It wasn’t that I was proud I had epilepsy. Not at all, although I am proud I got through it. I was overwhelmed that I had the power to draw a whole table full of people to help find a cure for epilepsy, to support FACES, and to support me. The idea that there was some part of me that people wanted to help, to share, and to discover along with me was a true pleasure.
Of course, the Gala was an uplifting event and these subtleties were in my own little world. But I have a hunch that everyone else in the room was feeling that exact same feeling of “thank you”. Thank you for my health. Thank you for my happiness. Thank you for FACES. Thank you for me.