I wish I could be one of those people who laugh and talk for hours without stopping

“I’m seventeen. I’m doing my best to convince myself that we’re all beautiful in our own way, but it’s not so easy. I look at all the pretty things my friends have: their bodies, their lips, how they wear their hair, or their make-up– even their personalities. Some have such pretty personalities. I wish I could be one of those people who laugh and talk for hours without stopping. Instead I just hide in the back of class and try not to draw attention to myself. I wear baggy clothes. Anything not to be noticed. But I’m trying to change. I’m trying to get out of my comfort zone. I’m searching for plus-sized models online. Women who are bigger, but still confident and beautiful. I’m wearing less black. I never used to wear colors because they emphasize your curves. But now I’m wearing colors. I even wore a dress recently. Not to school, of course, but to dinner with my grandparents. It was blue and had white flowers. My dream is to eventually go to the beach. The water was such an important part of my childhood. My grandparents had a little beach house and we’d go every summer. But I haven’t been to a beach in over five years. Well, I did go once. But I sat on the shore, and watched everyone’s stuff, and took their photos for Instagram. Next time I’d like to actually go in the water. Wearing a swimsuit. If I can do that, and have the time of my life, and feel that I’m allowed to show myself– my insides and my outsides—then I’ll know I’m finally where I want to be.”

(Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

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She’s my best friend. We live with each other. We’are part of each other. That’s life with cerebral palsy.

How can consciousness exist in a material world?