The Time Has Come

I started this blog in 2015. Some things are the same as then, and some things have changed. I still consider myself an advocate, but I’ve changed some of my focus. I still plan on writing about many of the same subjects, but just slightly differently.

It is now time for me to launch a new blog. This site will be kept active as an archive and a resource. Countless hours have gone into it, and I don’t want to lose that.

You can now find my new posts here!

The Coronacrisis

It’s March 18, 2020. I’m currently living in a world where a few days ago, I made a remark about being excited to buy toilet paper. Those are words I never thought I’d utter just mere weeks ago. Panic has swept across the world as the novel Coronavirus creates its impact. There are ways to combat the spread, though. It’s called social distancing. We are also seeing schools, restaurants, and more shut down to help prevent the spread of this illness.

At the time of writing this article, there are currently seven cases of COVID-19 in my state. On one hand, it may seem silly to begin shutting things down. Why shut everything down before there is a problem? That is precisely the point. The point is to shut it down before it spreads. The point is to prevent it from spreading to those who cannot fight it off.

Across Facebook, across Twitter, across the Internet as a whole, there are so many people making really unwise choices. They’re taking the time off school and work to go party. They’re taking the time off to go on vacations. The point of shutting everything down isn’t to go off and have adventures. The point is to stay home.

Math and numbers aren’t my thing. Graphs don’t compute in my brain. But I can wrap my brain around this. This is where we’re headed. I know a lot of people say that it’s “just a bad flu”. For many people, it will just be a cold. But if you’re high risk the prognosis is far more grave.

We can all help prevent a tragedy. Wash your hands. Stay well hydrated. Do what you can to take care of yourself. And please, if you can, if it’s at all feasible, stay home. This isn’t the time to still go out and do things! This isn’t the time to live it up on the town! Look at the numbers. Look at them climb. This is a potetenial tragedy.

But yet, people are ignoring the warnings. People are hell-bent on continuing their daily lives, regardless of the cost. That cost will be the loss of members in my community. It’s on us, ALL of us, to do what we can to protect those who need it most. I know not every single person can stay home. I know the world isn’t that cut and dry. But a lot of the people who are refusing are fully capable of staying home. They just don’t want to.

Please, stay home. Wash your hands. Stay well hydrated. Wash your hands again. Don’t travel. And for the love of Pete, WASH YOUR HANDS.

You will be found

Have you ever felt like nobody was there?
Have you ever felt forgotten in the middle of nowhere?
Have you ever felt like you could disappear?
Like you could fall, and no one would hear? 

I find myself looking at the screen, willing my fingers to dance across the keys. I find myself filled with words and emotions, desperately trying to free them from myself. I find myself being overwhelmed by everything. I find the too much simply BECOMING too much, and wanting it to be less much. I find myself trapped behind walls I built for myself and I don’t know how to brings those walls come tumbling down.

There are so many emotions I feel bubbling up inside me. And I feel like I let them define who I am. I feel like they become the filter I view the world through and that they taint every interaction I have. I try to hide the pain. I try to hide the fear. I try so desperately to throw up the walls and push out the world.

I don’t know what it’s like to not be depressed. I have no clue what it would be like to not be anxious. So many people talk about having a before and after anxiety. They talk about life before depression and before trauma. Me? I don’t have that. I’ve never known what it’s like to be healthy. I feel like I’m trapped in a world that I wasn’t prepared for. I feel like I’m in the midst of a planet where I simply wasn’t taught how to cope.

Well, let that lonely feeling wash away
Maybe there’s a reason to believe you’ll be okay
‘Cause when you don’t feel strong enough to stand
You can reach, reach out your hand

I often find myself wishing things could be different. I find myself not relating to people saying they wish they could return to childhood, because I never want to be in that position again. My psychiatric disabilities started as a child. I don’t know how to return to a prior level of functioning when that literally doesn’t exist.

And so, I find myself in the darkness once again. I am desperately searching for the light. I find myself desperate for the peace and comfort that I’ve never known. I find myself trapped inside a prison where I’m both the bailiff and the prisoner.

I find myself scared to hold out of hand, in case someone might actually take it. I find myself further trapping myself because I don’t know how to set myself free. I find myself desperately wanting to be found, but at the same time I try to keep hidden. I find myself not knowing how to be found, and like I’m completely lost.

Even when the dark comes crashing through
When you need a friend to carry you
And when you’re broken on the ground
You will be found

But I find myself slowly learning to trust. I find myself trying to tear down the walls. I find myself letting people help me pick myself up on the ground. My lifelong depression isn’t a flaw in my character. The anxiety dancing through my brain isn’t because I’m broken. It’s merely a side effect of being a human and it’s a part of existing.

And yes, I will be found. I will build a new me, carefully crafted from both the good and the bad. Just because I don’t have a prior Nora to return to doesn’t mean that a new Nora cannot be crafted. I can take the pain, the heartache, the anxiety and turn it into who I want to be.

I may be broken, but it doesn’t mean I’m hopeless. I may be struggling, but it doesn’t mean I will always be. I may be scared to hope, but it doesn’t mean hoping is futile. There’s strength for today, and bright hope for tomorrow. The ones who care for me are there to lift me up. And I will be found.

So let the sun come streaming in
‘Cause you’ll reach up and you’ll rise again
Lift your head and look around
You will be found

Lyrics from “You Will Be Found” from the musical Dear Evan Hanson

Anime Fargo!

A small group of people smiling at the camera. Text above the photo states “Welcome Back Anime Fargo! Class 2-A. September 18-20 2015. Doublewood Inn, Fargo.”


2016 was my first Anime Fargo. 2017 was my first year on staff, but I had to miss the convention because my body decided that it was the PERFECT time for mononucleosis. 2018 was my first year both on staff and actually at the convention the entire weekend. Anime Fargo, and helping plan it, is very important to me. I’d like to share some of the reasons why.

I like helping people. I like making things better for people. I like making the world a better place…even if it’s just a weekend at a small anime convention in North Dakota. The extent of my disabilities make it so there’s a lot I simply cannot do. Finding conventions gave me something to do.

Convention staff takes care of each other. Anyone who knows me knows I’m fueled by anxiety and caffeine. I get frazzled somewhat easily. Con staff looks out for each other. We help carry each other’s burdens. We become like family. Sometimes we’re dysfunctional and sometimes conflict happens. But in the end, we all band together to make an amazing convention happen.

I don’t like going outside my comfort zone. I like things to be just the way I like them. But at an anime convention? I’m forced to go outside of my comfort zone and do things that aren’t necessarily what I’d like to do. And that’s a good thing. I can prove I can do things that are uncomfortable. I can prove I can be successful and doing things I don’t like.

As you can see, our staff has grown. And our convention has grown as well. I’ve attended several anime cons over the last several years. But Anime Fargo will always be my favorite. Anime Fargo will always be special to me. I’ve found friends  through them. I’ve learned I can do things I never thought I could do. I’ve realized that my wisdom and passions can be channeled into something useful. I’ve found a place I belong…and that’s an incredible feeling.


A much larger group of people, showing how our convention has grown! Text states Anime Fargo V: Galactic Adventures 2018

A Spoonie Review

My friend Brittany and her mom wrote a cookbook and were looking for people to review it. I was glad for the opportunity. Usually not one to review, I made an exception for friends.

I am not known for my cooking ability. I’ve melted blenders. Exploded Jello. Exploded mashed potatoes. The last time I tried to make homemade fries they were half crunchy, half mushy. And then there’s the infamous enchilada lasagna. Cooking is not my forte.

My roommate helped me with making the food (and of course, eating it) because I need help in the kitchen. We made grilled peaches and a baked chicken from  the cookbook.


What did we think of the cookbook?


The anecdote. Stories from Pam and Brittany’s lives feature in the cookbook, which helps gives insight on why that recipe was important to them. There’s modifications in so many of them – need a vegan option? Need a gluten free option? It tells you how to do it!

I really liked this cookbook. We’ll be making, and reviewing, some more recipes from it so stay tuned. I’m so proud of my friend for publishing a cookbook, and so happy to be able to share with you from it 🙂

Can you hear the prayer of the children


What’s happening at our borders isn’t okay. 

Y’all realize Jesus was an illegal immigrant too, right? Y’all realize he was fleeing his death? Y’all realize Jesus wasn’t white?

I don’t give a crap what your feelings about illegal immigration are and I’m not open for that debate here. Ripping children from their mother’s arms is wrong. Caging children like animals is wrong. 

Why the heck are we standing for this? Fellow Christians, why are we letting our dogma of love be fueled by a doctrine of hate?

We have to do something. Jesus wouldn’t be standing for this

so why the heck are we?

Adding lyrics from a favorite choral piece, as I feel it’s quite fitting. 

“Can you feel the heart of the children

Aching for home, for something of their very own?

Reaching hands, with nothing to hold on to

But hope for a better day, a better day

Crying, “Jesus, help me

To feel the love again in my own land;

But if unknown roads lead away from home

Give me loving arms, away from harm.”

Can you hear the voice of the children

Softly pleading for silence in a shattered world?

Angry guns preach a gospel full of hate

Blood of the innocent on their hands

Crying, “Jesus, help me

To feel the sun again upon my face;

For when darkness clears I know you’re near

Bringing peace again.”

When I say I am autistic 

When I say I’m autistic I am not using it as an excuse. I’m not using it as a justification to act a certain way. What I am saying is hey, this is the way I am. This is why I am the way I am. This is who I am. I’m Nora, and I’m Autistic. My brain functions a certain way, and that’s okay. 
When I say I’m autistic, I’m trusting you with a part of my identity. I’m trusting you not to use it as ammunition against me. I’m trusting you to understand, be compassionate, and to treat me with respect. 

When I say I am autistic, I’m not glorifying autism. I’m not pretending it’s all sunshine and daisies and lollipops. It’s not. There as aspects that suck. But it does mean that I’ve accepted it all as a part of who I am – the beauty in it and the suckiness in it. 
When I say I am autistic, I am inviting you to see the world with the  filter uses. I’m entrusting you with the app that is installed in my core, the one that I literally don’t exist without. I’m letting you know who I am. 

I am Nora. 

I am autistic. 

NF Awareness Day 2017

My name is Nora. I am twenty-nine years old. And I have NF type one.

NF, or neurofibromatosis, is a genetic disorder. I was born with it, and I will die with it. The way it affects people is different – it’s what’s known as a snowflake disorder as no two people with it are alike. I only know how it affects me.

I have cold intolerance.

I have heat intolerance.

I get migraines.

I had a tumor….but I am incredibly lucky (or unlucky?) in that my one tumor actually wasn’t NF related. Yeah. I would have had it anyway. Luck. Skills. Or something. I have it.

I can’t regulate my weight.

I live with pain.

My immune system is shit (well, okay, this actually isn’t completely related. One of my doctors once told me my body doesn’t read the textbook…)

I am autistic.

I have ADHD.

I have a balance disorder.

I could go on and on.

There is no cure, no treatment.It’s just how I am. It’s just how I always will be.

I am low vision.

There’s so much of me that is who I am because I have NF.

All I want is treatment.

All I want is relief.

Video Games & Me

I play a lot of video games. I recently worked my way through Mass Effect (currently on Mass Effect 3). I’m currently playing Persona 5. I recently played Tales of Beseria and Final Fantasy XV (yay for roommates with PS4s! 😉 ). I’m going to be working my way through the Dragon Age franchise next (I’ve only played part of Origins). My favorite games of all time include Fire Emblem: Awakening, Tales of Graces F, Persona 3 Portable, Final Fantasy IX, and Super Mario RPG. Video games are a big part of my life.

Part of it is due to being an introvert, part of it is due to just being able to CONNECT. I relate to the characters, deeply. I have a hard time explaining myself, a hard time defining myself. But games? They give me a way to connect. They give me a way to relate. They help reinstate that I am not alone, that there are others like me out there. And they can become beloved characters.

It’s funny – I’ve been told I shouldn’t waste so much time on video games. But video games have given me friends. Video games have taught me life lessons. Video games have been a positive impact on my life, and I’m so glad I have them.

In which Donald Trump is, once again, a buttcow

Donald Trump has, shockingly, once again made headlines. At this point, I seriously expect Asthon Kutcher to pop out and tell us he is epically punking us and trolling us. The latest comments though? While part of me is all “Why am I shocked?” the other part is “Why are you still supporting him?”

If your answer is “boys will be boys”, you are normalizing rape culture. You are saying it is okay to degrade and talk down to and about women. If you say that all men talk like that, you need to find some new men to talk to. If your answer is “what’s the big deal? It’s just locker room talk”, I dare you to look me in the eye, as a sexual abuse victim, and tell me those same words. Because you are literally justifying sexual abuse. You are literally saying that it’s no big deal. and that is not acceptable.

When these words come up in our history books, do you want to explain to your children what they mean? That we normalized them? Is this the world you want your children to grow up in? Do you want to tell your children you voted for someone who is literally normalizing sexual abuse, or do you want to tell them how you fought against him?

Trump isn’t brave for saying this crap. He isn’t edgy. He’s a buttcow, plain and simple. You are literally justifying and normalizing the abuse of women. And don’t give me that “but it was years ago!” crap. He’s shown no remorse. He hasn’t changed.