Guest Post: Our Infinite Galaxies by Tyler Turner

Hello, lovelies! Today I bring to you my first guest post in a series I am starting. It is written and contributed by my friend, Tyler!

I have been searching for writers interested in doing a guest post for me; the prompt that I give the interested writers is: what makes you unique? What makes you different from the friends. family, acquaintances surrounding you?

I let the writers “fly away” with this idea, allowing them to look into themselves in order to express what they see as unique about themselves. Though I assist them with a writing prompt, the rest is up to them as to what they personally believe makes them unique and special as an individual. (It’s obviously not something I can decide for them!)

Tyler’s writing is the first post I have received in response to my writing prompt, and it is the perfect post to lead the other writers who are interested in doing a guest post for me.

I hope you enjoy taking the time to read this post by Tyler, because not only is it incredibly well written but it lets us into the world of a fascinating, special human that has so much to offer the world- which, is my main goal with my guest posts. I want to show off the goodness and individuality of as many people as I can.

If you are interested in writing a guest post for me, please feel free to let me know- I would love to feature you on my blog!

 

Our Infinite Galaxies

Tyler Turner

You know that feeling you get when you look up at the stars in the night sky? When the infinite universe is stretched out above you and you feel indescribably small? If you’re anything like me, which I bet you are, that feeling is both exhilarating and terrifying.

Who am I?

In that sense, I guess I’m just like you, gazing out into the abyss.

There must be more. Sometimes I wish when we looked into each other’s eyes we got that feeling. That feeling like we were gazing into a complex universe. After all, each one of us filled with our own galaxies and planets, shaped by our lives.

Who am I?

I am a complex galaxy.

I think we forget that. I think we forget just how complex we truly are.

I am a twenty-four-year-old from North Carolina. Growing up in middleclass, suburban American, I was blessed to have friends of all different nationalities and backgrounds. Most of my friends didn’t look anything like me and I wouldn’t have asked for it any other way.

As a child, I remember seeing those galaxies. I remember the wonder of making a new friend. The thrill of going to their house for the first time and wondering what it would smell like? What kind of food did they eat?

It wasn’t until I got older that I noticed how we seem to lose that spark. How we began to no longer see the infinite light within each other.

I started to grapple with the fact that I was a black kid growing up in America. The protection my parents had given me could only last so long. One look on the television screen proves the rampant prejudice and racism that runs through our nation.  I realized that people would not always look at what was inside of me. They would not be concerned by my hopes and dreams; they would be blinded by their own hatred.

Who am I?

Maybe I’m afraid like you. I worry about our country, our world. I worry about the marginalized members of our society. Those mistreated for their beliefs or the color of the skin. I’ve been on the receiving end of that injustice. I’ve felt the sting of inequality. When did we become so blinded by what’s on the outside and forget the true depth of each and every one of us?

Who am I?

I’m hopeful, and I can only wish that you are too.

I believe we can make a change. The world desperately needs us. I believe it begins with how we see each other. Not classified by our dividing lines, but united by our humanity. United by our infinite galaxies.

So once more…who am I? What’s a glimpse of my galaxy?

My name is Tyler. I am an aspiring author. I love fantasy and have always spent much time creating fictional worlds. I’ve always been a natural leader. This was a gift I found at a young age. I also suffer from anxiety and mild depression. Sometimes it feels unbearable. Writing is truly one of my favorite escapes. Above all else, I am a follower of Jesus and believe that all of us were made in His image.

I thought about how I could write about something unique about myself. Something that I thought would make me stand out from other people, but then I looked up into the night sky. It reminded me that we are all not so different, after all.

On the surface we are all human and underneath we are infinitely complex like galaxies of stars, but somewhere in between, we all have the same desire to be loved, excepted, to feel as though we have a purpose here.

Here I am. A complex human being, just like you. I am filled with my hopes, desires, dreams, and love.

heart b

Social Media In The OT Profession-Bill Wong OTD, OTR/L

Hello my OT friends, professors, fellow classmates as well as those supporting me throughout my occupational therapy schooling! Today on my blog, I will be sharing with you my very first guest post. Fellow OT and friend, Bill Wong, is talented not only in the OT world but in the world of social media as well. I bring you a piece he wrote where he shares how social media can be beneficial for OT students and practitioners; he even shares some secrets on how to make the most out of your social media accounts!

In today’s digital era, social media is almost a necessity for OT students and

practitioners across the globe- whether it is for their professional development,

advocacy for the OT profession, and/or connections with friends and family. When I

meet some OT students and practitioners for the first time in person, they may

mistaken me as social media marketer instead of an occupational therapist. After all,

my social media style is atypical for an OT student or practitioner- an extremely

huge network with relatively frequent posts. As a result, I always generated mind

boggling social media analytics statistics at OT conference. This year alone, I

generated more than 10 million unique impressions on Twitter for the AOTA

conference hashtag and more than 7 million unique impressions for the CAOT

conference hashtag. Considering I at least doubled the runner up’s total for each

conference, I was often asked how I can do that. So, I am here to reveal my secrets.

  1. I network in a way that is slightly less aggressive than job recruiters. I follow

pinners who have OT boards on Pinterest. I utilize my notoriety in OT to

attempt to connect with peers on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. As

someone who is also a disability self advocate, I knew from that perspective

that a giant online network is the most efficient way to spread my message.

2.  Similar to marketing, location is very important. You want to find platforms

where the peers you want to connect are. Considering many of us have busy

lives, this is one way to economize time on social media. If you don’t know,

conduct informal needs assessment first and then select platforms based on

what you learned and how much time you can afford to spend online daily.

3. Online presence is something can’t grow overnight. It takes one day at a time,

one connection at a time, and one occasion at a time. You must find a happy

medium on your engagement level. But you also need to continue to achieve

offline so that people don’t see that you are not much beyond smoke and

mirrors.

4. When designing your professional account (or a mixed account like I do), you

must think about your accounts’ primary objectives. For my Facebook and

Twitter accounts, for example, I primarily wanted to network with OT’s

across the world because not only I believe in AOTA’s Centennial Vision in

being globally connected, but also the fact that I want to let the global OT

community know that I am a viable resource in case they encounter OT

students with autism during their careers.

5. Similar to how OT instructors are supposed to respond to emails, I adopt a

similar policy for my primary social media accounts in that I tried my best to

respond to posts within 24-48 hours. A quick response time is a good way to

generate a first impression that you are aware of social media happenings.

6. Everyone is different, but we also should find a happy medium on original

content and sharing others’ content. Having our original content is important

because we must identify our individual voices online. At the same time,

given that we are in the OT profession, we also must share to others what we

know about OT in form of sharing content relevant to OT.

7. Check your accounts relatively frequently. Sometimes your accounts might

magically unfollow someone without knowing it on certain social media

platforms.

8. Accept that not everyone will like you or your social media style. I have

numerous people saying that my Twitter account is too hyperactive at times.

However, I won’t change much from it if I have lots to post because I know

what I am posting most of the time is professional. Moreover, I feel it is

important to share what we learned (particularly at conferences) to the

greater world so that our consumers can know about what we learned while

advertise to our colleagues about possibly attending these conferences in the

future. In addition, considering I have numerous connections with colleagues

across the globe, constant networking is necessary. Finally, I purposely

comment on #futureot’s and #futureota’s posts on Twitter because I believe

words of wisdom or encouragement can sometimes make a huge difference,

as it had numerous times in my career so far.

I believe social media will play a bigger role in OT leadership as time goes on. Aside

from advocacy to the public about OT, it can be a valuable tool for OT leaders to be

closer to people they are serving in the OT profession. After all, I believe it is today’s

way to add value to OT associations’ membership base and encourage more

members to be involved in it.

Thank you Bill for not only sharing your wisdom, but letting me share this piece on my blog!