Monthly Archives: February 2021
It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything. My apologies! 2020 had been such a crazy year. Honestly, I simply just shut down. My emotions were all over the place with everything that was happening. I literally was just trying to get through one day at a time.
I hope all of you are doing well. I hope you were able to find some good reads. For me, may times, books help to escape the crazy real world.
I do have some exciting updates though! My Perfect Imperfections will be on audio soon! Yay! I’m super excited and can’t wait to hear the final product.
I also wanted to share that I am part of a book club. And this week, they chose My Perfect Imperfections as the book to read. I honestly couldn’t wait for them to read this heartfelt story. Also, I hadn’t read it since I had published it (2016). So, it was nice to read it again and fall in love with Lily and Chance all over again. And yes, I cried again while reading it (even though I knew exactly what was going to happen).
Anyway, from writing this story, I’ve had the opportunity to meet some pretty amazing people. I even consider some of them my friends now. Caitlyn Connelly is a young woman with cerebral palsy. She is super cool and is doing some amazing things to raise awareness. She decided to join the book club because My Perfect Imperfections is one of her favorite stories. What an honor to have her attend. It was so neat to have her actually show the members of the book club how she uses her power wheelchair and her communication device. When she shared her thoughts about the book, I blinked back the tears. It meant so much to me that this story is actually doing exactly what I wanted it to do. I just have to share her beautiful words:
My name is Caitlyn Connelly and I am more than likely the biggest fan ever of Jalpa’s book, My Perfect Imperfections. I am 23 years old and have cerebral palsy and dystonia. I use a power wheelchair and rely heavily on my ipad to communicate, but refuse to let those define me. I earned my bachelor’s degree summa cumm laude in communications from Holy Family University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in December 2019. From an early age, I have been an avid reader and have always loved books. My Perfect Imperfections is by far the best book I have ever read (and I read a LOT!) and captures how I feel about everything in my life. I have had a lot of really similar experiences as the main character Lily too, and the book also has the message that no one can change the world but they can shape their own life. I could go on for awhile about this book but still have trouble finding words to express how special it is to me. I love this book and it made me feel not alone. Like the main character Lily, I too was born with cerebral palsy and am also a huge Christina Perri fan. I have always tried to not let cerebral palsy stop me from doing anything I set my mind to, but honestly the last several years have not always been easy. My Perfect Imperfections has put another voice out in the world expressing just about everything I feel and think, as well as my hopes and fears. I have also given copies of this book to several of my doctors, and anyone who knows or meets me knows My Perfect Imperfections is bound to come up in conversation at some point.
When I started college, I felt very alone. Lily said it perfectly, “While I was driving my wheelchair, I didn’t even get a “hi” from anybody. As a matter of fact, it was like I wasn’t there. These kids just looked right through me. I guess it would have been easier to feel invisible. Instead, I felt painfully visible, but entirely ignored.” I first read My Perfect Imperfections during my freshman year of college. and honestly I don’t know if I would have stuck it out if it wasn’t for this wonderful little book. I also really liked that like me, Lily could speak verbally but only her family and very close friends could understand her, so she also used a communication device. However, I did hate how her parents withheld her communication device after Layna passed away.
I am committed to changing people’s perspectives with my own unique experience. I love how words can transport you somewhere else and create more understanding as well as openness. I find communication fascinating, and like my favorite authors, I am passionate about bringing people together to connect, share, learn and just have fun. While pursuing my communications degree at Holy Family University, I overcame stigma and isolation by starting the campus organization IDEA – Interdisciplinary Disability Education and Acceptance. My Perfect Imperfections was actually the very first book we discussed. This past summer I created my own website where I blog and review different media related to disability such as books, movies and TV shows.”
Thank you, Caitlyn! Your words mean more to me than I can say. Everyone, please follow my friend on her new website, https://www.caitlyn-connelly.com