We Can all Use a Break Sometimes . . . and That’s Okay, Too!


The past couple of months, my world has been somewhat isolating as I have worked diligently on achieving life goals, moving way too quickly to even stop and celebrate the small accomplishments.

I have worked on my memoir, beginning with the pre-order process, marketing, and trying to get the attention of eye manufactures regarding my (Your Sunglasses Selfie Project) also known as the #eye4acure campaign. All of this while also being a full-time graduate student in clinical mental health counseling, a good friend, a sister, a daughter, an aunt, a doggy mommy, and a good role model—Yikes!

But let’s face it, my constant need to get everything done, to be productive, successful, and “make the world a better place”—has made me feel less of a superwoman and more like a cripple, as I feel I am running on empty.

I can run faster than a furious tornado all I want, but eventually, my mind and body will let me know I may have had about enough.  And burning the “candle on both ends” is only going to slow me down.

Therefore, it’s time I check in with my mental health and take it easy on myself because that’s as important as my physical health.

It’s time perhaps, to “stop and smell the roses,” which is easier said than done. I know…

I have to remind myself that it’s okay to take a break and make time for the things and people I love the most.  Like these things (to mention a few:)

  • Meditate
  • Go on hikes
  • Exercise
  • Spend time with family, friends, and my two four-legged children (Lucky and Happy)
  • Treat myself to a nice meal or glass of wine (or two) shhhh….
  • Disconnect from social media
  • And indulge on my espresso habit

The most important thing on this planet is to make sure we do not get pulled by lives fast pace momentum and allow ourselves to enjoy our journey as much as we can.

I would love to hear what you like to do for fun or while taking a quick break?

Post on my FaceBook page at: embracing your differences

Remember to step back and take a break! And most importantlyremember to, “STOP AND SMELL THE ROSES.”

Tomorrow is a new day to start over and start fresh.

Just breathe.


Happy Holidays from:

Embracing Your Differences

Copyright © 2016 Embracing Your Differences, All rights reserved. 

Does Telling Your Story Come With a Price?


Last night, I felt this funny feeling inside my stomach as I was staring at my computer screen.  Then it finally hit me, and with a blink of an eye, it all made sense.  The moment I have been waiting for is slowly approaching: the launching of my Memoir.

I thought I had planned for everything.  But this confusion of mixed emotions washed over me, filling me with doubt, increasing my uncertainties, and raising many questions.  Will people enjoy the book? Will they judge me? Will they even buy it?

I have told my story before, but putting it into writing for the rest of the world to see terrifies me. I give talks and I write these blogs, but being open as a book (no pun intended. . . or maybe it is) was something I didn’t prepare myself for enough.

And maybe I was avoiding this exact moment.  But this week when I started looking into book designers, photo shoots, and finding the perfect title. . . all of that made me realize this book launch is finally going to happen.  It felt like a wake-up call to reality.

I’m trying to plan the perfect wedding for my book (or at least, that’s how it feels).  In the end, I want this book to look as pretty as any bride would want to look and feel on their special day (cliché, I know. . .).

And I know you may be scratching your head thinking, “it’s just a book.”   Well, for me it’s my story.

Rome sure wasn’t built in a day and neither was my memoir.

Some days it was about re-living some of my darkest timesover and over. I laughed and I cried. I felt angry, upset, guilt, and on my worst days, even shame.

I read the script a million times to make sure it was a good enough balance between funny and real.

So now, the moment I have been waiting for is near.  However, there are still many moments when I am taken over by my negative self-talk and anxiety over what people will make out of my story.

To be sure, no one ever forced me to write a book about my life.  I wanted to do it; in fact, I had to do it.  So many people have helped me throughout my path and I wanted to pay it forward and help or inspire someone else.

Let’s face it, stigma, that’s the one big reason I am going to tell my story.  The book will discuss how I conquered blindness, depression, and anxiety.

My story isn’t written to be compared to someone else’s.  We all have a story and I am choosing to tell mine not because it’s more important but because this is my experience and my journey, only.

This book is for me, for the people I love, and for you, the readers.  For some of you, it will offer consolation.  Others will realize after reading this that they are not crazy.  The book is not meant to hurt or undermine anyone who shaped who I am.  This will be my experience and my experience only.  I don’t have anything to apologize for.

Be kind, be educated, open-minded and have an open heart and get excited to pre-order a copy of this incredible memoir by the end of the year. Please check out my website to stay tuned and find out when you can order your copy.

Take this journey with me.

And as far as those who will be quick to judge? Well, in the end, it will be the ones that stick by my side that will matter the most. My mother, my friends, and my two four-legged friends, I love dearly.

Let’s face it, “The only disability in life is a bad attitude.”

Mariagrazia Buttitta

Copyright © 2017 Embracing Your Differences, All rights reserved. 

A Sneak Peek Into My Transgender Life, by: DJ Scheibe


Guest Blogger: DJ, Scheibe.

I was creating a life in a town that I regarded as my hometown––even though it was a 45- minute drive from where I slept. I even knew where to park for free. That morning when I woke, I hoped to have more events to attend where I could wear a formal dress. Lucky for me, that wish was granted. I had a dance at the Community College where I currently work. This event was hosted by their LGBT alliance. I always got a warm feeling when I attended in the past, and also, everyone there could be themselves. This time around, I wanted my hair to have a formal look to match my dress.

Without wasting more time––I drove off to a salon. This was the first time going to this privately own salon recommended by my local friends, they said this was a friendly welcoming place. As soon as I arrived, the owner began styling my hair, I felt a bit nervous, but the salon’s staff was very welcoming. My last haircut was done four-years-ago. Therefore, I was worried my hair would have to be cut shorter due to damage. Luckily, she said my hair wasn’t as bad as I feared, and this time, I only needed a trim. She asked if I had any style in mind, I said, I wanted something different. Glancing over the wall size mirror in front of me––we decided on a look. Minutes later, my hair had curls and volume perfectly held up by hairspray and pins. I then put on my dress and the rest of my outfit in the back room. The dress was black with pink flower patterns. I left the salon with a boost of confidence loving my hair and dress; it made me feel beautiful.

I arrived at the dance party earlier to help with decorations and see if they needed a hand to set up. As I entered the dance hall; my friends saw me in my new dress and hairstyle–––they started clapping. I was overwhelmed and flattered. I thanked them for their kindness and love. That night, I too, could be myself. I was surrounded by a wonderful, loving, and welcoming group of people. I didn’t have to worry about my safety or being judged. That night was beautiful––filled with friends, music, and food.

The dance was fun. I loved being able to dance with my friends in my 5-inch heels. Not to brag, well maybe, a little––I looked stunning.

The only thorn that night for me was being single, especially, during slow songs; however that night was different. My other single friends found out that an astronomy night, open for the public, was also happening that night.  About six of us went. As we waited for our turn we found others from the dance party waiting too. I did not have any bad vibes from the astronomers running the event or from the general public also in line. We finally got our turn to use the telescope, and we looked at the moon’s cratered surface and a twin-star system. That was a fabulous way to end the night.

This amazing fairy-tale was interrupted by a cruel reality. I needed to take off my dress and wash my hair. I removed the hairpins, and then, I had my old look back. I wished more of my hairstyle could have made it through the shampoo. The following Monday I went back to work; dressing simply, dressing in my birth gender.

I am glad I was able to make such happy memories.

Learn more about the Transgender terms.


About DJ Scheibe:

DJ Scheibe: works as a professional math and physics tutor. They live in the NY, NJ borderlands. They officially volunteer their free time at different LGBT events; from participating in education outreach programs to just lending a hand.

Copyright © 2016 Embracing Your Differences, All rights reserved. 

Age is just a “Number”


I was 13 years old when I obsessively fantasized over the days so-called “future.”

According to my imaginary crystal ball, 28 would be the year filled with surprises: love, marriage, children, home, and a steady job (and possibly the year I won the jackpot, okay, maybe not…)

But, instead, here I am today, a few weeks away from turning 28. I ask myself, where have I’ve gone wrong?

What was supposed to be a happily ever after ending may have turned into a disaster. One I was not ready for.

  • Diagnosed with an eye disorder called cone dystrophy
  • Single
  • And still in graduate school

Talk about winning a jackpot? And even when I try to not think about it for too long, social media reminds me that my biological clock is ticking. Newsfeeds are filled with marriage proposals and pregnancies.

All which has led me to feel insaneabout to have my third panic attack thus far. “Now or never” thinking has been my worst enemy.

I am not happy with life, not because I am not married or because I don’t have the dream job. I am unhappy because it took years to realize how life doesn’t come with planners and things happen naturallyno matter what age. In other words, we have no control over our lives.

The minute I stop associating age with events, I’ll start living life the way I should have always lived itone day at a time.

And this year, I only wish to spend my birthday with family, friends, and my (two) four-legged friends.

I’ll treat myself to a couple of Martini’s, blow my candles, and accept 28 as it is. Maybe I’ll never completely understand life, but one thing I know, I’m done putting a number on thingsyou bet I am.

“Attitude is the true measurement of age.”

~Mariagrazia Buttitta

Copyright © 2016 Embracing Your Differences, All rights reserved. 

How Writing Changed My Life 4 the Better

Meme - Maria

I was five years old when my determined self decided to go on an adventure: I took a tall chair and jumped up to see if my hand could reach the journal and pen my Mother always kept in the upper shelf of our kitchen.

At that age, my writing didn’t make much sense, but soon it became a daily habit and a friend that I could rely on forever.

Since then, writing has been an essential part of my life. When life becomes challenging, writing allows me to cope with and process any mixed emotion.

Soon, however, I would have the opportunity to share my story and writing with others.

Approximately three years ago, I was in front of my computer when I saw a Facebook page that caught the corner of my blurry vision. It was entitled, “The Gospel According to Josh” By Josh Rivedal.

My curious self decided to scroll down and see what this page was all about.

I noticed a post titled, “The I’Mpossible Project.” In his post, Josh was seeking ordinary people to write their own inspirational stories of overcoming obstacles in life. I knew I had overcome a great deal in my own life, so I took the opportunity as it came…without even thinking about it from a publishing perspective but rather as a way to share how I overcome my own obstacles.

Being diagnosed with an eye disorder, Cone Dystorphy, had also blinded me from seeing beyond my limitations, and I soon slipped into my own depression and anxiety. I knew this was my chance to share my talent and story with the world. I sat in my chair and began typing away, and who would have thought that those five minutes would forever change my life.

Two years later something magical happened. A book came out with my story in it. All these inspirational stories were gathered and put into one book titled: “The i’Mpossible Project (Volume 1 Reengaging With Life, Creating a New You by: Josh Rivedal & 50 authors (including me).

The book includes authors who share their own inspirational stories of overcoming many life’s challenges.

And now, what started off as a simple blog turned out to be a book that has helped me rediscover myself and has motivated me to want to keep sharing my own writing.

Let’s be realistic, I also needed long term therapy and medication too. However, with the help of my journal, my incredible Mother, my friends, and my four legged friends, life became worth living again!

Writing has given me the power to speak up about issues that matter to me––and I hope that by reading my story and those of the other authors in this incredible book, you too can find your hidden voice and speak up about what matters to you!

To order your copy of “The i’Mpossible Project (Volume 1 Reengaging With Life, Creating a New You) please visit the link below.



“The art of writing is the art of discovering what you believe.”

––Gustave Flaubert

~Mariagrazia Buttitta

Copyright © 2017 Embracing Your Differences, All rights reserved. 

Screen Addiction; Is it Even a Real Thing?


With most of my family in Europe, I love how technology gives me instant gratification. All I have to do is pick up my device and connect with family from miles away [any time my little heart desires]. I love to hear the excitement in my nephew’s tone as he takes his first baby steps. I love that technology allows me to be a part of his life.

But I’ll be completely honest: this world of technologyfrightened me a bit a few days ago.

I was at my doctor’s office waiting for my appointment when I noticed a mother and child sitting beside me and my own mother. A few minutes later, the child screamed, probably bored and overwhelmed with the number of people surrounding us. I know I was.

But what happened next made me change my point of view on technology. The mother handed a tablet to her screaming child to quiet her down.

I looked directly at my mother and felt extremely blessed that she allowed me to play with toys, run around outdoors, play in the rain, and didn’t mind when my sister and me made a house (mess) out of blankets, chairs, and pillows. In that moment, I felt extremely blessed that I didn’t own my first phone until I was 15 years old. I am thankful my mother spent quality time with me. When I cried she gave me affection, she read to me and played games with me.

I know we live in other times, but I don’t like what technology is doing to our psyche.

Learn more about how modern technology is changing the way our brains work.

Do I really need to wake up and reach for my phone first thing in the morning? Do I really have to check my e-mail a hundred times a day? And look what social media has led me to feelanxious, depressed, and angry (most of the times.)

Social comparison has become a real concern for my generation. Social media can feel like a marriage commitmentone I never signed up for.

And now I wonder if I, too, am spending more time behind a screen than I am outdoors and with people I really care about.

So yeah, screen addiction seems to be a real concern for my generation and the one to come.

And after writing this blog, it makes me want to disconnect from my devices for a while. But before I do, I want to leave you all with this video:


“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”

 Mahatma Gandhi

~Mariagrazia Buttitta

Copyright © 2016 Embracing Your Differences, All rights reserved.