Long-term goals can become one of the most stressful parts of young adult life. People want to know about your plans for university or work, if you want to get married, whether you want to travel or settle down, and if a family and kids are in the cards. And these questions can be pretty intense without the added layer of figuring out your future with a chronic illness/disability. Health issues can make planning for the future a bit challenging, because it’s unknown what the next month will look like, let alone the next ten years. So how do those of us with health struggles plan our future? That’s what our guest, Rachel Mayo, helps us with on Episode 23. As a Type One Diabetic since her diagnosis at 18, Rachel has spent almost 15 years growing up and creating a life for herself with chronic illness. She has developed a positivity activism style all her own through blogging, public speaking, being a guest writer on numerous articles for nonprofits like Beyond Type One, Nick Jonas’ young adult diabetes activism nonprofit and podcasts, and fundraising for charities like the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. For Rachel, she wanted to advocate with humor and kindness on what has been her life journey of growing up while balancing T1D, and the role her chronic and invisible illness has played in her decisions. Rachel has documented her career from being a leadership and conference consultant with Paradigm Shift to currently working for JDRF as a volunteer engagement and outreach manager with Middle and East Tennessee, to her IVF and fertility and pregnancy journey through her hyper-active social media platform. It is her transparency on career-building, fertility struggles, pregnancy and first-time momma life with her son Noah, that makes Rachel the perfect guest on the show. In this episode, Rachel and Dominique examine the big topics older youth with chronic illness/disability should ask about their futures NOW, discover Rachel’s ideal celebrity mom playdates for her and Noah, give the best answers on how to handle those ‘adulting’ topics when you need to plan ahead (like fertility, having children, or traveling for work), lay out the best tips for how to bring these talks and questions to your doctors/support network—with the realization that asking questions is not only okay, but encouraged, motivate us to discover that being assertive for yourself can be in both verbal and written formats (hello email/texting services with doctors!), laugh lots when it’s discovered that Rachel and Dominique both have an Elmo-related nickname (and it’s DEFINITELY a couple stories you need to hear), create the life playlist for all your future adulating needs like the best sleep tools, scheduler apps, medication reminder apps, diet/snack tricks to be on-the-go, must-have parenting tools (like Rachel’s key baby apps for all first-time moms that work the best for spoonie moms), and Rachel’s key tips for hashtags that divide her posts between being a T1D/invisible illness mom AND a T1D activist, get super heartfelt as Rachel talks about her fertility journey, pregnancy and post-baby Noah life that had to blend with her T1D life she was accustomed to and all Rachel’s advice for fellow women with chronic illnesses/disabilities that want to have children as part of their future plans, and advise a seriously dynamic toolkit for handling any negative comments in the social media world about your life choices (from career, travel, or future family plans) that coexist with your chronic illness/disability. It’s so true that planning a future—whether that be jobs, marriage, children, or travel—can be quite multifaceted when you also have a chronic illness/disability, but Rachel’s epic special guest appearance shines a bright light into how full adulthood with health struggles can be pretty damn sweet! See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.