Love Her but leave her wild: Living An Independent Life
I was diagnosed when I was born. Told before I could even count what I wasn't going to be able to do in life. How I'd never live independently, never have a career, and never leave the home my parents raised me in. I spent a better part of my childhood stuck in-between believing it and trying to find out who I was beyond the diagnosis. It took many long years of trying, failing, physical pain, and emotional exhaustion to learn life doesn't care who you are or what hand you're dealt. If you want something bad enough you have to do something about it.
I became stronger, more determined, and independent. I graduated high school and drove cross country to move to California. There I graduated college and found a place for myself in a fast paced, well paid career. Being fully independent for over a decade now, it's now what inspires me to push farther, don't get stuck in-between what you have done and who you're still trying to be.
Three years ago I went on my first solo traveling trip. Alone I went to seven countries ranging from Europe, south east Asia, Japan and South America. All with a backpack and my wheelchair. It again broke me down, facing me with new issues I hadn't known in my life yet, learning to adapt to other countries standards of disability. I had the time of my life. The next year I did it again, and currently I'm out of the country for a 3rd trip around the world. Life only stops when you stop it, although I may feel extreme pain some days, and want to just lay down and quit. I know that if I hold on and make it through the hard moments, amazing moments will arrive and I will appreciate them even more. Everyone struggles in their own way, we just have to find what makes it worth it to us.