School started up again about a week ago, but I feel like I've been here for an eternity. There is so much I love about college...my friends are beyond amazing, my classes are challenging, and I do enjoy having some independence.
But I'm not going to lie; it's tough. I feel like so many people see the way I stumble over my own feet, see the exhaustion in my face, see me struggling to make my way through a crowd, and they assume that I'm weak.
Why do people assume that people with disabilities are weak?
I feel like it takes so much strength to get through just one day. I have to navigate a world that wasn't built for me, a world of curbs and endless staircases and hills, and sometimes I wonder if I'm strong enough. I find myself rushing to class, breathless, yet I am slower than even the people walking at a leisurely pace. And then, sometimes after I've finally arrived, all of the seats have been taken and everyone stares and my feet ache terribly and I'm left standing in the back with shaking legs, wondering if my knees will give out.
And sometimes I wonder, too, if my spirit will give out. I had a particularly challenging day today, and I was walking to class today in a torrential downpour. My determination was warring with my burning legs, my shoes and socks were soaked, and I just kept telling myself, "One more step, one more step..."
That's my life right now...one more step, one more step, one more step. But each step is physically and emotionally draining. Nearly in tears, I messaged my mom...I don't know if I can do this.
"This is the story of your life," my mom wrote back, "And you always rise to the occasion."
So for now I'm just looking for that strength in my spirit to make up for the weakness in my legs. I feel like I'm falling, falling, falling, trying to accomplish the impossible. I know that I can do this...paradoxically, disability has shown me that we as human beings are capable of so, so much...I just need to find that strength.