I often get asked how hard my life is with only one hand, a waiter even once told me “You don’t understand how much you’re missing out on”. For some reason, the world assumes that my “disability” is something of a negative difference, it only holds me back. But I will hold up my hands (or hand) and swear on my life that I would never want two hands in my life, even if someone could magically make one appear tomorrow, it’s not something I’m interested in.
So I’m watching the movie ‘Stronger‘ following the true story of Jeff Bauman (played by Jake Gyllenhaal) and the Boston Marathon bombing. And I thought to myself if I lost my arm similarly to Jeff’s legs during the bombing, would I have the same answer to the magic appearing second limb? Probably not. But would I be the person I am today with the two hands? Absolutely not.
I truly believe some things happen for a reason, and I think being born with a disability happened to me for a reason. It doesn’t define me and I’m sure I’d be very similar to the person I am today if I was born with the two but it’s definitely added to me as a human. It’s made me more determined, more competitive, more outgoing and 100% more open-minded. And it’s definitely made me realize that it’s all about what you do with what you have, it doesn’t matter what you’re missing. Whether it’s Jeff Bauman sharing his intimate story “stronger” and educating the world about his experience, or using your voice to create change like Malala Yousafzai, you are you for a reason, so do what you want to do unapologetically and share your story with the world, because it might just make someone think and thinking creates change.
Photos by Henry Mandeville