This month marks 10 years since my parents dropped me off at Elmhurst College. What a decade! It's a dream come true and I wouldn't change a second. Here are ten independent moments that may not have made the blog at the time.
1. I love to walk a nature path in my town. The first time I tried getting
there was successful. Going back, I decided to take a different way home.
Instead of being on the main street, I was in the neighborhoods. The
neighborhoods all look identical. I kept saying to myself, I'm not lost; I'm
turned around. Looking back, I was so lost. It took me two hours to get home.
2. I remember my first roller coaster without my family. My friends got me
in a bumper car and it was so fun!
3. I did a lot of occupational therapy for multiple reasons; we worked on
being able to dress myself. Throughout the years, the fact that I can change
shirts independently has been so cool. To all the kids and teens in therapy,
keep pushing even though it's boring.
4. Taking trips to Minnesota with an assistant; that is ultimate
5. Minnesota was nothing compared to going to DC with an assistant. Usually
it's a family affair to get me on a plane, when it's just the two of us, I feel
6. Phi Mu. That was completely a decision I made for myself and I succeeded!
Phi Mu recently gave me a $2,000 scholarship. My parents were really grateful
for my decision to join Phi Mu when they found out about the scholarship.
7. I got to vote in my dorm room with a caregiver for the first black
president. I will say to readers who do have a disability, mailing in your
ballots is so easy. It takes a little research but it's easier.
8. Over the years, I've started to go to doctor appointments by myself. I
just went to my neurologist by myself and my mother had held on to my
neurology appointments as long as she could and this past April, she gave me
her blessing to go independently. He got a kick out of my independence. I also
got to choose my general practitioner; it's been so great of my parents to have
that trust in me.
9. Choosing Loyola! I did that under the radar and it was a great decision
that enriched my life.
10. This blog. It is more a blessing more than a moment of independence. It's
been a way to have the world truly know me. I hope high schoolers who happen to
have a disability get a glimpse of themselves when I tell my stories.
It's been a decade of dreams coming true. I would like the next decade to
include marriage and family. I don't know what that will look like, but I
didn't know what college and my twenties would look like ten years ago. It's
going to be fun finding out what the next decade brings!
I'll never stop being Ms. Independent!
Thanks for a decade of support,
This was a poem I wrote for my dad on Father's Day. Enjoy! ...
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