Why the Movie 'Forrest Gump' Reminds Me of My Childhood With Cerebral Palsy


I love the movie “Forrest Gump.” Why? Well, I see a lot of myself in Forrest.

When I was in elementary school, I had orthopedic braces to keep my legs straight and to prevent them from turning in. Growing up, I was always the last kid to get picked on the playground or chosen to be on the soccer or kickball team. Cerebral palsy ensured my legs just wouldn’t cooperate.

 

When I entered high school as a freshman, my dad had just died and I didn’t really know how to interact with kids my age. While they were busy discussing the latest innovation on Snapchat or the newest iPhone model, I was thinking about my dad and how much I missed him. In high school, being different is looked down upon.

However, the truth is that we are all a little different. We all have our unique little idiosyncrasies. Forrest knew he was different, but that didn’t matter to him. What mattered to Forrest? His family, and his most special friend, Jenny.

Our differences are what make us unique. Our differences should be celebrated, not looked down upon. When I started my sophomore year of high school, I tried to fit in as best I could and to be a part of the in-crowd. However, I slowly realized being part of the in-crowd was overrated. I could never sacrifice my morals just to be part of a group that never really wanted me in the first place.

Now that I’m out of high school and preparing to attend college in the fall, I’m reminded of my time in high school and the subtle lessons I learned in those halls. While I never was one of the popular kids, I stayed true to myself for the most part. My time in high school was mostly mediocre, besides the notable exception of a few cool people and a couple interesting classes. I was the subject of a few mean tweets and some nasty gossip, but I took the high road and never showed them what hurt me so much on the inside. Now, I pray that the eyes of the girls who hurt me will be opened, and that they will come to know the true power that a few words or a seemingly innocent Tweet can have. I forgive them, not because it’s the easy thing to do, but because holding on to bad things in the past only holds me down.

Now, my best days are ahead of me. Now, I wait on my Jenny and hear her yelling behind me…

“Write Brooks, Write!”

The Mighty is asking the following: Describe a scene or line from a movie that’s stuck with you through your experience with disability, disease or mental illness. If you’d like to participate, please send a blog post to [email protected] Please include a photo for the piece, a photo of yourself and 1-2 sentence bio. Check out our Submit a Story page for more about our submission guidelines.


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