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What My Tattoo Symbolizes in My Life With a Disability

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Growing up, I had a hard time getting society to accept me as able. I wanted so bad to be viewed as capable that I didn’t even accept my condition. I stayed to myself. I became very angry when I struggled to do things or someone told me I couldn’t. I also started to believe society. Because of that, I gave situations less effort than I should have.

I believed after graduating high school a year early, I would convince society and myself that I am capable of accomplishing anything. I am three years into college and still struggling with doubt. I also am still dealing with society telling me I can’t.

After realizing the only way society would accept my condition is if I did, I started social media platforms to talk about everyday experiences with my disability. Changing my major to communications and being open about my disability has helped tremendously, but I still struggle with acceptance, understanding and frustration.

At the end of every situation, I am able to find persistence and strength to get through, but I feel guilty because I could do better if I did not doubt myself or listen to the part of society that does not understand my perspective on life. I will most likely deal with these emotions in some way for the rest of my life. Therefore, I am hoping my new tattoo will help decrease my doubts and help society become aware that I have a different perspective to offer the world, but that doesn’t mean I should be treated differently.

My disability doesn’t define who I am, but it is a part of my story. The cerebral palsy awareness ribbon will always have significance and the phrase “I can and I will” gives me the power to understand that I am unstoppable no matter what negative thoughts I think, or what society says about my situation.

Originally published: September 4, 2018
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