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I Am More Than My Dwarfism

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I’m more than a statistic, one in 40,000. I’m a daughter and a sister. A woman living with dwarfism, a condition some see as basis for ridicule. I laugh. I dance. There’s more to me than people know. I’m a lover. A fighter. A rule breaker. A woman determined to change how the world views different.

Don’t judge my story by the chapter you walked in on. Some days I’m strong. On others, I throw my hands up. I have been through some serious shit and I don’t always let it show. I take on the world one day at a time with sass in my stride, glitter in my veins and love in my heart. I am rather dramatic, often talking with my hands. I am sassy. A woman who’s been kicked out of a bar for glitter-bombing the dance floor.

Bubbles are one way to my heart; in a bath or a glass of champagne, please. Explosive, peeing your pants, I can barely breathe, laughter fuels my confidence. When I laugh there are no boundaries; I am unapologetically myself, the boundaries separating me from society — erased. Height is just a measurement. I don’t care how long your legs are, you can only take one step at a time. My steps are small, thoughtful, and backed by purpose. They constantly lead me further and further outside of my comfort zone. The result can be messy. And there is always magic within that mess.

My scars tell a story. Superficial proof of perseverance. When I’m feeling rebellious – an extravagant tale of how I was attacked by a Great White shark might become my explanation to a stranger’s very concerned question, “What happened?” All in good fun, of course. What really happened is the story of a girl who began the pursuit of her future at the age of 12.

Sometimes I get caught up in this story that I am stuck, with no way out. It’s never true; my inner light burns bright, showing me the way. Pain is something I am really good at, physical or emotional. I expect it. I tolerate it. I hide it. I know it. And now, I am taking full responsibility for it. I strive to motivate people, no matter what their story is, to stay positive in the face of adversity. A true story, one of authenticity, has the potential to heal as much as modern medicine. Connections are best made by revealing our weaknesses, challenges, and failures; we all have them. My insatiable curiosity and desire for authentic connection are what fuel my love for friendship and helping others.

I am an agent of change. I challenge the status quo. I am a yogi who is far from the mainstream individuation of a practitioner seen on present-day social media.  These days, I have savasana down to a science and continue to paint the art of patience. My practice has taught me that perfection is ludicrous. What is perfect, anyway?

Defining people instills limitations; putting them in a box, giving them a label. Yuck. I am beautiful, not in words or looks but by simply being. There are as many shades of different as there are of people. I am learning to ignore the harsh words, stares, and laughing. I choose to embody an unf***withable, compassionate, and loving spirit. I am dropping the judgment and embracing the now; what is. When downpours happen – I take the opportunity to feel and then dance in the rain. I am acceptance. I am perseverance. I am growth.

My name is Kristen. I have little legs and a big heart. I am driven to change and I am enough.

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Photo by contributor.

Originally published: July 19, 2017
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