You will discover very early on just how strong God made you. Your 20s will have lots of bad days but the good days will certainly outweigh the bad ones. You will meet LOTS and I repeat LOTS of amazing people who will touch your heart in very special ways. You will lose some friends but will gain heaven sent ones as well. Your world will be turned upside down when you lose those close to your heart like your close friend on your birthday and you will have to face that pain every birthday. You will study exactly what you are passionate about at uni. Your uni days will be some of your best days. You will have fun at uni. Your postgrad will be an interesting soul searching journey that will cause you to question, challenge and unlearn certain things. You will begin to discover your purpose in your 20s. As you get older everything Mum and Dad taught you will make sense. All those times you think they are being harsh on you by holding you to a higher standard than your siblings, thank them for it because they are simply preparing you for the future as an adult with a disability
Dear younger self, I hate to break it down to you but adulting whilst disabled will crush you as you discover just how difficult it is to live with a disability. You will face MANY MANY physical challenges that will leave you questioning your existence. Each year you will literally watch the condition of your legs deteriorate and have no idea what to do about it. You will hate walking in public because strangers will stare at you like you are from another planet. You will have days when you will just want to scream STOP STARING AT ME because people’s stares will emotionally drain you.
You will hate going shopping and when do go, it will be difficult to find anything that suits you perfectly. Like I said before unfortunately your legs will deteriorate to the point where you will no longer be able to wear your favourite winter boots. Shoe shopping will become an emotional nightmare for you as you will spend hours in the shoe aisles in Kmart looking for the perfect pair of shoes that won’t hurt your feet which are different sizes. On some occasions you will even cry in the middle of the shoe aisle. Grocery shopping will become another nightmare and many a time you will be forced to carry a heavy backpack which will unfortunately put a lot of strain on your back and legs.
There will be days when your body will just not cooperate with you and whether you stand, walk, sit or lie down everything you do will hurt. On some days even just getting out of bed will physically hurt. On some nights you will cry yourself to sleep asking God why life has to be so difficult and complicated. In addition to the physical challenges, you will discover that even though your dreams are valid, there will be be very limited. A lot of people will try and tell you otherwise but please pay no attention to them and stay true to what you feel and to yourself. You will become aware of what you can and cannot do. This is will key to accepting your disability.
Dear younger self you will develop a love and passion for a lot of things that you might not enjoy right now such as reading, writing, African politics, music, singing, dancing. You will even become a model and rock it on the runway. You will find the courage and strength to talk about your life as a black disabled woman. This will lead you to create a safe space for you in the form of a blog to address some of the issues you face and guess what you will even win an award for it. Not only that but you will be featured in a magazine, on radio and tv so please don’t be discouraged when you want to start the blog.
Despite all the challenges you will face, I want you to know that you will be ok because you have Jesus. Giving your heart to Him will be the best decision you will ever make. God will fill your heart with so much joy, peace and happiness. You will have days where everything is crazy but the peace of God will guard your heart. With Jesus as your anchor, you will make it.
All my love,
Your Older Self. ❤