Dear Younger Becky,
Life isn’t always fair. You have just turned 15 ½ and you’ve lost feeling in your lower legs. You have spinal cord compression. Lower back surgery is absolutely necessary. I know you think that this is the end of the world, but some miracles can happen. You will experience even harder things in life. The recovery process is going to take some time, but your family and your friends will always be there to support you. You will walk again. You will be able to participate in sports again. Focus on your studies and don’t worry about dating. Your opportunities will come. You will eventually find love and you will get married. Stop worrying about what other people think. People will continue to laugh, point, and stare but the best thing that you can do is ignore it. If people ask questions, don’t be afraid to give them honest answers. Even though you don’t want to stay home on a Friday night with your parents, it’s worth it. They will always include you in their plans. They love you unconditionally.
I can’t stress enough how important it is for you to get involved as an active member of Little People of America. Consider attending some conferences. I know you’re used to being the only physically different person in your group of friends, but groups, like the LPA, will make life so much easier for you. I know that you don’t think that you’re ready for it now, but I recommend getting involved by the time you go to college. You will meet people who have faced similar obstacles in their lives and everlasting friendships will be created. With technology the way it is today, you can find ways to stay in touch with new friends who you meet, no matter where they live. In addition, you will have the opportunity to visit places where you’ve never been before. You will find love.
All of the experiences that you will have from where you are now to my age will continue to shape the story that you share during your motivational speaking and disability advocacy career. You will deliver more than one TEDx speech. I know that it’s something that you’ve always wanted to do, and it is possible. You will struggle in college, you will struggle with the job search, and you will struggle with the sudden loss of your first-born child, but all of these experiences will make you a stronger human being.
Don’t be afraid to try new things even if they don’t work out. You will end up wherever you’re meant to be. Be open to where life takes you. Treat others the way that you want to be treated in return. Don’t be afraid to share your story and passions with those who surround you. Chase after your dreams. Life’s too short to sit around and wait for them to come to you. Sharing your story will make a difference in more people’s lives than you ever imagine.
All the best,
** This has been pulled from Becky's original blog, which you can find here.