The reality is no one has all the answers
There are moments when you wish time didn’t go so fast and you wish you had the answer to every question. Then reality hits.
You slowly realize that you are not Father Time. You don’t have all the answers and you can’t fix everything that’s broken. You might have memories of a better place in your life, or someone who reminded you what life is all about.
I’ve found myself in this situation more times than I can count. My heart often runs away with my head when I think too much about my cerebral palsy and its circumstances. I also think a lot about my friends who fight quiet battles every day. I get trapped into thinking that these are things I can change or prevent. However, I can’t do anything except push the feeling of helplessness back down and wait for it to pass.
This is when I get mad at myself because my gut feeling is always right. There usually is very little I can do, but that doesn’t mean I stop trying.
I always want to be a good friend. I want try to be a better person than I was the day before. That isn’t just because I’d rather be kind to those who lend me a hand on a daily basis. It’s instead because I have an abundance of good things that I feel give others positive energy. These things haven’t come easily to me and are worthy of being shared. I want to embrace those things because I’m proud of them — and I don’t know how long that feeling will last.
I also want to make the most of everything I’ve done so far. It’s what my family encourages me to do with every good thing that comes my way, and I know it’s what my grandparents want. However, not all of them had the opportunity to see my life blossom.
I was very fortunate to be adopted into a family with three grandparents — two on my mom’s side and one on my dad’s side. The ones on my mom’s side, my Nana and “Honey” as I called my grandfather were two of my biggest supporters. They unexpectedly passed away before my career got off the ground. They always told everyone they crossed paths with that I was “the best writer in the world.”
The only grandparent I have on my dad’s side — my Gram — has always supported me in her own way. It isn’t perfect all the time, but I know she means well. I appreciate it more than I let anyone know. We’ve had our share of differences. However, she’s still my grandmother at the end of the day.
I try to hold onto that when times get tough. Knowing that I still have a grandparent who has at least witnessed my professional life unfold is more than I started with. It doesn’t change the fact that my Nana and Honey are gone. It just makes my hard days a little more bearable, but even that is changing.
My Gram’s health is declining and I find myself not sure what to say or do. I’m caught between being a good granddaughter and the person my Gram sees me as. I’ve learned to balance it, but it’s getting harder now.
The only thing I can do is stay true to who I am. It’s not always easy or pretty. It’s what I need to do to keep a good head on my shoulders — and I hope it shows.
I know I don’t have all the answers. I know I’m not perfect. I do know that my grandparents are proud of me, as is the rest of my family. I don’t need to question anything else. I can’t wait to see what’s behind the next door.
Don’t be ashamed if you doubt yourself. We all need to do it to find out who we truly are. The best part is, you might find a part of yourself that you didn’t know was there all along.
Erin Kelly, 33, was born with cerebral palsy in Korea, and lives in Altoona. In addition to this column, she also writes for online publications The Huffington Post, The Good Men Project, Upworthy, and Real Talk Magazine. Email her at WriterWheels28@gmail.com.