That title probably threw you off. For a second or two, you might have thought that I changed my mind and made a complete overhaul of “Holdin’ Out for a Hero” and what I write about.
But no worries. I haven’t changed– much. But emotionally, I have struggled with what I’m doing– or want to do.
For a year, I worked very hard not only to keep up with writing letters and daily entries, but also to keep the content of this site fresh and make it enjoyable especially for me, since I am its sole author.
But I’ll admit there have been moments, especially of late, when I’ve questioned why exactly I chose to saddle myself with such a great responsibility, at such a young age, and particularly when I should be having fun, enjoying my recent graduation from college, and catching up with friends who I missed dearly during my full-time semesters.
I’ve reflected deeply on the reasons why I began “Holdin’ Out” in the first place. The following is what comes to mind.
I began this “journey” or “site” for a number of reasons. The first and most obvious one is to raise much-needed public awareness of spina bifida. The second, and one that is very closely related to the first, is to document somewhat loosely and by no means objectively, my life and experiences with spina bifida, so that everyone else can come to understand why it is so important to raise awareness and learn about this condition.
A third reason, and perhaps one that I wasn’t initially counting on, was to have my own platform where I could “vent” all my frustrations and angst about being a young adult woman with spina bifida, and also to network with others and build relationships with other people who can relate, or who perhaps just began relating to me on these points.
That was an unexpected surprise, because I suppose I always imagined at the beginning that my “readers” would be anonymous, blurry, and indistinct, much like the adults are in the “Peanuts” cartoon series.
I never expected that I would come to know many of you by name, by trade, by geographical location, and by personality and interests.
Which brings me to my next point: why I will never want to give this all up.
I’m very sorry if, during my long road to self-discovery these past few weeks, I somehow frightened some readers/followers into believing that I had given it up. That certainly was never my intention.
The only explanation I can give for my self-imposed “hiatus” (yes, Mami, I know you hate that word!) is this. Like my friend Christina Hernández described so perfectly in her article about me in Action magazine, I didn’t choose spina bifida; it chose me.
So, perhaps in some delayed-teenage-rebellion against fate and against God’s “plan” for me, I became angry at the notion that because I was forced to live with spina bifida, I somehow “had to do something about it.” To be honest, there have been days when I think selfishly, “taking care of myself is challenging enough; everyone else is not my problem.”
Maybe you won’t blame me for thinking that way. Maybe we all do at some point. But then I begin to think of the people I’ve met over the past year and three months or so, and I realize that I’m not the only one in this boat, and there are many people that would give anything to just have someone reach out to them.
That’s why, despite my occasional bitterness and pity-party, I must go on. Besides, as I mentioned earlier, choosing to blog about all this has given me a great source of strength and power. I feel powerful that I can choose what topics to write about, and that there are people out there who would choose to read my blog when they can just as easily read something else.
But, as Spiderman’s (or Peter Parker’s) wise old Uncle Ben once said, “With great power comes great responsibility,” and so I need to get back to doing my part.
That being said, please don’t think I make myself out to be some sort of super-hero. I’ve never thought I am. I’m just a girl who’s found her voice, and I’m here for when you need me to help you find yours.