Experience is what you get when you didn’t get what you wanted. — Randy Pausch (The Last Lecture)
It’s 9: 04 PM on day 169 of my journey towards independence and I’ve managed to brush my teeth, feed myself a banana for breakfast, watch TV while feeding myself a chicken polony sandwich for a snack, tweet about my Clean Water For All Campaign for a few hours – no luck – feed myself rice and curry for lunch, exercise for 5 minutes, tweet about my campaign some more – still no luck – send the priest that we had dinner with about a week ago a link to my campaign – hopefully he won’t tell my parents because my explicitly told me not to ask people in our community for donations but I don’t know what else to do it’s not like I can spend the whole day at the mall asking people for donations or organize a fundraiser all by myself – they would KILL ME –figuratively speaking – if they found out I sent the link to my campaign to a priest with the intention of getting a donation – feed myself rice and butternut for dinner and watch The Oprah Winfrey Show.
I have always had this theory that everything you go through has something to teach you and looking back now I can prove it: cerebral palsy has taught the power of perception – all my life I had wanted to be like everybody else but then I realized that maybe just maybe God made me different so that I could have the freedom to be extraordinary – my tumultuous relationship with my father has taught me to love myself from within – ever since I could remember I had been waiting for my father to look me in the eye and say I’m sorry for treating you differently just because you are different I love you just the way you are and then one day not so long ago I decided to stop waiting for my father to come to his senses and start accepting myself and I won’t lie knowing that you don’t need acceptance from anybody else and living it are two very different things there are some days when I ache to be seen by my father not as a disabled person who needs help all the time but rather as a human being who needs to know that her daddy loves her – and last but not least my philanthropic efforts have taught me perseverance –before I started my Clean Water For All Campaign I had tried to raise $1 000 for UNICEF I must have asked all the companies in South Africa all of whom sent me long but polite rejection letters saying thanks but no thanks and as I look back on it today I realize that the reason I didn’t reach my goal last time was because I gave up too easily something as you can see I have not done this time around. Have you learned more from an experience than you have from actually getting what you wanted?