It's often we come upon opportunities, wants, and desires that we feel that we are owed. If we work hard enough, if we rack up enough good karma, give enough, then what we want or work towards will automatically be owed to us. The journey to what we want most out of life is far from straight and narrow, but is filled with jagged rocks, dead ends, detours, and speed bumps that could be our friends, families, financial trouble, and our own inner battles. This door above is symbolic to ones that may open, and ones that you might not have a key to. I'd like to share a story I rarely tell on how one door was cracked open and then slammed in my face, while one that was the most unexpected welcomed me in.
So, it is my second semester of my junior year of college. I decide that I want to do something amazing for senior year, I want it to be an unforgettable, hard, challenging, life altering year. So I decide for my fall semester of senior year I'd like to do a student exchange program.
What I usually do not include in my paperwork, unless absolutely necessary, is the fact that I am legally blind and have a history of seizures. However, this exchange opportunity was more than just leaving South Carolina for a semester. It was about me separating myself from everything I know, my friends, my twin sister, a small college, and throwing myself into a metropolitan city, a more diverse population and challenging myself. I saw it as preparing myself to be independent after graduation, therefore I included my disabilities in my personal statement and the fact that I saw this as a chance to learn and grow as an individual.
So, a few weeks later my friend and I are called down by our dean after class and we find out that we were all accepted into the program. We began planning what classes we would take, researching what on campus activities and organizations we'd be apart of, and city adventures to get into. I'd found campus activities that piqued my interest, and was nearly done with my schedule when my dean told me I needed to immediately report to her office.
Much to my dismay, my acceptance had been rescinded. However the 'why' had never fully been explained. The excuse that was given to me was that the rejecting university felt as though I "would not be able to learn anything from them". I've heard words like that before.. So in the nicest of words I was rejected because I am disabled, and they did not want to take on that responsibility.
My pride took a blow to say the least. I had already told my family and friends that I was going, and now I would have to tell everyone that I'd be right back here next year. However, this is where diligence, and your rapport with the people that surround you work in your favor. Throughout my matriculation, I withheld a great relationship with the faculty in my department and my dean let me know that I could chose to go anywhere and she would help me get there.
So what is a loss? What is a rejection? What is a no? Nothing. It's nothing compared to what is in store for us in the long run. Here are a few photos of my semester abroad where my adventures include London for a day, Florence for two weeks, Pisa for a day, Tuscany for wine tasting and dinner, Venice for a weekend, Naples, Pompeii, and Capri for a day, and where I lived in Rome for 3 months only a short walk from the Vatican. I made lifelong friends across the country I still speak to, and even got a tattoo in Rome. "Piccola Coraggiosa" or "Little Brave One".
You can also check me out on Instagram: TheTinyQueen & look at my photo map tab for more pictures
I hope this was insightful or helpful to someone in anyway. So if you know anyone going through a tough time, share this. If you have a story, video, photo you'd like me to share for Sunday Inspiration hit me up on twitter TheTinyQueen. Remember Sunday Inspiration isn't just for Sunday's, it's for whenever you need the inspiration. So come back whenever you need. Have a great week!
Keeping A Close Eye |UMG, The Tiny Queen