Living with One instead of Two
· Help is an interesting subject. As a person I often struggle with the idea of help. My parents raised me to figure things out on my own, whether it was opening a string cheese or riding my bike. I I continue to grow up I often see asking for help as a weakness to myself. As something that if I ask it will show that I cannot do it on my own and when I find something that I cannot achieve right away it breaks me. I have realized through my life that help is not shown as weakness, I am human and sometimes help is exactly what I need. I may need help putting up my hair, zipping my coat, etc. I can remember a time when the help of someone meant more to me than they would ever know. I was at Starbucks that day and I had ordered my usual coffee and a sandwich for dinner. With my shopping bags and purse on my left arm, my coffee in my right, there was no way I could hold a plate too. Although I did not want to ask for help, typical me. Thankfully the barista kindly asked if I needed help carrying and I said, “Yes if you could that would be amazing, Thank you!” This was something so simple but it made me want to cry because she did not have to help me but she saw I was contemplating on asking and she wanted to help. So I think it is good for me as well as others to realize that asking or needing help does not show weakness. It is perfectly okay to ask or need it, we are human. If you see someone who might need help don’t walk away, ask them if you could help and I promise that you are going to make their day complete.
II. Accepting the Catastrophe
· Oh the random breakdowns, these are something that happen every once in a blue moon. I believe everyone has them at certain times in their life. I call these random breakdowns through the looking glass. I will give you some personal examples… This summer I went to Chicago, while I was there it was an amazing day, but there came a point when I wanted to drop down on the sidewalk and begin to cry. In a big city there are tall glass buildings everywhere and no matter where you look you often see a reflection of yourself. That day I saw the reflection of myself in every glass window. I found peace in this experience. Although the reflection kept reminding me I was different it also reminded me of what I had overcome and of being strong. When I got home I broke down completely, but it was needed. I can remember a breakdown I once had thanks to a taco; yes a taco. I was holding my plate against my rib cage and my little arm on the opposite side, as I scooped the taco meat onto my taco somehow the plate fell to the ground and glass was EVERYWHERE. I stood there in shock of what to do, I did not mean to drop the plate. My dad automatically yelled, “Sarah Elizabeth why would you drop it?” The yelling sent me straight into a breakdown. It was not my dad’s fault he didn’t know any better and it was just his initial reaction to the situation. I went to my room balling because I had disappointed my father and dropped a plate. You are probably thinking no big deal it is just a plate; and while that is true it is also true that it was not just a plate to me. It showed me that I could not do something and that was when the crying began. To me it was the fact that I could not hold a plate properly like everyone else and do something so simple. I have had plenty of other breakdowns as well, my most recent happened at school. What I have learned from these is that it is okay to break down, these situations we go through have a purpose, and they make us stronger as people and prepare us for later in life. If you have a breakdown, first know it is okay, second, you will get through it, third, you are beautiful just as you are and you never need to change. Most importantly remember you are not alone.
III. When I see someone like me
· When I see someone like me I automatically want to run up and hug them, although that might seem a little odd. I feel some sort of connection when I see someone like me and my day is automatically made! I think should I go say hello or is that too weird? When the person walks away I think shoot I missed my opportunity! Should I go chase after them? I have never chased after someone but it has crossed my mind.
IV. The Stares
· Getting use to the stares is an interesting topic, I believe that how you vie this is based on perception and confidence in yourself. As I walk through the mall of course I always notice the looks and stares but I do not allow them to affect me. I can remember the time I noticed the most stares, I was in TN in a waterpark with family and I confidently walked around, I forgot that my arm was more obvious that day with me in a swimsuit, over the years I have learned to ignore the stares. At times they can get to a person but overall it is not a big deal. I can remember walking in new Zealand with Paige and two girls decided to stare and whisper to each other about Paige and I. Yes it was probably odd to see two girls with one arm walking together but there was no need to do what they did. Paige made a funny face at them and they stopped. I have concluded I would rather someone ask me what happened kindly, rather than just stare and look at me like I came from another planet. Often when children ask their moms, what happened to that girls arm?!?! The moms automatically begin to freak out, as if what their child just said was a bad word. In my opinion, let your child ask me, it is a good thing for them to see and learn about. The child is not hurting my feelings by saying something, they are just curious.
V. The awkward jokes
· Often I get asked, “What happened to your arm?” as a kid whenever someone asked I would make up a silly story like an alligator bit it off or a shark bit it off. It made the kid stop asking and be quiet. I can remember being on the playground with my cousin Kaitlyn and a boy asking what happened, we decided to make up a silly story and he ran away from us. Or instead of making up a silly story I will make an awkward joke about having one arm. The other week I was at the gym and a guy asked me to get him a foam roller; jokingly I said, “You can get it you have two hands.” I started to laugh because it was hilarious but the guy didn’t know what to say. Once he heard me laughing he soon laughed and I grabbed him one. I have found through the years just to have fun with my situation and make a joke of it. I am comfortable with the way I was made so I enjoy getting a laugh out of it, even though people typically never know what to do themselves. I have a shirt that says Dude where’s my arm? I am pretty comfortable with being different.
VI. Learning to love yourself
· This is a very important aspect of being different or feeling different. We are all different and God has given each person in this world different gifts. We need to remember we are only human, that no one is perfect except God alone. We often seek to live up to what society’s standards are and that is wrong. There is no need for us to be anything except ourselves. Our flaws do not define us, but they are a part of us we need to learn to accept. I have learned that my arm is not everything but I do not consider my arm a flaw, I consider it a blessing. It gives me a chance to inspire and help others like me. I would never want to have two arms for even a second, when I get to heaven I am asking God to only give me one wing because why would I want two. No matter your difference or so called flaw, you need to love yourself first. Learn to love every part of yourself, because I believe with every negative situation it can always be replaced with a positive situation instead.
VII. It takes 5x as long to learn
· There are always thing I wish I could do but I know in order to achieve them it is going to take time, practice, and determination. Learning how to tie my shoes took me longer than other kids my age, while riding my bike I was always lopsided and my back hurt afterward. Putting my hair into a ponytail was like rocket science. I finally learned how to put up my hair in 8th grade, I mastered a messy bun my junior year of high school. I learned how to jump rope, and do a push up as well as pull up at the age of 17. Curling my hair was a challenge but I figured it out. To this day I still have not mastered the monkey bars but one day I hope to. I have accepted that things take longer to learn and achieve but it allows me to have to work twice as hard and I wouldn’t change that. I know to never give up on my dreams.
Well known for her love for Jesus, coffee, and having one arm. Sarah share's stories in her life in hope to help others. She wants you to know that,
"Our differences do not define who we are but are a part of the story that God has written for our lives."
Sarah says, " I hope that I can be someone to relate to in a world of untold real stories. Everything I write is from my heart and real."
"We are all created imperfectly perfect by God, we should be proud of our imperfections and differences, they make us who we are today but do not define us, know that you are beautiful and remind yourself of this everyday."