Forever a small fish in a big pond

Saturday, 16 February 2019

Easy, doesn't always mean happy

University is something that many people dream of, but for me it never really felt like a path I was ever going to walk. Since transitioning to secondary school in 2015 and having my whole world turned upside down.... I guess part of me has just eliminated the thought of ever experiencing another big change. But life has funny ways of working out, and after falling in love with an industry I never pictured myself in- I realised that maybe university was the way forward.

I'd like to think that since leaving secondary school and moving away from the challenges and difficulties that it faced me with, that I'd grown to be stronger, mature and even a little more resilient, but that still didn't take away the daunting feeling I was filled with during my application process. I remember my first open day- all my friends were the first to check out the bars, the clubs, the halls.... my attention however was on the simpler things, libaries, classrooms, canteens.... now don't be fooled, i'm not that much of a geek! I mean I was interested in all that of course, but I wasn't really paying attention to any of the academic stuff, instead my mind focused on door handles, light switches.... how many stairs each block had... how far each classroom was from the next.. I wanted to enjoy the process. I wanted to enjoy becoming a fresher and experiencing all things uni life would have in stall for me, but I knew what uni life had in stall would be a much bigger test than any exam I could ever sit. 

Fast forward to open day for university number four.. now this one was probably the best so far, I liked it a lot. The campus was beautiful. The course was incredible. The people seemed lovely. And all in all everything seemed in my reach. Perfect! Well.... almost..... yes everything was in touching distance but the same could not be said for the uni itself, it was quite a long way from home.... a two hour train journey in fact. It was bitter sweet. I had found the most perfect university. Somewhere I could see myself going. But I'd never been on a train before... I certainly had never travelled on my own. The transition to uni I had just about come to terms with.. but taking on the challenge of commuting just didn't seem thinkable!

University number five had everything that number four had.. the course, the campus.. and what was even better it was right on my doorstep. No trains. No commutes. I was so excited. This university experience actually seemed possible, nothing seemed as if it could be or cause a problem. Well expect for one thing.... I didn't love this one quite as much.. in fact I didn't love it at all, yeah the course seemed interesting, yeah the campus was kinda nice... but I couldn't see myself there, not really. Not like I had done before. I tried for three weeks to love it. I wanted to love it. I wanted to choose it. Because choosing it meant not having to open myself up to the world of challenges that commuting would give me. But I couldn't. 

So maybe I just wasn't cut out for university. Maybe I was right from the start when I thought of it as a path I would never walk... or maybe it was time I put my past behind me, time I took a leap out of my comfort zone... time I listened to my heart and not my body. But what would life have in store if I chose number 4?

Well there was only one way to find out.


Fast forward to now. Mid-way through second year in university that  had captured my heart from the very start. The one that in fact has made university life possible.. The last two years have  taught me a lot.. I have come to realise a lot... for example just how much of this world isn't built for someone who's almost 4ft tall! Ticket machines, automatic doors, card machines, train seats, train platforms... there's a whole world up there I've never had to venture into before. I sometimes get jealous. Jealous of my class mates, who come in at 9am feeling refreshed for morning lecture, when i'm already physically drained. Jealous of everyone who needn't give a second thought to the daily tasks that are made so daunting. Jealous that they can reach textbooks off the shelf without worrying about who they may ask for help..... I've cried a lot this year. Tears of frustration. Tiredness. Fear. Panic. But I've also laughed. A lot. Experienced a lot. Learnt a lot. And loved... a lot. Loved the new life I embarked on, the friends I gained, the memories I've made. And although some days I wonder how the heck i'm ever gonna get through. I'm grateful for the adventure. I'm grateful for everything that being a small student has taught me and everything it has built me up to overcome.

My life may have been easier had I made a different choice. But easy. Doesn't always mean happy. And happy is just what I'm making uni life to be!



                            









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What is Dwarfism?





Many people often ask what is Dwarfism? The simple answer is of course... a condition which means a person is of restricted growth. The truth however....

Dwarfism is.... 
-Being 20 years old and still the size of a six year old. 
-Knowing that even when you are 40 years old.. still you will be the size of a 6 year old. 
-Forever trying to come to terms with this 
-Being too small for adult clothes and yet too big for kids clothes.. 
-Never buying new clothes because well... It's impossible. 
-Learning to dodge rucksacks and briefcases when you're on a busy train
-Jumping off the train and hoping you land on the platform that feels 10 miles away



  -Asking, "Excuse me, can you reach this for me" everytime you enter a shop

-Sometimes leaving the shop without what you went in for because today you just don't have it in you to ask
-Flinching every time you hear the words "Mummy why is she small" and praying you hear the answer you want. 
-Learning to hold back the tears when in fact you don't hear an answer and instead watch as a parent pulls their child away from you. 
-Having 101 step stools everywhere possible in your house 



-Wanting to cry when you realise you've gone away and not taken one of those step stools
-Getting to a bar and realising you can't see over it to order your drink 

-Having to embrace the awkwardness that both you and the person serving you feels at this moment 
-Over thinking even the simplest of tasks and routines all based around what will be in your reach
-Training yourself to not need the bathroom when out because most of the time they're out of your reach anyway

-Feeling like a kid in a sweet shop when you discover something you actually can reach!



-Phoning a friend to come over because your parents are out and your dinner is on the top shelf in the fridge 
-Saying "It's ok I'll stand", When someone offers you a seat when in reality you daren't even attempt to climb onto it in public
-Realising you forgot to ask your Mum for something before she left the house and accepting you now have to go the whole day without it.
-Wondering if, I couldn't reach it, beats the my dog ate it, excuse
-Feeling like a burden when you have to ask for help with almost everything!!
-Being grateful for the friends who put up with helping you with everything!


-Escaping to the toilet in the middle of a 10 hour shift because everything hurts.
-Not knowing why everything hurts. 
-Not being able to explain why you hurt, You just hurt. 
-Trying to make baggy clothes look fashionable 
-Failing at this. 
-Hearing the word freak, weirdo, or loser on a daily basis. 
-Having to pretend like you didn't hear it 
-Having to pretend that it doesn't hurt. 
-Doubting yourself and your ability to carry out even the simplest of tasks
-Calling everything small after you because.. well... it's just what you do!😂


-Getting home from an awful day and then crying.......because you can't reach the light switch 
-Sleepless nights as you pay the price for every single move you made that day



-Going to work the next day and no one knowing of the pain from the night before
-Asking "They know the situation right?" Before you meet anyone new  because you daren't walk into a room and watch everyone's jaws drop... 
-Being afraid of a change of routine because it's taken you 6 months to adapt to managing this one
-Being jealous of your tall friends 

-Wishing you were your tall friends 
-Not really knowing how to explain any of this to your tall friends 
-Keeping your feelings hidden because crying over a light switch isn't really seen as the norm
-Wondering if anyone really understands 
-Worrying that people won't understand 
-Feeling like every hair has to be in place to make up for your obvious flaws
-Not giving a dam what you look like because let's face it... they'll laugh at you anyway
-Feeling both of these feelings at once. 
-Not really knowing how you're feeling
-Being Positive about everything 
-Wishing you didn't have to be 
-Being angry, but knowing it won't change 
-Being upset, but knowing it won't change 
-Forever imagining your life if you weren't small
-Wishing it would go away
-Wishing you were normal
-Accepting that THIS is YOUR normal





And not wanting to change any of it for the world.




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