Advocating For Yourself: Be Your Own Star

Hi guysss!  What’s popping?  In the preceding blog, I delved into my worries of lacking the capability of mounting the stage for graduation, (  Now, as a graduate, I can deliver an update:

Amid graduation practice, as we strolled into the auditorium, my eyes immediately sought the stage.  It consisted of four steps on both sides with a railing latched onto the wall.  Presuming that we would walk across left to right, I exhaled in relief; the railing would be on the left side.  The creature boiling within me calmly went to sleep.

However, that was short lived.  Whilst they began to seat us alphabetically, the realisation dawned upon me.  Apparently, by some wayward, ludicrous logic, we were climbing the stage from the right side, establishing the railing on the right side.  We read left to right, no?  The creature jumped up, snatching its jaws, ready to pounce.  And its eyes widened in fear.

As the administration droned on about the procedures and expectations in the distance, the voice seemed underwater.  I was busy planning my plan of attack, my route to climb the stairs, attempting to stay afloat and not drown against the current.

Following some rambling, we lined up to practice The Walk.  Thankfully, my name lies on the former side of the alphabet, mitigating time for the dread to build up and rile up the already raging creature.  Consumed in my thoughts, I accidentally stepped up on the kid’s name before mine.  My form was shaky with my arms flapping at my sides like a penguin.  The assistant principal informed me I could use the hand railing as he watched my uncoordinated approach.  Gritting my teeth, I bitterly thought, I would if it was on the right damn side (the right side meaning left).  My departure off stage followed a similar pattern with loose footing and the counselor outstretching her hand to aid when I had a singular step remaining, thanks.

Proceeding mulling over the matter at home, the creature in my chest grew restless, aware that this wasn’t efficient.  I resolved to shoot the other assistant principal an email, requesting if we could enter the stage from the left side but ensuring it was okay if not because that would alter the entire program.  I mentioned that maybe someone could hold my hand, knowing of this responsibility (which is what ended up happening).  Even though I had walked on and off independently, with the addition of the nerves on the real graduation and plus seeing how silly I looked, this brought comfort and the creature within me quietly sang. 

It honestly blows my mind that I managed to do this.  I don’t intend to sound prideful or proudy or be that person, but my past self would have never dreamed of doing such a thing.  I wouldn’t want to admit I’m unable and have accommodations taken that proves that.  I would have endlessly mused over how people would judge the extra assistance.  I wouldn’t have reached out.  But I’m so glad I did.  On graduation night, I didn’t have to dwell on the matter and could genuinely soak in the moment.  So please don’t be afraid to ask for help.  It only benefits you and saves much rumination.  Don’t be caught up on how people will perceive you.  Everyone has a different path and problems.  They won’t even think twice.  And those who do aren’t worth it 💞

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