Birthdays and New Beginnings

Oh October. My favorite month of the year. Not just because it’s my birth month, promise. October is also Dwarfism Awareness month.

Last night, right before midnight, I laid out my yoga mat, lit some candles and just surrendered to the beginning of my 28th year. It was so beautiful. You don’t always have to be at a bar slamming down drinks to celebrate a birthday at midnight 😉

All of these thoughts began to enter my mind as I was in child’s pose. Not the kind of thoughts that I would usually have. You know, when you’re trying to relax and quiet your mind and the thoughts in your head are just so loud? Not that, at all. These thoughts were welcome. My heart began to speak to me and lay out my hopes and dreams for my 28th year. These thoughts tied every reason, as to why I love this month so much, into one personal dialogue. It went something like this.

When you compare yourself or compete to others, you are buying into a specific set of standards, you accept those standards as desirable and valid and thus allow that criteria — those rules — to define you and dictate your life. Problem is, those rules were created to serve someone else.

For twenty eight years I have lived with dwarfism and for each and every one of those twenty eight years, people have said and continue to tell me, “Kristen, you can’t.” “You just can’t, you will hurt yourself, you can’t keep up, that’s too hard for you, you’re too short, you’re body is fragile.”

So there came a time when I looked at myself in the mirror and wished that I wasn’t the way that I am.; I looked at my life and told myself, ‘’That dream will never happen no matter how hard I try. It’s just a dream. Why was I born this way?’’ This all happened because I lost touch with myself. I wasn’t looking at what I did have. I had lost touch with gratitude. It’s hard to be grateful when you have thoughts of nothing but lack.

It’s a lie to think that you’re not good enough, that your dreams can’t come true, that you’re not worth it. {And it’s scary to think about how many people actually believe this.} We all have reasons to be happy. I know I do. People have told me that my smile is bigger than I am – I’m making up for those last few inches of height. That makes me happy.

Sometimes you go through these storms in life and you question yourself whether or not you’re going to get through it. How long is this storm going to last?! When you turn your focus to what makes you happy, that storm will pass in no time.

Once I realized how grateful I was for being little I gained a bigger understanding for everything. My strength and positivity has come from acceptance. Self acceptance. I was born a little person. That doesn’t mean I’m not beautiful, unworthy or unloved. Even if society is going to refuse to accept me and my dreams, I won’t stand for it. I know that I am beautiful. I am worthy of anything that my heart desires. I am loved. And for the record, I am willing to bet that I can dish out more love than the average sized person. What I lack in height, I have gained in heart.

Different is beautiful.

Have fun. Be grateful. Stay in touch. Be proud. Accept yourself. If you want to change then learn, continue to use your tools and be open to anything and everything. Bring it on 28!

For a woman to triumph, she cannot play by the rules of the game. They are not her rules, designed to enhance her strengths. She has to change the game. – Harriet Rubin


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