Hey blog readers!
Before I get started, I went on a 4.1 mile run today and it was glorious. It was fast and I felt strong. Love that feeling. Nothing feels better than how strong my body feels.
Warning, this post is more “true life” than I typically post. I like to keep a barrier between my personal life and my blog life. For example, I don’t blog about my job, details of my classes or too too much about my friends (name dropping, maybe more but not much). It is a life style blog not my personal diary.
But today I make an exception because I think it’s important. Because I’ve read things like this in the past and its inspired me, so hopefully it will inspire someone else. This is something I never talked about out of fear that people would think I wasn’t smart, good enough, or worthy. But I know that’s not true and I think others should know it too. I’ve also been pretty open about this since my “She is Simmons” article was published last year and focused almost entirely on this issue.
The story starts in 1994.
I struggled academically a great deal when I was in elementary school. I didn’t know which way “b” and “d” faced. I couldn’t spell simple words like “like”. I actually spelled it “lick” until I was in third grade. My teachers and parents were concerned about me and eventually I was diagnosed with a learning disability and dyslexia.
I was deeply ashamed about my learning disability for many years. I tried to hide it from many people. I felt like I wasn’t “good” enough. I had separate classes for a few years, and support teachers, and extra supported study halls while I was in high school. Mostly I was very highly self conscious. And, I also worked hard. I was lucky to be in special ed classes with fantastic teachers and amazing resources, which not every student has access to (but they should). I had parents that supported me and were involved in my education. I had “IEP” tests every few years and had one in my junior year of high school.
On a pleasant June day after I had completed my junior year of high school I was informed that I no longer qualified for any special education accommodations. I remember feeling accomplished and validated. This is and will always be the proudest moment of my life.
In the time since then I have had so many blessings in my life. I went to the college of my choice. I did well there. I have been able to work at top research institutions, win fellowships, and be involved in leadership. I was able to apply to grad school, law school no less. Not just any law school but a fantastic law school. And I was accepted into my dream school where I wanted to pinch myself nearly daily to make sure that I wasn’t living some bizarre fantasy I dreamed up. And I didn’t fail out! I actually felt proud of my law school performance.
Today I got a letter from New Trier (my former high school) that because I graduated 5 years ago my special education record was going to be destroyed. My record did not follow me to Simmons and it did not follow me to UCLA and now it will be destroyed. There is no more academic record of my disability. Today I feel like I have come full circle. I cried tears of joy for how far I’ve come. And I have so many people to thanks. My teachers, parents and myself. Its important for me to remember. Writing a memo might be hard, but there was a time when I couldn’t spell the work “like”. THAT is how far you can go.
I suppose I share this story to say that after this year is was important for me to remember that no matter what is put in your path there is a way to overcome it. I feel very strongly that truly anybody can overcome any obstacle. Nothing can hold you down if you work hard, stay positive and believe in yourself. There was a time when I didn’t think I would be able to live this dream that I have had the privilege to experience. Nothing is impossible.
So where do the champs go when they have something to celebrate? Yogurtland!
Obviously I had yogurtland for dinner. You only have your Sp Ed filed destroyed once, right?
Your right yogurtland, I do rule!
Today I decided to try coconut, pistachio, and chocolate!
Then I hit it with some toppings! Strawberries, chocolate chips, gummy bears, moochi, and “celebration” sprinkles!
And obviously there was total domination…
Well, not exactly healthy, but I was due to celebrate a little bit. Another fact about today: I took the LSAT two years ago today. 🙂 I think June 16th might just be my lucky day! Thanks for listening bloggies!