From a Former Wallflower, by Jessica Niziolek
I am so proud of my new ability to be brave enough to embrace change like it’s a brand new pair of wings. So many new doors are opening. For a girl who found comfort in being the wallflower. I can honestly say, I am proud to be a late bloomer now. Of course, it wasn’t that long ago that it drove me nuts to feel so out of place in the world that was moving around me while I didn’t.
When you are born with a physical disability, in particular, one that changes as you get older like cerebral palsy does. Adversity is like having an instant friend or foe depending on the situation. While I did envision my future like that of others as I got older, I am glad I didn’t take the same road as everyone else.
My life has changed so much. Fraught with so many unexpected life-altering changes all of which affected me so much that I had to do something to help me keep my wits about me and to make even the smallest difference. I have from going from the wallflower, who found comfort in the furthest corners of a world not adapt to help or fully accept her, and rather quickly dismiss her because she was a problem that didn’t come with quick fixes.
And now I am a published author, with a growing online presence. With a blog that brings attention to all the things, people are afraid to talk about.
Shining a light on the invisible topics and making sure that they are not only seen, taken seriously, but also truly heard. If you asked me at the age of 18 years old, that I would have found my purpose by starting a blog, and later becoming a published author on several platforms, I would tell you without hesitation how crazy you were. But, here I am.
So, you could call this my thank you note to all those that instantly counted me out, knocked me down, and threw those knives straight into my back all while I was watching in shocked disbelief. The shock is long since been worn off. And now it’s finally my time to shock all those watching, and maybe even lying in wait to pounce the moment I stumble. This wallflower is turning into her own field of wildflowers. Painted with the embers of a phoenix I now recognize as the sun that greats me when I rise every day.
Thank you. The truth about what you really wanted with me, from me is plain as day now. You turned out to be the good in the goodbye. Whether I actually got one or not. And here is my final message. To the wallflowers, The corner may be a safe place for you now, but the thing about the corner is that the dark can and often does find comfort there too.
And every flower deserves it’s time in the sun, to rise and fully bloom. To grow beyond any wall that someone may force you to stick to.
Walls are meant to shelter, not stopping someone from achieving and overcoming whatever goal or dream you have for yourself. And it’s more than okay to venture away from that wall. And grow from a wallflower to a full-blown field of wildflowers.
And always remember, it isn’t what you’re called, it’s what you answer to that matters.
Walk in your truth, it won’t be easy, but it will be absolutely worth it in the end.