So, there she was in front of the class. Flat facial features, low set ears, with a slant to her eyes that stood tall behind glasses. Certainly the elephant in the room (for the lack of a better expression). However, her smiling introduction lit up that damn room, like it was Christmas. The sun was just breaking through the early morning clouds. It was quiet. Not really looking to go through another lecture about babies, I’m sure we were all thinking the same damn thing… “I have it good…but what was I doing wrong?” Idk. Maybe it was just me. Michelle was a surprise guest speaker for the morning. And if you haven’t deduced it already, Michelle was born with Down Syndrome.
She’s a little gal and with tons of spunk. Nothing less of an angel. She recently just graduated from high school and has plans to get her college degree. She spoke on behalf of the National Association for Down Syndrome (NADS), followed by her colleague who was a parent advocate.
Michelle constructed a little slide show for us. She showed off all the clubs and activities she was doing, her interests in fashion and all the fashion shows she was in. She showed pictures of her boyfriend and all of her friends. And all of the pictures were the same: standing tall with a smile. Her message was clear… that even throughout society having a preconceived idea that she was going through hard times…she was living a great life…she was loving life.
I sat there in silence. Thinking about my own life, work and all my accomplishments, blessings, etc. Yet, I was the one unhappy. Shame on me. Shame on anyone. Thinking about taking my own life. Thinking about my depressive states. Thinking about my hardships, struggles, and all my bullshit. At that very moment, and still, I am inferior. I’m lazy, spoiled, and take things for granted. A man child entranced with first world issues. I got it good. But, I got it wrong.