Since I have been five years old, I have been living life with learning disabilities.
Now this is not something I am ashamed of. No, not at all. It's a part of me. It's made me who I am.
However that doesn't mean it has been easy.
All kinds of professionals made claims I would not amount to much. They said I would never be able to live independently. I was a lost cause. On and on, it went.
Yet I have been blessed with loving and supportive parents who have always encouraged me and made sure I never have doubted myself.
Believe me, those words have come in handy more than a time or two.
I endured some pretty harsh bullying in school, mostly in junior high. It did quite a number on my self-esteem, let me tell you.
When I graduated from high school and decided to enter the workforce, I received quite the wake-up call about how society feels about people with my condition.
I enrolled in a local job program for the disabled. Despite receiving a general secretarial certification during my senior year, the only job interviews the program coordinators would set up, were well below my qualifications.
At my annual review, the head of the program announced his belief that I would always live below the poverty line. "Amy will always be on welfare".
My parents and I decided not to renew for another year.
As I stated at the beginning of this blog, I have never been ashamed of my learning disabilities and besides, what could I do about it anyway if I was?
So I went out on my own looking for work, never disguising my condition. All I received were very hesitant potential employers only complying with an interview as not to risk for a discriminatory lawsuit. I even went back to school and received a medical secretarial certification but to no avail.
After several years of frustration, I decided to give up the job search and become self-employed.
For the past 13 years, I have been running my own dog-sitting business. It's just me and I work mostly around my neighborhood but the pay is good and the work is regular.
This work has allowed me to pursue a writing career. I write regularly for several websites nationally and internationally with a focus on inspiration.
Two years ago, I self-published a memoir titled "I Am Not Stupid" which is available through Amazon.
My main goal as a writer is not fame nor wealth.I want to use this gift that God has given me to make the world a better place.
With all that I have gone through over the years, I have decided not to live bitter. It hasn't been an easy journey, I'm not going to lie. For many years I battled with low self-esteem and insecurity over the discrimination and rejection I have had to endure.
As I have gotten older, I have to realize that none of that matters. I am always going to encounter society's disdain. I have wasted a lot of years trying to understand why.
But we are never going to completely understand why someone accepts us and someone else doesn't.
That's just how life goes, unfortunately.
Now it is up to us to decide how we are going to live our lives despite this.
Will we wallow in our misery, ruining the only chance we have a life...
Or we can just get up after we get knocked down and keep on plugging.
As for me . . . . I choose to keep on plugging.
Written by Amy Temple
Amy is an American freelance writer/blogger specializing in non-fictional inspiration writing. Amy is a resident of Orlando, Florida and also self-employed as a dog sitter. She writes regularly for many blogs and websites including seethegood.info, justsuminspiration, sparrowfoot, theencyclopedian, gratisoul and the Learning Disabilities Association's newsletter LD Source. In May 2017, Amy self-published a memoir titled 'I Am Not Stupid' about living with learning disabilities and is available through Amazon. You can contact Amy at . . . firstname.lastname@example.org