My Tipping Points to Breaking Barriers

"Tipping point" was first introduced to me by Malcolm Gladwell's book The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference. I won't give you a book review but if you're interested be sure to click on the link to check it out, it was a fairly engaging read!

For today's post I thought I would give a few examples of my own 'tipping points.' While sometimes we may wish that life took a bit more of a direct path from start to finish...
A.) that would be incredibly dull
B.) those curve balls, pitfalls, and hurdles we have to get through leave imprints on our identities. So without them, it's in my opinion that we would be 'less of a person' than we are.

Without further ado these are either people or moments (big and small) that have made a huge impact on my barrier breaking journey --

1.) The first moment I used my walker in Elementary School. I may have learned to walk 4 or 5 years later than my friends, but I did it! And not only did I get the technique for steps down but I was also able to show my friends and classmates that I was just like them. This moment stands out in my mind as a barrier breaking moment because it was the first time I was able to bridge that gap of difference with my peers.

2. ) When I began signing school library books under the name "Trouble." A small silly moment but during elementary school & middle school I frequented the school library quite a bit. I was a quiet nerd who also enjoyed getting into trouble in my own sly ways. This is a ridiculous barrier breaking moment because not only was I allowed to sign my name as "Trouble" in the little slot at the back of the book, but I also realized that it's okay to have librarians as your friends without totally losing my own sense of personality & identity. In other words, no one defines me but myself.

3.) Mr. B, my 9th grade English teacher. Although I knew that I loved reading and writing, and most of my teachers knew that I loved reading and writing -- it wasn't until I entered Mr. B's 9th grade English class that I realized that I wanted writing to be a part of what I do... for the rest of my life. Through his dedication as a teacher I learned to pursue what I believe is right through my own creative voice. He is a barrier breaking person who has made a life-long impact on me and someone I will be indebted to forever.

4.) Being a member of the Highland Street Corps Ambassadors - AmeriCorps. I know that I've written quite extensively about this before but I can't emphasize how much of a barrier breaking year this opportunity was for me. I was placed at a community college in Boston where I created a mentoring program for first-generation community college students. To be able to give other students the opportunities of mentoring and education that I found beneficial helped me realize how one young person's idealism can impact my community.

5.) Creating this blog. It wasn't my idea. Initially I didn't even want to do this because I was afraid of failing. I was afraid of writing about my disability because at the time I was in a place of 'barely accepting' that part of myself. I was afraid that no one would listen to me "because I'm just 23 and can barely take care of a house plant never mind advise other people.." I was afraid that this would take me down some psychological and mental/emotional path that I wasn't ready to deal with yet. This is a barrier breaking moment because I was able to prove all of those things wrong and I have my readers to thank for helping me with that.

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