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  • Writer's pictureGigi

Shining In The Middle

Updated: Sep 20, 2021

Multiple dark mountain peaks with heavy white clouds behind it. The sun shines brightly overhead

My name is "Gerel" and I am in the middle. I always considered myself "stuck in the middle" and was actually hoping to name my site after that. As luck would have it, there were countless sites with that name so I thought it would be better to think of something else to stand out. Regardless of all the possible names I came up with, I knew I would have to incorporate the concept of being in the middle because all my life I've always felt like that's where I was --a middle child, in the middle of two cultures, with a disability considered moderate in severity and very middle-of-the-road.

So how does one "shine" from the middle? It just so happens that my name in Mongolian means "light." Instead of thinking of myself as being stuck in the middle, I am making an effort to project a more positive image of myself that lives up to my namesake. I choose to shine from the middle by defying the limited expectations that society puts on people with disabilities, and influencing others to do the same by being a role model and advocate, especially for other young adults.

Even though I used to consider my circumstances as me being "stuck", I've learned the importance of reframing my mindset to see things more positively. This doesn't mean that I minimize my struggle, or the struggle of people with disabilities. It simply means I choose to invest my attention in living my best life and truly shining in the middle.

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