Brittany Bertram's Essay Submission
Only as Big as I Dream I Can Be
What is it to truly be inspired by somebody? There are hundreds of women that have challenged both my thoughts and actions. Exactly how many of those women have actually changed my actions? There have been several women throughout history who have challenged the way society thinks and made a true difference in the world, and I admire them. But have any of these women changed the way that I live my life?
As cliché as this may sound, I believe I am the most influential figure in my life. Only I know what I am capable of, and only I can exhibit the actions to reach my full potential. Coming to Bellarmine was a huge challenge for me. Neither of my parents went to college. My sister went to a community college, but dropped out after one semester. I went to a small high school that consisted of 160 students kindergarten -12th grade. So coming here was a big change for me. My parents didn’t necessarily encourage me to go to Bellarmine. They thought of it as a financial burden that I would have to worry about for the rest of my life. I told myself, I would not let money keep me from going to the school I wanted to go to.
My biggest challenge came when I found out I was pregnant at the end of my sophomore year. My whole life had practically followed this plan up until now. I knew I couldn’t quit school. I didn’t want to take a semester off, and I didn’t want to be the “pregnant girl” on campus. Regardless if I was prepared to handle this or not I had to. I didn’t take the semester off, and I didn’t transfer schools. I had my daughter early November of junior year. I came back to school nearly a week after I had delivered and finished up the semester. I managed to pass all my classes and remain a full- time student.
After this I thought I could handle anything. Four months after I had her she was diagnosed with a condition called Optic Nerve Hypoplasia. We found out she was legally blind. At this point I was angry at God. I didn’t know why this had happened to me, my family, or my baby. When my daughter was diagnosed my mind was immediately bombarded with all the things she wouldn’t be able to do. Now, I realize that it doesn’t matter what she sees. She is happy. She laughs and smiles and plays like any other baby does. She will do everything any other seeing person can do, but in her own way and on her own time.
I am fortunate. I can see, I can walk, I can hear. I have shelter, and food, and a job. Most importantly, I have a loving family, and all the possibility of the world inside me. It is up to me to use that potential to inspire myself. I am proud of what I have accomplished, but I also know this is only a minute portion of what I am capable of.