Who I am
My name is Sy Bridenbaugh, and I always find it so difficult to explain "Who I Am" in a little box on a webpage. One thing I have learned over the past 14 years since I became an amputee is that in this world we attempt to label everything and everyone! It makes life easier on us if we can fit people into a certain category or if we can label them in some manner. This isn't new info, but guess what? Life is not easy and we are not always guaranteed tomorrow. It is not meant to be easy, we are supposed to be challenged; so I challenge you...lets get to know one another before we label! Sure, I'm a HUGE sports fan (GO UK CATS), I'm a husband, I'm a Doctoral Candidate, I'm a college educator...and yes, I am an amputee, and even though I am missing a limb, that does not define me, it is merely a part of me (or a missing part of me). YOU determine who you are and who you want to be, don't let your negative experiences define you!
Why I do this
Everything I do, I do with a chip on my shoulder, when people hear I am an amputee, they immediately put me in the disabled box, but I am not disabled, I am uniquely abled. The main reason I write, teach, and speak with others is because I have a story to tell. I have been through a very tumultuous experience at a young age, but I am thankful for that trying time in my life because it made me who I am today. I have met so many amazing people who have it so much worse than I do and I have also met people who have it much better than I do. That is why I think it's important for us to realize that everyone goes through life shaping experiences, and I will never tell anyone that my experience is harder or more trying than their own. I tell my story so people can realize that sometimes life sucks, and sometimes you don't want to go on, that happens all the time. The important thing is to realize that you do have the ability to succeed; you just have to find that motivation. Some days I HATE being an amputee, I get angry, I get emotional, and sometimes I can spend an entire day in bed. Many days I am in physical pain, and I know that pain isn't going to disappear because *SPOILER*, my leg isn't going to grow back! I tell people, be your better self...tomorrow! There is nothing wrong with understanding that we cannot be our best selves everyday, sometimes we can't walk with our heads held high, and sometimes we may even have to learn to crawl on our way to learning how to live.