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To The Friend Who Doesn’t Know Me Yet !

Hello! It’s an honor to make your acquaintance. Our journey of friendship has only just begun- and I truly hope that you and I will get to become better people by getting to share our journeys of life together. Whether we may be miles apart and worlds away or in the same country and state we are brought together by the simple desire of wanting to connect and be a part of something much greater than ourselves. We aren’t meant to live life alone; we are created to be a part of a whole, a body, a community.

We each have our own story which acts as a single puzzle piece to the bigger picture. It is my desire to share parts of my life journey with you in hopes that my pieces of the puzzle will uplift, encourage, and resonate with yours to allow for greater connection in order to better understand the bigger picture.

So I think it’s time for me to begin sharing a little about who I am. Have you ever asked yourself that question? Who Am I? Although this is a simple question, its answer is not all that easy to describe, and I suppose it’s because we’re so dynamic and each uniquely created with specific purpose, skill sets, and interests. So truth be told, you won’t know everything about me from this initial encounter but I will go ahead and share just some of the basics.

I am a fun, loving, and somewhat adventurous, almost 28 year old woman. I am a working professional within the field of social service where I serve as a social work counselor. I have three educational degrees including an: Associates of Arts in Social and Behavioral Science, Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, and Master of Arts in Disability Studies. I am also a woman with a disability.

I was born with a condition known as Arthrogryposis. This is a condition that affects the muscles and joints in both my legs, feet, and a little in my hands where they did not develop fully. When I was born, the muscles in my legs were contracted, so growing up as a child I had many surgeries to help my legs become as straight as possible, because the condition is that they want to contract back to their original state. I must wear full length braces on my legs to help keep them straight. I am able to walk with braces and crutches but I resort to using a manual wheelchair within my daily living on a regular basis. Disability is a part of who I am but it is not all of who I am.

Having a disability provides for a unique lense of life and as I journey more with you I hope we can find comfort and share in similarities as well as learn from our differing lenses and perspectives. I am excited to be in community with you-- to learn, to grow, and to push each other to be the best we can be by gaining insight from each other through our unique lenses. Please feel free to comment with questions and/or topics that you might be intrested in having me touch upon. Stay tuned for my next post…….. Blessings until next time! Your New Friend, Andrea Rivera Psalm 139:14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous - how well I know it.

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