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Finding My Way in an Able-Bodied World

A few months before my seventeenth birthday, I began looking for a part-time job. I had a driver’s permit but no license yet; I’d have to find something within walking distance. The local McDonald’s restaurant was an obvious choice, especially since I did similar work at a State Fair hamburger stand the summer before. I was nervous about the interview but, having excelled at school, babysitting and the hamburger stand, I fully expected to be offered a position.

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Secrets and Lies

Summer 1979
“Oh my God! Were you a thalidomide baby?”
A gray-haired man stood staring at my disfigured arms and hands; trapped in the aisle, my heart raced. I had never heard the word thalidomide and had no idea that anything or anyone other than God was responsible for my birth defect.

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Is your job beneath you?

Fresh out of college, John resented the job he had accepted. “I have a college degree. I’m not going to work hard at this entry-level job; they don’t deserve me.” I sometimes wonder what happened to his career. If I could remember his last name, I’d look for him on LinkedIn and find out.

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