3/28/2012 10:42 AM
By Kelly Deeny
I’m defective. Or so I’ve been told. While the initial response may prompt hurt feelings and/or shock, I accept it as truth. I have a defect—one that I was born with.
The word "defect" tends to inspire negative connotations, as though there’s something lacking. Sometimes it’s physical. Other times emotional or even mental. You’re labeled as “less than” when, in fact, we all have something that can be improved upon. There are those who’ve battled addiction. Others who’ve struggled with challenging weight issues. What some would determine to be defects, I view as simply part of an individual journey. Their lives are their own to live. They have choices to make just as I do.
I own my defect—my congenital heart defect. Any other are of my own doing and up to me to resolve. So when someone dear to me joked that I was “defective,” I laughed along with him, because I acknowledge my differences. I embrace the scar down my chest or the pinky that has a shorter fingernail than all the rest. I do not view myself as any less equal or important than anyone else. At the same time I am not superior to others simply because I, as a heart patient, have encountered difficulties.
As I’ve mentioned in other blog entries, my prior experiences do not define me. Sure they have affected my path and the person I’ve become but that does not hold me back from improving and growing as an individual. I have much left to learn. I consider myself to be a “glass half full” person but in actuality the glass is closer to three-quarters than one-half.
If I did not believe I have issues that need resolving or aspects of myself that can be improved upon then I’d remain stagnant—frozen in thought and emotion, believing my circumstances could not be changed. Acknowledging my flaws and recognizing opportunities for change offers me the opportunity to look at not only myself but the world around me as full of promise.
I look different. My body’s shaped differently. I’ve had different experiences. Yet ultimately I am proud of the person I have become. I am not perfect and I DO NOT wish to be so. Really, what fun would that be?
A graduate of Temple University's English program, Kelly Deeny recently completed book one in her juvenile fiction series. Using various forms of the creative arts, Kelly seeks to heal the emotional and spiritual scars that remain from her 1979 open heart surgery. While her ventricular septal defect was repaired and no physical limitations remain, she's just recently realized how vital the arts are to her healing process. Visit Kelly’s website by clicking here.
1 comment(s) so far...
By Hilary on
3/30/2012 3:43 PM
Re: Defective and Proud of It
I kept nodding as I read this. I have a congenital heart defect and had open heart surgery at 5. I used to do whatever I could to hide my scar on my chest but Ive grown to see that it makes me special.