Teens in the Real World
  Food Allergies in the Real World  

Acceptance

by Kent, age 19. Allergic to peanuts.

 

I had accepted my food allergy as a part of my life. It was simply another quality that I had to deal with. In the great scheme of things, nothing drastically changed in my life. I didn’t eat snacks kids brought to class for their birthdays, but I was pretty normal.

This held true for my first 18 years of life. Then it all changed in January 2006. For the greater part of the past two years, I pursued attending the United States Naval Academy. The place seemed perfect for me. I wanted to be a pilot, to fly jets off an aircraft carrier, maybe become an astronaut, or design weapons systems. I’d do whatever I could do. I matched the vision, mission, and personality of the academy.

In late October, I received a “Letter of Assurance.” I was in! All I had to do was pass a medical exam. That one minor hurdle to most candidates became an insurmountable brick wall for me. For 18 years, my food allergies never once kept me from my dreams. They were just a rule I had accepted. But I was disqualified because of my food allergies: finally, they had changed my life.

Humans accept the conditions of life. We may question, we may discover, but we, as humans, nevertheless accept conditions and limitations. Rules govern the human mind; limitations decide who we are and what we do with our lives. I am unable to go to the Naval Academy, but this is just a limitation; it does not define, or restrict, my happiness.
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