on the other side of stuck


My first hint that my life would be unique came on the path of my career.  Women weren’t known for being auto mechanics in the 70’s.  But, I was.

I saw that path as a possibility and when opportunity knocked, I swung that door wide open.

Armed with my new awareness of mechanics – sockets and wrenches – a 12 mm or a 1/2″ – jacks and vises – my world got a whole lot more exciting.  After all, how many women auto mechanics do you know?

Learning that I was mechanically inclined opened doors for me.  Just on the other side of social expectations was where I found my next pathway.  It happens that I had several friends who rode wheelchairs to go about their day.  I realized that someone must be repairing those wheelchairs and it might as well be me.  There I was, in 1980, the one and only women wheelchair mechanic west of the Mississippi…probably beyond.

I was so happy playing road ranger; driving a van full of wheelchair parts and tools.  Hundreds of power chairs hummed again under my adept troubleshooting skills.  I could break down a sport chair and rebuild it in the course of an afternoon.  Adapting brakes, re-configuring joysticks, modifying seating, meant independence for many.  I loved being a part of all that.

It happens that, in 1986, an Apple II E computer could be adapted with much of the same gizmos and gadgets as wheelchairs were equipped.  Somebody without arm or hand movement could control a computer with the sip or puff of a straw, or the tip or tap of a switch. Independence on a computer would mean the ability to write, read, communicate, interact.  I soon realized that someone must be adapting these computers and it might as well be me.  I became skilled as an assistive technology specialist and played along this life path from Berkeley to Seattle, from Mexico to Ecuador.

I absolutely know these opportunities happened because I was willing to take the path that was different, interesting, exciting, and meaningful.  I choose a unique life path that was in line with my values.  I might have let my fear stop me.

Fear has a way of stopping us in our tracks.  Fear gnaws away at our choices.  Fear keeps us from making our own unique path.

Through self awareness, I stop following with my head and start leading with my heart.  Following my heart got me unstuck!

How cool is that!


Want to get unstuck? I offer personal coaching and would be happy to guide your exploration.  Contact me at bridgett@bridgettperry.com

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