We all need some inspiration from time to time! So I decided to dedicate the month of April to “Overcoming Circumstances” on my blog.
Ladies and gentlemen, I would love to introduce you to Amanda Romero!
My name is Amanda Romero and I was born with Amniotic Band Syndrome. And to put that in very simple terms, it’s like putting a lot of rubber bands on a fetus’ digits/limbs while they’re still forming in the womb. My fingers and toes are affected, and I have a band on my right leg. I’ve had a lot of surgeries to help separate my fingers and toes to give me the most use from what I had.
Throughout my life, my mom has been my number one fan always encouraging me to do what I wanted to. She was there to wipe the tears off my face when I was bullied at school, and she was always the first to tell me “Don’t ever say you can’t do something because you can do it if you put your mind to it.” But this story is the one exception where she didn’t have the “you can” attitude.
When I was in second grade, I was introduced to musical instruments. The minute my eyes saw the violin and my ears heard it I was in love. That day, I begged my mom to sign me up for music lessons. I wanted to learn how to play the violin. That was probably one situation that she didn’t want to be in: encouraging me while trying to face reality and the probability that I might fail. She told me no, she didn’t think it was possible for me to learn how to play the violin.
When middle school came around, I had the opportunity to sign up for choir/art, or I could learn to play an instrument. Knowing that my mom was not going to support me, I signed up for beginning orchestra behind her back. When she found out, she went to my grandparents for support. You’d be surprised to hear that they supported her and not me. They tried very hard to talk me out of it. I was just setting myself up for heartache and failure. Looking back on it, I know they were just trying to protect me. I mean, look at my hands; it doesn’t even look possible that I could play an instrument.
On back-to-school night, I had the opportunity to meet my future music teacher. Knowing that no one was supporting me so far and that I would need her cooperation if I was going to learn, I went up to talk to her. I kind of shoved my hands in her face and told her I wanted to learn how to play the violin. “Will you teach me?” And she said, “Yes, we’ll work with what you have.” That was the first positive feedback I received from an adult in response to me wanting to learn how to play the violin.
Fast-forward to the future, I can play the violin, viola, bass, and piano. I realize I will never be an expert pianist because my fingers are lacking in length, and I’ll probably never be able to compete with the expert musicians (but neither can half the people who know how to play something – so I don’t really feel bad). But my accomplishments in middle and high school show my perseverance and determination to do something I wanted to do. One of my greatest accomplishments was playing third chair in the first violins for my district symphony. I don’t actively practice the string instruments nowadays, but I always look back on this struggle as one of my greatest accomplishments. And my mom is back in my corner believing I can do whatever I set my mind to.