Reaching for the Stars While Growing Up Disabled

by Susan Baker.
(Mount Ayr, Iowa USA)

My name is Susan Baker. I am the owner of Susi’s Workshop. I have had a long journey in this life. I was born disabled and creative.

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They found out that I have a Hypothalamic Hamartoma. Also later on I would learn that I have diabetes, PCOS,and FXS. So, being disabled means you have a lot of doctors appointments, school, and stress. At the age of 8, I began to get creative, because my grandmother saw that I needed an outlet for all the stress.

Also my grandmother never raised me up that I was “disabled”, because that isn’t how my grandmother saw me. The first thing I ever made was a purple pony bead and gold elastic choker. It was pretty interesting and relaxing. I enjoyed making that necklace so I decided I would continue to make jewelry, while doing other things.

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Well, growing up I had always had problems sleeping and had other kinds of issues, so I knew what would calm me down and help me sleep. I have also always been a spiritualist and christian, and other family has as well. So, growing up I always knew that grandma would wake up in the middle of the night if she hasn’t been painting.

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Well, just like grandmother, is her granddaughter. There is always someone who comes in the middle of the night and wakes both of us up if we aren’t doing the thing we were born and put on this earth to do. So, even though I am disabled, I have learned that I need to continue to make jewelry. Also since I am spiritual and christian, many of my projects come through me and out of me from my spirit guides.

Many times, I don’t even know what I am going to make when I start to sit down. This keeps me going back to what I know from the years I have grown up. So, I want to share a lesson I have learned from all of this. If you let your “disability” keep you down, you wont have very far to fall. Instead jump and try to reach the stars.

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They will only inspire you to grow and reach more of your potential. Know that you dont have a limit, and the stars and moon are the way to go further in your life. Keep Smiling! Life is Good!

Susan Baker
Susi’s Workshop

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  • Hi Susan, thank you for sharing your story. It’s interesting to hear how the thread of creativity has woven itself through your life – and your grandmother’s too. I also appreciate your uplifting reminder to jump up and reach for the stars instead of letting things get you down. And I agree – some of the best jewelry comes from not knowing what you’ll make when you sit down to create!

  • cebette murphy says:

    Hi Susan, your work is beautiful! I love the soft colors you use and the sense of playfulness in your pieces. I am the mother of an 18 year old son with FXS and am a FX carrier myself so I do understand some of your challenges. When my son was younger I had hoped he would someday be my jewelry assistant but alas, not a creative bone in his body! His strengths lie elsewhere and he will make his own path. Keep creating! I am sure you make your grandmother proud.

  • Susan Baker says:

    Rena, Thanks for the uplifting words and for taking time to read through my entry. Since finding this site I have enjoyed reading through the many entries and have found many of them uplifting and a joy to read. I also have found that there are tutorials and other such things on the site that I have read which I find fascinating and that I would like to learn. I also find that if I can inspire one person with what I make and who I am, I am going to be doing my part in this world.

  • Susan Baker says:

    I hope you and your son are doing well. Yes I can understand about wanting someone special to be an assistant in your creativity. I have a significant other who also has disabilities, and I was thinking he could join me in making jewelry. He has done a couple things, but like your son, he has his own things he does. And just like you with your son, my grandmother and family have parts of my disabilities running through them.

    Anyhow thanks for commenting on and complimenting my jewelry. I hope to someday get to be able to build my business up, while dealing with all of my “dis-abilities”. I know spiritually my angels and guides will try to help me make that happen. If you would like to see some other things I have created feel free to search for Susi’s Workshop on Facebook. I have posted some of the things I have made on there. I also have other things I am going to be working on posting there. I have spent a few days off line so that I can make other things so there will be new content. Any how, I get distracted easily and tend to lose my thoughts. Then I end up tangenting off, so I hope reading this post will be easy to do.

    Also thanks for taking the time to read though my entry and for looking at my jewelry. I am learning how to do more and newer things. And I guess I will always be learning as newer and newer fads are always coming out. So thanks for cheering me on.

    Susie Baker
    owner Susi’s Workshop

  • Elena Evans says:

    I am disabled with chronic pain but I use my low pain time to design one-of-a-kind jewelry. I don’t get much on disability and live alone at the age of 61 with my bird and cat I rescued from under my deck; the cat that is.
    2 yes ago and now she is my constant companion as well as my cockatik. I have a lot of jewelry designed but after my divorce in 2006 my ex-husband stole my car and had it crushed.I live in the county with just my babies for company.
    I have no outlet for my work but when I was able to get my jewelry out there the biggest seller was my idea of one-of-a-kind. No one will have a piece like another’s. Each piece they choose they proudly say it was. Made just for me.
    I just caught this page; but I know it was a God thing to help me gain convenience to help my depression.
    I look forward to reading your helpful tips and consider young new jewelry friend as well as my new sister in Christ.
    Due to my disability I cannot attend church but I am proud to saying I began a prayer ministry 4 yes ago which I now have 2011 prayer warriors.
    Well back to the point I hope we will be good friends and I will be able to get my designs out someplace to sell.
    Have a blessed day. I do not judge so have one Christian or not. God Bless.

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