Anna Gouker

Don't Ask Permission to Fly

Creating a force called lift, counteracting the outside energy that would otherwise pull her down, that is the way Anna Gouker spends her days. Anna understands the importance of an elevated focus. This enables her to reach higher than the outside world may say is within her grasp.

Anna has a degenerative muscle weakness that persists throughout her body, requiring her to depend greatly on technology — like the ventilator that helps her breathe while she sleeps and the motorized wheelchair that moves her through the world — caregivers, and a savvy navigation of the social service system to survive. But, Anna's life is about more than merely surviving, she lives to thrive. She graduated with her master's degree and works in social services. While resisting the negative messages from the outside world, she often finds opportunities that are presented along with life's challenges.

In this collection of essays about her life, experiences, and some of the people she has learned from the most, she shares what she has come to understand and how it is true for us all; there is a distinction between who you are and the person others perceive you to be. Internalizing the projections of others, allowing the world to impose its own idea of your truth and potential, that's the fastest way to diminish the possibilities for your future. Focusing on the positive qualities that our unique traits bring and doing what we can to cultivate new skills, these are actions we must take for our true selves to soar.
88 printed pages
Original publication



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