Laughter Wins

Oops, I got out of the habit of posting blogs. Recently I’ve had requests to start up again, and it’s my 2017 goal.

I’m not a serious person by any means. I will find any way possible to laugh or make light of situations. I will be the first person to make fun of myself. Many try to tiptoe around my disability like it’s a bad thing. It’s not. I truly believe I have a better attitude toward life because of my disability. Sure, sometimes it’s frustrating. It causes problems for me sometimes. But I have never asked God “why me?” I know why.

When I was a senior in high school, my mother and I were in a minor traffic accident. The first responder asked if I was okay, and my mom and I proceeded to say “She/I can’t feel her/my legs.” We let them think something was wrong for 30 seconds, and then explained I have never been able to feel my legs. We all had a little laugh about it.

I often find that obstacles are funny whereas many people would get frustrated or angry. When an elevator says “please use stairs” I laugh it off. I realize that an able-bodied person wouldn’t necessarily remember that elevators aren’t just for people not wanting to take the stairs. (I’m looking at you, people who take the elevator when an escalator is broken) This happens more often than you think, and more often than it should.

There’s nothing I’ll be able to immediately do about these obstacles, so I’ll just laugh, take a picture of it, and get on with my life, hoping that others with disabilities are doing the same thing so these situations and barriers are fixed rather than just swept under the rug.

I love my life. Truly. I wouldn’t want to walk if I had the chance. It might sound crazy, but again I’ll just laugh. 

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Standing Up, While Sitting

This blog has been in my mind for almost a year. The inspiration to finally begin this time finally showed after a few friends and I discussed the many issues we’ve encountered while living independent many miles away from our hometowns. Advocating for a minority demographic has become glamorous. Americans have polarized themselves and shown support and unity for minorities in America, but none are so poorly represented as the disabled. It isn’t that there are not enough of the demographic – 1 in 5 Americans have a disability – it’s the lack of disabled within positions of power (within businesses, government) creates an “out of sight, out of mind” environment. Until a loved one or someone you care about becomes disabled or has a child that has a birth defect, many Americans do not understand the lack of accessibility that actually exists. I have become super creative in adapting to inadequate conditions, but when the one set of Federals Laws cannot even provide a bare minimum to ensure a decent quality of life to 20% of Americans it’s laughable. When those creating the ever-growing, ever-changing cities, parks, neighborhoods can’t even follow those bare minimums or use general logic to realize their design is asinine, I wonder how we can have so many other issues in the world, and how we can cry discrimination on so many different views, but this one that affects all races, genders, backgrounds so often gets overlooked or brushed under the rug. I wonder why we’re treated like we have contagious diseases or the ugliest person someone has ever seen, when body shaming is so vehemently frowned upon and pimpin’ joy is supposed to be trendy. I can be trendy. I am a normal weight. I can carry on a better conversation than most people my age. I have the same needs, desires, and dreams as any 24 year old woman… but society says I have to be homeless, dirty, and have everyone speak for me. There are days when I feel gross and helpless. There are days when I feel like I can conquer the world. I’m either invisible or a hero and there’s no in between. I am the most positive person and I’m not ashamed of myself. But it comes from a LONG time of not being okay, of putting myself down and finally having enough of feeling inferior all the time. I know I need to start talking, and I need to start sticking up for those who feel like they don’t have a voice, or don’t know how to have a voice or what they want to say. I know I have to stand up, even while sitting.

 

 

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