The Power of Maybe

This week I would like to first give my appreciation to The Voice Magazine.  Not only for giving me a platform for speaking about disability advocacy, but also for allowing me to be creative in topic selection.

You don’t know how many times I’ve felt that I have no choice in this regard.  Plainly, I often feel that I have to talk about disability and more to the point, how it means adversity if I want people to pay attention to me.

Don’t get me wrong, I feel it is a significant part of my life path to bring the issues of invisibility, isolation, and discrimination to public focus when it comes to my demographic.  Still, this being confined in topic choice is part of the problem.  That is, I let my chair define my life choices.

Admittedly, sometimes I have to; I can’t very well go backpacking across Europe, and of course there is more freedom in using adaptive equipment.  Regardless of the lack of it being the reason I can’t go somewhere or do something, the problem starts when this acknowledgement of limitation becomes internalized as a foregone conclusion .

For example, I almost missed my opportunity to speak at my church because I thought I could not ask my mom to drive me, given that my dad was working the night before.  Something we did not realize until a couple weeks ago, following a month of preparation.  I was the one that made the offer to send my voice in a recording, completely missing the fact that mom offered to drive me.  This internalized no is my biggest handicap.

Not spasms.  After all aspirin and mindfulness do help.

Not the fact that there are many places I cannot go to.  Diplomatic advocacy does help this situation immensely.

These issues still break my heart sometimes and drive me insane.  Yet even more so is the mindset that causes them to remain.  That is the idea that the answer is no before asking the question.

This is why talking about Jesus in The True Love In My Soul was so empowering personally.  I actually said “yes.”  Yes to branching out.  Yes to what I’ve always been telling people.

Those with disabilities have many different interests, not just ability.  We have dynamic lives if we are given the chance.  Especially in our own minds.  Put simply, if I want people to give me more opportunities, I have to start with me.  Thanks to my faith, my family, and this magazine, I was finally able to update my options.  It can’t always be yes but that doesn’t mean it is always going to be no either.  There is always maybe, there’s always hope.

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