Updated: Apr 13
A friend of mine once said to me, I am traveling like I am never coming back to that place ever again. The truth is, my disability has been a blessing in many ways. Yes, I experience physical obstacles most people do not have to experience or understand for decades to come if at all. Yes, I have felt sorry for myself for being unable to walk, for not being able to keep up or participate in certain activities with friends, for having to take a longer, more cumbersome route when I go places due to my physical limitations. And don't get me wrong, I can make a strong case for both, a cursed life or a blessed life because of my disability. Having polio, maneuvering around the physical space in a wheelchair, having scoliosis, becoming increasingly intimate with backaches has its challenges.
But it as they say in those books by those New York Times best sellers, we have a choice in how we view our situation and how we live our lives. I used to always roll my eyes when I would read this. I would hold on tightly to my sorrows and made choices to live my day in a way that would put me in an even deeper funk. The point is, we do have a choice. And I choose to see my disability as a blessing. I choose to see my wheelchair as this amazing piece of technology that is as important if not more important than my legs instead of as a huge sign of weakness as so many people's gazes would try to force me to believe. My wheelchair enables me to carry out my day to day routines, travel the world, and pursue whatever goals inspire me at that time.
I choose to see my polio -- which has caused the muscle atrophy in my legs -- as gift to live a life that is a unique from many others. I choose to see my scoliosis and my intimate relationship with backaches as signs of the fragility of the human body that everyone eventually experiences. I just happen to have the fortune of getting the message on a faster internet speed (the internet speed of life, of course).
I think the biggest reason why I say my polio and my scoliosis is a blessing is because it has made me realized what is important in life. (And reading lots of books help, too.) My actual experiences with polio and scoliosis give me a way to evaluate and critique for myself from what I read in books and articles. My disabilities have taught me to not waste a single second pursuing the life that I want for myself. I want to see the world. I want to make the world more accessible for everyone, especially people with mobility disabilities. I want to stop being a victim of my past. And I want to stop worrying about the future. I want to be a good sister, daughter, friend, niece, nephew, aunt, etc. and perhaps a wife, mother, grandmother, etc. in the future.
So how will you see your life, my readers? I see each blogpost as a gift to you. So why did I write this post today? Whether you have a disability or you don't have a disability, life is still equally precious, fragile, unpredictable, and ever changing. Having a disability just made me realize this sooner. I have started to hug the present moment more tightly because that's all we truly have. The past has already happened, so there is no use dwelling on it. The outcome of the future is not ours to decide. But the present moment is right now. Each moment you are not present is a moment lost to the past.
I hope this post made you realize how special the present moment is and truly be present for every experience. Watch the birds fly across the puffy marshmallow sky. Watch the clouds change colors as the sun rise high above the city and colors the pavement from black to gray where millions of people will soon walk to and fro frantically pursuing their goals.
I once told my mom, I think people are all innately good and I want to help as many people as possible when I finish college. I want to hold on to that pure heart I had ten years ago and keep moving forward with that belief because I cannot bear the alternative. From this moment forward, I want to live each day making lots of people's lives better. I hope this blogpost was, in a way, a new starting point for me and, perhaps, for you?