Just recently, the website I write for asked it’s fellow writers and bloggers what statement about living with a disability do you want other people to hear.
My statement took a good 30 years to manifest itself. And just as long for me to accept it.
Let’s take a moment to look at the word “Normal”
conforming to the standard or the common type; usual; not abnormal;regular; natural
Conforming to a standard? What exactly is that standard anyway? Who decides on what is standard and what is not? Society, God, Genetics?
All my life, I wanted to be normal. Not wanting any form of imperfection and living out the role society wanted me to play out, like it did in the movies and shows I watched as a kid. I wanted that cheesey 90’s sitcom lifestyle, a perfect little family in a perfect little house, with a perfect little dog, with no flaws whatsoever.
Instead, I was born out of the norm to a mother who had trouble conceiving, which meant no brothers or sisters. I wasn’t the cute little blonde perfect baby, nor did I live in the fancy little house in San Fransisco with a dog. My apartment complex didn’t allow it.
In my dream world, I wanted to be normal and thrive despite my limitations. I wanted to grow up with a great job and have a family by the time I was 30.
The cards just weren’t in my favor…and I am OK with that.
I am OK with my job, even though I expected more of myself after college. I love the challenges it brings and the people I serve everyday. Seeing them smile and get just as excited about Disney as I am makes me feel wealthier than any CEO gig I ever imagined for myself.
I am OK with my little apartment and my independence gained thruogh trial and error. I moved many times and had my fair share of housing issues, as well as adapting to a world of buses and budgets. I learned to carry myself through this world, because I refuse others to do so for me.
I am OK with my relationship with someone who totally doesn’t fit the bill for normalcy, because I’m not afraid to admit it to others. (He too is disabled.) Love doesn’t have a label, and sometimes Prince Charming can rock a set of wheels. Who needs a white stallion anyway? I know we may never have a perfect wedding given his many needs, his shorter time on this earth, and the distance in between, but as long as we are living and caring for one another, what more could you want?
I’m OK with the fact I may never have kids, given I survived the very early stages of Ovarian Cancer and am “half the woman I used to be.” There is always adoption, but not now at this moment.
I am OK with what the journey has been and how it will be for me. For without it, I would of never had the opprotunity to grow and embrace what I was given.
I refuse to conform to society because society has never conformed to me. Why should I stress myself out to please others when I can give it my all everyday and find greatness in myself?
I may struggle a lot with my vision loss and my emotions, but it is what makes me different. It’s just a part of me. Maybe me striving to reach greatness will help convince the world to break out of the norm and teach others to embrace what they have.
Normal is overrated. Be Different. The world is a better place because of it.