This is a challenge, a call to action. I want people with disabilities to talk proudly about the defining moments in their life that made them confident. What cracked open your shell? What set you free? What was your proudest moment?
I’m sure many of us can name many things with varying levels of importance in our lives. If you want to share them, I know I and others would be honored. So many people share similar experiences and often we miss the chance to connect because we no longer open ourselves to people. We bury our faces in our smartphones and say we don’t have the time. I hope it’s no secret that when you do take the time to connect, it’s usually time well-spent.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about things that have given me confidence the past few years. I can say that practicing what I preach has given me a lot of confidence I wouldn’t have had otherwise. I used to always tell people how important it was to do their stretches, while never doing my own, for example. But now I’m living an authentic life.
Decorating my walker made me feel empowered when using it. Changing my hairstyle is something done often and recently that has extended to changing a lot of things about my lifestyle. Being truly in the driver’s seat of my life for the first time, and not just going along for the ride, has made me think a lot about what’s given me the confidence to finally stand up for myself and what I want to do.
Who’s Buddy? Well, back in December, I got my very first pet that I was going to take care of all by myself — a beautiful baby cockatiel.
I was so extremely nervous. Could I take care of him? Could I keep him happy? Would I be enough? I had my doubts (lots of them) and sometimes it was very, very hard, like when Buddy went through his terrible-two (month) stage. Cockatiels are a lot like children, it turns out.
Today, Buddy is six months old. He sings and talks. I’m currently trying to teach him to say “What are you doing?” and “Good morning.” He has learned to say “Pretty bird” and it melts my heart. I’m trying to teach him a couple songs and it’s going well. He’s happy, he’s healthy, he loves me and I adore him.
We have an amazing bond. Two months ago, I adopted Buddy’s baby brother and named him Marbles. These two guys have taught me so much and have given me so much love and confidence it’s amazing.
Tell me your proudest moment. Own it. Be bold. What makes you confident?
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