Dear Whoever Is Reading This
Our world today is flowing with endless possibilities; there are more devices to enable you to do more things, to save more time,to get your more places, to make you more productive, etc. We are more in control of our world than ever — customizing our experiences with technology and devices to enhance our lives.
Those of us with cerebral palsy and other chronic illnesses are, I think, better at this than most people because we see so many obstacles and limits in our paths and have to overcome them. All of this technology is great — the devices that help make our lives so much easier also connect us to others like ourselves. I think many chronically ill people on the internet try to put out messages of positivity, awareness, strength, and self-love.
When I moved away to college over a year ago, I was already in my junior year and, like everybody else my age on this adventure, had a life planned out in my mind spanning all the things I wanted to do and experience.
What I was not prepared for was the culture shock that I would experience of being away from my family, and away from the people in familiar places I went to every day — those who may do something as simple as hold a door open for me and whom I took for granted.
I moved again for my senior year of college, which is now on pause (read just about anything I’ve written here within the last two months to know more) and one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned through all of that is to create a home within myself, around myself, and for myself. And I learned to be comfortable with that because it is what I need or how I choose to go through life.
Don’t feel weird if you use a paper planner but an iPhone for directions in public because you can’t read a campus map. Don’t think that you’re not doing enough because of what you see when you sign online, turn on the TV, or talk to your friends or family. Don’t think that having a blog is weird, that YouTube is weird, that you can’t do something because of your wheelchair or because you walk with a limp — or because you talk funny, have scars, whatever.
Your walker, your wheelchair, your scars, your lisp, your cerebral palsy are the walls that surround that home that I am encouraging you to build within yourself. Your qualities and your quirks — smart, funny, creative; kind and nice; independent; a solid planner and early riser — things like this are the foundation and structures of your home. They are what you stand on — they are the staircases leading to other floors and the doors that lead to new places.
All that is left for you now is to decorate your home with your passions — cover the walls in your favorite color, maybe paint hearts or super heroes all around on in your mind, and hang up your favorite lights and lay down your favorite rugs. This is your space — everything that makes up you should be here! Let what you wear and how you present yourself be the look of your overall “home.” It is you, after all.
Know that whoever you are is good enough and when you do finally have the courage to be yourself, there will be people who will love you for it.
Note: Cerebral Palsy News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Cerebral Palsy News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to cerebral palsy.