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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Humility is Never Bad

No one ever tells you... If you do it right, life will humble you.

As humans we tend to categorize and divide other humans. Ethnicity, gender, sexuality, disability, and socioeconomic status are just a few dividing factors. I was raised fairly middle class. I was blessed enough to go on a few trips as a kid, I always had what I needed, and I typically got what I wanted for Christmas and on my birthdays. So when I would see people with severe disabilities who may not have looked as clean as me or dressed as nicely as I did I internally put "those" people in a category that I would never be a part of. (Bear with me I was a kid)

A few blocks from the house I grew up in there was a low income building. The building was originally intended for those with all sorts of disabilities. While it has anyone who's eligible income wise there's a huge population of people with disabilities. Hence, growing up I saw many of "those" aforementioned people.

What my snobby younger self did not realize is people with disabilities are expected to live on roughly $700 a month. Why you ask?  Because even though a person as disabled as me would need to be making a 6 figure salary to pay my medical bills and caregivers the government thinks if I'm making the average 30k a year I don't need their help. So it forces people with disabilities to either be poor or figure out how to be well off. Do you know how hard it is to have nice clothes and hair on $700 a month? I certainly didn't. Do you know how hard it is to be as hygienic as you should be when you're only allotted a small number of caregiver hours a month and there happens to be over 700 hours in a month? Fortunately, I have amazing family and friends so I won't ever know that struggle first hand. Nonetheless it's a struggle for many.

As life would have it I am now living in that building near my childhood home. Every day I am encountering these people that I used to think were so different from me. But they're not. Up until now I was just living under better circumstances than they were.

I think I used to distance myself from lower income people with disabilities because I didn't want the world to think I was like them. But I am exactly like them. Which isn't anything negative but it's to say that according to society my biggest identifier isn't that I'm part black and it isn't even the fact that I'm a woman it's the fact that I have a disability and that on the surface level I'm not like them (them being everyone who's abled bodied). And you know what, I accept that. I accept the disabled category because I'm a firm believer that as soon as you know your place in life the sooner you can start breaking molds and creating positive changes.

Acceptance is humility. And humility is growth.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Long Time no Blog

(I had to take a break but I'm back again. I've come up with a new direction for my blog and I have lots of ideas.)

No one ever tells you...sometimes you won't feel anything and that is okay as long as you learn how to feel again in the relatively near future.

For those of you that haven't been keeping up with me, I recently moved into my very own apartment. It's a process I had started at 18 that I had given up on in recent years. Starting in May of this year I received notice that I had a meeting with the Seattle Housing Authority saying that I needed to come to an orientation meeting or I would be taken off the list. So I went not really expecting much. At the meeting I was told that one of the apartments I signed up for may have an available unit within the next 6 months to a year. It was excited and it was a time frame that felt realistic considering everything I would need to do.

Two months later it's July and I got a phone call from the apartment saying there was a unit available and I should look at it so I could sign the lease. And just like that my excitement started its descent into a feeling of dread. I didn't have the benefits I needed. I didn't have my caregivers lined up. I didn't even know how to start the whole process. It was now or never on the apartment though so I took a deep plunge and signed the lease.

Like a fool I gave myself a few months to move out of my mother's house. I had no time or energy to let myself feel much of any. I felt if I got too excited it wouldn't happen. If I got too worried I'd crack under the pressure and never move. I've never done well with too many emotions. I suppose I like to suppress them until I know how to better handle them.

Now I've been in my apartment for a week and I want to be super excited because I did this. Ecstasy is the appropriate response to this transition in my life. I have wanted to live on my own for years. And we live in a society that tells us to to always be doing and feeling something. For a few months I haven't felt anything. I haven't even been able to write anything decent. But today I woke up and I felt something other than well controlled apathy. I felt wonder that I actually did this. And I felt gratitude to everyone that helped me with my apartment and who will continue to help me. And I felt like writing which is always a good sign. I'm sure that soon I will feel happiness and excitement again.

It's okay to feel nothing when everyone expects you to feel a whole bunch of something. Life goes by fast and sometimes you might need time to process all the changes. Just try not to dwell too long in the world of apathy for it is gray and life is full of color.