I've had an interesting couple of days. I'm working at putting together the Disability Carnival which will appear this Sunday. So many of you have sent me posts to include, posts which I have been reading and making notes about. I am learning a lot about disability and a lot about the readers of this blog. It's a cool thing collaboration.
The thing that troubled me was doing what I asked others to do, I asked for people to choose the blog they had written that they are the most proud of, not the one that got the most notice but the one that they felt they expressed something important about the disability experience. I wasn't sure which post to include so I went back to review some early blog posts.
That's quite a journey. When I started this blog I was new into the identity of being a person with a disability. I found reading some posts, now, from the perspective of three years in a chair - informing. Of course I should have expected some growth in insight and maturity. I didn't expect to be reminded so much about the journey, I didn't expect to have such clear snapshots of the process.
It reminds me that all of us grow into our lives and into our bodies. No wonder those who are newly disabled are so captive-ated by the experience of a wheelchair, a walker, difficult speech or an unsteady gait. No wonder, they are taking 'baby steps' into a new identity. Babies cry because the world is a big and frightening place to contemplate. Babies cry because they have needs - that used to be fulfilled without muss or fuss - that they don't know how to communicate. Babies cry because they are growing into the way that they will be and growth is hard. So too it is with growing into a new identity. Old needs, new methods. Old world, new pathways. Old dreams, new visions. It's tough.
I imagine that, two years from now I will look back at the posts I have written and will write this year and go ...
My. Oh. My.
But that's OK. I'm allowed to grow. So are you. I'm allowed to learn how to more comfortably be me. I'm allowed to discover that Dave-land is a vast place with several rides I have not purchased tickets for, several torchless dark corners to turn, several pop quizzes to take but no classes to learn. You-land is much the same with different rides, different corners, different quizzes. But the same end.