Friday, May 08, 2015

The Shift

Description: Two overlaping cricles with an arrow to the overlap with the message "Nothing fits here!"

Sometimes the shift is hard.

Yesterday I spoke at the OASIS conference and the day began by meeting with my co-presenters for breakfast and to go over our notes. Even though we were all a bit nervous because it was a new presentation, we were in good spirits and I had fun.


I forgot.

We went to get ourselves registered and wandered through hallways where I knew a lot of people. The morning was filled with warm greetings and the occasional short chat. At the registration table, we got what we needed and we headed back, towards the presentation room. Again warm 'hellos' and a feeling of welcome.


I forgot.

Then at presentation time, we went in got set up, were introduced, then started. It went better than we all expected. We moved back and forth seamlessly. The fact that we like and respect each other I think came across during the presentation. So, in the end, it was fun to do. The feedback was good.


I forgot.

Afterwards Joe and I and the presentation team joined people from Vita for lunch and we laughed and chatted with each other. It was really fun to be with people you work with simply having lunch together and having nothing on the agenda to achieve - other than to be together. They say these moments build relationships, I think they are just nice and don't want to think of them with any purpose at all. Food was good, company was better.


I forgot.

We got home and decided to go up to the Bay to check out to see if they had flower girl dresses there. We want dresses that are fun, are cool, and can be worn again. I hit the street.

And remembered.

And was reminded again and again.

That I am different.

That I am disabled.

That I am worth less.

Slammed into my face.

They don't know, like I do, that welcome is possible.

I should never forget, ever, that difference and disability is a canvas upon which people draw their own conclusions.


gps said...

Interesting. Yesterday you bristled at someone who "didn't think of himself as disabled," and yet here you talk about how good it felt to "forget" your own disability, and how remembering it was in the context of feeling "less than." Of course, the point is that this feeling is caused by societal attitude, not the disability itself. The person who "didn't think of himself as disabled" is probably surrounded by an unusually supportive community and may well be unaware that his experiences are not typical. Or, he may be internalizing his experience in the same way that people often internalize their own privilege in society and assume that their success is entirely due to their own merit.

Colleen said...

No Dave. Some people might think you are worth less but they are wrong. It's on them, not you.

Dave Hingsburger said...

gps, I must have done a really bad job of writing this blog because when I wrote that I forgot I wasn't refering to my disability at all. Not at all. Oh, my, I'm appauled that it might read that way.

CapriUni said...


I'm really happy that the presentation and day that you had been so worried about turned out so well, though.

And, to GPS: There is a Big difference between forgetting (or wishing to forget) your disability, and forgetting that so many other people choose to Shame you for being disabled

Anonymous said...


to what were you refering?

I also thought you ment your disability. Did you refer to your sexual orientation? To you loving Joe who is a man?

Or what was this post about? I am curious!


Dave Hingsburger said...

I like the discussion here and on Facebook ... I'm going to clarify tomorrow.

Andrea S. said...

To CapriUni,
Although GPS' first sentence seems to challenge Dave, the second sentence right after that recognizes that the real origin of feeling "less than" was because of societal attitude. So I think GPS may grasp the point and perhaps didn't phrase as well as they could have.

Tam said...

I read this as you meaning that when surrounded by those who know you and value you, you "forgot" that society in general sees you as less than you are. That you "forgot" to be on your guard and prepared to protect yourself from hurt. I am looking forward to your blog tomorrow though to see your explanation of your meaning.