Let me start by saying that it is such a privilege to blog for you guys and I am so flattered that anyone even thinks that what I have to write is worth reading. Because, well, time is a finite thing and to think that you guys are willing to spend a few minutes reading my blog...that is so humbling, friends. So, so humbling. I want to reach out to each and every one of my readers and say thank you from the bottom of my heart.
But sometimes I feel that this blog only shows a tiny little part of who I am as a person. Most of this post is stream-of-consciousness, but when I write other pieces, I tend to read them over, edit, cut things, add things...and the result is still something from my heart, but dare I say that it's an idealized part of me?
Everything that I write on here is true and I try to be as authentic as possible, but for better or for worse, I am so much more than this blog. Most of these posts are about cerebral palsy or disability in general, about dealing with medical-y stuff and and coping with/embracing a part of myself that many people might consider to be a flaw or a tragedy. And I love that. I love sharing a part of myself that I sometimes feel the need to hide or guard when I'm not around people who "get" me. I am passionate about disability and treating others with the kindness and respect that they deserve regardless of special needs.
But I don't want to mislead anyone. In many ways I am just a teenager. I act ridiculous with my friends...we throw glitter at each other, laugh ourselves breathless, and make macaroni and cheese that has waaay too much cheese...we write poetry at midnight on a Saturday and romanticize goldfish and celebrate Christmas in July. Sometimes I argue with my parents and brothers about stupid things, sometimes I slam my door and sometimes I whine about my life and sometimes I wish I didn't have cerebral palsy at all. And for the purposes of full disclosure, it is 1:00 in the morning as I am writing this post, and my mom asked me to go to bed at a decent hour...but then the words started tumbling out and so there you have it: Simply by writing this post, I am disobeying a direct order from my mom.
And I feel like the people I know outside of blogging see one side of me, and you guys, my readers...you see another side. Both sides are a part of who I am, but I guess I just want to remind you that that other side exists. Cerebral palsy has very much shaped me as a person, but most of my friends from outside of the blogging world (I'm hesitant to refer to these people as "real life" friends because I think of this as real life too) don't really think about me in terms of my disability. Last year, for instance, my roommate said that she'd sort of forgotten about my cerebral palsy, even though it's obvious from my gait.
It's not something that I will ever forget about, this condition that is both a blessing and a curse. And I will continue to blog because I love this amazing community of people who understand. I love feeling that I can make a difference in my readers' lives, even if my words help only one person. Reaching out to others with my words is a privilege.
But behind this blog, I am a person. I have flaws and quirks and I am far from perfect. Sometimes I am confused and lost and anxious and unsure. Sometimes I watch cat videos in my pajamas all day.
And in the children's hospital that I spent so many hours at, there's this giant wishing fountain. Every now and then I would tug on my mom's arm and ask her for a penny so that I could make a wish. There were so many coins in that fountain, and sometimes I cry when I think about the parents whose children were fighting for their lives...how many coins in that fountain were from those parents? How many parents tossed pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters into that fountain and wished for their children to survive another day? Meanwhile, ladies and gentlemen, I wished for ice cream.
So you see, though I am trying to be the best person that I can be, I still have much to learn. Luckily for me, I can't think of a better classroom than life itself. So here's to imperfection! (Maybe I won't even edit this post!)