On Being No One’s Exception
When you’re a person with an obvious physical disability, there seems to be constant pressure from everyone around you to live up to their “expectations of normalcy”. Get married, have kids, move to a house in the suburbs with a picket fence, that sort of deal. Now, my generation, the so-called millennials are breaking away from that sort of thing. They’re doing things like backpacking through Europe on a shoestring budget, sampling specialty hipster coffee blends and advocating for various social justice causes. I’m not exactly sure I deserve to do any other those things, but to do those things require being someone’s exception. I, in fact, am no one’s exception. For me to live up to the standards of the mundane would be considered extraordinary to others, and warrants attitude along the lines of “Oh look at this amazing person living her live despite the odds, isn’t she incredible?” Yeah, no. It’s not, I’m not. My life’s story is along the lines of the Rick Linklater flick, which is to say it has no plot, there is no character development, love interests, or momentum. I simply exist in the universe, for no one’s benefit or strife, not even my own. Hell, there are days where I’m not exactly sure I’m supposed to live. I once red an article about a man with muscular dystrophy who went backpacking all over Western Europe and Australia with some friends. The catch: they carried him the whole way on their backs, and were heavily praised for doing so. Let me reiterate: WHEN YOU HAVE A DISABILITY THE RULE FOR EVERYONE ELSE BECOMES YOUR EXCEPTION! That infuriates me, and simultaneously makes me want to cry. This shouldn’t be, yet who am I to stop it, no one seems to want to listen. I am no one’s exception, but all I'm asking is you look a little deeper and then maybe that’ll be where real change is made, and real magic happens.