Reflections on starting my last year of undergrad while living with #Disability
I've always been of two minds when it comes to change. Entering the last year of my undergrad is no exception to this rule. On the one hand, I'm incredibly excited to start whatever new adventures lie ahead...but I also fear the many possible outcomes of this change in my life.
While I realize that many young adults experience these same feelings, for me they are forever linked with my lived experience of #CerebralPalsy , #VisualImpairment , and #MentalHealth struggles. One area that I'm particularly struggling with at the moment is my aspirations for the future. The music program I'm currently in specializes in performance. While I have a deep love for performing and know that it will be an integral part of my future, I also have to face that my body won't let me do it in the same ways or for the same length of time as others with my level of training. I would absolutely love to have a career as an academic and/or an accessibility consultant in the arts, while striving to perform professionally a few times a year. When I share these plans with others, I'm often met with a lack of understanding - although it's completely unintentional, people don't see any middle ground between throwing oneself into performing and giving it up completely. My challenge right now is to be radically compassionate towards myself, and know that my plans for my life are just as valid and wonderful as anyone else's. I have spent far too long trying to prove myself to others, and now I want to invest in my own growth on my own terms.
And that brings me to the joyous part of this year of my life. I think living with a disability has brought me an incredible sense of wonder - such that making plans for myself feels not like an everyday thing, but like a true adventure into the unknown. Because of the hard work I've put into getting there, each new step feels like a massive leap forward, and I celebrate it with all my heart. This is what I am most looking forward to this year...growing into that feeling even more as I continue to shape my future.