Lately, I’ve been thinking about the way thoughts, ideas, views can change and oppose perspectives and reflections and/or how perspectives can swing between the two.
I used to think that was a bad thing. That how could we be deemed unreliable if we changed our mind like the weather? That it made whatever we said invalid. As someone who has a track record for changing my mind and feeling guilty to have this trait, to say that this is actually okay is actually quite liberating and proud moment for me. There are thousands out there with a similar mentality to me and we often get branded as wishy-washy, uncertain and sometimes, as my family cat Queen T is literally and it’s one of the many things I love about her, a sit on the fencer (though with my balancing being one of my tricker skills, it’s not as quite a mundane task as one might assume). I would like others like me know that hey! You, me, we are completely fine, we don’t need to change.
I’ve played with these thoughts for a while now, with various observations and experiences leading to these reflections. I first shared my ponderings on uncertainty on my Instagram after a trip to Florence in April.
I was between two extremes. The first between fury and frustration at the inaccessibility and the constant excuse being given that it was an old city. It’s not about eradicating history, but it’s about making accommodations and edging towards inclusion and not maintaining historic believes that disabled people aren’t active members of society.
Yet on the other hand, I was struck by the superb detail of the old around- can I really say that I want a fairer world for disabled people but still marvel at the things that disables us? Or is this me with my learnt thinking that you can either be one or the other, not both. That things are either black or white, not grey. That like marmite, you either love it or hate it, there is no in between. But perhaps you can be both. Perhaps things can lie in a grey area. Perhaps you can like marmite. Perhaps. Perhaps. Perhaps.
These reflections extended further when I saw the first ramp on the second day. The joy, the relief, the unheard welcome. It had me feel that sense of gratefulness that I know I shouldn’t feel. Grateful to access a public building, grateful that simple rights are being met? Does this reading this sit well with you? How often to you hear non-disabled have thankfulness for entry in to such places? Reader, it’s more likely that the number of steps will get criticized. Yet in this moment, I felt so happy that I could explore with ease and go about my day.
In recent weeks, my thoughts have become more stretched. I want to thread carefully about the wording of this because I still don’t know where I sit with it but as some of you may know writing for me is my way to try and makes sense of things somehow. And it revolves thoughts around independence.
For the past few weeks, I’ve experience quite debilitating back muscle spasms which meant I needed even more help than usual. Like many, I have learnt through the years that it’s okay to receive help. It certainly does not make you lesser- everyone has different ways of doing things and personally I love working as part of a team. Obviously, though it was a little frustrating as I just couldn’t get on with things. As I’m slowly starting to get back to some kind of routine and relieved to get some of my independence back.
I sometimes feel like when we celebrate independence, it can feel like we’re advocating for being as non-disabled as possible, writing disability off as something bad. But it’s not about that- it’s about feeling and doing what is comfortable for you, and simply doing what you need to do for you. As I can now take a few steps with a bit of ease, my mind springs to What would Inspiration Porn say? A thought that tries to suppress my joy. Something that says I’m doing something ‘in spite of my disability’, with the toe curling saying if a disabled person can do something, you certainly can. But it’s more about… getting back to my normal, what’s in my scope. So I want to reject this thought. I want and need to celebrate about feeling good again. No one should take that away from you, so don’t let them
The point of this post is to say it’s okay to be on both sides of the coin. You don’t have to have a fixed idea on something, it can change, it can be fluid. You don’t have to grip firmly to one idea
It’s okay to like marmite
All my love XX