The word ‘I’ and it’s frequent uses, used to connote to me egotism and self-absorption; thoughts that inner personal feelings and experiences should only be shared in a few and far between perfectly ‘right timed’ moments, was my thinking. Moments that would be, and sometimes still are, analysed and questioned if it’s ‘okay’ to express my thoughts without my words being visually imagined as some kind of eyesore. BUT, actually talking/writing about the ‘I’ is something to admire; to have confidence to pronounce ‘I am this’ ‘I am not that’ ‘I like this’ and ‘I don’t give a hoot about that’ is something that lacked in me, is something that was wrongfully called being an egotistical jerk (my own ego was winning that fight) and is something to be embraced. So here I AM!!!
Previous posts which I have written have commentated on the world around me, without ever revealing to you who the commentator was. This is what I have realised through conversations with others. This truth should be shared. I have forgotten that one also can find comfort, and perhaps strength in the ‘honesty in your words’ from more personal experience, a very dear soul recently explained to me. So I will now share with you, I.
I will start this new level of honesty by sharing with you something which I rarely talk about (when I do, I skip over it quickly), yet is important to express; not only for some form of self-liberation but, to perhaps encourage others to simply be. I have something called Cerebral Palsy, which is something that affects my muscle coordination. This means I have difficulty walking (or as I like to say, perform dramatic ballet) and due to this, I use a wheelchair to get about most of the time. The reason why I keep this matter needlessly under wraps is out of the want to avoid the fearsomely narrow-minded people. These people are freakily quick to create a story in their mind- you know how that story ended their ‘H-E-L-L-O.’ Instead of getting to know the person, these people have placed them in already labelled boxes, just by observations, which they do not deserve to be in.( I know I am not in the right box that I was placed in by that uninviting, degrading and patronising ‘H-E-L-L-O.’) Then these boxes are put behind some fancy, closed curtain, that blends with the décor of their room and these people, with these incomprehensible views, forget about what has just happened. But as I think about this, it up to me how I use or not use the opinion of others, it does not need to have an impact.
I started with the disclosure of CP with I have. This is the most important thing for myself and others with CP or with other obstacles to remember; it is something that I have, but it is not who I am! When thinking about CP, I think of it as having a lifelong teacher. I characterise this teacher as a helpful springboard within life, guiding me through times of difficulty, enabling me to discover alternative ways to grasp hold of life. Having CP means my hands are a little shaky, and so I have help from others to assist me with things that would be a little tricky to do otherwise. I have learnt that it is okay not to be a solitary leader all the time; sometimes it nice to turn to someone to seek assurance- but just remember not to lose who YOU are. In turn, my teacher has also taught me another level of gratefulness for the treasured people in my life who have helped me on my way, a million thank yous are simply not enough.
But sometimes, I see my teacher as cruel; my teacher see the things I want and waves it in front of me, like a child at Christmas when they see the thing they want most in a window display, but it is unattainable. I enter this cycle of negativity, asking myself dangerous, too dark to handle, questions such as “What if I didn’t have CP?” “What would life be like without CP?” I go into a dreamy state and start to visualise. Meanwhile time slips, being wasted on figments of imagination, attempting to reply to these ridiculous questions that are impossible to answer. I suddenly refrain from entertaining these thoughts and refuse to be pulled along by a rope surrounded by a foggy, dull and opaque cloud. A more helpful voice interrupts this internal conversation “What have CP given me?”. I start to try and dismantle the trail of thought. I realise that my teacher’s stubborn ways have made me work harder to find myself at the other side of the obstacles it challenges me with. I reflect. The girl who was told she would never sit up can now walk linking arms with someone (this is when I can show off my dramatic ballet- if I feel like it); the girl that used to get nervous when speaking to strangers due to impaired speech is now not as bothered anymore (speaking has got better over time- when there is difficulty being understood why not see as an opportunity to let the voice be heard, again!!); the girl, who at just six/seven years old, once advised to leave mainstream school, thinking I could never achieve, ignored and proved that advice to be the wrong advice (a huge thank you to my treasured Mum for being my voice here) and went on to deepen my love of learning and went on to study Psychology at university, the girl who used to avoid, or loosely use, the one-lettered word is now saying/writing ‘I’ (a big thank you to my sister, who I simply adore, who have also helped me to find this confidence). With this said the answer to the question “What has CP given me?” is determination. The determination to use my legs for their intended purpose. The determination to overcome fear and allow my voice to be heard directly. The determination to disprove doubt and succeed in my passions. The determination to find the courage to share personal experiences with you, without my ego being triumphant when nudging me and being annoyingly inquisitive asking “Why are you speaking/writing like that for?” sorry ego you just have to lick your wounds!!!
Coming from this, one of my favourite things about my teacher is when my teacher goes on holiday leaving me, well, to just be me, making their appearance when I need to learn or revisit a lesson I have not grasped. It is these times, when I’m left to be me, when who I AM is let be. I am a member of a family, who have my whole heart. I am a nature lover and enjoy being in its environment, witnessing all of nature’s wonders. I am a bad joker, or so I am told by those who have also chuckled. I am the world’s biggest lover of food, pasta- with melted cheese on top, or a delicious juicy mango, or some strawberries, or chocolate- Dairy Milk’s Marvellous Creations to be precise-, are just some of the foods that make me go starry-eyed. I am a blogger, it is a space where it allows me to share my thoughts, views, imagination, and reflect. Lastly, not written in an intended order nor is it the final thing that I am, is that I am also someone, like many, who is trying to find their way in the world- trying on many shoes, searching for the ones that fit best that maybe are yet to be made.
And there, we have it. I have written with the word ‘I’ and shared with you a little about me! I have realised that the ego does not have to play a role when describing myself. The ego might put on its fancy frock, but it is up to me whether I entertain it. Yes writing this was difficult but I have got to the top of this mountain- the view from here is so liberating!!! If you struggle with speaking/writing from the ‘I,’ try this just once. Do this powered with honesty and resilience. Set yourself free from the prison you have built yourself. Who knows, you might do it again? I know I AM!!!
Thank you so much for reading this.
All my love XX