My disability is who I am.

I was asked in an interview recently, “how did I learn to love my disability?”

Truly it is just who I am.

Just like everyone else here. I did not have a say in what form of life I would be given on this Earth, and just like everyone else here, I had to discover things about myself… over time, through life experience and maturation. I may even consider myself lucky in regards to my disability because I am who I have always been.

My disability was not something that changed who I am, it has been with me all along. It is my normal.

Although it is and has always been my normal, I know that because of it, I am different from most because of it. Approaching life with this philosophy changes the question to more like, what did it take for you to love yourself, to love who you are?

Life is challenging, it can bring hardships and adversities for all of us. These challenges, hardships and adversities I have come to find are also life’s biggest opportunities for growth.

Recognizing that these differences are what make each of us uniquely able, in our own ways, to contribute in life is key in helping to answer this question.

Our mechanical and mental makeups force us all to reach goals differently and also sheds light on the fact that to achieve results in life we will all be forced to do it differently and ultimately, knowing and accepting that we are all different, can help us understand that it’s okay to be different, because we all are anyways.

Through overcoming adversities in our lives we become proficient at something and this is valuable.

My disability is my superpower. It’s given me a very interesting life, full of peaks and valleys, a life that I would never exchange for another.

My disability is a part of who I am. It defines me in some respects, as: it determines what mobility means to me, it shapes my definition of what healthy is, and it adds its’ special touch to every facet of my life which in turn helps my uniqueness show through in everything that I do.

In fully loving myself, I have had to find a deep and very intimate relationship with my disability.

Today is International Disabilities Day 2021-A day we recognize the contributions of people with disabilities around the world. Proud to be a part of this most important work & movement!