So, there is absolutely no denying this…when you are a wheelchair user, you probably have grown used to people asking you some pretty outrageous questions. That, and the ridiculously uncalled for comments. I had almost forgotten about something someone said to me that honestly makes my skin crawl in disgust whenever I think about it. I was told, “If you really wanted to be an inspiration, you’d be doing everything you can to walk again”.
Yeah. Someone actually had the audacity to say that to my face. I would say I’m surprised, but with the cruel world we live in, truthfully, I’m really not. Now it’s my turn to say some things that need to be heard.
I’m sure the person who told me that must think that I’m not complete the way I am. In their head, I am probably just barely making it because using a wheelchair must be such a struggle and so unbearable…yeah, not! What has crossed my mind in the past, and again now: If I woke up tomorrow and suddenly, miraculously, didn’t need the wheelchair anymore, I’d feel completely lost. Honestly. Almost like a turtle completely breaking out of its shell, I would not feel like the Courtney I grew up as, because in all reality, I no longer would be.
I have a darn good idea of what I am supposed to do in this life. While the wheelchair is not who I am, it sure has helped to form my personality, and it’s made my perspective something it would never have been otherwise. I have gained the ability to see that I am enough, that I don’t need to “perfect” myself for anyone. Were you to ask me, I’d tell you that perfection doesn’t even exist, and as much as we strive for it, we know it is not a reality. Everyone has flaws; some just aren’t as obvious as others at first glance. Me? I roll around with a wheelchair, and I love my lifestyle. I’ve adjusted to this since I was just a baby, and, in short, you bet I’m content with the way things are.
That’s what life is all about. Reaching that point when we realize that we don’t have to change ourselves for anybody.
It makes me very proud that some people think I need to walk to be happy, but I know better, and I know there are lots of others out there who’d agree with me. I don’t walk, but it doesn’t mean that I want to either.
I’m a strong believer that everything happens for a reason. I am who I am, and if someone is shocked by my happiness, that says a lot about their character, not mine. These comments won’t make me feel unsettled, or get me to question myself and my life situation. I feel so lucky to be alive, and to be able to show the world that life does not stop if you’re not able to walk. Seriously guys, don’t ever let anyone make you think you’re not good enough just the way you are. Shine on and show the world that the thing that makes you different is what you love the most about yourself.
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