[Photos via hello ancolie]
YAYYY!!! It’s finally here!! I’ve been so excited for my newest Glamour essay to come out because it’s all about my two favorite topics: Dating and my disability!!! And, SPOILER ALERT, there’s a shout-out to the haters!!
*Cue waving emoji*
Seriously, though, this piece has been a long time coming! For years, I’ve written about how my disability has impacted my dating life — or, let’s be real, lack thereof — and to finally be able to write about it for a place like Glamour? It’s incredibly gratifying. And, well, a bit scary to be this vulnerable in a publication that is read by so many people.
But, thankfully, the response has been overwhelmingly positive! I just really want to shout THANK YOU from the rooftops!! The response has been overwhelming in the best way possible. Someone even said that reading the essay made them want to see an independent woman with a disability in a rom-com!! This is exactly why I write!! I think that’s why so many writers write in the first place — to be seen, to be understood, to make an impact on the world. Plus, writing this piece made me want to write another MEMO TO MEN since it’s been ages since I’ve written one! I’d say we’re due for another, wouldn’t you, friends?
Since this piece came out last month, I’ve been talking about it A LOT on social media, but that’s actually the whole point. The fact that we’re talking so openly and honestly about dating and disabilities?? That’s HUGE. Seeing disability advocates share my piece on social media means that we’re not afraid to have these types of conversations. It makes me feel like what I want isn’t some unrealistic, daydream-y fantasy that is reserved for other people. In the end, I’ve never felt more vulnerable, but I’ve also never felt more seen. OK, I’m done with the Hallmark movie monologue!
Anyway, here’s an excerpt of the piece, where I spell out EXACTLY what I’m looking for in a relationship, which is pretty much what every woman is looking for. Really, I may be disabled, but I’m not that special…
“It’s time to set the record straight: I am disabled, desirable, and not looking for a nurse.
Sometimes I feel like I need to put those words on a neon sign in Times Square. I know there are many ways my disability does make me different—like the fact that I use a wheelchair to get around—but it’s 2019, for goodness’ sake. Don’t we deserve all the same things in a relationship as able-bodied women? My wheelchair doesn’t make me something other than a woman.
There are so many things I do want, and brace yourself, because this might come as a shock: I want the same things you want in a relationship. I want a guy who makes me laugh, who is kind and gentle and sensitive, who is family-oriented, who is as obsessed with pop culture as I am. I want to be myself, to be seen, to be loved—disability and all.”
Someone said “May you find love in 2019” after reading this essay, and I’m choosing to take that as a crystal-ball level prediction. Come at me, 2019…I’m more than ready for you!!
You can read the full piece here and I’d love to hear your thoughts. Feel free to email me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s chat! And of course, feel free to share my essay on Facebook, Twitter or even your local refrigerator. If you share on Twitter, be sure to tag me @melissablake so we can connect! I can’t wait to hear from you! And here’s to us going home for the holidays, wherever that may be! Love you all… xoxo
Happy Monday, friends!!! Do you hear those birds chirping? Do you see that blue sky? Do you feel that warm sun? It can only mean one thing: Springtime is on the way!! At long last, if you ask me!! To paraphrase The Beatles, it’s been a long, cold winter!! I’m happy to say goodbye to it!! This Wednesday is the first day of spring, so for today’s motivational quotes, I’d like to usher in the season accordingly!! Everything feels like it’s coming back to life and soon enough, everything will be coming up roses — literally!! So let’s open those windows and let the springtime fill our heart and soul. Here are five quotes all about the joy and beauty of the season ahead…
On Tuesday, my mom shared her wisdom on being a suicide survivor and everything she’s learned over the last 16 years. I still can’t believe that this week, March 10th, marked SIXTEEN YEARS since my father’s death. When I was thinking what to say about it on social media, one clear image immediately came to mind: Our carefree highway.
Let me explain.
I’ve shared this photo before, but it’s a really symbolic one. Here’s my dad on our last carefree family vacation, just 7 months before he died. So many of my favorite family memories were spent driving down the highway on those vacations, listening to oldies or Broadway soundtracks. On the anniversary of his death, I’m humming Gordon Lightfoot‘s “Carefree Highway” and thinking of him…
Carefree highway, let me slip away on you
Carefree highway, you seen better days
We had so many good days together in our little car, watching the landscape and scenery change outside the window, stopping at rest stops and enjoying lunches my mom packed. Life was good in that car. Everything was safe and I knew that as long as we were together, nothing could ever be bad or sad. For that moment in time, everything was right with the world.
Maybe that’s why I was thinking a lot about time this week. Time. It’s a strange, strange thing, isn’t it? March 9th was the night before my life changed forever 16 years ago. I went to bed excited to be on spring break from college. I woke up the next morning and my father was gone. No other moment splits my life into “before” and “after” as sharply; it will always be the dividing line by which I measure things
What I’ve learned over the last 16 years is this: Grief is like a river. Sometimes, it’s still waters. Other times, it’s a raging rapid. Part of the process, I’ve discovered, is learning to swim in both. It can be hard sometimes, trust me, but it is possible. And while my grief may ebb and flow over the years, the memory and love of my father will always be a constant. Maybe somewhere in some alternate universe, we’re traveling down that carefree highway, laughing and singing along to Broadway tunes… xoxo
[Photos via hello ancolie]