Dear Mr. Melissa Blake:
I’ve missed you. Wait, that sounded a lot less creepier in my head, considering we haven’t even met yet. But I do miss writing to you, something that, in a weird way, makes me feel just a little bit closer to you.
Anyway, when did we first talk about my disability? I know, it’s not something that I can easily hide — I mean, it’s pretty much out in the open 24/7. You see me and you immediately see my disability and my wheelchair. That’s not necessarily a bad thing; it’s just something you can’t help but notice, sort of like when someone is rocking a huge tattoo or gold chains. I mean, I wear my disability quite well, but you know, it can’t help but attract the eye.
Remember this guy from a few years ago? I was thinking about it again lately (I know, try not to get too jealous; maybe you’re even him?) and I realized something: This guy, he wasn’t fazed by my disability. It didn’t seem to bother him. At all. In fact, in all our interactions, it never came up. There was no awkward fumbling over words and questions. There was no sense of uneasiness. There wasn’t even any hint of him being uncomfortable.
You’d think I would have been hurt or disappointed — you know, feeling like he didn’t care or that he wasn’t interested in getting to know me — but I wasn’t. In fact, just the opposite was true. For the first time, I found myself rather relieved. I didn’t have to explain myself or go through the typical spiel that, quite frankly, I just get tired of giving sometimes.
He wanted to get to know me. That’s it. Just me. It was something so little, yet it was something so big too. It meant the world to me.
Surprising, isn’t it, Sweetpea? I guess that’s why I wonder what it would be like if we didn’t make my disability the “first order of business,” you know? It doesn’t mean that my disability is completely off the table for discussion because — HELLO! — we will be talking about it, but it doesn’t have to hang in the air with the same urgency I once thought it did.
And, who was the first to bring it up? Like I’ve said before, PLEASE DON’T BE AFRAID to bring it up. But also, don’t feel like you have to, either. I’m not saying that we have to have a long, drawn-out conversation about it, where we cover anything and everything in one sitting, but I do wonder when we first put out little feelers. Because I’m sure there’s lots of things you’ll wonder about when we first meet, but what if we approached things differently? You know, dropped little bits about it into the conversation and see where things went naturally from there.
Heck, let’s be real rebels and talk about something wild and crazy like our embarrassing moments or my love of cats! You know, really do the unthinkable!
Whew! That was liberating to get all that out. I don’t know about you, but I feel much better! Until we meet… xoxo
[Photos via We Heart It]