It may help to situate ourselves within the larger historical disability rights movement. I came to consciousness as a deaf undergraduate, with mobility impairments to boot. I realize the identity work is very hard on many folks, but getting beyond our MISperceptions and preconceptions about what it means to be deaf or disabled, or to have a chronic genetic disorder, does open opportunities for us. We CAN control our minds. (Btw, MOST people change their life trajectory/major/career. The change isn’t a failure–we just need to flow with opportunities as they open.) Maintain a receptive orientation.
You are justifiably rooted in the fact that disability and discrimination–in a wide spectrum of forms–persist as social constructions, and are enacted and re-enacted in everyday life. That fact did not stop many folks who pushed for justice for all, and full inclusion. Be the change. We are ingenious in the way we adapt to so very many unpredictable changes we cannot control. Have fun building a broad base of tools and knowledge, and keep going out on limbs to take advantage of opportunities. It’s tons of fun being part of constructive, positive change.
(I gave a couple days for vents, but have to flip it to a pep talk, because we really do need everyone exploring individual potentials, and going out and showing ourselves and others what is possible, sometimes with only the slightest modification (many times leading to quality improvements).)
Pursue your passions and embrace the journey–every relationship is reciprocal and interdependent.
Yeah, we still dream of the day when we choose to work for the government out of service to our nation, and not for health insurance–when a private employer doesn’t balk at hiring someone with a medical condition because of the cost of insuring them. We just need to keep chipping away. Framing challenges in ways that empower us, is one way of tapping much-needed energy and momentum.
Strength and Love