So you’re probably expecting some kind of cliche post about the start of 2014, new years resolutions, and letting go of the past and moving on to whatever the future holds. But I’m no good at sticking with peoples expectations. I’m also no good at new years resolutions, I mean, why does it have to be January 1st to decide to start working towards a long term goal? I mean sure, there are things I plan to do and things I hope for in 2014, but in all honesty, I just hope 2014 packs a few less surprises then 2013 did. So….this is not another New Year’s post, but I do hope everyone has a super wonderful 2014!
So as a wheelchair newbie, its an interesting time of year. I mean I’ve never had to deal with snow and salt and wheels before, surprising, I know. Saying it’s simply “different” would be an understatement. It’s too bad that Wisconsin only has three seasons, winter, construction season, and not construction season because so far, winter and I aren’t on the friendliest of terms. The melting snow gets everywhere and it’s amazing how much salt flings itself onto my seat cushion. But eh, what are you gonna do. On the bright side, I get to make abstract art with my wet wheel tracks on the carpet of stores. Not to mention, snow can be pretty entertaining, especially when your sister and her boyfriend make this beauty in your front yard.
Isn’t she gorgeous? And yes, if you were wondering, that would be my swimsuit. I’ve never worn it and I sure didn’t buy it, but it is a nice color right? Too bad there isn’t very much fabric to show off the awesome color 😉 Regardless, I think Snowbabe is pretty comical although the pooch, Millie, is not a big fan of her existence…
You know, it’s also an interesting time of year to be out and about. I mean, with it being around the holidays there have been so many people in the stores and so many people home from college. Because of that, I’ve been able to see countless people that I’ve yet to see since I was injured. Most of the time, it’s really great. It’s nice to catch up with people and reconnect after goodness knows how long. But sometimes, it’s not so great.
Sometimes I look at that person, and their face is distorted into this sad, depressing frown. They shift their weight and sigh, their brow creased as they shake their head back and forth. It’s pure, unimagined, pity.
Pity: a cause for regret or disappointment
I understand sympathy. I understand compassion. I mean, it does suck that this had to happen and if I was in an outsider’s shoes I would likewise feel for a person in my situation. I don’t think there is anything wrong with compassion or sympathy, but I simply don’t understand pity.
It’s as if, in that look and in that attitude, that individual makes it perfectly clear they don’t expect me to be happy or content in the new path I’ve found my life on. It’s as if they’re disappointed in what I’ve lost, like I won’t be able to be as successful as when I was walking or I won’t have the same impact in the world.
To be honest, sometimes people seem shocked to see me out and about, as if I should hide myself away now. But that seems pretty stupid if you ask me, after all, I have to show off the awesome new lights on the spokes of my wheels…
I guess I feel like I have to spend the entire conversation convincing the person that I really am okay. I’m okay with all of this and I don’t plan on letting it stop me from doing what I love. They don’t realize my disability is simply a part of my identity, and that I don’t find my identity in my disability. I have to convince the person that even though many things have changed, my drive, my motivation, and my passion for life have not.
You know, I need many things in life, but pity is surely not one of them.