November 2017

I don’t need God to bless me

We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
-Thomas Jefferson

Our founding father had the right idea, on paper anyway. I think he forgot a few things, most of which I’ll save for another time; I think mister Jefferson forgot the disabled community. Yes, the disabled community has the most rights protecting us, the world seems to forget that we too are afforded the same basic unalienable rights as our able-bodied counterparts. Such basic rights include: having a job.

I work part-time at a local higher end department store. I am at least the local branch’s if not the entire corporation’s first disabled associate. Luckily, the management and my co-workers are nice and very accommodating, which initially I wasn’t expecting. It’s the customers that can be a bit narrow-minded.  Out of my two shifts a week, I can guarantee at least one customer will make some sort of microaggression toward me during at least one of my shifts. If you don’t know what a microaggression is it is defined as:

mi·cro·ag·gres·sion – a statement, action, or incident regarded as an instance of indirect, subtle, or unintentional discrimination against members of a marginalized group such as a racial or ethnic minority.

Typically these sentiments are just verbal usually along the lines of:

A) “You work here, WOW that’s so great!”

or

B) “Oh, you work here I assumed you were a customer.”

But in the instance today I was making my rounds on the sales floor when I spotted a man presumably late 40’s/ early 50’s and his wife. They looked a bit confused so I stopped and asked for help; the man declined my offer then proceeded to clasp my hand in between both of his and say: “God Bless you.”. Not knowing what to say I quickly thanked him and went about my business. I appreciate the gesture but at the same time find it terribly awkward because I’m willing to bet that, that man wouldn’t have done that to my able-bodied co-workers purely for doing their job.

I don’t understand why people think it’s so great that I, a wheelchair user but otherwise average twenty-two-year-old have a job. It’s just a job.

 

Wish You Were Here

*Author’s note: I apologize for the lack of posting there’s been a lot going on; some of which I can’t yet blog about.*

My mom passed away from her battle with stage IV cancer in January of 2013, I was just seventeen and in my senior year of high school. Since I was relatively young when my mom passed away there are a lot of important events in my life that unfortunately, my mom had to miss out on; such as my high school graduation, moving away for the first time, and my first job among other things. I’m experiencing a greater sense of loss once again as I prepare for the next step in my journey into a more independent life; I soon will be moving from my group home where I’ve lived for about a year and a half to a supported apartment setting. Although being an additional twenty miles away from my family and hometown is a bit daunting I’m excited about the change. I just wish my mom could physically be a part of the experience too.  This move makes good on two promises, one to myself and one to my late mother that I would not be stuck in our house in our rural town forever; that I would go out and live my life to its fullest extent. I’ve made massive changes in a short time so I think I’m definitely keeping that promise well. I’m excited to see what the next leg of this journey has in store and Thursday kicks it off when my dad and I go visit the potential apartment.