Sunday, July 26, 2009

Youth Leadership Forun

This past weekend I went to the Able Trust Youth Leadership Forum in Tallahassee. It's an annual event which just celebrated its tenth anniversary. I went in 2005 as a delegate, 2006 as a delegate and then travelled for two years. This year I cam back as a facilitator and part of the adult staff.

It was one of the best experiences I have had in a long time. I was slow to understand that I had a part in the disability community, because I was never raised thinking that disability was one or even two on the list of identifiers I had mentally. My friends with disabilities were the same way, so even in my first two years at YLF I did not really see that not everyone was that way.

In the traveling I have done and the exploring of my own place in the world of disability my eyes have been opened. I felt almost like a delegate again this year, It was truly amazing. I saw the delegates learn about services that they had not known about, but which gave them hope for lives away from their parents and living as independently as possible. As for me, I just try and impart my firm believe that you should dream with your creativity first and be pragmatical with your disability later or when your mother makes you....

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Little Things

Sometimes it really is the little things that make you happy. Recently I purchased two things that have made my life happy. The first was a set of necklace clasps that attach to your lobster claw necklaces and make them magnetic. No more fiddly clasps that I can't do, and it opens up WORLDS! And gives me time to struggle with make up and earrings....

Also, I got a cute little desk mate coffee mug that is shaped like a cup, with a handle, but still 16oz. Easier to hold, and green. (well... okay, it's plastic bust still)

Little happinesses.

Friday, July 10, 2009

surgery and stuff

I'm having surgery next month to remove some excess skin from my left leg. Both legs need it, but with two big commitments within weeks of each other and classes starting I can't afford the downtime to do both at once. It's a balancing act.

It's taking care of body stuff as well as real stuff. It's knowing how much help to as for to succeed well on your own. It's ten minutes spent bandaging and ten on hair and make-up.

And it's trying to figure out how much of you it makes up.

Someone at a meeting for a governmental disability funding issue asked me this week "how" my career choice was based on my disability. And, it isn't.

Except, if I wasn't disabled would I be aspiring to be... a travel writer? An actress? Would it be different?

Well, yeah. Because I'd be different. I wouldn't have been sick as much as a kid, so maybe I wouldn't have read as much. Maybe I'd be more socially awkward, because I could have disappeared more easily. Maybe I'd be less self-conscious.

But maybe not. This is what i have, this is what I'm working with. So no, my career choice is not based on my disability. But it plays a part, because it's a part of me.

Not the whole. And I hope it never is the whole because then I have failed
Disability is a balancing act. It's knowing how much to ask for, help wise, to make you able to succeed on your own. It's taking care of bod

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Just So You Know

I'm applying for a Rhodes scholarship. It's kind of a lark, because I have not dewormed cats in the Congo so would never get it, but I'm still a tad hopeful that I'll get an interview.

My problem, while obsessively writing and rewriting my personal statement, has been the fact that the Rhodes has a specification that applicants be "able to lead the vigorous life" that will lead to being an asset to the international community.

Did I mention that my line of narrative for my statement has to do with disability disclosure?

Reasonably I know that i have already shown the ability to handle a vigorous lifestyle with the backpacking and the refusual to let my disabiltiy get in the way. Part of me wishes though that I was still acting under the "tell them later" philosophy instead of writing a statement about why I no longer do that.

Then, if my disability is a reason for my not being considered it just shows what I am traveling to demonstrate and writing against anyway.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

All Moved In

I decided to move everything here so that I only have one blog to update, in the hopes that I'll do i more. We'll see.

I'm still working on the cabled tote knitting wise, and have moved onto the Dickinson pulloever from Interweave a while back. I'm liking so far but only into the first sleeve.

Reading Jude the Obscure, which is taking longer than I planned, still better than giving up like I did on David Copperfield. Also watching a lot of Grey's Anatomy and working on graduate school applications. I end up disclosing disability in nearly all of my statements. If it prejudices people that is their problem and I would not want to geo there anyway. For some schools, their Disability Services inspired me to look closer at the program and I hope  that they see that as unique rather than daunting.