Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Listen To Life

I went to a play on Thursday night by myself. It was really more of a live experience than a play. You weren't so much watching actors play characters, you were witnessing people share their stories. It got me thinking about life and how every experience is teaching us something.

I've been reflecting on times that I knew something was wrong or "off" but I didn't pay attention. One of those times was when I got taken advantage of on a handibus. I mean I had to get home and it was my only option to get there. But I remember a moment before I even got on that the man looked at me with an unsettling eye. That was my clue, that was my whisper that something bad was about to happen. I am not about to victim blame myself, it was not my fault. But I do want this story to illustrate how subtle these little messages can be. 

Sometimes you're in a relationship and there are small indicators that the other persons heart doesn't quite belong to you. Or maybe you brush off their possessiveness and jealousy as care and protection. Sometimes you feel something in your gut but you choose to shove it down or deny that it exists. It's there for a reason. 

Particularly if you're an individual with a disability, you are required to put a lot of trust in the people around you. Your family, friends, and caregivers. Sometimes we need to be reminded to listen to ourselves. The honest truth, deep in your soul. The one that makes the hairs of your neck standup and gives you bad butterflies in your stomach. 

Always listen to yourself first....

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Our Friend on Wheels


“Our Friend with Wheels” is a book about making friends. Watch this amazing kids story that shows you the beauty of friendship. I really hope that my book will help all the kids with disabilities to see that making friends it’s possible.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

CP Day

Dear fellow "CP’s",

Be proud of yourself.
Don’t let other people keep you down.
Find your voice, and USE it.

Dear “regular folks”,

What I wish you would understand about me is that
 yes, I have Cerebral Palsy and I’m not ashamed of it.
 Your pitiful looks and sad eyes have no effect on me.

Dear world, 

I am not disabled and if you don’t like it, get out of my life…



Thursday, August 17, 2017

What People Think When They Look at Me

Today my friend and I were on the c-train going downtown. Sitting across from was a young lady, well dressed and likely on her way to a meeting.  She said "Hi' to me with that gooey eyed look in her eyes like when you greet a child. I respectfully said "Hi" back and then continued chatting with my friend... I didn't engage with her further because she kind of rubbed me the wrong way. My friend and I were chatting and laughing (I'm hilarious after all) and she tried to join in laughing with us... Then she said to my friend "She has a great sense of humour"! I don't think she knew I was telling her a really funny story, she just assumed I was "making noises" and laughing. I shot her an unimpressed look when she said that and my friend and I just carried on our conversation.  

Here's the thing, I don't believe she had any bad intentions... she may have thought I was a child, or at least quite young, if she didn't hear/understand my words she may have thought I don't have much cognitive ability. She was trying to be friendly and inclusive, but in a bit of a forced way. She didn't pick up on my dead pan look to her and back off a little. My friend kept asking me questions to demonstrate to her that I am a fully cognitive and aware (adult) person. 

This can be a really delicate situation because you don't want to shame somebody or make them feel bad because they don't understand who you are.  Would it have been better to say to her face that I am a fully functioning adult person? Or just continue demonstrating that with my friend? 

I don't care what people think about me, but don't assume that my disability defines me in this world. 

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

TOM: ALBERTA

Tikkun Olam is Hebrew for “repairing the world,” and that is our focus in TOM. Our goal is to design and create empowering solutions for challenges faced by individuals living with disabilities and limitations.

 My worker and I came across a “makeathon” event in Calgary this August. It is a pairing of individuals with disabilities with several “makers” i.e.. electricians, engineers, designers, etc. for 72 hours and come up with a prototype at the end of the time to help the individual with a disability. There is a 4 month long creation process beginning this September in which prototypes or apps etc. will be built among teams including 1-2 persons with a  disability and about 6 “makers” (professional creators). 

My worker and I emailed them a couple of weeks ago to receive more information. We were put in contact right away with a project manager named Kathryn. She was unable to meet us in person so she sent two colleagues to meet with us that week. They were very excited to meet me! They thought I would be a great fit for a group that has another person developing an app to assist people who have difficulty speaking. They invited me to join that team if I am interested. 

I am already blown away by the dedication and passion these people have for this project!! 

They encouraged me to keep in touch and to contact them if anymore ideas come to my mind. I feel like this is a good fit for me. I’m really excited!

Please check out their site for more information:
http://kadimadynamics.com/researchgroups/tom/

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Trying New Things! (Hope in Despair)

If you've been following my blog for a while, you'll probably remember that around this time last year I had a mild stroke. This news left me shocked and uncertain about my future as I approached my mid thirties. I have a very entrepreneurial spirit. I want to do everything I can as well as I can and push myself to the limits. This has helped me live a very full life and I'm glad I have such a "can do" attitude. However, it can leave me feeling burned out and exhausted from trying to do so much. My stroke was supposedly caused from a cumulative number of falls I've had in my lifetime... But in my eyes, it was a wake up call. I still haven't fully recovered from it. I often lack energy to do much in my day. But that's ok. In fact, I see it as a blessing disguise. I have been forced to rest, and enjoy each moment I have. 

This can sometimes make me feel like I am "behind" in life, or like I should be in a different place by now. Like I should heal faster or something! Western society rewards perpetual business, the only thing that matters is a full schedule. Well, I just can't keep up. Slowly but surely I am becoming comfortable with resting and just being. I am giving up walking for now, my body just can't handle it. But, I'm going to try some new things! I discovered a wheelchair bike and I'd love to try it out! Kickboxing has also recently grabbed my attention, I want to give it a go! I hadn't even thought about these new ideas before I had to slow down. 

So if you are feeling "stuck" or "behind" or "frustrated" with where you're at in life, I hope you are encouraged by this blog. Take time to reconnect with yourself and discover new opportunities from where you are at right now. This season, whatever it looks like for you is a gift... even if it's hard to see it that way right now. Don't lose hope!