As Big As A Chair

I’ve never really been comfortable with my body. If you really want to know, sometimes I feel like Jabba The Hut in the scene where Leia is chained up. I’m not as bad as I could be, but my chair has never really helped matters, My chair is a junkyard ship, transporting me around a world that wasn’t made for me..

I do appreciate stores like Torrid, but the cost of feeling good in clothes eventually adds up. Even when I feel good in clothes, it’s hard not to notice the extra baggage that is my chair.

I’m aware that there a fashion designers that are starting to build clothing around disabilities, but I don’t have that kind of money to splurge on myself — if I did, I’d rather spend it on my cats.

We have come a long way from certain views of body image and flaws, but we have an even longer journey to take. I look forward to the day plus size clothes aren’t ugly or overpriced. Sometimes the clothes are so ugly, it feels like a not so subtle guilt trips. I hope that one day, all these body-positive movements actually mean more than money and brand recognition.

A Little More Than Basic

A lot of people either love pumpkin spice season, or love to shame others about it. I am on the “love” team. My reason is not really basic either, and I’m going to share it. It was the last day of high school, and I was saying goodbye to everyone favourite teacher I could find. I came into my Film teacher’s classroom on his lunch break. In the midst of thanking him for being a great teacher, I stumbled into an emotional meltdown about how I could never make it through college, because it would eat me alive and I had no previous example to follow. He sat and listened, and let me awkwardly sob into a Quizno’s napkin.

He jot down his number on a spare napkin and told me to reach out when I was settled in my college transition. He was probably happy to see me leave the room.

Eventually, I did reach out. We decided to meet at Starbucks, and that’s how a monster was born. I confessed that I hadn’t been before, and didn’t know what to get…

Try the Pumpkin Spice Latte

My was going through his own transition after just having his first child, and yet, he brought his little family to a Starbucks. He made sure I was okay.

That small gesture got me through what I thought were big and trying moments in college. When the time comes every year, I run to the nearest store. If only for a moment, I’m reminded of that comforting visit in the time that my life felt like utter chaos. Things aren’t always as “basic” as they appear.

Blogtober

Hello! It’s been a while since I’ve written. I’ve seen a lot of people share art because of inktober. I’ve been feeling jealous because I don’t have any drawing skills.

I realized that writing is also artistic, so I’ve decided that I’m going to blog about something for everyday in October. I guess this little notice will have to count as day 1 — considering how late it is already. If you have any topics you would like me to touch on, please let me know!

Pushing The Wrong Buttons – A Collection of Thoughts On Accessibility

I’ve seen many debates in news articles, and even on my Facebook timeline about accessibility issues. I think that discussion is a good thing, because it provides different prospectives.

However, I have been been sitting on something that happened for a while. I feel like I need to share my feelings about it in more detail — not as an attack, just a semi-educated opinion.

A few weeks ago, an able-bodied acquaintance made a blanket statement, that if you weren’t disabled, you shouldn’t be using the automatic buttons. Of course, people had several arguments for both sides. Again, this is not an attack. I myself have been caught in a similar argument about who should use wheelchair ramps. Even as someone with a disability, it’s easy to get caught up in your own perspective as the only lense to see things.

I will say the same thing I commented on the post: I really don’t mind who uses the button as long as you wait your turn and don’t get in the way of me using it.

There’s something l have learned after being on the wrong — not fully informed side of an argument. Accessibility measurements may have originally been intended for one group, but ultimately can help a larger one. That’s the right direction, and something I actively try to remember when I get impassioned.

I’m not writing this to discourage conversation, or to say that able-bodied people shouldn’t have an opinion on disability issues. I just wish that people would get behind the right things. I’ve had to pick battles for my entire life. While there are a certain number of people who are misusing accessibility buttons, there bigger fish to fry.

I write to the city yearly about its lack of snow clearing in the winter. The comment section is riddled with things telling me stay inside, or that I should be used to Canadian winters by now. Never mind the fact that I spend 4-5 months essentially trapped in my house.

I get a little bit of anxiety every time I accidentally forget my metal straws — in case I get the offhand comment that I’m “killing the turtles.” I don’t want to kill anybody — I just want to work together towards something that’s accessible for everyone.

I drank out of the newly designed Starbucks lid the other day. As someone with mild Cerebral Palsy, I still struggled to drink. I sounded like a kid slurping soup. By the end of the ordeal, the cup looked crushed by the Hulk.

We are headed in the right direction, but it would go a lot smoother if people actually supported the right causes.

Toronto “Toots”

I haven’t had much time to think about my old job lately. I think that’s a good thing, because in the end, it was a stressful and sad point in my life. However, before I go even farther Into the “new job” life, I want to give the proper spotlight to the two coworkers that never got a proper goodbye — Bri and Brett.

I didn’t see them very often because they worked from Diply’s Toronto office, but they each left their own unique impression on my heart.

Brett has the quirkiest sense of humour I’ve ever seen. Every time he posts a meme, or anything, really; I either laugh hysterically or stare in confusion, willing myself to try and understand it. He’s the only guy I’ve never minded sliding into my DM’s, because he always shared funny things based on my own humour, or praised puns and fitting phrases within my articles.

Brett is also the current holder of “the nicest thing anyone has ever done for me” title. He had the best Christmas present made for me.

I’ll let this speak for itself.

Last thought on dear Brett: I love him more than the lobster Mac and cheese I had at his welcome lunch — that’s a lot!

Now, it’s Bri’s turn.Where to start with Bri? Well… she has a laugh that could get herself immediately kicked out of a library. However, in that laugh is also a pure joy and love for life that I’m certain no one else has. When I first met Bri I could sense a quiet confidence that I still aspire to have. She has a blog presence that I could only dream of, and I’ve seen her tackle issues that are important to her with the perfect combination of ferocity and grace. I have even participated in one of her blog projects, and the experience was very refreshing.

Bri also has so much confidence in her fashion and beauty choices; it’s enviable. She’s the only person I’ve actually felt like copying a look from. I did, and I didn’t pull it off as flawlessly. I’ve never told Bri, but just knowing her has pushed me way out of my comfort zone. She is one of the reasons I pick something different from the clothing rack, and her honesty in her writing has encouraged me to express myself without fear.

I’m sorry I never got to say goodbye, but I think this covers everything.

Pushing Pause

I’ve been doing significantly better than I have in a long time. I love my job, I love my coworkers… I love mostly everything about where I am at in my right now.

However, I can’t shake the feeling of still being stuck. To be honest, I find myself wishing that I could push the pause button on CP. Don’t panic, I’m okay.

It would be nice though, if I could just go away on vacation without having to account for all the extra baggage that a disability can be. Even being able to drive by myself to visit friends would be a huge improvement. Sometimes, I feel like a lost puppy whining for them to visit me. I’d love to walk up the stairs, and bring beer and snacks to their house parties.

I’d love to do something in the spur of the moment, without having to tell different companies where I was going, when I d be back — well in advance.

I wish I could cook for myself instead of gambling on others’ cooking abilities — and ultimately ordering out at least once a month.

I’ve spent a good portion of my life waiting on others to get things accomplished. It’s very tiring. I’m waiting for a new chair, and while I wait; random pieces of my old one fall of every day. They make you wait 5 years to get a “new” one, and by the time the process is said and done, it’s actually closer to 6. I’d rather just invest in robotic legs at this point.

I wish I could be saving for a home, instead of living in housing controlled by someone else. It would be nice to not have to make monthly reports every time I make an extra penny too.

I realize that without the things I have mentioned above, life would be a lot harder. That being said, these things that are supposed to help make me more independent are incredibly flawed, and are only going to get worse, thanks to our current government.

I’m not wishing my disability away. Without it I wouldn’t be who I am. I wouldn’t know the people, or the perspective I do today. I wouldn’t have a comedy routine. Most importantly, I wouldn’t know how to fight for myself or others.

I know I’m not the only one searching for the pause button.

A New Journey

On May 1st, I finally escaped the land of the unemployed. It couldn’t have happened at a better time. I was really close to losing my mind. It’s a new adventure for me. I’m learning a lot about Social Media management. There are so many things that I didn’t know went into it, because I used to simply be on the content side of things.

I work in the Innovation Works building. I love the environment because you can work anywhere you choose. The business I work for, Mind Your Own Business, is small. So far, I like working for a small business better. I feel like the things I’m doing are actually helpful. I even work a friend from high school, Emily, who I’ve silently admired since Grade 9 vocal class. It’s a family affair, as I also work with her husband Nick. I win when I go into work every Wednesday. The day is full of new things to learn, laughs, and good food, (on Wednesdays we eat salad… and then I get dessert from the in-house cafe).

I have a woman for a boss (YAY!!!) She is incredibly nice, and supportive, and patient with my “newness” to things. It’s only been three weeks, and I already find myself wanting to be at my very best for everybody.

I haven’t seen the actual office space yet, because the building is doing elevator repairs. To be honest, the only reason I want the elevator to be fixed — to visit the DOG FLOOR. DOG. FLOOR.

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about was life was going to be like after Diply. Now that I’m finally there, all I feel is a relief, hope, and pure excitement for everything that happens next.

My very photogenic chai latte from Edgar & Joe’s; the in-house cafe.