I could rewind in life what would I change it? I think about this a lot, especially since I have had my spinal cord injury. There have been some things and also some people that I’ve wasted my time with during my life. Looking back would I change these times? Was this time wasted?
And, the honest truth in reality is no, because all those highs and lows have shaped me to be the person I am today. I actually like me for who I am, for what I stand for and the values I have and a little rewind in life would have changed my destiny. Living life with a disability and as a wheelchair user has made me a better person and I would never want to change that.
I’m privileged to have lived 41 years with no disability, after a sports massage that went terribly wrong I was left with L5 spinal cord damage, resulting in lower left leg paralysis. While there is an unknown level to my recovery. I’m hopeful that my limitations will be minimal and I will walk again unaided. Hearing the words you may never walk again was the hardest thing I have ever had to hear!
Living with paralysis, it has opened my eyes, and taught me so much. We’re the biggest minority population in the world, yet the most underrepresented when it comes to marketing products, as we’re the last to be thought of. While part of this stems from the fact that there is a great deal of diversity within the disability community, we still have significant purchasing power.
We’re slowly seeing models with disabilities incorporated in fashion and marketing commercials, but this needs to become the norm, and not seen as future-forward thinking.
I want to shake up this inequality and make our world more inclusive to all disabilities and I will forever fight for this community.
Disabled or able-bodied, we all have the power and responsibility to make society more inclusive for everyone and to see the disability community as a targeted audience and consumer.
People influence each other and such influences shape your personality. Some teach you how not to behave, others just enrich your life and make you feel awesome. For this reason, we are constantly evolving and being shaped throughout one’s life.
I have come to accept the feeling of not knowing where I am going since my SCI. And I have trained myself to love it. Because it is only when we are suspended in mid-air with no landing in sight, that we force our wings to unravel and alas begin our flight.
And as I push on, I still do not know where I am going. But the miracle is in the unfolding of my wings. I may not know where my journey is going, but I know that so long as I spread my wings, the winds will carry me.
– Follow Laura at @blue_brick_disability