I have thought about what I would write as my opening blog post for quite some time now. I knew as soon as I started this project the words would come freely and easily. In fact, several times over the past few weeks since I first created this blog template I have had “A-ha” moments that I felt were worthy of sharing with the internet. Each time I refrained. All I needed was one post to break the ice but I just could not bring myself to write it.
The idea of typing up my ramblings is not a new concept for me as I have kept a LiveJournal since 2004, although the majority of the mostly personal entries are private. What is new for me is publicly sharing my thoughts, weaknesses and vulnerabilities. More specifically, sharing them intentionally. I think I have reached the point in my journey of self discovery where I am ready to do so.
Here goes nothing…
Two weeks ago I found myself aimlessly wandering through the Downtown subway ruminating on how I should not have disclosed my disability in my last interview, when this idea struck me. I have been living in the city for two months now. Graduation has come and gone and it feels like my optimism has gone with it. Job hunting is no easy task for any new graduate, or any individual in this economy for that matter (a fact that I am constantly reminded of in the headlines). The fear of finding and retaining meaningful employment is universal but for someone with a disability, that fear takes on many different meanings.
An overwhelming sense of isolation and loneliness overtook me at that moment on the subway. The same question kept running through my mind, ‘why would an employer hire me when they have a long list of able bodied candidates to choose from?’ Despite all that I have studied, read and written, and the countless conversations I have had with friends, mentors and advocates of disability, I could not help the feeling of fundamental hopelessness. I looked around the sea of people at Yonge and Bloor and thought to myself, ‘I can’t be the only person with a disability who is haunted by this question’. In fact, my recent Google searches proved that I am not. That’s when I realized that I do not have to be quiet through this.
Previous to last month, I had never considered writing a blog. I had never believed that I had anything important enough to say. All I can do is write about what I know, and this is what I know: I have been silent for far too long. I am hopeful that this blog will allow me to share some personal insights and explore my ever changing feelings and experiences living with disability.
* Originally posted January 15, 2013