CW: Pet Loss & Cancer
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, time has stood still to me. It was hard for me not to see my family in 2020. I look forward to seeing my aunts, uncles, and cousins. It was hard to be at home for months. I missed going to a movie or the arcade. The pandemic also worsened my mental health.
I had a friendship end abruptly in 2021 . I was disappointed. I had hoped to be friends with this person for a long time. For the friendship to end suddenly on New Year’s Day was heartbreaking. Little did I know that 2021 would be more challenging than 2020. My childhood dog passed away in May. I miss him to this day. Lowell was always there for me. He was a member of my family.
I learned later that year that someone with whom I am close was diagnosed with cancer. It is always hard for me to see someone I care about struggle. So many people have spent their lives helping me. I want to help them when they need me.
As a person with Cerebral Palsy, the coronavirus pandemic has presented extra challenges. In 2020, the world became much more accessible to me. I was able to stream movies and take virtual tours from home. Remote work also became common. I had hoped that these accommodations would be permanent. However, many of these things aren’t widely used anymore. I don’t go out much and still wear a mask. I don’t want to catch COVID-19, so I’ll take precautions for the foreseeable future.
I haven’t attended in-person college classes since 2019. It will be challenging for me to go back to a traditional college experience after nearly three years. I hope my experience at Greenfield Community College will be better than my experience at Westfield State University. However, I am still nervous. I’ve learned that higher education wasn’t designed for disabled people like me.
In 2020, I moved into my own apartment. This was another milestone in my adulthood. Living on my own has been an exciting experience. I enjoy doing my own grocery shopping and visiting with my friends and family, and having an apartment has also taught me how to budget. Bugeting on SSI is a challenge. It’s challenging to live off less than $900 every month.
The start of this decade is unlike anything I could have imagined. Initially, the coronavirus was uncharted territory for most of us. The pandemic has been incredibly challenging for me as a disabled person. We’ll never get the previous two years back, but I hope the rest of the decade is filled with good memories.