Yesterday, I watched Jane and Joe Grillo’s weekly episode of Transition Tuesday. They discussed Joe’s role as a person in the community. Many disabled people are mainly seen as just disabled people. An essential part of figuring out who I am has been getting out of my comfort zone.
This has been difficult as I tend to be anxious about new situations. Over the last several years, I’ve made some new friends. Friendships have always been challenging for me to maintain. I’ve lost count of how many friends have left me.
Dignity of risk has also been key during my transition to adulthood. Dignity of risk is about a person’s right to make their own decisions, take risks, and live the life they want. Dignity of risk has become important to me as I’ve become an adult.
In December 2018, I went on my first trip without my parents. I went to a Boston Bruins game with my friends. My parents were nervous about letting me go to the game. I was nervous as well but decided to go to the game anyway. I was 19 years old, and I felt ready to go somewhere without my parents.
On the first night in Boston, my friends and I exchanged Christmas gifts and watched How the Grinch Stole Christmas. I loved hanging out with my friends and staying up late. The following day we enjoyed breakfast at the hotel before heading to the TD Garden.
Nearly five years later, I can say I had fun watching the Boston Bruins beat the Nashville Predators. After the game, I went to my family’s Christmas celebration. Before heading back to the hotel, I enjoyed dinner at Bertucci’s.
In the future, I want to take more trips. Next year, I am hoping to see a Pittsburgh Penguins home game. I want to explore the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh as well. One day, I’d also love to visit my birthplace, Kolkata, India.
Dignity of risk has played a major role in my independent living journey. I was very nervous and wondered if something would go wrong. I’ve lived in my own apartment since August 2020. I am proud that I can live on my own.
In the summer of 2021, I started blogging about my disability. Blogging has allowed me to share my thoughts with people worldwide. Through my blog and social media profiles, I have connected with people with various disabilities.
I enjoy having friends and family come over to visit. The first night here, my friend came over to watch a movie. I enjoy having more independence and making my own decisions. I particularly enjoy doing my own grocery shopping. Last weekend, I went to Big Y and bought a dessert for my mom that evening. I love surprising other people.
Cerebral Palsy is a key part of my identity. There is nothing in life that is not affected by my physical disability. I am also a daughter, sister, niece, cousin, grandchild, advocate, writer, and friend. Disabled people are human. We have bad days, take risks, experience joy, and have fun.
Deegan, P. E. (1992). The Independent Living Movement and people with psychiatric disabilities: Taking back control over our own lives. Psychosocial Rehabilitation Journal, 15(3), 3–19. https://doi.org/10.1037/h0095769