My journey to activism has been interesting. Honestly it started on a whim, because someone asked me to join her on a panel. Being an activist was for other people, not me. After all, what could I offer that someone else couldn’t?
Apparently I underestimated myself and the CP community. When I looked for someone with a story like mine all I found was mine, and even that wasn’t out there.
When I put my story out there I did it slowly since I had no model for it. In fact I didn’t talk about my diagnosis during the first few years I maintained a blog. I’m not sure why I did that looking back on it now. I do remember thinking that I shouldn’t bring it up right away, although I can’t remember why I thought that.
I’ve said before, but it needs repeating, that I wish the CP community was more of a community than it is now. I wish there wasn’t the massive divide between parents of CP kids and people with CP. It’s practically like there are two different communities, at least that’s what I think.
For a disability (health issue) to be around as long as CP has and not have a strong community is still confusing to me. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, we could really learn a lot from the CF community (as just one example).
I never would’ve thought I could make a career out of disability awareness and activism but I have. It’s been interesting and surprising for sure. I’m still surprised when I get a request to come speak and/or write an article.
I always wondered how people “got into” the public speaking business and now I know of at least one way, although I’m almost positive my journey isn’t the norm.
Who goes from a panel discussion straight to breakout sessions at conferences? Again, just one example.
My biggest (and probably very unrealistic) hope is that someday I won’t have to be an activist/advocate in the future. I’d like to think that eventually we won’t need to be so on guard to advocate for full inclusion of the disability community into able-bodied society. It’s a Hail Mary of a goal but it is what it is.
I’m taking part in The Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge this month (also known as #HAWMC).