The first post of the year took awhile for me to write. I could say this was due to a hectic holiday schedule, me winding up my graduate studies or starting a new internship, but that would be a lie. The real difficulty came after I asked myself one simple question: “What do you say to people that are exhausted of fighting to exist every day?” The past year has felt like it dragged along with each new political development making us feel as though the people around us fail to see our value. Disabled fought for the nations healthcare and in return were forgotten when it came time to support the Americans with Disabilities Act. Not all hope is lost, but, again, what do I say to people to people whose souls are tired?
I have your back.
I have your back and I know you have mine. I feel your aching bones like I can feel my own and you don’t have to carry that weight alone. Where the world desires to put us away in homes, I see you and know you still exist. I know what it’s like to cry out of anger and frustration and I can hear you from blocks, miles and continents away.
Hold fast to the fact that we are one another’s strength and let us come to the assistance of those that fall and falter. For longer than we can remember, we have used one another’s knowledge to invite disabled person after disabled person to the table. And we continue to do so in this digital age. Let’s go even further and vow to be intersectional in our advocacy and recognize the ways race, gender, sexuality, age, and ways in which our disabilities present themselves changes the way we navigate the world. Lets listen to these experiences. Just to listen so the person sharing knows they’re being heard. That someone cares.
Let’s build. Let’s create in the face of our pain, let’s create because of it, let it soothe us. Let’s collaborate as best we can. Let’s lift one another’s voices and check in with one another from time to time.
And, finally, let’s celebrate once in a while. The little things and big, the hopes come to fruition and the goals realized. Let’s continue to build the community we need to get get through. Let’s build it for one another.