Each one of us was born with some thing or some one doing it’s best to hold us back. None of us are immune. Whether it is the racism that holds back your skin, the sexism that holds back your gender, the churches that guilt us of our sins, the absent parents, the social anxiety, the work bully, the constant looming depression, the parents who squandered away our opportunities for a higher education, the neighbors who have marginalized our lifestyle, or your self-diagnosed ADHD – all of it is a liability to the progression of us as people.
It’s important you understand that every last person you walked past today is suffering from some from of disability. Large or small, whether you see it as valid or not is irrelevant – because to them, it is legitimately holding them back from the person they believe they can be.
That being said, our spirit, our souls, our character is based upon how we handle these impediments. Our world view is based upon how we handle these things and our interpretation of how others handle theirs. Just because I could get past my parents separation, doesn’t mean that my neighbor should just as easily.
This is important to understand when you quickly judge the relationships of others. Just because you handled a break up well doesn’t mean that your best friend should, or even could, handle it the same way. Your parents may have instilled within you better coping mechanisms. Just because your friends do well in school doesn’t mean that you should be held up to the same standards. Your teachers may not have spent much time making sure you understood your education. And just because you happen to be progressing at a faster rate than your neighbors doesn’t mean that you’re better than them. Because you are still a good example for them. Everyone learns at different rates depending upon the extent of the disabilities we carry.
So what am I getting at? Stop comparing yourself to others and others to yourself. Understand that people should be judged upon one premise – their willingness to fight against those disabilities.
Sometimes you fight and you swing and you get knocked down and you feel like what’s the fucking point. You look in the mirror and you’re getting older and fatter and uglier and you don’t have the fire you once did and you figure what’s the fucking point so you go turn on the television and fade away for the night in a crumb-filled couch of sitcoms and laziness. Unfortunately, I understand. It’s easy and completely reasonable to give up the fight. Especially when we see most of the people around us do it every day. It’s easy to bury our heads back into the sand, ignore what truly matters in the world, and numb our brains with sports and racists jokes until we go get fucked up on the weekends. It’s what our neighbors do. It’s what our parents do. It’s what our friends do. It’s what we see while we waste time staring into a television. It’s on our screens and it’s singing us in to a terminal laziness. One that shies away from anything that causes any real thought or effort.
And that is how most people handle their disability. More accurately, they give up the fight.
And that is when I judge you. Because I don’t care how far you’ve come, I only care that you’re still moving forward. I don’t care that you are out of shape and can barely run to the end of your block – I care that you laced up in spite of how people will perceive you. I don’t care that it has taken you twice as long to get the terrible grades you get – I care that you keep waking up and shoving your face in a book you don’t understand. I don’t care if people make fun of your elementary art skills – I care that you made an Etsy store because you have faith that someone out there will think what you do is cool.
All I’m saying is don’t stop. Just don’t fucking stop. Define your own success because you’re the only one to which it truly matters. Even if it is just to succeed because your friends or your family or your teachers said you couldn’t. Fuck them. Because while we all have a head full of insecurities and damages – not giving up is the best free therapy you’ll ever get.