by AUBRIE LEE
I have a disability. It has manifested differently throughout my life, I have felt differently about it in various stages of my life, and people have treated me differently my whole life because of it.
I could walk when I was a child, and I transitioned to using a wheelchair over my teenage years. Now, I’m an adult (or so they tell me), and soon I will have spent more of my life with a wheelchair than without one.
It’s funny—as my disability became more pronounced, I became more comfortable with it. That has been my journey.
Now I want to bring others on that journey. I want to bring you on that journey. My disability is not all of me, but I would not be who I am without it. It’s not bad. It’s different. It’s notable. In fact, it’s even … no, could it be? Dare I say it? Beautiful.
What is beauty but the quality that beholders’ minds decide? Behold me. I am temporary flesh and durable machine. I am an index for the progression of society. I am a creator of art, ideas, and dreams. I am a glimpse of your future. I am a person whom friends and family love no less. I am a case study in the possible. I am one who can behold the world and treasure it.
And I am not the only one.
So when you think of disability, I want you to think of the beauty in it.