You're a great Language Instructor

I used to not be able to speak this language.

For those of you who have been reading this blog for the past several years you may have noticed its 'evolution.' I've fiddled with the blogger template, changed the design and the lay-out, changed the style of my entries from Advice-giving to long-winded-ramblings.. but it's also mirrored changes from myself. This blog space has evolved because within the context of O.I., disability, disability community, O.I.-blogger-community, disability-blogger-community.. I have also become a different person from who I was three years ago when I closed my eyes and leaped.

Trust me, I still have my eyes closed on most days when it comes to this stuff. I still don't know where I'm going with it (both in terms of real life work and this virtual work), and I still get scared because a part of me is still waiting for that day I discover some horrifying part of myself. Some part of my identity in this context that I won't be able to contend with or make sense of. It's not that I am pessimistic about the knowledge I've gained so far thru my self-reflections and burgeoning experiences, it's because I want to be ready for it. I'm just someone who likes to prepare, alright?
So I continue to plod along while slinging the occasional offhand acidulous one-liner, or writing rambling-creative-prose-posts in my effort to simultaneously embrace and also protect. Protect myself from what? I don't know. Don't you dare leave a comment and tell me though; otherwise all of the work I've been doing will have been for nothing!

But look I've already gone off the topic of this post. The point is that when I first started blogging three years ago, I never would have been able to write about what I understand about myself in this context not to mention what I'm afraid of!
I didn't have the language to know how to express all of this. As my reader you might think the language I use is my particular writing style, and some of that is true. I know some of you continue to read because you enjoy my directionless whimsy. But much of it is also because three years later I now have a much broader, and a more actively present vocabulary and experience to connect with my readers. Did you notice it too??
Did you notice that day when I decided, gee I'm going to stop talking to people in bullet points and just write to them about how I feel and what I think. Did you notice the day I decided to write entries directed to classroom aides, nurses, doctors, my parents, siblings, friends? Because I realized that these were the people in my community that matter? And therefore if they matter to me in my community, surely they are also the people who matter in my readers' own communities and lives? Did you notice when I shared incidents from my day-to-day life because that's what all of this means to me now? It is normalized, it is typical, it is my everyday life.

Look at my first entry here. All of this is no longer some bullet-point list of troubleshooting tips I treat. I am no longer that cock-sured 20-something with a disability, confident enough to spew advice to my readers. Nope. Now? Years later I've become that curiously terrified disabled 20-something, confident enough to tell you that you've helped me learn the language. Confident and humble enough to proceed with eyes partially closed because I know that there's still something for me to learn from you. There's still more language for me to absorb from all of this. And I'm thanking my lucky stars because as long as we're in this together I'm ready.

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