It has been so long since my last blog post! I started university in September and it has taken over my life.
I have read a few posts in the last while about people denouncing being called an inspiration.
I kind of get that. Being called an inspiration can be patronizing and demoralizing, in a way. If I go to get groceries and someone says, “you’re such an inspiration for leaving your house,” that is patronizing and I don’t want to be inspiring because I am doing everyday things and functioning in a normal way from day to day.
What I don’t get is when people get offended when others tell them that they are inspiring because they are doing great things.
I have been told many times by many different people that I am inspiring because of what I have done. I have a rare neurological condition that causes facial paralysis and speech troubles. Yet, despite this, I went into journalism because I believe that everyone has a story to tell, including myself. It was not easy to get through that program. Interviewing was a constant struggle, but I feel like I persevered and got through it the best that I could. It was a tough two years, but I got through it. i had the support of some of the most amazing people that I have ever met and that made it a bit easier but it was still tough.
If people want to look at me as an inspiration as proof that they too can persevere through anything they set their mind to, I don’t understand how that is a bad thing. I want people to know my story and for it to give them strength to get through whatever troubles they are going through. It’s not about being a hero, I am certainly no hero, it is just about giving people strength and resiliency. I am not trying to tout myself as an inspiration. I don’t see myself like that, nor will I ever. But at the same time, I am not going to get mad when someone tells me that I am one. That is one of the most coveted compliments that anyone could ever get. I don’t see it as a bad thing. I’m sorry, but I don’t.
If someone says that you’re inspiring, they have obviously learned something from you. Your story, your life has touched them somehow. Maybe you have given them hope, or strength that they thought they didn’t have. You have changed their life somehow.
I hate being patronized. I hate when I’m talking to someone and they look at whoever I’m with for answers. That is the worst. But to me, being called an inspiration is a completely different thing and it is such a great compliment. It tells me that I’ve touched someone’s life and they have leaned something from me. Life is about leaving a mark, leaving a legacy and leaving an imprint on someone’s life is doing just that. Plus, you’ve obviously taught them something.
My goal is to teach people about Moebius and all disabilities. I want to show people that just because you may be different doesn’t mean that you’re less of a person than anyone else. I want to show resilience and strength. That’s what being an inspiration means to me. And I don’t think it’s a bad thing. At all.