Living On My Own
About 8 months ago I was still living at home with my parents. My mother and my step father. I had it good. My step father is in sheet metal and he helped to design and construct our home. It was completely accessible for me. Wide doors, hard wood floors, roll in shower, and there was even an elevator! I mean, c'mon, talk about spoiled. But what's that saying "all good things must come to an end" and they did. My parents had made the decision to downsize. I was the only kid still living at home, and they wanted to move into a reasonably smaller and more affordable house. Who am I to disagree? But instead of go with them I decided it was time to look for a place of my own, and that's just what i did. I had no reason not to. I'm lucky enough to be able to physically care for myself, I'm financially comfortable, I'm in an adult relationship, and I'm 25. So I started the process of moving out. I viewed at least 15 apartments before I found the right one. And I ran into the same obstacle over and over-ACCESSIBILITY.
It's 2016, sure things are getting better. But it's still a journey to find a completely accessible place. Everything would seem fine, I'd like the apartments, but then would come that dreadful moment...the bathroom. Was it too small? Can I fit through the door? Can I close the door once I'm in? Is the shower accessible? Can my shower chair fit? I mean if you can't use the bathroom...you CAN'T live there. But here I am, I searched and searched and I found a very accessible place to call home.
It's been 2 months living on my own, and I am absolutley loving it. Sure I struggle. I struggle to keep my kitchen clean. I struggle to fix my bed. I struggle to mop my floors and vacuum my carpets. I struggle to do my never ending laundry. But those struggles are so cool to me. Just because I struggle, doesn't mean I fail. So many people, even some of my family didn't think I could do this. Didn't think i'd want to do this. But I do, I did, I am. I am a 25 year old, disabled woman who is taking care of herself...and her puppy and kitten. I mean, sure I miss my mom. (I see her most every week and we talk everyday) But i miss how she'd spoil me. She'd do my laundry and clean my room and make me coffe and breakfast and lunch and dinner. I am so blessed beyond words to have her in my life. But now, waking up in the morning and making my own coffee, my own breakfast and cleaning up my own mess...it's fullfilling. It's normalizing. I feel normal. And for us, the percentage of people with a disability...that's a big thing. Feeling normal, feeling accomplished, feeling proud.
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