Breaking through the misconceptions

It’s that time of year again. The Jewish New Year was two weeks ago and that involves lots of eating and self-reflection. Then last week it was our Day of Atonement where we’re supposed to fast for the day, reflect on our year, ask G-d for forgiveness for the sins we committed during the year and pray for a good year. I of course am unable to fast due to my health, but I do attend synagogue with my parents for the New Year and for the Day of Atonement.

I am not one for praying really. I try to follow along but I can never keep up with the congregation and as I am not fluent in Hebrew I read the English and for some reason I am quite slow. I tend to focus on particular paragraphs that grab my attention and repeat them a couple of times to find the meaning. When this doesn’t work I think about the year that has passed and reflect. We’re meant to reflect on the sins we have committed, but in all honesty, I haven’t committed that many “sins”. Sure, I may have said a white lie here or there or I may have let someone down, but when this does happen I try to fix the situation as soon as it happens because I hate letting people down.

It’s been a big year for me this year. You all know this because you’ve been following my journey. You all know that I’ve taken a big step towards being independent by moving out of home and living on my own. You all know that I’ve faced one of my biggest fears by traveling overseas on my own. So really it’s been a HUGE year for me and it’s not even over.

But I think one of the biggest things that I’ve done this year is break through the misconception that able bodied people have of people with a disability. While I’ve wanted to show how we face many hurdles, both big and small, every day and that it can be very trying and frustrating, I think I’ve proven how we’re just like everyone else. We want to go out, we want to work, we want to hang out with friends and family – the list is endless. We also have goals and ambitions and we are capable of achieving these things, just maybe in a longer time and with a few hiccups along the way.

And it’s interesting how many people have commented on how they can relate to what I’ve been writing. The other day someone said how they spell random words to help keep them focused. Others have mentioned how they too were scared of traveling on their own and some have also had frustrations with their on-line shopping.

I guess what I’m getting at is that people who have a disability have the same desires, the same interests, the same fears and frustrations as you. And I have a feeling that my blog has been able to show you that.

That’s what I was reflecting on when I was sitting in synagogue. A little self-involved maybe, but perhaps more satisfying than having to repent for those little white lies.

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