I was asked earlier what effect my disability has.
This got me wondering, what would I be like if I wasn't disabled.
Would I be:
More confident? I may appear confident on the outside, but often worry whether I am doing the right thing when in social situations. I am very conscious of what I am doing and am watching for cues all of the time. Being deaf doesn't help as a lot of cues are missed.
Maybe I am just a naturally reserved/private person. I don't know. I often have many questions I'd like to ask, but don't get around to as I am not sure of the reaction they would get. I expect many people are like that.
Less determined? Because of my disability I have always been encouraged to 'have a go' at things and try new experiences. I didn't get everything done for me. I have always been encouraged to find a way of doing stuff myself. 'Can't', isn't a word used in my dictionary, it's a challenge!
More outgoing? Being deaf makes it harder work being in groups of people. Don't get me wrong, I love to be included and wouldn't miss it for the world. But maybe I appear quiet sometimes. It's just because I am working hard to keep up with the conversation/s that are going on around me. If I wasn't deaf I'd probably join in more.
Would I be less accepting of others? I think in someways being disabled you mix with a wider variety of people. Would I be more likely to stick with people of similar backgrounds as myself if I hadn't had these experiences? I don't know. Maybe I just been brought up to be more accepting.
Would I have travelled more? Using a wheelchair makes travelling more complicated, it also makes going new places - even a local pub/friend's house - more interesting. I have travelled but many places I would probably enjoy are a long flight away, or a journey that requires many changes on the way.
Wider circle of friends maybe? Maybe I'd have more friends, but quality is far better than quantity. I feel privileged to know, and to be included in the lifes of the friends I do have. I would do anything for them, and hope they would do the same for me.
Would I have different interests/hobbies? I love reading, and using the computer, I also very much enjoy doing crafty stuff. I used to ride, would I still be riding now if I wasn't disabled? I also used to shoot, and play hockey. Maybe if I wasn't disabled I would have been able to find local groups to join and keep these hobbies up. I love the idea of ski-ing but am not brave enough to try wheelchair ski-ing, as I don't like to feel out of control - it scares me. I mean, I dislike being pushed in a wheelchair, so I am hardly going to feel confident enough to trust someone else to be in control as I go down a ski-slope am I?!
Where would I be now, what would I be doing with my life? Don't get me wrong, I don't dislike being disabled - after all it's all I have ever known. It's part of me.
At the end of the day, I am happy with my life - but it's an interesting thought.
Enjoy life, and make the most of what you have!