A Place I’d Never Sit Foot In Again…

Source: perfectbucketlist.tumblr.com

The other day I was working and fixing my bucket list on my little tab at the top. It definitely needed to be cleaned because in ways it felt very chaotic and hard to read. I am very happy that I decided to make my own list but at times I feel like I wasn’t being realistic enough. As much as I’d like to get inside a taxi and say to the driver “follow that car!” and hit somebody over the head with a frying pan. Let’s face it, those things will never happen no matter how hard I try!

I was looking through my Pinterest board of things that I have on my original list. I’m sad to say that I’ve chosen to remove this one. To a normal person this would be a dream come true, but not for me.

I have never liked my voice being recorded, when I hear it, it sounds like squeaky and I feel so embarrassed by it, but it’s never kept me away from choir. I’ll be honest I don’t know what I was thinking in late 2009 early 2010, all I knew was I had to find a college to continue to educate myself. Even in middle school, I never had an idea what I wanted to do in life. At one point, I wanted to be a fashion designer and I actually took a class specifically to see if I’d really like it. I loved the class, but since I still needed help controlling a sewing machine I lost interest in it. I hate having help! It’s a normal pet peeve for ones with any kind of disability deals with on a daily basis. Anyways, the only music based class I have ever taken were the ones you had to have in middle school plus choir. That was it! I have always been interested in learning more about music. How to make it and record it. So when I found out that a college nearby my hometown had an audio recording program and that our school was taking a group of juniors and seniors to that exact college, my mom and I decided it would be a good idea for me to check it out.

Before even deciding that I was going on this college tour trip, I had actually been in contact with the director of the program. He was extremely sweet and genuine believed that there could be a way for me to do this. I was very upfront about my disability, explaining that I did everything with my feet and had trouble with tables being too high and such. He sounded like things could modified for me and that’s when things started to freak me out a little, but I’ll get to that later on. The day of the trip, it was just my aide and I on the short bus. Thank god for iPods because I was a nervous wreck the whole drive there! When we got there, we were all in the student union? Is that what it was called? I don’t remember, but we had to hear a few of the students talk about finding the right career and what college life is really like from their perspective. Afterwards, we were separated from our friends and into different programs we signed up for that the school had, audio recordings was mine of course and I was paired up with a junior boy. Within five seconds later a very tall man came up to us and looked down at me and said, “are you Meghan that I’ve been talking to?” I said “yes” and he took us on the tour of the music department.

I don’t remember much of the actual tour but he did a pretty good job at it though! He talked to both of us including my aide. It was nice to brig a voice and face to a person I had only met through emails. We took a couple of elevators because there were a lot of stairs. We got to meet a few of the different instructors and we finally got to see the rooms where the students get to play their instruments and learn the recording process. When we walked into both rooms I felt as though I was in heaven! It was so roomy and he explained to me that tables could be lowered or raised higher if needed. We also got to meet some of his present students, including two boys that I went to school with and I was a little weirded out about that. They were nice but I know different looks from people – they had the look of “why is she here? How is she going to attempt this?” It was pretty cool just being in the rooms with all the equipment. The experience itself was neat! After our little tour was over, he took us back to be with our classmates in the lunch area. Before we left the school completely, we had one last tour of the whole campus and that was great too because I hadn’t been through the whole grounds since 2004 when my mom signed up for the start of her nursing degree.

That January, I applied for the school and got my letter in mid-March. The same day I brought home one of my drawings for my dad to make a frame out of it for me. I remember my mom crying because she was so happy that her oldest daughter was going to school at the same one she went to. In May, our hometown newspaper puts all of the graduates’ majors and schools they were going for and I was the only one with “Audio Recordings” on it. I felt weird again, along with other feelings too! Once I graduated, we kept getting mail for college campus tours for the parent’s and I wanted to go to the one in June. We should have went to that date but we couldn’t because of my mom’s schedule. We didn’t even get started on my Voc Rehab stuff until mid-August. I signed up for my classes and met my advisor, within three days later we realized that I wasn’t going to have my books or an aide for my first week of classes so my cousin was comfortable with filling in. The day I was supposed to start my classes, my mom had been on the phone with my advisor and switched all of my classes to online. That’s when my real depression started. After that, I’m surprised that I didn’t grow a hatred for music, since I didn’t I learned to distance myself from everybody else.

What still gets me though, that September I started emailing a student I had seen on that campus trip, I thought if I could get him to give me some advice about my situation and learn more about the program I’d feel better about it. He was really nice and was honest with me. He told me if I really wanted to learn about music then I’d like doing this career wise. At that point, nothing was really working with me and I quit my studies in October. Before all this, I knew I was in a wheelchair and did things with my feet, but I didn’t fully accept myself. I don’t normally like getting help from anybody, trust me both my papaw and dad are bad at this still! I also don’t like modified tables and things of that nature, I feel as though I can push myself to deal with it. I’ve used random chairs as my desks way too many times. I think I signed myself because I needed to do it and thought it sounded the most interesting! I didn’t care for anything else. I think my mom was right, maybe I just wanted to go to college to join all of the parties.

Now I have a new sense of myself as a person and have a new respect for musicians. I have also added quite a few artists and bands onto my long list on my iPod and Spotify. They say things happen for a reason. Maybe I needed to have this little downfall to rise back up who knows. I do know that even though my music preferences have advanced far from everything that I could imagine, that I never want to set foot or in this case “wheels” into a recording studio. I don’t think I’d ever feel the same as I did that first time. I might feel ashamed or sad and then I’d have to explain why I feel like that to a stranger. So that is my entire reason why I’d never go back but I might apologize to the director for leading him on like that, but it’s funny though he was one of the only people who ever had faith of me being in the program. So I’d probably tell him “thank you” for that part. Yeah, now I’m done.

My Lessons In Walking

10154268_700590980005235_8995835446893024291_nIt’s Throwback Thursday and I wanted to do something special for everybody. I’ve talked about this before but didn’t actually think we had pictures of it until my nana posted a few of these on her Facebook. Do you know I actually used a walker once in my life? It was years ago, but I did do it. When I was in the fourth grade I was at my wit’s end with myself about not being able to walk like my friends, so I talked my therapists and my family into letting me get a walker to do for a few sessions. I thought it was pretty cool to be into something that could possibly get me to walking on my feet like everybody else. On soft surfaces it was the easiest thing to move around and do whatever I wanted, but then after a while it was like swimming. Everything had an uncomfortable spot. If you’re butt wasn’t even on the seat then your pants and the straps would make things complicated to move your leg over.

When I had my surgeries that next year, I had to take a year off of anything hardcore as everybody was very cautious about if I made one false turn my rods would burst out of my back. Of course, I was very concerned about my back too but I’m not the type of person to let something keep me back long. It’s back enough that for three whole years I had to rely on somebody to help me sit up. I never got back to my ole self by getting myself from the floor to the bed. Even though we did try to work on that last summer, things didn’t really work well. The only thing that I still know how to do is get me off my bed and the couches. Everything had to sit back and watch me heal up. When I hit middle school, I wanted to get back into walking again. Well, one of the things that was different from going to elementary to middle school was that certain teachers were not so happy letting the therapists take me out of their classes and walking in a walker with already bad wheels, on carpet was just evil. When we practiced that first year, we went into the gym. When I was in sixth grade everything I wanted to happen just came to shierking halt and it was just devastating to me. I wasn’t strong enough to move around on the carpet with being barefoot and wearing sneakers. I actually ignored my feelings of feeling defeated until it was like last two weeks of school and I wanted to show my friends that I could walk like them, but they were all watching a movie and nobody wanted to see me walk. It kind of hurt me to see everybody that I had always admired not caring about it like I thought they would. I think an hour later I told my therapist I was done with it.

10157306_700589686672031_8932794475012401941_nAs I look back on my time on it, I just wish embracing my beauty in the wheelchair came that easy! For certain things, I tend to get a lot faster. I had always heard that “beauty is pain” and so I think I just accepted being uncomfortable in the walker. It wasn’t so much about being in it and around my friends that made me hate it. It was mostly the fact that when we were taking these pictures, it was gym class and they were playing volleyball. It was a scary experience for me even though I had my aide, physical therapist, mom, and nana in the room watching over me, anything with balls of the size of my head scared the living crap out of me. While I sit in my wheelchair, I feel very empowered and less scared by anything, in this I was much shorter and there was nothing really there to protect me. I still don’t understand why everybody wanted me to join in that day. I usually do other stuff whenever they did these sorts of games anyways.

Sometimes I feel like there are some similarities between doing the walker and the regular push wheelchairs. Besides the no seatbelts, I still have to drag my feet out below and use my toes as my guide. I am still spinning in circles by only using one foot. My back and neck hurt because the back part of the seats are weird and too short for me to relax my body in and both have four wheels that squeal like monkeys everytime I moved around. In a way, I think I belong in my powered wheelchair. I’m more mobile to get from place to place then being in both a push wheelchair and down on the floor. I have always felt like a total badass being in my chair, nobody really messed with me while I’m in it and everybody seems to get out of my way a lot easier knowing I could potentially run over their feet. I just feel very different from all three of them, one gave me a wake up call, one has its ups and downs, and the other just makes me feel like a total badass. I wouldn’t want to change my life. After my experience with trying to “walk” in this thing, I think walking is completely overrated.

Finding Ways To Be Independent.

When you have a child that has any kind of disability, you instantly try to make things easier for them as possible. Sometimes people go a little too far with this, almost to the point where they don’t have much of a choice in things that happens in their life. I have been a fairly independent person.  Even as a kid, I would literally scoot on my butt as fast as I could go to catch up with the others. I would do everything in my power to be like everybody else. This is why I was the one who figured out that I could feed myself. According to my mom, she had given me my plate and sat it on the floor by me with a fork ready for her, but she said she had turned away for a minute to grab something and found me with a fork in one foot and a piece of hot dog in my mouth. I’d say that’s impressive and that talent only grew to more things for me to master. Writing, drawing, grabbing, texting, typing and driving my wheelchair around. As the years grew on, I started learning more and more to the point where there was no end in sight.

If you’ve been reading my posts from a year ago, you know that I don’t understand why people think I’m inspiration. I never have. It’s not that I don’t think I’m special but I know everybody sees me doing everything with my feet and sees the disability first, that’s who they define me as. A handicapped person. I just have never felt like one, even when I was around other kids with disabilities. I know that’s kind of mean to say but I was mainly around kids who were able-bodied and just saw myself apart of them. In my middle school days, I realized how uncomfortable I was in my own skin. The other girls could wear flip-flops and high heels. I couldn’t wear my sneakers longer than ten minutes before I’d fling them over to the other side of the room. I hated shoes. I just mainly envied the popular girls by the fact that they could do sports and had the cute boyfriends. Nobody wanted me and I didn’t understand that. I think after graduating not only did I finally see not one, but many lights.

  • I was too into impressing people.
  • I am a handicapped person, whether I like it or not.
  • Unless things are set in stone, don’t expect anything.
  • Nobody stays longer than they’re needed to.

I’m happy to say that after four years I have realized all four of these things. I wish I could go back in time to see my younger self in middle school crying herself to sleep in the middle of the night and tell her that she’ll understand why she’s feeling these things and she’ll grow to love herself. I do love myself but I still don’t see myself as an inspiration. I feel like I never will honestly. The more I learn to do with my toes the more attention I tend to draw to myself. Some of it is good don’t get me wrong, I say all this but it doesn’t mean I’m not proud of myself for learning ways to potentially help me in the future if I was ever to move out of the house one day. My nana has been teaching me different things lately, some of these things I’ve actually never done before and I’ve ended up surprising the heck out of myself. One of these things I had to do today about five times. My nana gets meals from these people and they bring them in boxes. I usually help her sort and she does the boxes. Well, after watching her and she showing me how to do it, I finally figured out how to get both of my feet and legs to mind long enough and close the boxes. By the last two, I was a pro!

The other one, we do everytime I go over there. Unless it’s my dad taking me over there then he is the one that gets my drink for me. We haven’t been doing the new way for that long but I have been talking about it a lot because I have never been able to open up a pop can before. My grandparents are having trouble with the tips of their fingers and I remember one day asking if I could try to open the can because I think something was injured. She had this neat little screw that just hooks on and it’s got two sides, so in a way makes easy but yet difficult when you’re in a rush because you have to turn it around! Well, we’ve done this about seven or eight times now and I’m happy to say it only took me probably four minutes to get it open today. However, we did have to stop a couple of times because my nana was doing other things in the meantime. So it took me about four minutes to get it turned around and open it. Plus, I wanted to get some proof for you all and even though my feet are not in these pictures they are there making sure the stinking chair doesn’t move the can back and onto the floor. It was bad enough that my nana had gotten two separate straws because she kept sticking them in her drink. Thank god it was just water and not her hot tea. We didn’t want to lose the can either. That wouldn’t been pleasant!

We usually put them on the floor and she holds the can in between her feet but I thought the picture wouldn't come out right if we did it that way.
We usually put them on the floor and she holds the can in between her feet but I thought the picture wouldn’t come out right if we did it that way.
Sorry that it's kind of blurry, but this is what it looks like as I go to tip the black part down . I usually have to turn it around to the other side when it makes that nice little click sound.
Sorry that it’s kind of blurry, but this is what it looks like as I go to tip the black part down . I usually have to turn it around to the other side when it makes that nice little click sound.

Lessons Learned

Thanks to a mini conversation with my friend Becky on Twitter, we are talking about different perspectives. It actually started off talking about weather, and then I suggested we trade lives and that’s how the conversation started. I told her after a day in my shoes, her perspective will probably change. Then we got on the subject about how I’ve always thought that if I was ever taught to walk on my own (which will never happen) that I’d fall and break something and I’d never be able to walk again. Sadly, I had members of family keeping this thought inside my head and has never really left. I’d like to walk on my own, but with my own feet. The ones I have now. I had an option of having surgeries on my feet years ago, but it was ALWAYS my desicion, which was nice since I was so young and I never wanted them changed even thinking of everybody else and seeing them walk, run, and other things.

The reason why I kept my feet the way they are is simple. If I had surgery on my feet I’d probably loose my abilities with my feet. Meaning, the writing, drawing, driving, and everything I know how to do now. So that actually was my real reason to keep my feet. As much as I hate learning new things to do with them. They do let me do things and I don’t always have to ask people to do the things I do on a daily basis. I don’t regret not having the surgery or surgeries. After I had my back surgeries, I went back to walking with the walker and found it a waste of time because I realized I wasn’t really walking. I was sitting in a machine that had wheels and was just uncomfortable and rough on my feet. I couldn’t use it on carpet and couldn’t wear shoes or socks because I couldn’t get enough strength to go forward. It was always weird, and for some reason I always thought I’d be taller if I walked. I was wrong, It was a real wake up call for me.

That was step one in the right direction. I learned how wanting to be like everybody else was a waste of my time. Because I wasn’t even close to be like them in a million years. Middle school was rough enough and learning that probably didn’t make things better. In high school, it slowly got better. I wanted to hang out with everyone. That was my next goal and I was determained to NOT let myself down from that one and actually succeed at that one, but it didn’t happen until Junior year. The week before my 18th birthday. I hung out with my friends without my mom or sister watching out for me. It was weird, but nice. Now I don’t even have the same friends I had back then. It’s a blessing in a disguese. Instead of them making me happy, I have new friends and I’m quite happy at where I’m at right now. They’re all lessons learned. (:

Doesn’t Mean Anything

I just got off posting a status on my Facebook about how I went on my MySpace profile, because I actually remember my URL better my Email and Password. I went on there how long I haven’t been on there, and it’s been a year or so. I remember when I made my first social network account. At that time I had only one Email account and only a Bebo account. My friends from school were my only friends until I had the nerve to add people I didn’t know and the first person I added was a girl fron Memphis. Technically then that was far away for me. Recently I deleted my account on there and have about four Email accounts that I had made in the paat several years. 

Shortly after joining Bebo everybody switched to the bad reputation website at the time. My mom was the first one to create an account on there. Dad didn’t like MySpace because of the other people, he had heard all the stories of people acting like teenagers and planning to meet up with these teens and finding out afterwards the other people they were talking to was an adult and not a teenager. I understood my dad’s concern, but everybody was switching over and I just asked my mom and she told me, yes. It wasn’t until I turned probably 15 or 16 I made my account and made a second Email account so I wouldn’t get confused and I also realized that everybody had MSN Messager and so that was the reason for that.

I think out of all four years in high school I think I remember Junior year the most. It had it’s good parts and a lot more bad ones too. It was the time of changing the big double doors in the hallways and learning who was on your side and who wasn’t. As much as I hated that year to the core, it helped. I now know I still suck at doing Math that has to deal with money. I remember that it’s not always the kids that are going to talk behind your back. I should have remembered that one. I was hooked to this one guy and then I got hooked onto another one, sadly enough I can’t get over him. I met my friend Fia during my Junior year and she was my first real friend that lived overseas. For prom, I didn’t have a date, but I did get to burrow my friend’s (ex now) boyfriend to walk me down Grand March. A kid I knew from Elementary, told me I looked beautiful, but I didn’t feel it.

I read those comments on MySpace and all of this popped in my head. I’ve never remembered so much in my life at one time. So many memories for that time for me. It was a time where I had friends my own age always talking to me and I felt loved. I learned that some adults will talk you out of things you wanted to do. I learned I fall easily for guys, and I wish I’d forget about every single one that broke my heart. I learned I need to do things on my own, like ask a guy out. I did that in Summer 2008. It wasn’t a date. If it was, it was as awkward as hell. At the end of the year I wanted to get drunk (I didn’t) because I thought the year was both good and bad. Now I know it had lessons and the rest doesn’t mean anything.