Monday, June 19, 2023

Destined to be a Non-conformist


If you’re going to find happiness and contentment as a cripple, it helps to be the kind of person who likes being a non-conformist (and I don't mean in the religious sense). 

You don’t really have a choice in the matter. Sooner or later, your body and/or brain are going to defy your commands and do whatever they damn well please whether you like it or not. That’s how crippled bodies are. Eventually you’re going to walk funny or talk funny or throw a big seizure at the most inopportune time.

Your body is never going to completely conform to the norm no matter how hard you try. So you might as well embrace being a non-conformist. I know that there are a lot of fake non-conformists in the world. They conform to the standards that are necessary to qualify for membership in  whatever pack of non-conformists with whom they are conforming today.

But a lot of cripples are natural born non-conformists. It’s easier to come to grips with that reality if you’re a cripple who has no chance of passing as a vert (which is what I call people who walk because it’s short for vertical). I haven’t walked since I was 17 years old. And even before then the best I could maybe do was walk a little around a room if it was a small room and I was holding onto the walls.

So whenever I went out in public, I didn’t even think about trying to tell my body to walk like a vert because I knew it wouldn’t listen to me. It was going to play by its own rules.

I was destined to make a mockery out of a lot of things just by being myself. To be ashamed of that was to be ashamed of myself. So the only way I was ever going to learn to love my crippled self was to love being a non-conformist. Because that’s what I am.

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