People often say when one of the five senses is compromised, another is heightened to compensate for the deficiency. Well, I know physical strength is not one of the five senses, but I do believe my ability to use words is better than average to compensate for my physical limitations, in the same sense.
Since I was a baby, I’ve always been physically “weak”. I could never walk, get my own food or drink, or do much of anything independently. So, I’ve always relied upon my speech to articulate my wants and needs. In fact, when my younger brother was just a baby, I’d help articulate his wants and needs as well (since I still spoke “baby” at the time), to the point that his speech therapist said I had to stop for him to develop his own speech. I figured I was just prepaying him for the lifetime of support he’s provided me. Nevertheless, my point is that my physical limitations taught me the power of words at a very young age.
As a kid growing up, I began to use words to not only convey my wants and needs, but to share my reality with others through my perspective. I always loved to write, and even briefly pursued a career as a rap artist. Writing rap songs was my method of sharing my views with others in a way that my peers could relate. As my disease progressed and my lung capacity became even more compromised, it became difficult to rap. So, I put the microphone down, but I never stopped writing.
Even to this day, I continue to use my words to spread my thoughts. Exhibit A is this blog, Exhibit B is my children’s book, Will the One-Winged Eagle, Exhibit C is my Twitter account that I’m just now trying to revive (GO FOLLOW @disablethebrand), and Exhibit D is the countless conversations I have with anyone who wants to know what my life’s like. It means the world to me when people read what I write or listen to what I have to say because, through my words, I’m spreading the change I want to see in the world. So, thank you!