I’m sitting here, full of cold having spent days pondering the topic of today’s blog. Nothing interesting has happened since we last spoke, and I have yet to complete any of my resolutions – although a few are in the pipeline. In short, I have writer’s block and I’m staring at the screen through eyes that refuse to open to a functional level with a brain that resembles cotton wool.
I think there’s something to be said about how interesting an outsider finds someone else’s life. As soon as we get wind of something that isn’t the norm, human nature makes us curious. But then we have a habit of thinking that one thing consumes every inch of life. It’s like our brains go, ‘you’re in a wheelchair, so you must spend every spare moment doing wheelies’. ‘You’re black, so you must stand in front of the mirror every day to marvel at how awesome your afro is’. ‘You’re a comedian, so everything that comes out of your mouth must be the greatest joke ever told’. ‘You’re an actor, so you must always be entertaining’.
Everyone does it. The first example was based upon my own thought process before I got my power chair. I genuinely believed that anyone on wheels who could move independently spent their days driving around simply because they could. Little did I realise that one of the few downfalls of having a power chair was that you had to be on the look-out for anything on the ground that could puncture your tyres. Two days into my new-found freedom, I had that epiphany whilst I was sitting on the side of the road calling my parents to come and rescue me. I digress.
People will be labelled – it’s the way society works. I said the other day that I’ve never been one to buy into that kind of thing, not because I don’t think it’s partially necessary, but because I feel as though we put too much emphasis on it. If you happen to be black, then you may or may not have an afro that you marvel at every morning. So what? It doesn’t define you. Do me a favour though, don’t go on the defensive when I use the word ‘black’ to distinguish you in a room full of white folks. I’m not being racist, it’s just the most obvious difference. If it helps, when I’m meeting someone for the first time, I tell them to keep an eye out for the wheelchair. Touché, my fellow minorities.
Now you know what happens when I’ve had an uninteresting few days filled with germs and writer’s block. I tell you exactly that, before rambling on about perspectives, labels, and flat tyres. The point is, everyone stands out in the crowd to some intriguing degree. Although, some days their stereotype won’t be fascinating enough to talk about.
Speak to you on Sunday Written Wheelies. I’ll have a great story for you, I promise.