The issue with being born different, or perhaps in my case, if not born differently, then at least developing very, very early on with CP. Is that most so-called “normal” people treat us differently and sometimes they bluntly ask, “What’s it like to… (insert condition here) – in my case, ‘walk that way?'”
When I was younger, I answered sarcastically, “I don’t know, what’s it like to be normal?” The issue is, people like us – persons with a disability – we don’t know anything different. We are just us. When I was younger, it really bothered me when people said, “‘You’re so brave.’ or ‘You’re so strong.’ or ‘You’re so inspiring.’ or anything along these lines of thought.” The thing is in reality, I don’t feel this. To me, I am just being me, trying to make it through life the best way I can.
Today, I answer, “I don’t know anything else. I have always been this way, so to me, this is my ‘normal’.” Today, I have more tolerance for these praises than I did when I was younger. I take these comment in stride. I see they are meant as a compliment. I realize, now, that I intrinsically possess these traits, but they are just a consequence of living my life, as a person with a disability, as best I can.
The opposite is just to give up and die (and I went through my depressed state in life, and I no longer wish to go back to it), so I make the best with what I have been given.
I chose to be happy with the way I live my life, and the choices I make in my life.
After all, one deserves to be happy. Life ought to be happy. If your choices, or situations in life, are not making you happy, then you need to stop and make better choices. If there is one thing I have learnt in my life, it is you need to live life for yourself, and not live for others expectations of you. Do what makes you happy.
Find your passion and live your dreams. It may not be perfect, but at least you will be happy.
—Robert Confiant 21 October 2017