Being Selective While Being Disabled

by Alex Garrett

Next month, the disabled community works towards gaining more acceptance 31 years after the signing of the Americans With Disabilities Act. While the work is never done smashing stigma and gaining acceptance, let’s adapt the goal! Let’s be selective!

Selectivity is a topic that has come up over the last week, so I feel compelled to write about this idea! I also think God has put us where we are meant to be in life, and gives us the intuition to be selective !

I promise you , I am not jaded about people. I LOVE people, I love socializing. This pandemic has made me too anxious about not seeing friends again if I’m honest. Yet, I am more eyes-open about people’s motives having about 11 years into adulthood now.

To be widely accepted has been excited , to be able to announce in college had been exciting has heck. I was happy-go-lucky and wanted to be friends with everybody because that is my nature . All my life , I never thought I couldn’t make friends because I have one leg . If I didn’t think people would gravitate and I couldn’t get the nerve to gravitate toward people, I would have just stayed home!

Yet, in college , there were a couple people who saw the energy I was putting out there and DRAINED me. I was pushed around on my skate by a ‘friend’ and he almost knocked me over. I had enough of that friendship, especially when it felt financially tied together. Friendship shouldn’t be bought, it’s a lesson I’ve learned for years. It also was my awakening to the fact that maybe I did try to be friends with everybody . Again, I did that just because that who is I am. Regardless, some I feel in the disabled community consciously try to become friend with everyone because they are scared to be selective . It’s 2021, DON’T BE SCARED TO BE SELECTIVE!

On the outside looking in some might think we have trouble making friends. So, I’ve seen they take that thought and try to be buddy-buddy only for ulterior motives to be revealed as things move along, specifically someone like my former college friend . On dating, some might think we try too hard instead of point blank putting in the effort to get to truly know us and to understand us!

While we want acceptance, knowing our worth in this world will gain acceptance even more and move our life forward. We also have to face the fact , not all can accept us as is, and it’s ok to not accept all into our sphere. Let me write that again, not all can accept us as is, and it’s ok to not accept all into our sphere.

If we are selective, it can also help us stay healthy. Mentally trying to make a friendship work will actually deter us from staying healthy. Being wrapped up in relationship worries that don’t work out because we feel we can’t do better will bring us down a few notches also.

Let’s keep smashing stigma in 2021. Prove that we don’t have trouble , we just really are selective! I’ve got a good corps of good friends that I can rely on and just have fun times with, that’s all I can really ask for!