It is a new year — be kind and unwind

Happy 2021!

I hope you all had a good NYE, and you’re enjoying the new year so far, at least as much as you can.

As I’m typing this, we’re still on lockdown, and the number of people with Covid-19 continues to rise.

In that regard, we’re not off to a great start to 2021.

I want to believe that things will get better this year, but right now, I’m having a hard time believing it. Fortunately, there’s plenty of time to prove that wrong.

Over the holidays, I tried to avoid watching or reading the news. However, when you’re on social media, it’s hard to avoid even if you’re just checking in or checking messages. It would be easy for me to say that I’ll avoid social media, but it’s harder for me, and not just due to the pandemic.

Due to my physical disability, I have a more challenging time communicating face to face and even over the phone. I can definitely speak, but many people have difficulty understanding my speech or even hearing me on the phone or in loud places. Communicating online and on social media has become vital, especially over the past year.

When you’re a person with a disability, or perhaps have social anxiety, social media or texting are often your lifeline to the outside world, connecting with friends, loved ones, and meeting new people.

My experience with meeting others online has been interesting. Some of my interactions turned into long-term relationships, while others never wanted to see me again. A majority of those not wanting to see me or even chat was because of my disability.

When it comes to dating or anything similar, I can somewhat understand it, but if all we’re doing is chatting and maybe hanging out, I don’t see why a person’s disability should be an issue. Of course, there may also be other issues, and they’re choosing that as their way out.

Either way, it’s not right.

When things like that happen, it’s important to remind yourself that it isn’t your fault and not take it personally. Sometimes it’s a tough pill to swallow depending on the level of connection you had. There have been several times where I wouldn’t sleep for days, and all of my energy was spent wondering what happened. That’s not a healthy way to live.

I’m mentioning this partly because it’s a brand new year. Each year, tons of people make resolutions. For some, it could be going to the gym, being healthier, getting out more, for example. The thing is, though, with a lockdown still in effect, some resolutions may have to be put on hold for now.

On NYE, I decided to make a list of my resolutions for 2021. I wanted to share them here in the hope that it inspires others who may be feeling stuck or unsure about things. I should note that it’s totally understandable to feel that way, and you’re not alone.

  1. Keep writing, and keep spreading awareness about some of the issues facing people with disabilities. I want to talk about difficult topics as well. Partly to challenge myself, but also to be a voice for those unable to speak.
  2. I want to put myself out there more. In many ways, I've been putting myself out there for years, just not always on my terms. I want to show the world who I am, both the good and the bad. I have a few ideas already, but you'll have to wait and see.
  3. I'm going to do more for myself. No, I didn't suddenly get a robot (yet), but that would be cool. I'm going to devote more time to myself and self-care, even if I have to pay for whatever that may mean. 2020 has taught me that things can change in a heartbeat. We should all take the time to be kind to ourselves as long as we take time to be kind to others.

The bad thing about resolutions is that many tend to quit soon after making them or feel like they failed themself if they don’t succeed.

I made sure to include being kind to myself. With everything going on in the world right now, it’s essential to take time for yourself and be kind.

In my case, I try to disconnect from social media on a regular basis, even if it’s just for a few hours. In that time, I either watch a movie, read, or visit a neighbour who’s in my bubble.

I hope you all take the time to be kind to yourselves this year.