My Wheel LifeThe stories of how I got this way, and the motivations that keep me rolling.
Trying Something New
For many years I’ve toyed with the idea of writing a memoir, including investing myself enough to think of 50,000 words and then transcribe them into readable paragraphs. For the amount of time I’ve spent jotting ideas down, editing and organizing these thoughts, imagining book covers, practicing a press pitch and dreaming of the book (like, literally, day dreaming, suffering from writer’s block and staring at a blinking cursor), I have spent just as much time talking myself out of doing it… for a couple reasons.
First, collecting my thoughts and scrambling to share them with people often feels narcissistic. I often think, what makes my story so impressive that I must share it and demand people take time from their day to read it? And then I think, I actually do have a story. After all, not many females have become paralyzed from performing in a stunt show at Sea World. In fact, I am the only one–the only one in the entire world. So there’s that. Then there is the fact that being a quadriplegic has also given me a unique perspective of life, and I’m often asked to share those thoughts. I’m proud of my life, disability and all, and educating people about paralysis is something I must do so that I am accepted and respected by my surrounding community. Although in my mind, there’s a big difference between educating on the fly and then writing a book about me, me, me. I don’t know. All I can say is that the thought of sharing a memoir somewhat makes me feel like an asshole.
The other thing about writing a memoir is it is extremely personal. I applaud every author that has shared their darkest, deepest secrets. Because it’s not easy, at least it doesn’t come easy to me. I have done a great job masking my ailments for the past 14 years I’ve been paralyzed. In fact, I’ve done such a good job that some of my closest friends don’t even know what I must go through on a daily basis, and I like it that way. To my friends, I want to appear normal. I don’t want to come across as weak, or make it seem like my life is bad (even though it can be difficult), and most of all, I don’t want to be a complainer. My mom has always said, “No one wants to be around a complainer.” And she is right. So I’ve kept most of my struggles private, partly for selfish reasons but mostly because I didn’t know how to share that part of my world without scaring people away.
And then I met Cory.
As most of you know from reading my blogs or following social media, I am marrying the most amazing man on May 2, 2013. He loves me unconditionally, even with all the ailments that come along with my disability. And without him, there would be no story. He has taught me to love and share and not be afraid. So with him standing by my side, I’ve decided to share some of the tid bits of my story–and then see what comes of it. My goal is to post a new writing sample every Tuesday, until either the story is done or I become overwhelmed with laziness. And today is the first step of many more to come. So here it goes…
I hope you like my story.