Many people face challenges as they go through life; by being in a wheelchair, me or others like me face challenges every day. These obstacles range from how people may treat me when I’m out in public to adapting when the environment around me is not fit for me.
One example of this is while I was getting my Multimedia Journalism degree from Florida Atlantic University. I struggled with the automatic handicap doors not always working like they were supposed to. In situations like these, yes, my life may be more challenging than others - but I would never want to change my life because it has made me a stronger and wiser person.
In one of my Creative Writing courses, I wrote a poem titled "Is It the Chair?" This poem gives readers insight into what it’s like to be in a wheelchair and people’s reactions towards the chair. When I read this poem at the Poetry Fusion which was part of the class assignment, I was approached by a man who said to me, "You know other people have it worse than you?"
I thought to myself: Yes, I do know that my life is really not that bad; I was only expressing how I felt because not many people are aware of the impact their reactions have on people like me.
Below is my poem:
"Is It the Chair?"
What do you see when you look at me? Why am I treated so differently? This happens so consistently.
I have eyes, arms, legs, like all the rest, Do I not deserve the very best? Is it the chair? I wish people were more aware. People pass by me like I don’t exist This just makes me really pissed. Some are stupid and like to mock Would they act differently if I could walk? Some people say I am lucky to be in a chair But how can they compare? Some days I want to die But I always keep my head up high. I wish they could be me for the day Just so they can see it my way. Because I know I’m one of a kind I would never want to change someone’s mind