For the last two weeks I have been writing about the people in our lives, which got me thinking about…well, me.
I know when people meet me they’re overwhelmed by my disability. People who have never been around disabled people think one of two things. Either I’m mentally challenged or I’m like Stephen Hawking. What people don’t know is that I’m just a guy in a wheelchair trying to have fun, who wants love, and is driven by accomplishments. I’m always looking to make a good joke. I have high respect for people. I go to the movies, I watch sports, and I’m a kid at heart.
Others generally want me to be an emotional rock. For the most part I am, but I do get hurt. I wonder what people think of me when I give a lecture. Do they see me as a dynamic guy? I get a sense when people ask me to come and speak for their group the last thing that they expect is a guy who cracks jokes. I assume that people expect this hardcore speech about if you do your best then all your dreams can come true. There’s not always a bow around life. I wish I could tell you there is, but there’s another part of me that is brutally honest.
What I can tell you about myself is that every time I say I love life, I mean it. I don’t love every part of life, but I love it as a whole. I guess we have to take the good with the bad. In this blog and in my tweets and on Facebook, I try to give you a decent picture of who the guy in the chair is. I cannot show you everything. There are things about me that are between me and my parents, or me and my friends. There are inside jokes, there is my dark side, which nobody has seen fully, and I want to keep it that way.
This blog post is more serious than I intended. One thing that I want you to know is that the last couple of months I have been really happy…and it’s cool.
PS—I hope the Lakers do well next year!