I've been thinking about people I know and who they are and who I am and who I'd like to be in and of myself tonight. Brought on by a couple of things, not least a conversation with my Mum yesterday.
I heard from a very good friend yesterday and that particular friend is a very old friend. I believe I was eight or nine when we met. We've not met in person for a lot longer than I like but I still feel very close to her. Hearing from her always makes me happy and seeing those e-mails waiting for me in my inbox always brings a smile to my face. I was telling mum that yesterday and she summed it up perfectly "She always was such a gentle person."
I don't think I could manage to be a gentle person, I'm not sure gentle and advocacy go well together and I AM an advocate. It's something I'm very proud of and most of the time I enjoy. But gentler? Maybe that's a goal (but not an easier one) for me to work towards. I'd certainly like to be able to bring happiness and smiles to my friends with the little things, the incidentals, just like she does to/for me.
Something else I do not want to be is predictable/stereotypical. Another part of yesterdays conversation with my mum I was sure would go one way - she should know something but knowing her she'd need reminding. I also thought my sister wouldn't know the same thing for definite because of how long ago it was and her being seven years younger than me. But they both did. Which was a nice surprise.
Then today I had conversations with people which were predictable. In fact tonight before one of the conversations I said to Dad I wanted to talk to this person about X and then went "but of course they'll pretty much say this." and he agreed with me and then pretty much word for word they did say exactly that. Predictable is comfortable, it's safe because its the same and you know what to expect. But it can also be a little boring and frustrating too especially when relying on someone for something and needing them to do it differently but getting the same old, same old. I'd probably be thrown off if this person did ever change though... like I said, predictable can be comforting and tonight part of me wanted to say to in response "don't ever change." But I didn't. (as an aside, Firefox's stupid automatic spell check doesn't like words with apostrophes in any more. Weird. I like it even less now. Anyone know how to either turn the damn thing off (preferably) or change it so it's not bloody american?!)
So I was thinking about all that and wondering how people view me, am I predictable? I am, I hope, not a stereotypical crip. But I'm not sure I want to be predictable either. I suspect, however, that we are all slightly predictable in a way. I suppose what I want to say or what I'm trying to say is that I want to be independent and free and I can't think of exactly what I mean. Basically only a little tiny bit predictable. It's not always an easy thing to achieve and there are/will/have been many bumps and twists on that path.
This entry is not easy to write.
Also I have many "not really my sort of person" people in my life, people who I've crossed paths with but if not for fate or whatever forcing us together probably wouldn't have chosen to spend time with or even met in some cases. Perhaps describing them as "not really my sort of person" isn't right. People who I wouldn't necessarily have picked out of a "potential friends" set up because we come from vastly different backgrounds, life experiences/expectations etc but who have done a lot for me, and come to be good friends. A lot of those are either PWD or people (usually TAB) who originally came into my life professionally because of my disability. I guess what they say about disability being a great leveller of playing fields is true.
The ability to reach out to someone and give them something, sometimes even things they didn't know they wanted or needed or were missing from their lives and make such a difference is huge. I'd like to do that for others if I could. Pay it forward, as they say.