Welcome back to the blog!
It’s been exactly a year since I graduated from university. My journey from the start to the end of being a university student, and a student with disability, was overall a positive one. But, this is not to say, there weren’t challenges. At times during this journey, I felt that giving up was an option, I’m glad that didn’t happen. But, this blog isn’t about my graduation, if you’re interested, you can read that blog here. This blog, is about what I’ve done over this past year post graduation. So let’s talk about that!
Last year, June of 2019, even a few weeks before the official graduation ceremony, and right after I finished my last assignment for the last term of classes, I made a promise to myself, that after graduation, I must take full responsibility to take care of myself and my health, and to find answers for my on-going health struggles from over the years. I needed to put this health situation into a priority. I needed to find concrete answers. And I definitely needed to find a healthcare professional that is willing to work with me, instead of telling me, “It’s all in your head.”
And guess what! One year later, I’m happy to report on this today, I’ve kept that promise, I’ve worked really hard in finding out about what’s been happening with my health (and more importantly, I’ve been confirm by a team of caring and compassionate medical professionals, and they’ve reassured me, it’s definitely not all in my head!).
So, it’s safe to say, over this past year, I’ve spent so much time focusing on my health. I was lucky and I consider myself SO FORTUNATE to have met with this new team of medical professionals, they aren’t just caring and compassionate, they are determined to actually help me. They helped me found answers, they assured me that they’re willing to continuously work with me, as the situation with my health is an ongoing one, and not temporary.
Aside from all things medical, I also made plans to find a suitable employment. But I didn’t and couldn’t do this alone. I reached out to organizations in the community that work with helping people with disabilities find employment. And have been working closely with one. And, this journey is an on- going one, too.
And of course, there’s COVID 19. When health crisis was declared a global pandemic back in March 2020, everything started to slow down or shut down completely. At first, I was nervous about this, and more about what’s going to happen between my healthcare team and my on-going care. I was afraid that I’d lose all the progress I’ve just made with such a dedicated healthcare team. But, my worry was soon reassured by my team, they advised me that on-going appointments have been moved to over-the-phone instead of in-person. Of course, that’s not always ideal, but so far, it’d worked fairly well. And, I still look forward to a time when in-person appointments could eventually resume.
And, in terms of job searching, well, that’s been put on a complete pause (for now), I feel good about that decision. As someone who has a disability, and is also chronically ill, plus being in COVID 19 high risk, I think it’s best that I don’t work in an outside setting, unless I could find a job where I can work from home.
Even though, I’m not really working in the typical sense, I’ve been fairly busy, especially over these past few weeks since the pandemic. Since COVID 19 started, advocates in the disability community have been working nonstop, working for change and for better support for people in this community. Because, in one way or another, many of us feel that we’ve been left out by our society and by our government. I joined in this work with many other advocates, and that’s been keeping me busy.
So yes, it’s been a year since I graduated. And regardless of what other people say or think, I feel I’ve accomplished a lot during this past year. At least, I did what I promised myself to do, and I definitely accomplished that. But I know, that’s only the beginning, and it’s a start to realize, taking care of my health and myself should always be a priority, over anything else. As for finding a job, all I can say (for now) is, I did my best. I was hoping for more opportunities this spring (as I was told, there’s usually more job opportunities in the spring time), but with this spring with COVID 19, more people lose their jobs than getting jobs. But, it’s not to say that I stopped looking, it’s just a continuous journey!
Here we have it! This is my one year update post graduation. I really hope you enjoyed reading this. Even though, I’d really love to celebrate this one year post graduation with friends and do something fun. I’ve not seen my family or friends for months now, and I definitely miss them, but I know, right now is not the right time to have visits, so, I’m saving all celebrations until further notice!
By: The Invisible Vision Project