Out with the Old 2021

Greetings readers,

Welcome back to the blog!

‘Tis that time of the year again! As this year comes to a close, it’s time to write that yearly reflection. But as we all know, this year’s different, so so different…that’s why, instead of the usual “reporting” of interesting and inspiring events. This year’s reflection will be a look back on the things, the people, and the events that made me feel grateful and thankful for.

There’re always things we can be thankful for. No matter it’s an easy or a hard year. Without a doubt, it’s a hard one. Twenty-twenty-one, was a whole year of pandemic (at least the first couple of months of 2020 was relatively calm and “normal” at the start..). Due to the pandemic, supply chain disruptions, and natural disasters, caused soaring inflations—from grocery, gas, housing/rent, and everything in between, both the essential and non-essential things humans need to live and survive on, got more expensive and more unaffordable. Here, I think there’s something I can personally be thankful for. I have a place to live, it’s not big, it has a lot of flaws, but it’s a place I can call home. I’m also able to put food on the table, and I try my best to eat as healthy as possible.

This year, is also one that I needed and relied on a lot of people for help. It is a year I learned when and who to turn to for help. I’ve written about this in a previous blog post, that one of the biggest changes of this year for me has been, the need to hire a home helper, to assist me with certain chores (such as grocery shopping, cleaning and running errands). As a young person, this is such a hard pill swallow. But, I have to constantly remind myself, the reason for me to ask for help is not because I’m lazy and don’t want to do chores, or that I’m spoiled, it’s because I’m disabled, I live alone, and I need the help. And, my age has nothing to do with any of it! I’ve had people who are both older and younger than me doing my chores for me. I thank them for their help, and try my best to not think that “I’m too young for this.”

Another reason to be thankful is that I’m thankful for friendship. As a disabled young adult, living entirely alone. I’m relatively isolated in the best times. But I try my best to keep myself occupied with my work, and my community involvements. Sadly due to the pandemic, many activities have come to a halt or moved virtually. As someone who is also at higher risk for COVID-19, I can’t afford leaving my home as often. So, I’m (intentionally and unintentionally) isolated. But, I’m thankful that I have kept regular contacts and conversations with my friends. When the COVID-19 situation was better during the summer months, I even got out a little more to meet with a few of my friends in the outdoors. But, there’re still a lot of people I haven’t had the chance to meet, for well over two years. Friends that live in different cities, for example. But I believe, things will get better. And when they do, and when traveling becomes safer than it is now, we will visit one another.

This “thankful train” will not end without giving my gratitude to my dedicated healthcare team. And, if there’s a time to thank them, it is now. Healthcare professionals and frontline workers in general have weathered and sacrificed so much during this pandemic, with their dedication and hard work. But, the ones I’m particularly thankful for are my healthcare team. I haven’t always wanted to thank a healthcare worker, because I haven’t always had great experiences working with medical professionals. In the past, and for a long time, I was mistreated, disregarded, and misdiagnosed, and simply not taken seriously by doctors. But, that’s changed since I met my new team and regained faith and trust. Regardless, healthcare workers have truly been heroes throughout the pandemic (and I’m not saying it the same way as politicians do. I truly mean it. And they definitely deserve more). So, give thanks to them, and help them if you can.

Lastly, if I’m allowed. I want to give thanks to myself (…is this weird?). I’m thankful that I survived this year, in one piece. I’m thankful that I didn’t let loneliness and social isolation crush or destroy me. I’m thankful that I didn’t develop any bad behaviours. I’m thankful that I stayed safe and away from catching COVID-19 (knock on wood on this one!). I’m also, most thankful for the small but important progress I’ve made on my health. Evan as a disabled and chronically ill person, I probably won’t ever get to the healthy person’s level of healthy. But, I’ll try to be as stable as I can.

So finally, what are you thankful & grateful for this year?

By: The Invisible Vision Project

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