Interviews

New beginnings

Posted by jennifer gibson on Friday, May 25, 2018 Under: May 2018
It's amazing how a new home can make a world of a difference in my life. I recently moved to a place that I'm familiar with and ironically the same city that my mother and I grew up in. For some reason, it felt right to go back home. It's a fresh start for me, a safe place where I already feel comfortable living. I really do feel blessed being here and grateful for everything. Within days of moving, I obtained a freelance job which was a wonderful surprise. Perfect timing too, I can use the funds to pay for things that I need, like a new toaster or food for the cats.

Downsizing from a house to a small apartment has forced me to learn to let go of things and truly decide what's important to me. It also meant bringing the bare minimum of essentials and funnily enough, I'm still missing some things or realizing that I should've brought a blender or more mixing bowls. Living here has given me a lot of independence that I desperately needed and has forced me to be uber savvy when it comes to storing my stuff. It was a bit of a shock when it came to unloading, literally, 40 years worth of my life into an apartment. Once I took everything out of the boxes and put the majority away, I stood back and looked at how different everything seemed. 


Living here is not cheap, and I've had to forgo the phone and cable hookups to save money. That's fine, I'm perfectly content watching shows on Netflix and iTunes via the internet. I recently stumbled across a movie entitled, "The Theory of Everything" which was based on the life of Professor Stephen Hawking, living with Lou Gehrig's disease. A couple of years ago, my mother had seen it and really enjoyed it. In fact, she tried to encourage me to watch it. At that time, I was not at all comfortable viewing it, most likely because it would've reminded me of the pain and physical limitations that Mom went through. It felt too close to home and I wasn't ready. 

I took a chance and started watching it, fully prepared to walk away from it when it got too much for me. I was pleasantly surprised, and more than anything, I was blown away by the realistic performance of Eddie Redmayne (Fantastic Beasts and where to find them). The more I was drawn into the story, the more I realized why Mom liked it so much. She was able to relate to it on many levels, she too had physical disabilities and deformities that limited her ability to enjoy life the she wanted. She often felt trapped and essentially betrayed by her body, just like Stephen. I can remember how frustrated she would get, not being able to do the things that everyone took for granted. 


This film offered an accurate viewpoint and deep reflection of what it was like for Mom. Even though she did not have ALS, she went through a similar phase of her body changing and gradually defeating her. It wouldn't let her go where her mind and soul wanted. To me, it suddenly opened up a new perspective of her life.  

I understood why it meant so much to her. As I watched Stephen Hawking stumble, struggling to drag his useless legs across the floor, I started crying because it was eerily similar to what Mom went through. I knew how difficult it was for her to do simple things and saw how much she struggled. But it was not the same as living with it. My scope of truly understanding of what she went through on a daily basis, scratched the surface of the depth of her disability. While I too, had a physical disability, it was very different than hers. But we found a way to balance each other out, if she needed to go anywhere, I was able to drive her or do physical chores outdoors. Whereas, she would make a phone call on my behalf since I couldn't hear or provided sign language at a noisy venue. 


It's all about perspectives, learning to see things from a different angle. That's where I am now, discovering a new  aspect of my life, where everything is exciting. I have no idea where it will lead me, but at least I'm happy. 



In : May 2018 


Tags: disability  "new life" "stephen hawking" 
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