Being Young and Disabled | 24 things I’ve Learned so far…

Today I am 24! Oh em gee can ya believe it. I’m not going to babble and say how I don’t feel 24 and it’s gone by so quick *dramatic forehead swipe*. Basically I thought I would tell you 24 things I’ve learnt so far growing up. A post that I can look back on and be like aw that’s nice that innit and also for any other young disabled people who can relate in anyway. So here we go…

1. It’s ok to ask for things that I need – I’m not making a fuss (for years at school I cried if anyone made a ‘fuss’)
2. Don’t compare myself to others, it’s wasted time
3. Embrace the stares – somedays it’s annoying somedays I’ll zone it out
4. I will never know everything and it’s good to learn stuff
5. I don’t have to tell my life story to everyone

6. I can tell people where to go when they ask ridiculous questions
7. Sometimes I can’t do EVERYTHING – I need to listen to my body and rest
8. And it’s ok that I find that annoying
9. Accept a compliment when I receive one – don’t shrug it off!
10. Sometimes when I get attention it’s not always because I’m disabled
11. Allow friends to challenge me on things that make me anxious and try it (more than once)
12. When I drink too much I break, but I break anyway so enjoy it
13. Don’t hold tea and shakey laugh it still hurts when I spill it down my leg
14. The worst case scenario may happen so prepare rather than fear it
15. Don’t copy people who constantly pick at others faults – it’s not cool
16. Not everyone will agree with me – and that’s ok (still working on that)
17. Stop saying things are awkward aloud in that situation
18. Don’t apologise for barriers around me that can actually be easily adapted
(as seen here – playing with snow at my level)

19. Some people are just so anti disability and won’t get me, don’t waste my energy on them
20. Don’t go fast over speed bumps in my chair – it’s not funny and I will break
21. Travelling is a big deal, but it’s doable – totally worth it
22. Assert myself when someone speaks to/replies to my friend and not me
23. It’s not cringe to talk about things to do with disability
24. In fact when I do it’s what I enjoy most

gem now

All together now – BIG AWWW.
Anyway happy birthday to me. I wonder what I’ll be saying I learned in a few years time… hmm. Probably something like prosecco isn’t worth it have a brew instead.



7 thoughts on “Being Young and Disabled | 24 things I’ve Learned so far…

  1. Joan Moody

    You are an amazing young lady Gemma. I love your sense of humour and also your strength and determination. The world is a much nicer place having you in it. I have many happy memories of you in your younger days. You were always popular with your peers and adults alike and continue to be with all of your friends, old and new. I hope that you have a wonderful birthday and year ahead.
    Lots of love from
    Mrs Moody ( or Joan if you like) xxxx

  2. runningnaturally

    Hi Gemma,

    Happy birthday! I went to Larks Hill and was a few years above you, but I think you were in my cousin’s class. I just wanted to say that this post is really inspiring – some thoughts we can all learn from on a personal level, but also some things that it’s good to know about disability in general. So thank you for sharing, keep on learning (and sharing!), and have a wonderful 24th year!

    Catherine (James W’s cousin)

    1. Gem Turner

      Ah thank you Catherine that’s lovely. Good to see a fellow Larks Hiller 😉 thank you for your kind words!

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