Hi everyone! I know it’s been a long while since I posted—it’s been extremely hectic in my life
and I’m not quite ready to talk about it, yet. I’m grateful to the people who have been supporting me these past few months, supporting my writing, (or lack thereof), my need for space, and most importantly, my need for comfort.
I didn’t pop onto the site to talk about my struggles, however. I honestly think I won’t be ready to talk about that for a few weeks still, as what did happen left me both mental and emotionally traumatized. What I wanted to come write about came from a conversation I had with someone I’m especially close to. As some of you Internet lurkers like myself may know, Sia has released a new movie called Music. I won’t go into too much detail, but I will say that it has upset the autistic community, and for good reason.
What sparked the conversation and the idea to write my thoughts here is the discussion we had on advocating, ableism, and in turn, what has come of it. I’m here to tell you guys a secret. Ready? The secret is… I’m not important. I do not write because I think I’m going to go out there and inspire the next generation of forward-thinkers who just happen to have a smart mouth. I don’t write to tell people what I think they should agree with me on. I write, because I hope that one day, the words that some Internet lurker read will impact them. Show them how to treat others, how to raise their children, how to be their authentic selves.
I felt the need to make this distinction because while I recognize that my feelings of unimportance are solely mine, I completely understand if people disagree with me. I acknowledge that I may be a role model for people everywhere, but then that sets a certain expectation on me to be better, to lead by example. I want to say this as gently as I can… I will disappoint you. Not because I’m actively trying not to be better, but because I am human.
As a society, we tend to put role models and those we find “inspirational” on these pedestals because their words and actions strike a chord within us that gets to the depths of our souls. I completely understand that. But what we fail to also acknowledge is that pressure from feelings of needing to be a constant example fall heavily on peoples’ shoulders. Most of the time, people didn’t ask to be role models. I believe that we should hold these role models accountable for the things that are morally wrong, but also remind ourselves that they are just human. I have no idea if anyone reads this and thinks, “Man, she’s amazing”, but I also want to gently remind you guys that I’m also the girl who battles depression and anxiety every day. I’m the girl who advocates fiercely, then lies in bed under her blankets because advocating is so exhausting. I’m the girl who drinks a whole bottle of cheap Moscato because it’s my favorite and sometimes I just don’t care. I’m as flawed as the next person. And I guarantee that Beyonce, Demi Lovato, Michelle Obama, or any other figure in your life, is also flawed. We must hold people accountable for the wrong they do in this world, but we also need to hold everyone we see with compassion, kindness, and understanding. Disengage that little thing in your brain that sees me and everyone else as just inspiration and remember—we’re human. We make mistakes. We don’t advocate everyday because some of us have had to advocate for over fifteen years and sometimes we just want to hang out in our old t-shirts and drink right from the bottle. And it’s okay.