Old and New or Then and Now
Being out and about in the community has enabled me to meet some pretty interesting people, and rekindled relationships from my past. For example, Mrs. Schwartz, my ninth grade teacher called one day and asked me if she could come for a visit. I said, "That’d be great! Come over tomorrow." As it turns out she lived very close. She came over and we had a fun time talking about the past. She told me, "The one thing I remember most about you is…You were quite the chatter-box." I laughed and couldn’t disagree. I used to get in so much trouble for talking during class. Teachers would say, "Miss Rod-ri-guez, will you PLEASE sit down and be quiet!"
While talking to a local church group, an older gentleman came up to me after my presentation and said, "Do you remember me?" I answered, "Yes, you’re Mr. Weber, my art teacher from junior high." "Wow," I thought to myself, "What a small world." I always liked Mr. Weber, he was cool and very creative. After some visiting he said, " What I remember most about you Katie was the fact that after every art project, you had the cleanest sink!" I laughed and let him know that I’m still a neat freak. A week later he called asking me to give a presentation at my former junior high school saying, "Katie, you are still the same."
I have found out that life is a series of evaluations. We measure, rank, rate, survey and weigh all information and experiences. We can be objective and use only the facts, or process subjectively and allow emotions to come into play. One must do what is best for him or herself, and what is most appropriate for the situation.
Do you see yourself as an old, able-bodied person thrown into a new existence? Or were you once a person who walked who now rolls? There is a slight difference in these two perceptions; it is acceptance. Are you depressed and only focus on what you are missing, or are you continuing on? I am not saying that you must pretend that everything is just fine, and not deal with your loss. You must find ways to constructively deal with your losses.
Katie Rodriguez Banister works with audiences to embrace diversity
through motivational speaking and disability education.