I don’t want to suggest that the highlights of our lives should be marked by their popularity. However, I do want to say that this selection of photos, based on the posts that you all liked the most this year, closely matches what I would choose as my own, personal highlights. I find that genuinely touching. I’m so glad I get to share these meaningful moments with you.
Shall we recap?
First. Love All The Way. What a massive triumph it is when you feel the urge to slam your heart shut, but instead let yourself fall in love. This year, I learned that sometimes love that goes all the way is actually a story about including yourself - not just in the choreography of romance - but in the process of love itself. And, I wasn’t just lucky to get to feel my heart do the weirdest and scariest thing it has done so far, I got to turn that love into art! A creative vision I’ve held with the most earnest of yearning for ages and ages came to life. It is really amazing when people love your love story with you. (Not pictured in this collage is the fact that ON TOP of publishing Love All The Way, I also condensed it to 5000 words - a remarkable feat unto itself - that shortened version won first place in the Pen2Paper non-fiction category this year!)
“World Champion” is one of my favorite accolades I gained in 2018. This year I set a world record and won a gold medal in wheelchair pole sport, putting my deformed body on an international stage to compete in a competition defined by aesthetic standards. BOY DID WE CELEBRATE! Incidentally, I performed my winning routine to an instrumental version of Radiohead’s song ‘True Love Waits’. Some kind of 2018 theme?
This is also the year that we made a wheelchair fly. I took a stroll in my flying wheelchair on the beach under my own power for the first time ever, I moved to the mountains to master the physics of wheels and wind, I crashed that whole damn thing, I got back up into the air and. Flew. A. Wheelchair.
Other popular posts in my top nine are about: creativity, intimacy, pleasure, desire, beauty, love and risk. And most of the photos that represented those posts were taken by a photographer and friend who understands my sense of myself and the way a woman in a wheelchair could be seen in the world with her heart as much as her lens. Thank you Eli Mora.
There is also the post I made about ableism. Which is a topic that frequently makes me think about achievement, as ableism - whether internalized or societal or interpersonal - is the biggest barrier to achievement in my experience as a person with a disability. Achievement is also a thing much reflected on at the end of a calendar year. Looking back, through these top hits of 2018, I feel it. I achieved greatly this year. Privately and publicly. As a woman, a writer, an adventurer and your #sexicon.
You all send me the most heartfelt and wonderful messages about how I empower you. But truly, and from the bottom of my heart, with all your personal messages and emails and the meaningful conversations we have in the comments, with the way you show up. Thank you for how you empower me.
From top left to right:
Love All The Way is introduced to instragram
All pilots are special needs vultures: thoughts on ableism
Beauty and Desire
For Her Pleasure
Empowerment, Inclusion, Equality: Day of Persons With Disabilities
flesh body/metal body
My Flying Wheelchair