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19 Things I've Learned After 19 Years of Paralysis

Nineteen years ago I had a car accident that changed my life forever when I became a quadriplegic, paralyzed from the chest down. In recognition of this, I thought I would put together a list of 19 observations and lessons I've gathered about myself and life in general. Enjoy!

19. Getting attention JUST because I’m in a wheelchair and being someone who is different from what most people are used to will never end.

18. Accessible parking spaces matter – especially in cold and rainy weather.

17. It is actually kinda fun to ride around in a power chair.

16. Finding true friends who reach out to you, want to be around you, and it's not one-sided is one of the rarest things in the world.

15. Children will always stare. Parents should teach “say hi” instead of discouraging them.

14. I am more in tune and comfortable with my paralyzed body than many people are with their able bodies.

13. People saying “I need a chair like that because I get tired of running around" happens more times than you would think and makes me shake my head.

12. I am strong, plain and simple.

11. I am weak – so very weak – at times.

10. There are kind and selfless people who are considerate and willing to help.

9. There are rude and ugly people who don’t care about other people at all.

8. There are weird people out there who normally migrate to me to talk about ANYTHING.

7. Being graceful in difficult situations/interactionsé is a talent I’ve had to practice a lot.

6. I hate being called inspirational. I get that I’ve been through a lot and live a different life, but, at the end of the day, I’m just human with many faults.

5. Having new aids and assistants come in to help me never gets any easier.

4. There are thousands of other people with spinal cord injuries who I will never meet in person, and are willing to help me, encourage me, and know exactly what I’m going through.

3. Even with paralysis, I have an amazing life that I love.

2. God’s design is simply astonishing. When you get a glimpse of His handiwork, it is breathtaking to see how He uses our lives to interact and intercede with others.

1. Life is a beautiful experience that we only have one chance to go through. In the little time we do have, it is essential to show God’s love, have fun, and maybe even revel in a little chaos.

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