Yesterday I was finally able to use my wheelchair in public for the very first time! I went on another work trip, but this time it was only about four hours away so fortunately, I was able to drive there instead of taking a plane. As I’ve said before, whenever I fly for business I have to take my foldable crutches instead of my wheelchair, so the convenience of my own vehicle provided me with the ability to conceal my chair while I was leaving my own city.
All I can say is wow! I can’t express how amazing it was to feel like my identity was finally aligned with my physical self, even if it was only for a short period of time. I used my wheelchair all afternoon; however, I did encounter a couple of obstacles along the way, such as not being able to eat at the new trendy restaurant downtown due to its lack of accessibility for wheelchair users. Although this occurrence would normally be regarded as a barrier, I actually found it rather validating as a wannabe. Initially, this encounter was a bit frustrating, but then I realized that I should be embracing all of the effects and occurrences that come along with the disability that I long for due to my BIID.
I still have a full day left here on this business trip, and I’m really looking forward to experiencing more of the city while using my wheelchair!