This is just a quick note--a quick observation--to tell you all that sometimes I forget that I'm disabled. I don't know why this is. Whether it's wishful thinking, or hope, or stubbornness. Even though I go everywhere with Stella, even though I take twenty-two pills a day, I forget that I can't do things that James can do, that a normal person can do.
This was made evident today at the Columbus Museum of Art.
After waking up at 11:30 in the morning, I had my normal two double shots of espresso and two cups of earl grey tea. Yesterday was our twelfth wedding anniversary so we wanted to spend the day together doing things that were special. James is an artist, and we got engaged at the Columbus Museum of Art, so we wanted to take some time to go there.
Right now, there's an exhibition of Beyond Impressionism (French turn of the 20th century) work that's going on with Toulouse Lautrec and a single Monet and this great (new-to-me) artist called Odilon Redon.
He did this in pastels:
So we had a good time. We walked through the exhibit. We saw Odilon Redon's work. We saw a single painting of Monet's waterlilies. We saw a bunch of lithographs and woodblocks. James made a crack about the art and we both laughed. He loved art I didn't, and I loved art he didn't. And this is why we make a great team.
But after the exhibit, which exited into the gift shop, I had to sit down. James got me a cup of coffee at the cafe and I sat and could not keep my eyes open. Stella napped on my boots and I wanted to curl up with her on the floor. James joked about how I was so sleepy, but I couldn't understand why.
Why was I so tired? I'd gotten enough sleep the night before/the week before. What was wrong with me?
James said this: "That was a lot of people in there; a lot of stimulation. We had to navigate crowds, look at art, wait in a long line. There was a lot of noise, a lot of reading to do, a lot of stuff going on. No wonder you're worn out."
And it hit me. I'm disabled. I can't just go to an art museum and have everything work out okay. I felt this tired at the MoMA, at the Met. And it's okay. It doesn't mean I'm not cultured. It doesn't mean I can't do this. It just means that I have to take it easy. Sit down more often. Take a breather. Enjoy it. (Not that I don't, but art museums have benches for a reason.)
James and I did enjoy ourselves, as you can see from this picture:
They had costumes provided, so James and I got dressed up and someone offered to take our picture, which was very kind of them. And Stella and I match!
I guess what I want the takeaway from this to be is: it's okay for me to realize that I am disabled. For me not to try to power through and pretend that everything is okay just for someone else's feelings, or for some old stupid pride saying that Things Have To Be A Certain Way.
I need to take care of me; to listen to me. Yes, I also need to take care of others, but me first. I can't take care of others if I'm sick, if I'm not doing very well. It's the whole oxygen mask conundrum: if I'm suffocating because I'm struggling to save you, we're both gonna die.
Anyway. Sorry for the mess of this post. I wanted to get it up here (to put it up here) partially as self-reference for me. So that I can look back on it and say, "Hey Jordan, stop sacrificing you well-being for other people. And remember that you need to take care of yourself, too."
I hope you're all well. And remember to take care of yourself sometimes.