About the Author: Skye Todd is an artist, and a fantastic blogger about all things disability. She uses her platform to share amazing content about what it's like to live with a disability, honest updates, and of course hilarious memes. She talks about and shares her story in efforts to spread disability awareness, so if you want to see some funny memes check out her instagram here, and her website where you can read all about her!
I wasn’t always as open as I currently am about my disabilities. All of mine are invisible, and I only recently started blogging about them. I work, when I can, as a makeup artist and hair stylist for film and photography, and I also design clothing. I used to be very afraid for a lot of my clients or colleagues to find out about my disabilities, because I was terrified of being judged or being passed over for another artist. It took me a long time to understand that other people’s opinions about my disabilities don’t define me, and they don’t affect my work as much as I thought it would.
I also used to struggle a lot with feeling like a failure because I had large gaps between jobs, sometimes due to the fact that I had just started out as an artist and hadn’t found my niche, but also because I knew there were certain jobs I couldn’t handle, so I would have to pass on them. In today’s society, if you’re not working constantly and always showing everyone how well you’re doing on social media, you’re not viewed as “successful”. Let me be the first to say, this is absolute bullshit. You are the only person who can say whether you’re successful or not. Don’t let anyone make you feel like you’re not doing enough. Once I realized that, my artistry got so much better. I was free to do what made me happy, not whatever the newest trend was.
I also found that the more open I was with people about my disabilities, whether they were one of my actors, a director, or photographer, we had a much better working relationship. Anyone who has ever been rude about it, or told me I shouldn’t talk about it, isn’t my client. They’re not someone I need in my life, no matter how much money they’re offering me.
Being open and honest about your disabilities or needs isn’t complaining. Trust me, it took me a long time to realize that one. Growing up, I always felt that if I talked about how much pain I was in, or buckled and asked for help, that I was complaining. I think part of that is because I’m a very empathetic person, and I never want to offend anyone, but I think that also stems from being very close to my grandmother growing up.
I loved my grandmother very much, but she was unfortunately one of those people that was never satisfied with anything, and complained about nearly everything. This never took away from my love for her, because we were very close, and she was the only grandmother I ever had, but I was also acutely aware of the complaining issue. I never wanted to come off that way, so I tried my best to just say the least about how much pain I was in. It’s taken a long time for me to break that habit.
Only you know what you need, and voicing that isn’t bitching and moaning, being dramatic, whatever anyone wants to call it. Don’t let society tell you what your life should look like, because I can guarantee that your version is far more beautiful.
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