I love talking about all things agriculture with you, but that’s not all this corner of the internet is to me. I want this space to be somewhere a wide variety of people can connect to and gain something from.
A place where people can get lost in farm life and nature, learn about others’ realities, or feel comforted to see a piece of their own represented. Somewhere comparison, competition, and judgements on things people don’t have a choice about are left at the door.
If you’re looking for someone “overcoming” or “proving persistence and positivity are all you need” in some Disneyesque, inspirational story the media like to home in on… I’m afraid you’re in the wrong place.
I live *with* chronic illness and the delights it brings, not in-spite of it. It comes with me, whatever I’m doing, and ultimately, has the deciding vote in most scenarios. No positive mindset or heart-warming quotes change that, they just make the reality a little easier to swallow.
My hope is the resounding message you walk away with, woven through anything I share, isn’t one about fighting your circumstances, but about acceptance.
Acceptance that things don’t have to be sugar coated with fairy-tale endings to make them palatable.
That there’s space to exist and lead a full life, while also being limited by things out of your control. Pain and peace, grief and joy, can all coexist.
That using the aids and adaptations you have access to are not signs of giving up. They’re tools that help you keep living, not stop you, despite what the completely understandable voice of fear may tell you when going from invisibly to visibly disabled for the first time.
Acceptance that whatever your reality looks like, there’s nothing to be ashamed about, and there’s no wrong way to feel or be, no matter what the world might tell you.
You don’t need to buy the brands, have a list of ticked milestones, or be able to trace 6 generations back to the soil you’re standing on. It’s perfectly alright to not be in tip top spirits every second of the day, firing from all cylinders and overflowing with joy, and admitting that isn’t moaning. And it’s more than ok to stop and rest, both your body and your mind, or to rely on the help of others.
For me, the path to acceptance is a spiral, where every so often I revisit the lessons I thought I’d learnt and the shame and fear I believed I’d put to bed. There’s no signposts or shortcuts. It’s only found by allowing myself to feel everything, and at times, let those feelings drown me.
For a long time, I pushed all the uncomfortable feelings down, thinking if I just kept looking at the rainbows, I wouldn’t get wet. But that’s not how life works, no matter what change or event has occurred, and although I love them, that’s why you won’t find the story for a Disney movie here.
Acceptance isn’t the absence of hope. It’s not the absence of anything, but it’s the recognition of everything. It’s something I’m constantly working towards, especially the accepting help bit, as is pointed out to me a lot.
I often write about acceptance, the lessons I’ve learnt and the words I needed to hear, and quietly add them to the Poetry Corner on here. If you ever need some reassurance about it, I hope that’s where you’ll find some.