Tonight I will scratch one more item off my Bucket List, I will be venturing out to ring in New Years Eve. As I reflect back on 2017 and look forward to 2018, I feel so blessed! Along the way, I had many incredible experiences and met wonderful people along the way. 2017 was a year of growth for me as a person and a blogger.
When I started out blogging, my goal was to review places I visited based on accessibility. I planned on eating good food, drinking a beer or two and discuss the ease of which I could navigate the establishment. Sounds like a good plan, right? As I wrote one blog after another, I evolved as a writer and my content also evolved. Life as a person with a disability is so much more than accessibility. I discovered along this journey that people with disabilities are underrepresented and many live life in isolation and poverty. I became more aware of the fact that a disability affects not only the individual, but also those around them.
I challenged myself in many ways in 2017. This year, I ventured out and experienced things I never thought possible. I wanted to experience a motorcycle ride, I went on three! An exciting ride in a Mustang was also on my list of adventures. My mom and I recorded our story for Story Corps, thanks to an invite from the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum. My speech and stutter add to my shyness. With the support of so many, I began making videos in addition to blogging to help gain confidence in this area. As I look forward to 2018, I am planning on expanding those challenges. My bucket list includes snowmobiling, public speaking, a multi-state road trip and starting a t-shirt line!
One of the biggest blessings in 2017 is the friendships I developed in my “real life” and through social media. The power of social media became very clear to me this year. Through Facebook, I was able to reconnect with a high school friend. Eddie has joined us on many adventures, which made them even more special. Video chat reconnected me with an old camp friend, Alex. Instagram connected me with so many incredible and inspirational people, with and without disabilities. It amazes me that I can now say I have friends all around the world! I look forward to 2018 to continue to cultivate and develop my current and future friendships.
One of the most surprising and humbling experiences of 2017 was being recognized in my community as a result of my blog. Several times throughout this year, I was approached by my local readers! Every time that happens I realize how blessed I am and how powerful written words can be. I hope to continue to meet my readers as 2018 rolls on!
I want to thank all my readers. Without your support, I would not have had this incredible year. I hope as 2018 unfolds you continue to roll with me. I am so excited to continue to spread awareness for those who have disabilities. Advocating to make this world a kinder and more accessible place for those with disabilities will continue to be my mission.
As we leave 2017 and enter into 2018, Keep Rollin’ and Keep Smilin’
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