Choosing Change

There is nothing unique in saying change can be scary. It often is. Even when you choose it as I did recently when I resigned from the New York State Council on Independent Living, as remarkable a group of people as I’ve ever worked with.

The heartfelt commitment I witnessed in council members to the rights of people with disabilities to live independently, which means as equal citizens, is breathtaking. I hesitate to mention certain members because all deserve to be mentioned, but I’m going to do so anyway. The two who dazzled me most were and are Bruce Darling and Brad Williams, the former being the head of the remarkable Center for Disability Rights  and the latter being the executive director of NYSILC.

I resigned from the council for three reasons: it is time to focus on my writing, my stamina level is not what it once was, and, at age 57, I don’t know how many years I have left. There are books I am writing and want to write along with short stories, blog essays, and, well, anything else that strikes my fancy. I need to finish a memoir, I task I’ve let lag far too along with two novels and a non-fiction work about working in the field of disability, brain injury specifically, a book I’m calling It’s All About Respect.

Do I find the change I’ve chosen scary? You betcha. But there is an expression about fear I wrote some years back that I love: It’s okay to be afraid, don’t let it scare you. If we wait until the fear leaves before we make the changes we want, they’ll never get made.

Henry David Thoreau’s line was a great help to me in summoning the moxie to make this change. “Go confidently in the directions of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined.” This goes for you too.

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