Never too late for a new chapter

In her first of a new, regular column, Samantha Renke explores the power of new beginnings

This graphic is a bright red background with a lighter pattern in the background. Over the image, the Enable logo features in the top left corner and a white and yellow banner reads: "Welcoming our new columnist, Samantha Renke". In the top right corner, there is a photo of Samantha Renke.

By now most of you are getting excited to tuck into your advent calendar come December. If you’re like me, a traditionalist, this will be a chocolate goodie each day. If you are a little bougie then maybe you get to indulge in a lux calendar, each day gifting you a mini hand cream or a fancy tree decoration. No matter what you find behind each door, you get excited. The thrill of the unknown. A surprise that keeps you guessing.

So why is it in real life, the unknown, the what ifs, tend to terrify us?

No one particularly likes change, especially I’ve found when you have a disability. I mean the thought of my PA leaving and having to find a new one makes my belly want to come out of my mouth.

Consistency often equates to security.

Yet, not knowing what is behind each door can make me feel so unsafe and most vulnerable. So much so I am methodical about planning and even set alarms on my Alexa throughout the day as prompts so that I am never late and get the most out of my time.

Okay, so arguably I’m rather extreme, but can you blame me?

I often feel as though living in a disabling world where changes such as broken lifts or ramps, support assistants not turning up or parts on our wheelchairs randomly dropping off in the street meaning our brakes don’t function anymore, can really make us want to never leave our homes. Nevertheless we owe it to ourselves to take risks and push for change that suits our needs.

This Christmas I will be in a new home. If you follow me on social media you, will know I recently launched a home Instagram account @wheeliegoodreno. I will be starting a brave new chapter, new location, new PA, new ways of being able to get from a-b, new wet room and kitchen I will have to reprogram to navigate safely, new obstacles to try and figure out. New risk assessments and new friends and dating pool.

So many things outside of my control, so many changes. I feel rather anxious and overwhelmed simply writing this.

So, why do it?

I’ve often felt as though disabled people are encouraged by society to stay put. Never dream, never have aspirations and never try something new in case things don’t work out. We are often bound by paperwork, made to feel as though our choices are too much effort, cost too much or disrupts the lives of others who support us.

The truth is, we deserve new chapters. We deserve to get excited by what’s behind that door.

Follow Samantha on Instagram @samantharenke

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