I am very excited to share my first guest post with you all! Todays guest post is from a lovely lady called Jennifer. We have been chatting on twitter and decided to do a guest post for each other. You can view my guest post for Jennifer here
I hope you enjoy her story!
By Jennifer Hansford (@HansfordJen-twitter)
I live in Canada, in a small town called Espanola. I started my blog a little over a year ago, called Exuding Energy, which tells stories about how people still pursue goals while facing challenges. I also include my own. I’m excited to have met Holly, who sent me a lovely tweet and gave me the opportunity to write for her blog.
I have lofty ambitions, and I have never let my disability, or other challenges stop me from doing what I wanted to do. It’s not easy growing up with a disability. I don’t even like using the word disabled (In my case, anyway). I’m not disabled, I just do things in a different way. I may not be able to walk like everyone else, swim, or drive a car, but at least I can in fact walk, and I do most daily things for myself. I have Cerebral Palsy, and I have had my share of kids being mean to me, and staring at me as I walked passed them. Sometimes, even as an adult, I still have the feelings I did as a child when I meet new people. ‘Am I going to fit in?, ‘How are they going to treat me?’ About 8 or 9 years ago, I moved into a house that I was to share with two other girls, and one day, I was talking to one of my room mates, and I said to her, ‘”When I first moved here, I was kind of scared, I was thinking, ‘what if they make fun of me…?’ Her reply to me was, “If anybody says anything to you (that’s mean) and they’re not paying rent here, they have to go.” Ha ha! We became good friends, but she ended up moving to France. I no longer live in that place either, but I think about that moment often. I don’t know why, being a grown woman now, I still get scared about how people will react to me. I guess no matter how old I get, it’s still disappointing to not be accepted, just for having a body that doesn’t work like other people’s do.
I still worked hard, even if it wasn’t in my chosen field. I have always wanted to do something that reaches people, whether it’s a big or a small group. I just wanted to make a difference. I worked for a while as a freelance writer for various publications, but I couldn’t get a staff job anywhere. I can’t really say for sure why this was, but it felt like, since I do have a distorted way of walking, and I don’t drive a car, (and I’m really small for my age) I wasn’t given the opportunity to show them any of my actual journalism skills. I know that not everyone judges other people’s skills based on what they look like. My professor back in journalism school was one of my greatest supporters, because he saw the passion I had for the field. He told me that he used to work with someone who used a wheelchair, and he was one of the best reporters he knew, so there should be no reason why I couldn’t have a great career. Sadly, that wasn’t the case, and sometimes I feel like I let him down, but I hope that someday I’ll return to it stronger than ever. I continued to freelance, since I could work from home, and editors only saw my articles, and not how I had to get around to all my stories. All they saw was good writing. I’m perfectly capable of researching, conducting interviews with sources, and things like that. I just have to find transportation to get places, which is very frustrating, but I don’t think it should keep me from doing the job completely. I do have a journalism diploma.
I left it for a while though, when I got the opportunity be a grant proposal writer for a non-profit organization that runs programs for adults with disabilities. I absolutely loved that job. I held it for about 5 months, but had to give it up earlier than expected, when I started to have issues with my throat, which gave me a whole set of new problems, including no longer being able to eat food properly. This was almost 3 years ago, and because of this, since I am so weak most of the time, I had to leave behind all the goals I had for myself.
I now am just blogging, and trying the YouTube video making thing. It’s hard though, since I can’t leave my house a lot of the time, but my goal is to put my journalism skills back to use, and create some interview show types of videos. Blogging has really helped me, and I’ve met a lot of great people by doing it, so I hope you will share some stories with me for either my blog, or the channel, or both.
I hope all of you, young and not so young, who may be going through hard times, or challenges, find a way to bring out the best in yourself again. You know, the YOU that you were before any of the hard times ever happened. Blogging became my way of regaining some of my strength. I do miss everything I once was, and I have always needed to be creative to fully function as human being, so no matter what comes my way, I am going to find ways to do that. Maybe I’ll create a new version of myself. That is what I wish for all the viewers of my blog posts and videos. No matter what your physical abilities are, we all have something to share, and we all deserve the chance to share it. So, I hope you don’t let other people discourage you from doing what makes you, YOU!
Check out my blog at-theexudeblog.wordpress.com
And my YouTube Channel at- https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQydLY3VDFXOxoz0gQ1qsyg
Many thanks to Holly to letting me write for your blog!
I hope you all enjoyed Jennifer’s story and i’m sure you’ll agree with me that she is an incredible woman. Please check out her blog and YouTube channel!
Remember, if you’d like to write a guest post then please do get in touch with with me.