Crutches + Mean People

Crutches are humbling. I mean that in the most literal way possible—no fancy metaphors here. In the two weeks since I have been a four-legged human, I have experienced the good in people: family, friends and strangers—everyone taking care of me.

Of course, with the good also comes the bad: distant, half-hearted smiles and stares.

After the bad, comes the ugly in people:

Getting around on crutches is not easy; it’s exhausting. But, so worth it for a night out with friends! We met up at an underground, speakeasy bar that serves specialty cocktails. The bar is reminiscent of the 1920s with dim lighting and bartenders dressed in period clothing. Needless to say—a good time was had! After migrating to two other bars downtown, it was time to go home.

One of my friends pulled up to the curb, so as not to have to walk for long. As I was getting in to the car, a truck passed us on the left and a young woman yelled out, “Were you born a cripple?” As the truck drove off I could hear her, along with others, laughing hard.

Were you born a cripple?

My heart dropped to the pit of my stomach. I am not angry as much as I am disappointed. Hurt. Sad. I have a sprained knee and I’ve been on crutches for two weeks. I can’t help but wonder, what if I had been born with a disability that limited my mobility?

I can’t pretend to know, to truly know, what life on crutches—or other mobility devices—is like. But, I do know this: be kind, because that type of cruel shit hurts. It really, really hurts.

MY TOP 10 TRAVEL EXPERIENCES

travel

10. Seeing an engagement atop the Eiffel Tower. (Oct. 2014)

9. Sled riding down the Great Wall of China. (July 2015)

8. Witnessing Black Bears sleep walking in Vancouver. (February 2014)

7. Eating whale in Norway. (May 2015)

6. Skydiving over the red rocks in Arizona. (August 2015)

5. Meeting a ski Olympian at the real Matterhorn in Switzerland. (June 2015)

4. Paddle boarding and being saved by an Aussie in St. Marteen. (Aug. 2014)

3. Witnessing a giant green turtle birth 70 eggs in Tulum, Mexico. (July 2011)

2. Swimming next to a dolphin in Florida. (August 2014)

1. Visiting Anne Frank’s House in Amsterdam. (May 2015)

MIKAELA 

On August 6, 2016 at exactly 6:55am, I boarded my flight from Prague back to London. Seating in front of me, was this girl who gazed out of her window with a yearning and hopeful heart. I wanted to speak to her through this small crack, but opted for anonymity. After all, there is beauty in the unknown. The following is what my mind conjured up about this wandering young woman.  Continue reading