There is a video that we watched at work the other day. In it, several adults with developmental disabilities are interviewed and they are all asked the same question: "what would you change about yourself?".
The video is interesting for lots of reasons and stimulated a lot of discussion in the group that watched it.
Some people in the video said that they would not change a thing about themselves. This surprised some viewers because they expected someone with a disability to wish that disability away.
Other people in the video said that they want to be nice to others or they want to learn how to control their anger. This raised red flags for many of us because it sounds like something that the people would have heard from their staff rather than something that they would actually want to change.
Of course it got me thinking about what I would answer if asked that question.
If I could change one thing about myself, what would I change?
Would I wish my diabetes away?
Would I wish for all the surgery scars to go away?
Would I wish to be taller or have thinner thighs?
Would I wish to be a faster runner or stronger swimmer? To finish at the front of the pack rather than lost in the middle?
Would I wish for more money?
Would I want to be a nicer person? A better person? A smarter person?
All of those things would be nice but I don't think changing any of them would change my quality of life to any significant degree. I really don't.
I have made many changes to who I am and will continue to do that for as long as I have the ability to do so - that is part of who I am. But the changes I have made are changes that I decided to make and changes that I work on - not changes that the magic change faerie makes for me. There is a much greater reward in going through the process than there ever is in the final product.
If I'm ever going to be a front of the pack runner - I want to earn it. If I am going to be a better, nicer, smarter person - it's because I have worked hard to become so.
And diabetes, well there is no wishing that away now is there? It is as much a part of who I am now as my gender and my eye colour.
So I guess I'm not wishing that away either.
I am who I am.
And I am happy to report that I am quite ok with that.