Lets start with the title, I wanted to use a synonym for Red as part of my title, because that is the name of the person who gave me the idea for this post and so I did what any techno-sort-of-genius would do. I googled.
It turns out there is as many words that mean the same as Red as there is blades of grass on a lawn, however Red is also the name of a tributary, that is part of the Mississippi River, so I thought, why the hell not lets use that, thus Thinking like Tributary was born.
But what does that mean you’re asking me, I know.
About eleven years ago, when I first started primary, in my little walker with my little legs and way too big culottes, I also met this teacher, he was this really tall guy who in my hazy memory I believe could have been surfer-like in his youth, anyhow he was the first person I remember speaking too, about disability.
Because before entering the world as that little girl, I was just me, not different in my home, known to my family and accepted by the friends I had, that’s the thing about preschoolers, they do not care how you get to the drawing table, crawling, walking, frame using, whatever. They don’t care how you get there as long as you don’t take their marker, then hell breaks loose.
All of a sudden though as a young child, I was in the world, even though looking back, it was just a spec of the world I now know. I was different, in this world and for the first time I saw it. This teacher he told me, his son was like me and he was older, that was the first time I saw that I wasn’t alone and that maybe nobody cares, how I get to the desk as long as I don’t take anyones easy-grip-pen (pen changes as we age as does the writing surface)
That realisation gave me the confidence to be who I was as a kid and I believe it was the first stepping stone toward who I am now.
Fast forward eleven years, we meet Tributary, the teachers son. Through the beauty of social media, we found each other after all these years. I haven’t talked about a lot of the other stuff that comes with being me on here and I am not going to talk strictly about the negative side of disability, because I’d rather tell you how I faced that stuff and came out the other side – not that there really is another side because life is life, it continues until it doesn’t and challenges arise, like the sun (poetry or what) and you either face them or you don’t.
It is about developing the tools to do such. One of those tools is finding people who understand and can offer the golden-statue that is hindsight. This for me is Tributary.
The fact that I can talk to someone who says “dayyyym its like talking to myself ten years ago” means that I can develop the tools, to face what I need too and help you in your life with those tools.
I cannot tell you how much it means to talk to someone whose been in the world longer then I have and is able to shine a light, because a lot of the time we reach out to people, we want role models, friends, peers, but sometimes we don’t get what we need, we get people who perhaps have a public persona different to their private one, we get people who don’t quite understand, however every so often. A person, gets it. Someone gets it.
Someone will tell you what you need to hear and that first stepping stone, connects with your latest one.
That is an amazing thing, so do not be afraid to face challenges, don’t be afraid to do life. Because Life is a Verb.
Big ups to the real life Tributary you should have got an attitude award.