Living Disabled: Disability Pride Month

July 23, 2020
A Vintage Nerd, Vintage Blog, Retrostyle Blog, Retro Fashion Blog, Disabled Fashion, Braces and Fashion, Leg Braces and Fashion, Sixties Style, Vintage Girl in a Modern World, July Disabled Pride Month,  Disability Awareness

Did you know that July is Disability Pride Month? According to the site  AmeriDisability, "Disability pride" has been defined as accepting and honoring each person's uniqueness and seeing it as a natural and beautiful part of human diversity. The first Disability Pride Day was held in 1990 in celebration of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a landmark law which was signed on July 26, 1990. This July marks the 30th Anniversary of this landmark law which is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination based on disability. 

Despite living with CMT my whole life there are so many things I still need to learn about what it means to live with a disability. I can tell you from what I have learned so far is that despite looking or acting different we all want the same things those without disabilities want. We don't like to be treated differently but we do want to be understood that we need help in ways others may not. We want all the opportunities that others want and despite our limitations, we are very much willing and capable of working hard for them. 

A disability didn't stop the blind, deaf, and mute Hellen Keller from learning how to read, write, and learn. She eventually became an author, political activist, and lecturer and the first deaf-blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree. A disability didn't stop the wheelchair bound Franklin Delano Roosevelt from becoming President of the United States. In 1921 he contracted a paralytic illness that left him permanently paralyzed from the waist down. There are so many amazing humans who lived with disabilities and still strived to make their dreams come true just like everyone else. People like Steven Hawking (ALS), Andrea Boccelli (Blind), Frida Kahlo (Polio/Spinal Injury), Itzhak Perlman (Polio), Christopher Reeve (Paralysis), Francisco de Goya (Deaf), and John Milton (Blind) just to name a few.

But how many other famous individuals had or have disabilities but don't dare tell the world about them for fear of limitations that can be placed on them? When you are growing up with a disability you are not normally told that anything is possible for you. I remember when my grandmother's acquaintances would ask me what I wanted to do with my life and depending on the age I would say a ballerina, an astronaut, a wife and mother. Then their faces would get all sad and they would tell me that those things were nice to hear but I knew from the way they acted that they believed that I wouldn't be able to do anything special with my life. They were wrong.

The truth is that a disability can and will bring daily challenges into your life. Sometimes they are hard to deal with, burdensome, and scary. But with challenges also comes the opportunity to learn to see life from a different angle, have a larger capacity for empathy and patience, and make you braver than you ever imagined.

Trying to make your dreams come true and living with a disability is like trying to swim against the waves of the ocean everyday, all day long. Its exhausting both physically, mentality, emotionally, and spiritually. There are two ways that you can handle this; you can either complain, have it consume you, and allow it to bring misery into your life or you can learn how to accept the challenges, learn to never give up, and find the positives. There will be hard days but I have chosen to be on this journey with CMT as my companion, not my enemy. 

I always tell my children, life is about choices. I don't know why or how sometimes but I have always chosen to move forward and dream big. Yes, I have suffered from extreme loneliness, pain, and heaps of fatigue but I know I am not alone. In this big world we all suffer to some degree, they say its a part of our human condition. So this human can share with you today that I am proud of being different. I am proud of my struggles and how I have confronted them. I am proud that with my disability in tow I have accomplished a great deal in life and know I can accomplish even more.

Try to remember this as you join those you know in this months Disability Pride Month, that denying our differences is denying the truth of who we are. Celebrate them and celebrate yourself.

For more information on what Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease (my disability) is you can learn more HERE and HERE.

AVN Book Club: More Than Love: An Intimate Portrait of My Mother, Natalie Wood

July 20, 2020
A Vintage Nerd, Vintage Blog, Vintage Blogger, Retro Blog, Retro Lifestyle Blog, Retro Fashion, Vintage Inspired Fashion, Old Hollywood Blog, Classic Film Blog, Natalie Wood, Natalie Wood Book,  More Than Love Natalie Wood, Natasha Gregson Wagner Book, Biography of Natalie Wood, Classic Film Book Review, Old Hollywood Book Review, Sixties Style, Sixties Bun Style

Have you ever heard someone be described as an "open book"? Its a person who just lays it all out there for the world to see. The best kind of open book is someone who is willing to share their deepest and most secret thoughts and feelings unabashedly. I think it takes a certain about of courage and resolve to be open to others especially when it comes to our pain.

The book More Than Love: An Intimate Portrait of My Mother, Natalie Wood by Natasha Gregson Wagner felt exactly like that. Natasha truly laid out all of her stories, feelings, and thoughts about her life with and without her mother, Natalie Wood. She opened herself in a way that was beautiful, raw, and easily relatable. There aren't many books that I have read where I felt instantly connected to the author because of their style of writing but Natasha's style reads almost like a diary. I began writing in journals at the age of nine and there is a style to it that is forthcoming and accessible. That is exactly how this book reads to me. And I cannot tell you what a joy and pleasure it was to read a book about something so special and intimate like this that was also written so candidly.

Most of us know who Natalie Wood was. She was a child movie star with films like Miracle on 34th Street(1947) who became a teen movie star with films like Rebel without a Cause (1955). Then she accomplished something most child movie stars never get to accomplish, she became not only a movie star as an adult but an international movie star with films like Splendor in the Grass (1961), West Side Story (1961), and Love with the Proper Stranger (1963). She enjoyed an incredible career as an actress but the role she seemed to love the most was that of being a mother to Natasha and Courtney.

Natasha covers the beginnings of her life and intermingles them with her mothers. I also lost my mother at a young age and I have a daughter of my own so I understand how much of a mothers life blends in with her daughters. I have already had milestones with my daughter that my mother never had a chance to have with me. And when those moments happen you think of her because she is never far from you mind or your heart. Natasha is blessed more than most that she has access to many people who knew her and heaps of films both on screen and homemade, to have kept her connected to her mother in ways I only dream of.

This book is absolutely a must read for those who are fans of Natalie Wood but also who may have lost a parent especially at a young age. There is a sense of mourning that never stops. In my case I have a million questions about my mother because I do not have access to friends and family that knew her. To just feel that connection and remind myself that she is real. All I have are some photos and a cassette tape of her speaking a little. Reading Natasha's book reminded me over and over of the importance of connection and staying connected because like it was for her, my mother was the most important person in my life once. No matter how many years pass that isn't something we should allow ourselves to forget.

Natasha's book is a reminder that a life lost no matter how they lived or died affects us all incredibly deeply. She really shares what it feels like for her to lose her mother, not only how she dealt with it but also how she dealt with her mother's fame. That is a distinctive type of burden that only children and grandchildren of very famous people have to learn to deal with. I think Natasha does so with great amounts of grace. I admire her openness and candor and appreciate beyond words her sharing her story in this way. I also love how her story comes full circle by sharing some memories of being a mother to her own daughter, Clover. This book is beautiful in every way.

A Vintage Nerd, Vintage Blog, Vintage Blogger, Retro Blog, Retro Lifestyle Blog, Retro Fashion, Vintage Inspired Fashion, Old Hollywood Blog, Classic Film Blog, Natalie Wood, Natalie Wood Book,  More Than Love Natalie Wood, Natasha Gregson Wagner Book, Biography of Natalie Wood, Classic Film Book Review, Old Hollywood Book Review, Sixties Style, Sixties Bun Style
A Vintage Nerd, Vintage Blog, Vintage Blogger, Retro Blog, Retro Lifestyle Blog, Retro Fashion, Vintage Inspired Fashion, Old Hollywood Blog, Classic Film Blog, Natalie Wood, Natalie Wood Book,  More Than Love Natalie Wood, Natasha Gregson Wagner Book, Biography of Natalie Wood, Classic Film Book Review, Old Hollywood Book Review, Sixties Style, Sixties Bun Style
A Vintage Nerd, Vintage Blog, Vintage Blogger, Retro Blog, Retro Lifestyle Blog, Retro Fashion, Vintage Inspired Fashion, Old Hollywood Blog, Classic Film Blog, Natalie Wood, Natalie Wood Book,  More Than Love Natalie Wood, Natasha Gregson Wagner Book, Biography of Natalie Wood, Classic Film Book Review, Old Hollywood Book Review, Sixties Style, Sixties Bun Style
A Vintage Nerd, Vintage Blog, Vintage Blogger, Retro Blog, Retro Lifestyle Blog, Retro Fashion, Vintage Inspired Fashion, Old Hollywood Blog, Classic Film Blog, Natalie Wood, Natalie Wood Book,  More Than Love Natalie Wood, Natasha Gregson Wagner Book, Biography of Natalie Wood, Classic Film Book Review, Old Hollywood Book Review, Sixties Style, Sixties Bun Style
A Vintage Nerd, Vintage Blog, Vintage Blogger, Retro Blog, Retro Lifestyle Blog, Retro Fashion, Vintage Inspired Fashion, Old Hollywood Blog, Classic Film Blog, Natalie Wood, Natalie Wood Book,  More Than Love Natalie Wood, Natasha Gregson Wagner Book, Biography of Natalie Wood, Classic Film Book Review, Old Hollywood Book Review, Sixties Style, Sixties Bun Style
A Vintage Nerd, Vintage Blog, Vintage Blogger, Retro Blog, Retro Lifestyle Blog, Retro Fashion, Vintage Inspired Fashion, Old Hollywood Blog, Classic Film Blog, Natalie Wood, Natalie Wood Book,  More Than Love Natalie Wood, Natasha Gregson Wagner Book, Biography of Natalie Wood, Classic Film Book Review, Old Hollywood Book Review, Sixties Style, Sixties Bun Style
A Vintage Nerd, Vintage Blog, Vintage Blogger, Retro Blog, Retro Lifestyle Blog, Retro Fashion, Vintage Inspired Fashion, Old Hollywood Blog, Classic Film Blog, Natalie Wood, Natalie Wood Book,  More Than Love Natalie Wood, Natasha Gregson Wagner Book, Biography of Natalie Wood, Classic Film Book Review, Old Hollywood Book Review, Sixties Style, Sixties Bun Style
A Vintage Nerd, Vintage Blog, Vintage Blogger, Retro Blog, Retro Lifestyle Blog, Retro Fashion, Vintage Inspired Fashion, Old Hollywood Blog, Classic Film Blog, Natalie Wood, Natalie Wood Book,  More Than Love Natalie Wood, Natasha Gregson Wagner Book, Biography of Natalie Wood, Classic Film Book Review, Old Hollywood Book Review, Sixties Style, Sixties Bun Style
A Vintage Nerd, Vintage Blog, Vintage Blogger, Retro Blog, Retro Lifestyle Blog, Retro Fashion, Vintage Inspired Fashion, Old Hollywood Blog, Classic Film Blog, Natalie Wood, Natalie Wood Book,  More Than Love Natalie Wood, Natasha Gregson Wagner Book, Biography of Natalie Wood, Classic Film Book Review, Old Hollywood Book Review, Sixties Style, Sixties Bun Style
A Vintage Nerd, Vintage Blog, Vintage Blogger, Retro Blog, Retro Lifestyle Blog, Retro Fashion, Vintage Inspired Fashion, Old Hollywood Blog, Classic Film Blog, Natalie Wood, Natalie Wood Book,  More Than Love Natalie Wood, Natasha Gregson Wagner Book, Biography of Natalie Wood, Classic Film Book Review, Old Hollywood Book Review, Sixties Style, Sixties Bun Style

 
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