THE LIE OF THE LIMITLESS PHILOSOPHY — AND WHY LIMITS ARE ACTUALLY A GOOD THING

Whether you prefer to use the term pessimist, realist or glass-half-empty, it amounts to the same thing: I see the world as it is. Perhaps it’s because I’ve grown up disabled, and been subjected to my fair share of pitying stares, condescending questions and ableist attitudes which have made me rather cynical. Or maybe it’s the handful of other trials I’ve faced that have shown me time and time again that life is, and will always be, a challenge.

This isn’t to say that I don’t dream, or have aspirations of greatness or ambition to reach high and achieve. Anyone who knows me in my personal life can tell you so. But I am, and will always be, a realist.

And as a realist, I must make a declaration, or a confession if you will, and one that I rarely hear uttered in the blind community. Pardon me while I take a deep breath.

There Is No Such Thing as Being Limitless

Well, have I done it? Have I just made myself enemies in the very community in which I’ve thrown so much of my time, passion and words into? Maybe, and the only reason I wonder is because, in my experience, this philosophy of limitless potential is one that is rather divisive in the blind community. But maybe, my words don’t have to be fighting words but offer another perspective for you to think about.

I’ve read many a headline, mission statement and mantra which propagate an idea that says that just because we are disabled, does not mean that we are limited. We’re fully capable of achieving anything we desire, and there is nothing that can stop us—especially people who aren’t disabled.

But each time I read the headline, the mission statement or hear the mantra repeated by a fellow disabled person, I inwardly groan. And this is why.

I have limits. So do you. You, my disabled compatriots. You, my able-bodied allies.

We all have limits.

And I believe we do a major disservice to the disabled community and our attempt at societal equality when we promote the limitless philosophy. Because it simply isn’t true. It creates a falsity that, motivating or otherwise, is wrong and will only lead to disappointment and failed expectations.

But We Are All Capable

Now let me be clear: Disabled people, and in particular, disabled children, must be explicitly taught that they are capable. The world does a good enough job instilling doubt in its disabled people, so we must combat that doubt with hope. Blind children can grow up to be teachers, lawyers, artists, performers, politicians, doctors and virtually, any profession they set their sights on. As a child, playfully predicting my future in a game of MASH, my friends and I always put “bus driver” as a possible profession, jokingly of course, since we knew that I could never be one. Ability is not a reflection of determination. For as hard as I may try, I, a fully blind woman, cannot drive a bus.

I have a limitation. There are things I cannot do, like drive, and there are things that are harder for me but still possible with the right adaptations or equipment.

Disabled children who grow up in the knowledge of their own capability, talents, skills and unique abilities can, and will, lead full lives. But what becomes of their dreams if a life without limits is the guiding principle?

Being realistic can have its downsides. But the prevailing positive of being a realist is that expectations can be more easily managed, and one’s limitations can be worked with, not against.

If one can acknowledge their personal limitations and learn to view them not as a drain on their existence but a parameter within which to learn and grow, so much can be done. How can the windows be washed to let the light in if no one acknowledges that they are dirty?

It’s the same with windows as it is for limits: we must know what they are, acknowledge their presence, and live on. Because to live life denying an integral part that influences my every decision is to deprive my life of what it could be if I were to embrace it, fully and completely.

Embracing limitations is not only a discussion for those with disabilities, though. Everyone has limits, so this is a discussion for everyone.

Maybe you don’t consider these limitations, but rather “struggles” or “difficulties.” No matter what you call it, doesn’t it amount to the same thing?

Being limitless is not what drives us to succeed. This philosophy only shelters the reality that, for many disabled people, is cold, inaccessible and an ongoing challenge. In this way, limits are exactly that, limiting, making it so that the person cannot achieve their goals and desires. But I believe that once the limits are acknowledged and not seen as the enemy, then a fuller, more free, success is able to be achieved.

And that success is a more rewarding kind, because it isn’t founded on the idea that we had no limits and could achieve whatever we desired, but that we embraced every part of ourselves and worked together to achieve our dreams. You don’t get more points for living a life free of limits, but you do get a more fulfilling one by working with what you’ve been given and doing your best.

Limitations are only limiting when we use them as excuses not to try. What we perceive as a limitation, like blindness, doesn’t have to limit blind people, but propel us to make a positive change. And this is what I strive for in my life, and what I want to encourage you to do, as well.

Tell me your thoughts in the comments. I’d love to hear your perspective about limitations and how you manage them in your daily life.

I GOT MARRIED! HERE ARE SIX UNEXPECTED AND WONDERFUL THINGS THAT HAPPENED AT OUR WEDDING

I’m BAAACK!

And I’m MARRIED!

It already feels like so long ago, but in actuality, is still only days ago. Anyone else feel this way after their wedding? But in all the planning that went into our special day, it’s nice to sit down and reflect, and I wanted to share some of those reflections with you.

Weddings are a time to celebrate a couple’s love and commitment and the people that got them there, but it can also be a day of (mostly) organized chaos. But with the right people and the right outlook, it can still be beautiful and wonderful and everything you dreamed it would be.

Mine certainly was. Here are six things that happened that made it uniquely ours and totally wonderful.

I. We Changed Locations The Day Before

Third time’s the charm, right? My husband and I were engaged for six months and we had laid claim to our dream venue within the first week. But, sparing you all the back-and-forths, we had to give it up due to our provincial Covid-19 restrictions. So, we changed to an outdoor location, choosing to say our I dos on the lakefront. We knew a mid-April wedding might be cold, or raining, even snowing, but we had no choice.

Except we did.

During the rehearsal at the lake, my fiancé and I were shivering like two baby chihuahuas; it was shaded, windy, and the next day wouldn’t be much better. My Aunt, who officiated the ceremony, pulled us aside and gave us the permission that we weren’t able to give ourselves: we could move locations, and it was OKAY.

But where would we go? Well, both my fiancé and I, my Aunt, and my dad, had all thought to ourselves the previous evening that the AirBnb my parents had rented for my mother’s side of the family would be perfect. It had a large basement where my fiancé could get ready, the upstairs where I could get ready with my parents and my Aunties, and a deck where we could be married in the sunshine (and out of the wind).

So 24 hours before the wedding, we changed our venue … for the third time … And it was perfect. It was so much better than we’d dreamed; yes, it was easier in the practical sense, but emotionally, it gave my fiancé and I that ahhhh… just right feeling that we’d been hoping to have on our wedding day since we got engaged. And it made all the difference for us.

II. My Dress, Uh, Had A Malfunction

As I nervously texted a friend of mine in the days leading up to the wedding, she said that something will not go as planned but that all I needed to do was enjoy it [and that my family/wedding party would handle the rest]. I found that comforting, because yes, something did not go as planned, but her words helped me not to see it as a failure but simply part of the memories.

I was giving my parents hugs before taking my soon-to-be-husband’s arm to walk to the front. I leaned forward to wrap my arms around my mom, and POP! We burst out laughing. The clasp at the back of my dress had busted. The zipper was still intact, but as I discovered later, it isn’t that the clasp just unhooked, but vanished completely. But that wasn’t the last of it. As we made our rounds for goodbye hugs before heading off for our honeymoon, I leaned down to hug my grandma, and POOF! My left strap ripped loose from its front holding. Good thing I had my shawl on!

I laugh about it now, and you know what, I was laughing then, too. Some brides’ worst fear might be a wardrobe malfunction, but to me, it wasn’t worth the stress. I was with my family and friends. I was getting married. And in the last moment with my parents before heading up to stand with my husband, I was a nervous wreck, but the moment of laughter released all the stress. It wasn’t about timing the music for my walk down the aisle anymore. It wasn’t a performance. It was life, and a moment in life shared with people I love. And you know what? Sometimes, life is funny.

III. The Person I’m So Thankful I Invited, But Almost Didn’t

I won’t divulge the details here, but sufficed to say that there is a member of my family that I’ve had a rocky relationship with for several years now. When things first fell apart, I decided that I would not invite them to my wedding—I wanted to enjoy my day and not be focused on the hurt that I felt.

But as soon as my fiancé and I started writing the guest list, I had to make a choice, once and for all. My daddy, who’s always been good at walking me through difficult decisions, said something that stuck with me and made all the difference. He said: “If you don’t invite them to your wedding, it will make building a relationship with them later much harder.”

He was right.

So I sent them an invitation.

And when the wedding day came, I was so overcome with gratitude and love and such joy that they were there. Our hug was our first hug in years, and contrary to all my fears, their presence didn’t detract from my marriage celebration—it enhanced it.

IV. I Giggled All Through The Ceremony

During the reception, I was told many a time by my friends and family that they’d never seen a bride giggle so much. At first, I wasn’t sure what to make of this remark, but when I asked one friend, they reassured me that it was a good thing.

The joy was bubbling out of me and everyone watching could feel that joy.

I worried that my giggles would be construed as nervousness, and sure, there were some wedding jitters that day, but my giggles were of pure happiness and joy. I giggled when my dress clasp broke. I giggled when we all started crying because my sister-in-law had dubbed it a “sob fest” even at the rehearsal. I giggled while crying through my vows.

All because I was so filled with joy at marrying the love of my life, and believing firmly in what God had started in the two of us.

I’ve always been a smiley, giggly girl, and I didn’t want my giggles to come across as childish or young. But whether they did or not, I’ve decided not to stress about. My giggles were just me, and an outpouring of love and joy. There’s nothing to worry about with that!

V. We Opened Gifts With Our Family

A wedding signifies only the beginning of a life together. My husband and I would have our honeymoon and years after that to be together, but we wouldn’t always have family—particularly our family from far away. They came for one weekend to celebrate with us, so the least we could do is give them our time in return.

After our friends had left and only family remained, we gathered in the living room of the AirBNB to open gifts and cards that our guests had brought. While it may not seem like much, it meant so much to both my husband and I, and I’m hopeful, for those that were with us then, too. It was a way to relax, to unwind, and to say thank you for taking the time to come to our wedding. There was no reason to rush away as fast as possible—the honeymoon would still be there, but our family wouldn’t be. And as our families mean so much to us and have played such significant roles in our lives leading up to this day [and will continue to in the future], we wanted to spend time with them.

We didn’t want the wedding day to focus only on my husband and I. We weren’t the only ones there who mattered. And spending time with them after the festivity had calmed and we could relax, joke, take pictures and just chill, is such a wonderful memory from that day that I know I’ll take forward with me and cherish when I look back.

VI. The Focus Was On The Marriage, Not The Wedding

And, in everything that happened that day, I am so blessed that my wedding day wasn’t simply a production or a timeline of events.

My wedding day represented the covenant that my husband and I made before God. It wasn’t the final destination or an ending, but a beginning. Throughout the celebration, I was so thankful that the focus of the day was kept on what was to come and the lifelong marriage that had just been committed. It wasn’t about dresses or charcuterie boards or photos. It was about much more than that, and when the details of the wedding day have been lost to memory, the meaning of the marriage will last.


Just because my wedding is over and my husband and I are settling into married life and figuring out what our normal will be, doesn’t mean that I’m out of wedding mode.

So please, tell me about your wedding in the comments! I want to hear something that made your wedding uniquely you!