2022 REFLECTIONS

The events of 2021 set in motion a domino-effect of transitions in my life, and transition is how I’ve come to define 2022.

Becoming a Mrs.

In October of 2021, the love of my life slipped an engagement ring onto my left hand. And six months later, I said “I do.” [So did he!] Before 30 of our close friends and family, we committed our lives together in a ceremony that was uniquely us, full of love and joyful giggles [on my part]. It wasn’t the wedding I’d dreamed about growing up. But it was the perfect wedding for who I have become and the people my husband and I are and hope to be in our marriage.

On The Move

But as wonderful as it was to begin the year becoming a wife in the beautiful, crisp, island sunshine, it also was just the beginning of what felt like constant change and unpredictability.

Six weeks after our wedding, my husband and I moved into our 2-bedroom condo that overlooks the creek. For me, this was the third official move in a year and a half. But it felt like just another one, since for the duration of my husband’s and my year-long relationship, I’d been commuting between our homes, an hour apart. I could feel in my body the unease and the anxiety of everything that comes with learning a new home, city, and routine–I had to learn the routes and teach them to my guide dog, I had to memorize a new layout and learn where we kept everything in the house [and teach my husband not to move everything on me!], and face the most daunting task of all–making friends.

It was a slow process. It took six months to even begin to feel at home here in our house. And I’m still in the midst of it. What used to come naturally takes an extraordinary amount of physical and mental energy. But I’m determined to keep moving forward, and reassuring my brain that this move is permanent, it won’t disappear, and we are safe here. But as with most things: easier said than done.

Alongside our move, my husband and I faced employment and financial challenges. I wrote a mini series on how the British Columbia government handles disability income after marriage, and how it’s designed not to lift people out of poverty, but actually keeps people in it. This weight is intensely heavy, and leaves both my husband and I feeling very devalued and like we are fighting a battle that we are destined to lose.

Just Keep Writing… Just Keep Writing

I celebrated my one-year blogging anniversary in May, and my passion for disability equality and accessibility is still going strong.

In July, I began the Authors with Disabilities Showcase, an online bookstore to highlight the talent of the disabled community. From memoirs to children’s books to stories about guide dogs, I’ve learned so much, not just about different disabilities, but about people. That’s why I began this bookstore–to learn and to grow in my understanding of others’ experiences and perspectives, and I’m excited to share it all with you.

In August, my husband, a former web designer, migrated my website to a new hosting platform. This was a major learning curve, but it also opened the door to many more opportunities to expand my online reach than I had previously. While the blog looks and feels much the same, behind the scenes is a different story, and one that I’m excited to keep exploring.

It was during this migration that I started toying with the idea of what would become the Writely Disabled Newsletter. While the newsletter only lasted four months [September-December], I’m grateful for the experience: While it taught me a bit about web design and marketing, it taught me to take what I perceive as failure and rebrand it. Though not easy, it is a life skill that I’m glad to be learning, and will undoubtedly, have to learn over and over again.

And all throughout, the idea for my memoir/non-fiction book had been building. This fall, I began a concerted effort to begin the journey. I have a long way to go, but I’m proud of how far I’ve come, and I have big dreams for this book and many others. I’m excited for where the events of 2022 will take me in 2023.

Back to Basics

But the most transitional moment of this year has been the re-embracing of my Christian faith. I accepted Jesus Christ as my Saviour as a young child, and while it’s remained a defining feature of my life, it hasn’t always been my driving force.

In growing with my husband and deciding what kind of life we want to build together, I felt a profound, personal return to my faith and a desire to make it my center. I declared that I will not renounce the word Christian even when it makes others assume on my values and standards, but my faith is not about what others might think of me–it’s about God.

However, the decision to embrace my faith more deeply has caused friction in my relationships. I have been and continue to be accused of many things that I have not done and am not as a person, and it hurts. And I know I’ve hurt others, but in the spirit of the faith I’m trying to live out, I am trying to forgive, and hope that they can forgive me. I should have handled these conflicts with more grace and understanding. But I will not deny my faith or ignore its commands. And it’s my goal to continually learn how to stand firm in my faith and still be kind, but I know I’ve failed and will fail again. But I will never stop trying. That, I can promise.


2022 has been a year of transition. While many of these have been welcome and long prayed for changes, they haven’t come without conflict or inner struggle. I’ve cried out to God, felt lonely and lost, and believed I was worthless. The year feels less about marking events on the calendar as it does recalling the emotions and internal struggles I’ve endured. I’ve doubted myself and everything I’ve believed, and it has taken me into some dark places.

But the truth is that these are lies told to me by the Deceiver, and I’m hopeful, that with God’s help [and therapy], I can rid myself of them and start believing God’s truth about who I am.

And that’s my prayer for 2023, that I might not just believe, but truly become, a deeper, more faithful follower of God and embrace what He has for me in my life.

Happy 2023!

MY TOP READS OF 2022

To celebrate Disability Pride Month in July, I opened the Authors with Disabilities Showcase. This online bookstore began out of a deep desire to shed light on the diverse talent within the disabled community, and support a group of writers that often get marginalized and underrated. In my journey of searching for and adding new titles to the bookstore, I have collected many favourites along the way, and my TBR pile [To be Read] just keeps growing!

Now that 2022 is drawing to a close, I wanted to highlight a few of my favourite reads from the bookstore.
Disclaimer: The links in this post are affiliate links and I may earn a small commission from qualifying purchases.

Thunder Dog by Michael Hingson

There’s no such thing as being late to the party when it comes to a great book! Thunder Dog was published 10 years after the tragedy of 9/11, and I read it more than 10 years later. But we will never forget, and this book is a wonderfully, poignant reminder of that day.

“When one of four hijacked planes flew into the World Trade Center’s North Tower on September 11, 2001, Michael Hingson, a district sales manager for a data protection and network security systems company, was sitting down for a meeting. His guide dog, Roselle, was at his feet.

Blind from birth, Michael could hear the sounds of shattering glass, falling debris, and terrified people flooding all around him. But Roselle sat calmly beside him. In that moment, Michael chose to trust Roselle’s judgment and not to panic. They were a team.”

Buy Thunder Dog on Amazon.

How to Lose Everything by Christa Couture

Grief is hard to feel, but even harder to understand. But it helps to hear a fellow human speak openly about their own grief and their journey through it. If nothing else, it can help us feel less alone, which is sometimes, all we need.

“From the amputation of her leg as a cure for bone cancer at a young age to her first child’s single day of life, the heart transplant and subsequent death of her second child, the divorce born of grief and then the thyroidectomy that threatened her career as a professional musician, How to Lose Everything delves into the heart of loss. Couture bears witness to the shift in perspective that comes with loss, and how it can deepen compassion for others, expand understanding, inspire a letting go of little things and plant a deeper feeling for what matters. At the same time, Couture’s writing evokes the joy and lightness that both precede and eventually follow grief, as well as the hope and resilience that grow from connections with others.”

Buy How to Lose Everything on Amazon.

Poster Child by Emily Rapp

Heartbreakingly vivid, raw and relatable, this memoir digs into the emotions we’d rather keep hidden, explores the parts of ourselves that are uncomfortable, and teaches that disability is only one part of who we are–and there’s so much more that defines a person and who they become.

“Emily Rapp was born with a congenital defect that required, at the age of four, that her left foot be amputated. By the time she was eight she’d had dozens of operations, had lost most of her leg, from just above the knee, and had become the smiling, indefatigable “poster child” for the March of Dimes. For years she made appearances at church suppers and rodeos, giving pep talks about how normal and happy she was. All the while she was learning to live with what she later described as “my grievous, irrevocable flaw,” and the paradox that being extraordinary was the only way to be ordinary.”

Buy Poster Child on Amazon.

Sitting Pretty by Rebekah Taussig

I will confess: I haven’t finished this book. Though I’m well on my way, I can only read for about 10 minutes before I have to put it aside for days to digest what Rebekah has written. It touches parts of me that I didn’t know were there, challenges subconscious beliefs I held about myself, and offers, in personal and theoretical terms, a way to understand the world around me and find my place in it.

“Growing up as a paralyzed girl during the 90s and early 2000s, Rebekah Taussig only saw disability depicted as something monstrous (The Hunchback of Notre Dame), inspirational (Helen Keller), or angelic (Forrest Gump). None of this felt right; and as she got older, she longed for more stories that allowed disability to be complex and ordinary, uncomfortable and fine, painful and fulfilling.

Writing about the rhythms and textures of what it means to live in a body that doesn’t fit, Rebekah reflects on everything from the complications of kindness and charity, living both independently and dependently, experiencing intimacy, and how the pervasiveness of ableism in our everyday media directly translates to everyday life.”

Buy Sitting Pretty on Amazon.

Forward, Shakespeare by Jean Little

Jean Little had an uncanny ability to take disability and create something universally relatable in her books. Forward, Shakespeare, and its prequel, Rescue Pup, are no exception. Alongside learning about how guide dogs are trained to guide the blind, you’ll fall in love with Shakespeare and learn about how letting someone love you is the first step in learning to love and accept yourself for who you are.

“Seeing-eye pup, Shakespeare, conquered many fears in Rescue Pup. Now he is back, about to be matched up with a blind boy, ready to begin his working life. Tim is enraged by his blindness and wants nothing to do with a guide dog. But he is no match for Shakespeare.”

Buy Forward, Shakespeare on Amazon.

It’s Not What It Looks Like by Molly Burke

I have been a fan of Molly’s Youtube channel for years now, and her audiobook, It’s Not What It Looks Like, did not disappoint.

Molly and I are both blind, but our experiences and perspectives are sometimes poles apart. Our disabilities have shaped us in different ways, but that’s what makes this such a wonderful read. In her book, I saw myself clearly in her words and depictions of living as a blind woman, but I also learned a new way of perceiving blindness and how we can all appreciate the diversity of disability and a person’s individual journey.

“Close your eyes and get ready to see the world in a new and more positive way. As a child in Toronto, Molly Burke was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa and became completely sightless as a teenager. Now an award-winning YouTube star and global influencer, Molly shares what it’s like to be a purple-haired, pink-obsessed fashion and makeup lover in a seeing world. She speaks with authenticity and candor about how she tackles the preconceived notions we have around blindness; Molly has made it her mission to make us see her – and ourselves- in a wholly empowering way. Learn about her struggles with bullying and anxiety, her quest for inclusivity, how she built a successful influencer business (with more than 1.8 million followers), and what it’s really like to travel with the true star of this audio, her service dog, Gallop.”

Buy It’s Not What It Looks Like on Amazon.

What were your favourite books of 2022? Let me know in the comments!