To end this year I am taking a look back at the highlights of my activities. The best thing for me was being a political and social activist fighting for changing status of archery, the values of democracy, supporting people of principle, etc.
I should have been in my academic career by now but I found that my choices were not right and I didn’t enjoy it very much. I couldn’t stand the mind numbing tediousness of studying coding in an academic environment or the classroom encapsulated studies of natural sciences. It was a bad decision that I made because I was more keen to let myself go from home rather than invest in a field of study. After all at 31 years old and with the mental age of a 24 year old I have been stagnating enough to want to flee the nest and disappear to the far side of the Moon.
So once again I have no university placement. I had to give it up anyway because I wasn’t really enjoying it. I was much more interested in making something of myself and exercising my work for politics.
My inner rebel was fighting for making a great change. What I did this year was remarkable and I think I have discovered that I have so much to offer the world. The biggest highlight for me was fighting for our independence from the European Union. It was a battle that involved a lot of campaigning, blogging, researching and canvassing. One thing that I learnt about the campaign was that no two minds in this world thinks alike. I had friends who had reasons for leaving and remaining and I was in the middle of it with my own campaign to achieve meaning. That meaning was to define my own beliefs in a democratic society.
In the months leading up to the campaign I got my first experience of canvassing when I worked for Zac Goldsmith’s election team. It was a great exercise and I made some new friends and in the process I learnt how to communicate with constituents. It’s amazing how many different opinions I heard from talking to these people and from what I heard some of them conflicted with my own beliefs.
I had one woman tell me she wasn’t voting for Goldsmith because of his vote for the cuts in disability benefits. Later while canvassing outside a polling station on EU referendum day I told a man how I was a person with a mental health condition and how valuable I found the Conservatives despite the vote for the cuts. Although I am a disabled person I am capable and able to achieve great things. I want to reach out to others and show the best of what I can do. I want them to respect my ablities and not sympathsise with my inabilities.
I lost a lot of Facebook friend connections during the EU referendum, especially after the result of the referendum when Britain voted to leave. This represented just how selfish and overbearing some people could be in their thinking. Well as far as I am concerned I respect their decisions to vote differently from me but I don’t like it when they play foul with fair play. Some of them were angry and some of them were just plain stupid, as if they felt that no one should disagree with them. Well they are free to be different, but not to do wrong. I found a new ism this year, an ism against democracy, freedom and fairness. That is called ableism.
You see we often hear of people overusing the word racism and yet those who have called others racist have never really defined it. They think of isms as a mark on someone to declare a person who does not think alike. I think they believe democracy is not worth bothering about because of the responsibility involved or the fact that people don’t think alike them. That’s why they protest in response to electoral successes to their opponent’s choice. Well they are just being ableist to people, ableist because they think they don’t deserve the rights of abilities to make their own lives work. That is even more terrible for people with disabilities and in effect it makes me feel enslaved.
I was determined to break them and in doing so show the world that I had a positive point to make. In doing so I found something else I got plenty of opportunities for myself. One of them was a freelance writing job for an online politics newspaper of which I now contribute to on a voluntry basis. I have had a great time writing for them and it has given me the confidence and an inspiration to try an old project that I felt needed to change.
In 2007 I self published a novel called ‘A Baffling Unoriginal…’ and it didn’t sell very well because I didn’t have a good groundwork for it. So it ended up being abandoned. Now I am revitalising it as a new book that combines the politics of autism with the novel to demonstrate how disablement works on the right side of the political spectrum with conservatism.
But this isn’t the only work of activism that I have undertaken. There is also my mission to make archery a core sport in the Commonwealth Games. This year I went to Nottingham to volunteer at the European Archery Championships and when I was there I got to see some member of Archery GB and an Olympian who were passionately pro-active about archery as I was. I found some useful help in getting my campaign pushed through and names of some useful contacts in getting there. Now for 2017 I am still moving on with getting in touch with the CGF committee and executive board.