Bif Notes No. 23 FOMO When You’re Disabled

FOMO or Fear Of Missing Out is, at least for many disabled people, *cue Cap’n Barbosa voice* more a certainty than an actual fear. I only mean that insofar as, regardless of the goal, education, employment etc., there are a great many barriers that can arise, both physical and societal, that may preclude a disabled person from meeting said goal. The school that a person had fully intended to attend for college or, that job that’s been a dream job might be out of reach. So in that way, a person may well be forced to miss out on something that they’d held as a goal. But FOMO becoming a reality doesn’t have to be the end of the story.

The beautiful thing about goals and dreams is that they can change, look different, become easier to obtain, and be no less fantastic than when you first came up with them. They might even be better after they’ve been shifted around. So if the school you’re looking into is posing barriers, it’s not as accessible as you originally thought and there isn’t an easily attainable solution, or your chosen major turns out to be more taxing than you’re comfortable dealing with, look for solutions. Are there other schools that offer what you’re looking for that can meet your needs better? Would you be able to study an area related to your original field of choice that would be less taxing on you? If those options are available, look into them and see if you would be better suited doing that than following your original plan.

Same goes with a job. Don’t be so dead set on something that you overlook alternatives that might in the long run suit you better. Even worse, don’t work a job that you know you’re not suited for just because you’re afraid of missing out on your only shot at doing what you want to do. Working a bad job in your dream field isn’t the same as working your dream job.

I don’t want anyone to read this and think that I’m trying to say give up on what you want as soon as it’s hard. I’m not saying that at all. I believe disabled people have the right to work and education, same as anyone, and that comes with struggle. By all means fight for accommodation, fight for employment.

But don’t stick yourself in a completely untenable situation simply for the sake of living The Dream. Fight, but be flexible enough in your goal so that you don’t end up fighting a battle that can’t be won. It’s good to have dreams. It’s even better to see them come true.

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