I first had the idea for this blog post when the whole fascination with the book, Girl, Wash Your Face, was happening. It cropped back up when Marie Kondo started gaining popularity with her decluttering Konmari method. With both of these instances I felt like there was a distinct lack of space for disabled people to engage with these ideas and practices. But I refrained from writing until I felt like I had given enough thought to whether I was judging either too harshly.
What I’ve realized after some time and thought is for one, neither is saying that you must do life this way. Buy this book, meditate this way, and get rid of absolutely every bit of waste in your life. This will bring you happiness and peace blah, blah, blah. It’s all suggestion. Marie Kondo isn’t holding anyone at gunpoint over their messy house.
I do feel like there is a certain lack of understanding/knowledge of communities though where messages like living waste free, or washing your face to deal with your problems, can feel flippant if not slightly hostile. Because neither of those things are routinely feasible for a lot of folks, lower income people, disabled people etc.
These are groups for whom keeping old possessions, keeping multiples of something, relying on single use products, is a necessity of life. Paring down isn’t a practical solution in many ways. The same goes for the picking yourself up by your bootstraps and just getting on with life through sheer grit.
Life is hard. Life can be painful. Life can be traumatic. Trivializing that in any way isn’t going to reach your audience the way you think. So many people, of all genders, are just trying to exist.
If that’s you? Kudos, me too. And it’s ok if you’re not ok. It’s ok if you’re messy or a complete mess. Seriously it is. Do whatever you can do. Sleep as much as you’re able. Feed yourself as well as you can. Stay as hydrated as possible. Practice some sort of self care. Know that you are loved. You are valid. You matter so much. And pal, truly it’s ok, go lose your shit. I won’t tell.