Reclaiming My Life

Water lily in Wuan's garden
Water lily in Wuan‘s garden.

Another crossroad looms ahead. There have been too many this year. I am not complaining though. My life has changed for the better. There is a direction. There is a purpose now. There have been so many pleasant surprises and new discoveries in the past twelve months that the exhilaration of being able to do something new has somewhat worn off. The amazement of being able to accomplish the unimaginable has become a part of my life. Still, anxiety always precedes crossroads. The fear of the unknown and the treading into unfamiliar territory is always as unsettling.

Meetings after meetings people who have achieved more with less have inspired me to reach for greater heights. Where I once left it all to destiny, I am now attempting to create my own. For far too long, I have been waiting for that something good to happen to my life. Now, I realise that if I want things to happen, I must create an environment conducive for their birth and growth. This is what I am attempting to nurture in myself and the community that I live in. The only limit to what I can accomplish is the invisible boundary that I had imposed on myself. With the new-found motivation, I am slowly chiselling away at decades of conditioning that had been holding me back.

At the same time, being motivated comes with a price too. There are new avenues to explore and goals to achieve. Gone are the days of carefree complacence. Gone are the days of meekly swallowing the prejudices and discrimination against persons with disabilities as the norm. Gone are the days of self-oppression because of the skewed perceptions and poor understanding of my own capabilities.

This paradigm shift comes at a great cost to the limited resources in my possession. The satisfaction of being able to utilise those resources on productive endeavours is worth whatever I had spent on it. No longer can I sit back and idly watch the world go by. I have plunged in to the thick of action and have seen for myself the possibilities to make things better. Hopefully, I am able to play my part as and reverse the injustices perpetrated against people like me.

And this impending crossroad is one that will liberate me in many ways. It is about reclaiming my life, taking back what I have lost or gave up for more than two decades. Wuan has been instrumental in egging me into this journey of self-discovery. William has also played a part no less. It is the little things they did that made up the sum – interesting adventures here and there, pep talks when the occasion arises and encouragement when I lacked confidence.

They helped me realise the things that I thought I could never do again. That has made me recognize the fact that moving back into mainstream society is not that difficult after all. Some adjustments and adaptations are needed. Most people have to do that anyway when moving into a new environment. Mine should not be an exception. Going by that logic and with renewed confidence, I have decided that I want to move one level up. I am going to take driving lessons and subsequently get a car. I am going to go places. Life will never be the same again. It never has since the day God gently picked me up from the depths of despair and gave me a new lease on life. I am going to drive again! Picture that!

Author: Peter Tan

Peter Gabriel Tan. Penangite residing in the Klang Valley. Blissfully married to Wuan. A LaSallian through and through. Slave to three cats. Wheelchair user since 1984. End-stage renal disease since 2017. Principal Facilitator at Peter Tan Training specialising in Disability Equality Training. Former columnist of Breaking Barriers with The Borneo Post. This blog chronicles my life, thoughts and opinions. Connect with me on Twitter and Facebook.

15 thoughts on “Reclaiming My Life”

  1. It’s good to hear that you have finally moved up a level in trying to increase self-independence. I’m glad to see there is an increase in your self-motivation, self-esteem and there is a challenge within yourself to strive for a better deal out of life. That’s good. If you like to drive, all it takes is some simple modification and adaptation to the car. There are a large number people with various disabilities in the UK driving and owning their own cars. So go for it and travel far, and, maybe it’s time then for you to take Wuan out for a SPIN! Good luck.

  2. Hey, driving lessons huh? Wow, u made me think twice! If u can, i can too! We exchange servives yea? Come down to KL and i’ll be ur chauffeur for a day. When i go to Penang, u know what to do la hor :p

  3. For a full minute there I thought you are gonna decide to move to KL for good and Penang would have lost its crusader… sob sob.. but when you say you gonna drive.. phew relieve and excited.. about the car… well .. get in touch with me.. i dunno wat you are looking for… but I might have something for you.

  4. Peter

    Guess are full of crossroads. Nevertheless, it’s a truimph if you are going to drive. Looking forward to hearing the good news Pete.


  5. hey…this is just to prove that i really have been reading your blog. haha. mr tan ar, this ms leong oso dunno how to drive ar. hehe. i got my license, but i haven’t even touched the steering wheel once since i got it. haha. so next time when i go penang you can drive me around lor. in kl, hmm, we’ll see. if i got a car, and if u dare get on it, why not? haha.

  6. 😀

    😀 😀

    😀 😀 😀

    sorry, i’m just bad at words 😀

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