The Digital Awakening Is Five Years Old

The Digital Awakening turns five today. To date, this blog is eleven entries short of one thousand. There neither was the inkling if I could sustain for this long nor write so much when I first started. Now that I have survived thus far, I can safely say that The Digital Awakening will be around for a long time to come. This blog will be updated as long as I am able to write.

Within these virtual pages, I have chronicled the extreme of experiences that I never thought I would ever go through. They are the most exciting times of my life – from the heart rending to the joyous, from the frustrating to the triumphant, from the mundane to the once-in-a-lifetime experiences. I have gone through all that and more in the relatively short period of five years. In this span of time, I have done more than I ever did all the years before that.

There is a proud sense of accomplishment as I read back the first few entries that was written in 2003. From those few short entries to now, I realised that I have grown so much. I was a mere spectator to the happenings around me then. Now I have become an active player jumping into the thick of the action on matters that affect me most. There is this saying that there are people who wait for things to happen and there are people who make things happen. I want to be the latter. I cannot expect other people to fight my battles for me. If I do not advocate for myself, why should other people bother?

Along the way, I have made many friends, and displeased a few. For the friends who had extended their unconditional friendship to me, I say thank you to you. You have coloured my life and made it so much more vibrant. To those who were offended by what I wrote, my only regret is that I did not spend enough time to explain to you why I did what I did in a tactful manner. My sincerest apologies for having hurt your feelings.

I would like to especially thank Sharizal, Dee, Bryan and Jason who were benevolent and crazy at the same time. They supported my cause by shaving their heads together with me to raise RM5,000 for the Hospice-at-Home Programme in Penang. I could not have asked for better friends who are willing to go bald to support what I did. You people are the greatest!

I would also like to thank all the bloggers and generous people who had donated to this project. Your acts of kindness had supported the National Cancer Society of Malaysia Penang Branch provide hospice services to people needing it. Although you may not feel the impact of what you had done, know in your heart that someone who was terminally ill had benefited from what you did. To all who had contributed to this effort, please accept my sincerest gratitude.

The Digital Awakening is an apt name for this blog. This was where I was awakened to the possibilities of things that I could accomplish. Truly, disability is a state of mind. I thought I could never travel to faraway places again due to my disability. Not only could I travel, I have been to places that I never even dared to dream about. The credit goes to Dr. Kenji Kuno, Mr. Shoji Nakanishi, Japan International Cooperation Agency and the Human Care Association for showing me the way, and as a result, how I can use that knowledge to awaken other disabled people. This is what I am doing now.

This blog will continue to be the place for me to express my thoughts and opinions. It is the archive of my struggle within, the things that I have done and places that I have been. Most of all, this blog is a gift to myself for that one day in the future when my memory is not that good anymore. This blog is about me, myself and I. It is about my journey through life. These are the stories that I want to tell myself when that one day comes. Thank you for five wonderful years. Here is a toast to many more five years to come.

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.

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