My parents are different from one another in many ways, but one way that affects my life probably more than it should is that my mother is often cold and my father is almost always hot. In my world, this translates into constant debates about what I should where when I go outside; jacket or no jacket, windbreaker or heavier coat.
This may seem like a stupid thing to discuss in a BB Squared blog post, but I do so to illustrate that one particular aspect of my life with a difference is that I constantly have people giving me their opinions about various subjects in my life, both simple and complicated. Now – with the exception of my parents much of the time, because I am a brat – I appreciate this advice because I know my friends are just trying to help me, and a lot of times I really need it because I am having trouble making a decision or I am deciding what to do about something that affects more than just myself. The issue isn’t really the loving, intelligent voices of those around me, the issue is I have to learn to find and trust my own voice. I have to learn to be OK when I make a decision of which my parents or friends don’t approve, especially when it is a decision that is only affecting me. I need to have enough confidence in myself and my relationships to know that even if people in my life do not agree with a decision I am making, they are not going to be less inclined to be my friend because I am making a different choice than they would.
One of the awesome organizations for which I volunteer, Waterloo Region Family Network, considers choice an extremely important part of the way that they serve people with differences. They make it a priority through their model of service to give individuals and families as many choices as possible, and then support these people in whatever choice they make. I believe this is a method that BB Squared will adopt as well, we want to develop an organization that gives people the tools to make choices that are right for them, while being one agency of support they can use to help make those choices. Ultimately, we want the people we serve to learn to make decisions for themselves, so that they can feel mature and confident and in turn serve as an example to others that such choice making is possible.