When we hear the word “education”, we tend to think about school.
“Getting an education” means “going to college”.
“Primary education” means “elementary/middle school”.
I believe education is an everyday experience. We get an education from life, and some of us provide an education about how our brains or lives in general work. We’re different, whether it’s visible or not, and it shapes every single experience we have.
The thing is, no disabled person, or person of color, or woman, or non-binary person, or whatever demographic person, is obligated to provide that education. We may just want to live our lives without fighting all the prejudices and misconceptions swirling around our culture.
I talk a lot about neurodivergence and disability. Obviously, I put a lot of time into it, since I run this blog and a chat on twitter, but there are times when I just take a break from it all. I need escape, and I need to dedicate time to other areas of my life.
My problem is that if I want to work and go to school without burning myself out, I need to find ways to maximize my strengths in a world that generally operates in my realm of weaknesses. To do that, I sometimes need to explain why I need certain accommodations to complete and almost-strangers.
Yes, it can be humiliating, but that depends entirely on how the other person reacts. It’s not always that bad, but it does get tiring. Some days, it’s downright exhausting.
And I can understand why so many people don’t want to talk about their neurodivergence or invisible disabilities. I can understand why they don’t want to put up with the potential bullying and discrimination. I can understand why they just go their own way and do the best they can.
It’s not their job to educate the world. It’s not my job to educate the world, either. It’s a choice, and there’s nothing wrong with whatever decision we make.
That’s the thing about education and life. As you live, you learn from many different sources. You also teach different lessons, but it’s up to you what you teach.