Thursday, June 23, 2011

Apartment Hunting on Wheels

It has become a long term goal to move to Cincinnati, Ohio from my small town of Hamilton, Ohio for quite some time. The reasons are countless, more accessibility in housing, transportation and jobs, as well as more opportunity to show and sell my artwork. My husband and I are going through a separation so I thought that this is the moment to make the big move happen. One more leap of faith into the middle of great hope and humble dreams.

Here in Hamilton there are few resources for the kind of independence that a big city has to offer, but moving further away from family and into the arms of friends that I haven’t even made yet is both scary and exciting. However, I know if I do not make the effort and take the risk I will regret it. With every goal comes effort and resilience. I must keep a determination to go knock on the next door when the one I have been beating on closes. Sometimes I feel like I am just having a staring contest with a teddy bear and it is inevitable that I will be the one to blink; but that kind of negativity has got to be shaken off and persistence has to take its place.

I am looking for a two bedroom apartment for me, my daughter, and her boyfriend. It must be accessible and it MUST be on the bus line. This doesn’t sound like it should be an issue right? Lots of places have ground floor apartments or elevators and 2 bedrooms are the most commonly rented. Did you know, that in Cincinnati there are high rises that have all accessibility with elevators, wide doorways for wheelchairs, shower bars in the bathrooms, and call buttons on a string in case there is a fall? There is even a garbage shoot so you don’t have to worry about taking out the trash. How cool is that?! These complexes are also on bus lines and have shuttle service. They are perfect…except, they are one bedroom and do not allow children.

I am not saying that there is not something out there that has all of that and accepts families too. I am just saying I haven’t found it yet. But I will. Accessibility for me is a flat entrance and a shower bar on the bus line. This simple but complex problem is one of many people with disabilities and when I started this I did not realize what a learning experience it was going to be.

I have learned of many disabled people that stay in relationships that are not working because they feel they have no place to go. While I have no intensions of plastering my marriage drama on the internet, I felt I had to write my experience to encourage and to stress to those that are in unhappy situations that there are resources out there. You just have to find them. I have learned by my past experience that in order to receive a hand you must first reach out your own. We get so caught up in chasing our independence sometimes that we forget that there are times when everyone needs help. “Help us, help ourselves” It should be plastered on every wheelchair in America.

So I am in search of, this might lead me straight to Cincinnati, or it might lead me back to my hometown for a while where my family is to lick my wounds and regain my momentum I don’t know. I hope you’ll stay tuned to find out.