April 10, 2020
It’s been four years to the day since I moved into my own home, and I haven’t looked back since. I was looking for a life of independence, but what I found was so much more than that. Whilst living it up as a bachelor has been fun, and I’ve always loved being on my own, there have also been some challenges.
I have been self-isolating now for a whole month, and this has given me plenty of time to reflect on the decisions I’ve made, think about where I see myself heading and what influences have shaped the person I am today. Through my experiences living independently, I have grown a lot, and learned how to stand up for myself, for other people and to fight for what I believe in.
I have also recognised a significant change in the way I manage my team of support workers, and what kind of people make up that team. Over the years, I have come to realise just how important it is to find support workers who want to do things with me, not for me, and support me to achieve my goals. This became very apparent when I attended the Rainbow Festival last year.
For a few years, I had wanted to move out on my own for a few reasons, and one of those reasons was to put my family and my mind at ease. My mother was always my primary care-giver, but at some point, she may not be able to provide support. So, moving out now meant that I would already have the infrastructure in place to continue my life independently.
The second reason I wanted to move out of home is that I felt cramped living with my parents and struggled with maintaining my rights to independent life choices. And let’s face it, who can live like a typical bachelor when they are still living at home? I was looking for privacy and freedom, just like everyone else. But I had a good home, so I had time to find exactly what I was looking for.
I had heard from someone that 6 units were being built on a block in Frankston, specifically for people with a disability. When I realised the units would have some home automation features, I wanted one so badly. In November 2015, I got an email from the Department of Human Services saying I had been accepted for one of those units. I was on cloud nine after reading that email. Then on the 10th of April 2016, I finally moved in. It was a great first step for moving away from my family.
I have always been in or around Frankston my whole life. My family is within 15 minutes’ drive if there is ever a problem. I also have a great support network which includes professionals, friends, and support workers who would drop everything for me if needed.
I am getting more done this year than ever before. I have the freedom to pursue my passions, I can live the spontaneous life I have always dreamed of and doors are opening to all kinds of new and exciting opportunities. Even my mother now believes that moving out was for the best.
I’m now ready for the next chapter in my life and I’m excited to see where it takes me next. I’m strapped into my chair and ready to go!