William, a young NZ man is posing whilst sitting on a chair at a photoshoot set.

How I live my life with no regrets

By William Sangster

Perspective. It's a keyword that describes my journey as a person living with a disability. This word made me think about how I needed to focus on the positives. I needed to focus mentally on what I wanted in life and map out my journey early. It helped me understand what I was aiming for and that nothing is too hard, but nothing is easy either. 

William, a young NZ man is posing whilst sitting on a chair at a photoshoot set.

At an early age (primary school), I was asked to think of what I wanted to achieve, and I said "University Degree". I was then told that I needed to chase it if I wanted it. Everything was put into perspective, and the negatives became positives. I chased that dream of mine, and I look back now, and I can say it wasn't easy.  

My disability was the perfect excuse to give up but was the best reason to continue. Muscles ached, my hands were weak, my back was sore, but I would always put it into perspective and think about how blessed I am to be walking ( in my case limping) and that I could have been worse. Life so far has been about using my skills to shine a light on living with a disability, to encourage others in their journey. 

Will, a young NZ man is holding a selfie stick filming himself. He is in a garden.

Thinking about my journey with Cerebral Palsy and why I have never let it define me, I have always pushed past that fact because it's always going to be my excuse which to me isn't bad but shouldn't be a reason to give up. There are many things I can't do in my life, and I tell myself I'm not the only one that can't do it, and I move on. My disability has made me celebrate what I can do, and I am happy that people enjoy what I do, which gives me hope. I want to continue to use my platform to advocate for others.  

Today, I'm living my life with no regrets, putting things into perspective and finding the positive side. Covid has put a halt to many of my plans, but I am looking forward to seeing it all happen. All in God's timing. I still have my future to look forward to, but I'm thankful, I'm grateful and blessed. 

William, a young NZ man is wearing a graduation gown with traditional cultural attire.

All image credits: (William Sangster, 2022)

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