Before you watch Johnny’s interview with Jessica, here’s what you should know about Jessica…
Jessica Blinkhorn is unlike any other celebrated visual artist, performance artist, and creative writer. A fiercely independent spirit inside a dependent body, she was born with spinal muscular atrophy which has left her in a wheelchair and without the use of most of her body. Yet despite living with what many would consider disabilities, Jessica sees her life not in terms of results, but of opportunities.
“Life is conditional,” she says. “You make the most with what you have. You can opt-out of life and just be like, okay I’m going to settle, or you can just really go for what you want. I believe life is a series of moments, and if you don’t reach out and grab yours, it’ll just be like a dust particle in the sun. You’ll just see it shine in the distance and you’ll wonder why you didn’t just grab it when you had the chance.”
Although it’s impossible to ignore the obstacles Jessica has overcome, she says they no more define her than they do for anyone else. She’s very comfortable in her own skin and seems to have a unique understanding that her success is a direct result of her contentment in the life she’s lived. It’s a challenge for everyone.
“It takes a lot of strength to be who you are, to embrace your differences,” she says. “And that’s what I want anyone to do. Not just a woman who has a disability, but anyone – disabled, black, white, gay, straight, omnisexual. Be who you are because you only have one life, you know?”
And though Jessica admits to having moments of sadness and frustration, her internal strength, faith, and determination always seem to help keep her going. Because life is a series of moments in her eyes, there’s always an opportunity for each of us to persevere and make the most out of every situation, creating new moments, even when we think we can’t.
“I think that if you’re going to say ‘can’t,’ go to the mirror, and scream,” she says. “Feel whatever it is you’re feeling, and then just wipe your face, put on some cool panties, brush your damn teeth, brush your hair, and go outside and make shit happen.”
Download audio MP3 file (Right-click and choose “Save Target As…” or “Save File As…”)