Bad Attitudes: An Uninspiring Podcast About Disability

Episode 41: To The Class of 2022

May 30, 2022 Laura Stinson Season 2 Episode 18
Bad Attitudes: An Uninspiring Podcast About Disability
Episode 41: To The Class of 2022
Show Notes Transcript

To the graduates of 2022, this one's for you.


Follow @badattitudespod on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter

Support the pod


Be sure to leave a rating or review wherever you listen!


Support the show

Watch my TEDx talk


Follow @badattitudespod on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Threads

Support the pod

Be sure to leave a rating or review wherever you listen!



[rock guitar music]

MALE VO [00:03]
This is Bad Attitudes.

[rock guitar music]

LAURA [00:20]
Hello friends and strangers! Welcome to another episode of Bad Attitudes: An Uninspiring Podcast about Disability. I’m your host, Laura.

In today’s episode, I’m checking an item off my bucket list. Sort of.

Today’s episode is sponsored by Michael Murphy. Thank you, Michael!

If you like this episode, share it and the podcast with your friends. Word of mouth is absolutely the best way to grow this podcast and our community. And please make sure you are rating and reviewing the podcast on your preferred platform. It really helps me out!

If you’d like to contribute to the show, please visit Your contributions help keep the pod running and each donation gets a shout-out in a future episode.

Through the months of June and July, I will be donating half of each contribution to Every Town For Gun Safety, a movement of moms, dads, students, survivors, educators, gun owners, and concerned citizens working together to fight for public safety measures that can protect people from gun violence. Visit for more information.

For questions, comments, or ideas, email or reach out through social media. Follow @BadAttitudesPod on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

As always, I want to remind you that disability is not a monolith. My experience as a disabled person is going to be different from the experience of other disabled people. I am one voice for the disabled community but I am not the only voice.

I have always wanted to give a commencement speech. High school or college level only; anything else isn’t actually graduating and putting kids in caps and gowns for passing from one grade to the next doesn’t make it so.

I’m not saying that I have any particular wisdom to pass on, but if Taylor Swift can give a commencement speech, then I certainly can.

So, to the class of 2022:

Hard to believe, but I once sat where you’re sitting now. It’s kind of disgusting to think about how many years it has been since then. But if there are two pieces of advice I could bestow upon you, it would be this:

Never stop seeking your true passion and purpose, and never grow up. Let’s discuss the second one first.

When I say “never grow up” I don’t mean spend your life behaving childishly. We’ve got plenty of politicians modeling that behavior for us every day, and you don’t want to be that. I hope.

Being an adult is rough. Like, really rough. The older you get, life can start to steal your joy from you, if you let it. When I say “never grow up,” what I’m really saying is, don’t let go of the things that bring you joy. If something brings you joy, and you’re not hurting anyone, you’re never too old for it. I didn’t start dyeing my hair purple until I was in my 30s. I didn’t get my first tattoo until I was 40. Both of those things bring me immense joy, but shouldn’t supposedly because of my age.

Don’t let anyone tell you that things that bring you joy aren’t worthwhile. Because they are wrong. Whatever brings you joy is worthwhile simply BECAUSE it brings you joy. If there are other benefits as well, all the better, but truly all it has to do is bring you joy.

Remember the unadulterated joy you felt as a child. The joy you got from swinging as high as you could or from laughing at something silly. Hold on to it. Don’t let anyone or anything take that from you. The things that bring you that kind of joy will get you through the rough patches. Those things will help you see the light in the darkness. They will help you deal with your stress, with your grief, with your anger. That joy will keep you afloat.

Something I learned recently is that, apparently, the class of 2022 has got a lot going for them in terms of jobs and salaries right after graduation. Better than the last several years of graduating classes. And to that I say, go for it! Get that job! Make that money! But do not let that become your only joy and do not let it become your passion or your purpose.

Money is fleeting. Here one minute and gone the next. Plus, your generation is the one poised to bring capitalism down around all our ears, so maybe don’t count on it too much. If money becomes your only focus, well, we’ve got plenty of politicians also modeling THAT behavior every day and you don’t want to be that, either.

Your purpose and your passion don’t have to be the same thing, but they can be. They don’t have to be your career, but they can be. Your purpose and your passion can change. When I was sitting where you are, I was so certain I knew what I wanted to do with my life. I was so certain of the path I was on. Yet, here I am on a completely different road. I don’t think 20-year-old me would even recognize where I am now. A podcast? Expressing myself verbally on a weekly basis? To strangers? Never!

I trod many paths before I got where I am. Sometimes, I ignored what was right in front of me. Creativity was something I always loved, always valued, but never something I really thought I could make a living at. But, here I am, building a business based on my creative impulses, wherever they may take me.

I tried, for too long, to follow the path that would make me the most money. Surprise, I didn’t enjoy it and I didn’t make much money. I’m still not making a whole lot of money, but I have found a purpose and a passion. And amazingly, it all intertwines with the things that bring me joy.

Your path will not look like mine, because it’s yours. Some of you will be more successful than me, by standard measures. Actually, by standard measures, MOST of you will probably be more successful than me. I still plan on becoming wildly successful, my original timeline was just a little off.

I don’t know how helpful this advice will be for you. But I do know that joy, passion, and purpose ARE important. We cannot be fulfilled humans without them. I hope you find yours soon if you haven’t already.

In the meantime, the world is yours to take on. Go out there and kick ass, but don’t bother to take names. Make them remember yours.

A rather short episode today, but no one wants to sit through an overlong commencement speech. It’s HOT in those polyester gowns.

If you’re interested in learning more about disability and other marginalized groups, I’d like to suggest the podcast out_cast. Out_cast is a podcast about being multiply marginalized, specifically about queerness, disability, neurodivergence, mental health, and sometimes other stuff. That’s out underscore cast, available wherever you listen to podcasts. Let me know if you listen and tell me what you think.

Thanks for listening and I’ll talk to you in the next one.

[rock guitar music]