|Image of yellow post it note with red push pin with|
the words "OUT SICK" and a sad face.
That all has nothing to do with today's post, other than to apologize for my status incommunicado. This week while I've been feeling under the weather, I've had some seriously amazing opportunities to "meet" new people. A friend began blogging her adventures as a new mama with a disability, which you can follow here, and I couldn't be more thrilled! She's a super-cool chick, a strong woman, and mommyhood looks so perfectly beautiful on her! Yep, she has a disability, and her perspective and experiences will be a great addition and insight for others to learn and grow from, and to contribute to the world of advocacy, ability, and parenting. While I was busy sniffling and sneezing, some really cool things happened!
|Me, Picassa (my retired guide dog), and one of the|
Blue Men in Las Vegas. Few can remind you that we're all
meant to be unique and impact this world in our own way
than the BMG.
As a child and teenager, most people didn't know I was blind. Sure, they knew I was "different", the white hair kind of gives that away. But, my blindness, nope. They may have known I couldn't see as well as they could. But, I didn't use a white cane, I hadn't been introduced to assistive technology or the alternative techniques and skills of blindness, and past the point of early elementary school, access to large print became less and less available, so I did more and more of my work at home, where I could lean as close to my books as I needed to and squint my eyes as much as the smaller and smaller print demanded. I participated in everything I needed and wanted to, acting like I wasn't nervous when visual tasks were involved, trying not to worry about being hit in the head with a ball, pretending I wasn't afraid that I would miss my spot in a gymnasium or performance and embarrass myself in front of a huge group of people. I was scared to cross the street until I was in my early 20s and attended Adjustment to Blindness Training (ATB), which means that when I went for walks around our neighborhood with my kid brother and sister, THEY were the confident ones, and when they said, "No cars!" I hoped and prayed they were right!
I was one hell of an actress.
I was one very scared actress.
I was one very lonely actress.
I didn't attend a full ATB training program, rather, I spent a summer between college semesters learning how to navigate and travel independently with a white cane, cook and manage household and independent living tasks without my vision, utilize computers and technology with assistive technology, access books in audio and electronic formats, and I began learning Braille. I lived in an apartment in a busy and lively part of Minneapolis, and That time in my life was instrumental. It was necessary. Though I didn't know it, that time in my life would be the beginning of me becoming "me"... Confident, strong, happy, ready to take on and experience the world and all that was to come, "me". The "me" who knew that my albinism and my blindness are just pieces of me, just like my silly sense of humor, my quirky and kind of sick love of crafting, cleaning, and organizing, my constant love of learning... Embracing my authentic self has been so much better than acting ever was.
|Embracing my authentic self led to embracing life and love.|
Nothing could be better.