I work hard not to look blind. Whatever that means.
I try to take it as a compliment when people say the above statement.
Because what I think, they are trying to say is not that I do not look blind, but I look like I have this in comparison to what they imagine or how they imagine they would cope.
The truth is, if I chose to take it any other way, I would end up bitter angry and hurt.
There are enough sucky shitty things about having a disability, without adding other people’s projections and presumptions to the mix.
The fact is blindisms are very real quirks of having this disability.
Moreover, as with anything in life, some people are able to adapt or cover them better than others.
The more I come to terms and become at ease with my disability the less I care about what people think.
Some days I have so totally got this together, that I know I do not look blind.
While other days, it is completely the opposite. I look like the blindiest woman on the planet.
It depends on so many conditions, weather, lighting, tiredness, stress, confidence, or whether I am suffering a migraine.
To be honest, sometimes it serves me better to look blind, rather than being my totally kick ass awesome top of my game self.
Of course, I should not have to resort to such manipulation in order to get my needs met, but there are times a girl has to do what works, and take the path of least resistance.
Sometimes it just pays to work with other people’s misconceptions and emotional currencies in order to get through or out of the situation.
While other times it pays to completely blow their socks off.
After all a girl needs to have some fun.
I simply cannot help myself.
For me, there is so much more potency and power, which comes from blowing somebody way then there, is from spoon-feeding educated ignorance.
depending on a myriad of factors,I will always pick my battles because ultimately I have nothing to prove or defend to anyone.
Now if only I could remember and subsequently own that bad boy all of the time.
However, it is funny how being blind or vision impaired, other people think they have a right to make waited and offensive statements, or actions, regarding what I should, can, cannot, and should not do, and how I deem or dare to live.
Sometimes it is subtle, or at least they think it is subtle. However most of the time it is as blatent as being pelted with bricks.
I wish I had the courage to respond with the quips in my head.
Instead, I usually nod smile and be polite.
Then I find a trusted friend who either understands because they too are living the experience, or understands because they get it, and I debrief.
Because what else am I meant to do with the degree but sift through it and find the gold.
It is easy to stand on the sideline and say do not worry about it don’t take it seriously, but when you deal with it day in and day out, it can wear you down.
However, I do not think it matters how many Frank and candid conversations we have about this, people are going to think what they going to think.
Literature film and television will continue to portray people who are blind or vision impaired in a light, which suits their means.
I cannot speak for everybody, but myself, I am pretty unremarkable.
Come to think of it, so are most of my blindy friends.
We are simply getting on with life.
We might tackle it differently, take a little longer, move a little slower, or laugh a little louder, but what is so special in that?
However, this is not to say I will not do my part to help deconstruct the mythology.
Because for anybody who follows our business you will know, there is a revolution afoot.
In the meantime, like everyone, I will do the best I can with what I have in any given moment.
In addition, if that means accidentally on purpose tripping some rude or arrogant person up with my stick, so be it.
Alternatively, if it means laying somebody’s curiosity to rest, by answering their questions thoughtfully, courteously, and articulately, I will do that too.
Because although I am not responsible for what people think, see, or do, I am responsible for myself.