A few weeks ago, I was given the honor of being Continue reading “Stayin’ Alive: An Op’ed to Students Everywhere”
Welcome back to another blog post of my blathering! I am so grateful to everyone who continues to read even when Continue reading “The Power of Teaching Your Kids about Emotions”
Howdy everyone. It’s May! Not sure why that is specifically good news, but it is nonetheless! I hope you are all doing well and that you enjoyed the Continue reading “The Beauty of Everything in Its Nothingness”
CW: Mentions of bullying, anxiety, depression
Dear younger Me,
Hey you little nerd. I know life is confusing and scary, but I also know you are just a shy little thing trying to find where you belong. Continue reading “#UltimateBlogChallenge Day 25: Dear Little Me”
Growing up, I was blessed with opportunities to go on adventures with the Braille Institute of America and the Junior Blind of America. These adventures ranged from fishing, (which I am kind of terrible at but Continue reading “#UltimateBlogChallenge Day 21: Under the Sea”
During a text conversation yesterday, I gently teased a close friend about how he openly admitted he was terrible at expressing his feelings. Just one of the many things we had in common, it made me smile because I know exactly how that feels. Continue reading “My Anxiety Brain Is Driving this Struggle Bus”
Day 17 of the #UltimateBlogChallenge and I STILL don’t quite know what day of the week it is! Welcome back to the blog! I’ve been off in my own little world, reading, thinking about podcast related stuff, and working with some incredible people to get my little idea off the ground. Continue reading “#UltimateBlogChallenge Days 17 and 18: The Little Engine That Could”
CW: If you aren’t comfortable with vaginas, female pain, or just pain in general with a splash of sarcasm, this isn’t a post for you. Continue reading “#UltimateBlogChallenge Day 12: The Vagina Monologues”
Hey! We’ve made it to the double digits of the #UltimateBlogChallenge! I am so happy that, despite my reservations, I am doing this and truly enjoying just writing and giving you all my thoughts. It has FINALLY stopped raining and the sun is sort of peeking through the clouds. There’s a small breeze, the dog is happy, and while my body is feeling a bit under the weather, I have Novo Amor playing, I’m having good happy conversation, and I’m just loving this moment. I wish I could capture it in a small snow globe and keep it on my dresser, a scene of peace and contentment.
Today I bring to you a topic that some people may find controversial. While I have no qualms with being blind, some find it difficult to talk about what they’d wish to see if they could have one more chance. Mine aren’t so unique, but they are things that I have either thought about a lot or have made me feel wistful over the years.
To start my list, I will have to go back to 2017 when I first lost my sight. As some may recall, I don’t have any recollection of the exact moment that I did lose my vision, but I do know it was after my nephew Elijah was born and right before I got to meet him. He’s grown so much over the years, as has his vocabulary and his personality, so much like my brother’s. I remember when I first held him, I laughed because he reminded me of little Tweety Bird. Small body, big head, big feet. He was a good kiddo that often napped beside me while I did work or tore across the house in his walker. My mom even witnessed him walking with his eyes closed in perfect imitation of me, toddling his way through the house. It was in one of those moments of just pure joy where I felt my stomach twist because I wished so much that I could see my nephew. A lot of people at school swore he was mine, we looked so similar. But to be completely honest, I have no idea what he looks like. I only know that he has very curly hair and a loud, explosive personality with a touch of sweet caring big brother to his little sister, another addition to the family that I never got the chance to see.
Another one of these experiences was when I met Dodson, (this should be a given.) So many people fell in love with him for multiple reasons, his coloring being one of them. Some have described him to me as butterscotch yellow, while others have said he’s nearly white blond. His paperwork, however, classifies him as a “medium gold”, which I have no idea what that could even mean! The only thing about him that any of us have ever been able to agree on is that his eyes are dark brown, he sheds A LOT, and he is well loved and such a great boy. (I think we’re biased.) There’s almost a disconnect for me when people complain about being able to see his fur on everything, because I can never tell if they’re exaggerating or my dog is a walking snowfall. His fur ends up on my clothes, inevitably, but I also spend most of my time with him, so I can’t judge how much fur is everywhere. All I know is that Rhemy, my Roomba named by my friend Meka, is cleaning up after him twice or three times a day.
We all know those scenes in movies or books where a character is speeding down the freeway or the desert, windows down on a hot summer’s day, music blasting, hair blowing. Usually, they involve trucks or Jeeps. For me, I’d love to be able to drive a Jeep in the desert. I know plenty of people who don’t enjoy driving, but as someone who does enjoy wearing her headphones and just sitting in the passenger seat, I do wish I was able to have the experience of being behind the wheel. People take being able to yell at other drivers and honking at big trucks for granted; I’d love to roll down my window and call someone some made up silly name that literally means nothing. I want to be able to have that feeling of barely making the red light and accidentally cutting off some poor unsuspecting driver while trying to merge on the 405. This dream isn’t something I constantly think of, but I do reflect sometimes how my life would be different if I had some sight back.
This last one might be a little odd, but I wished I for sure knew what I looked like. Not in the sense of my body, but my hair, eye, and skin color are something no one seems to be able to agree on. Whenever I ask family what color my hair is, they tell me it’s like my mom’s hair. When I could see, my mom’s hair was a pretty brown that I couldn’t place a name on it then, and to this day, I still can’t place a name to it. My eye color has consistently been bright blue, sky blue, or blue gray, which again, can be really confusing to me if I’m just trying to fill out paperwork for my state ID. By default, I always say blue gray, because it’s just the safest bet since the color is due to my eye condition. And lastly, my skin color. Holy crap this is a hard one! Surprisingly, people have not been able to decide whether I’m light, dark, or in the middle! It drives me crazy! I KNOW I’m not white, but I’m also not as dark as my brother, so again I have always begged the question…. What color am I? It sounds kind of ridiculous in hindsight, but when people spend time telling you that you look pale or you’re turning white, if you’re like me, you start wondering just what the actual hell you are. Some may consider this vain, but I don’t think the sighted world understands that many of their descriptive words have literally no meaning to blind individuals like myself. I prefer descriptive words that I can reference to in dictionaries or books. Telling someone they’re light or have dark hair… isn’t descriptive. For all you know, there’s some poor soul out there who thinks they look like Edward Cullen. Descriptive, is, key.
Now that you’ve endured hearing about my top 4 “if I could see again, what would it be” list, tell me what your top anything is! If I were given one wish, I can tell you, I wouldn’t be asking to see again. While these are wistful thoughts, I’m perfectly happy being myself. As a general disclaimer, do not begrudge the blind people in the world who do wish they could see again. In the grand scheme of things, being blind is rough for a lot of people; we must give them the room to grieve that they won’t be able to see. Some may succumb to bitterness, some may not. Regardless, just hug them and tell them it’s alright. As for me, I need to go chase down my medium gold/blond/white/butterscotch yellow dog, so until tomorrow!
“Traveling through the graveyard with a suitcase full of sparks, honey I’m just trying to make my way to you.”
This song has been a near constant presence in my life for a year now, introduced to me by a close friend. It says so much, and yet is so ambiguous in my life, that it just… fits. It holds a special place in my heart, but to most people, they just hear the backing track on car commercials. It’s so much more, and it’s delightful to see how everyone interprets music.
For me, traveling has been a dream of mine. I’ve always wanted to visit places that only existed in books; Italy, Ireland, Scotland, London, just to name a few. When I think of traveling, I think of getting to see the mundane everyday things that people in those parts of the world find mundane. Seeing tourist attractions is nice, but has any of you just thought of standing near a canal and watching the water pass? I always think of wanting to do the things that everyone is bored by. Lay under the stars that look like home but aren’t home. Drink coffee from a foreign café and eat all the delicious foreign chocolates. My soul desires to wander and explore, but I know I can’t do it alone.
Whenever I dream of traveling far away, I think of doing it with someone I love. I thrive over the shared experience of new places. While I most likely could travel alone, it’s not something I prefer. I yearn to hold someone’s hand and pull them down a street in Denmark or Fifth Avenue in New York, singing Hamilton songs and being my cringy nerdy self. I dream of standing on the Golden Gate Bridge at sunset, just existing and watching everything around me. Of laughing and splashing in sandy beaches and warm water, appreciating that the ocean is much different from home. I don’t need fancy hotels or big attractions; I desire quiet inns and secret spots in foreign countries where all I must worry about is how much coffee is too much. Falling asleep on the sand at night, feeling alive just to be somewhere new. These are experiences I could do alone, but things I don’t want to do alone, for fear that my anxiety will turn these great experiences into nightmares. I’d rather be lost in France with someone close by my side and my dog, than just myself and Dodson. It lends a new layer of love for those memories that I will forever cling to.
My big dreams have been in part what has led me to feel like I don’t quite belong anywhere. When I think of where I’d like to live, the city is not one of them. I thrive on quiet and peace. I am mostly me when I am in nature, on a mountain or by the sea. I love the noises I hear being nature and myself and the people around me, not trains, buses, cars, and planes. California is not a wonderful place to be all the time, but it is my home, even if it doesn’t feel like home. Trust me, it doesn’t feel like home most times. But moving across the country by myself… does not hold the same joy as I would like it to be.
The song that I quoted earlier captures that notion for me; that I am simply traveling with a suitcase full of sparks to the place where I truly belong. Wherever that is, I only ask for my person to be there, because Lord do I have a lot of hugs to make up for. I am more reflective in this post and you must forgive me, but I am simply the blue-eyed dreamer that I’ve always been. I’ve just never had the chance to let most see where my mind goes to. I do hope that I haven’t completely frightened you all by my big dreams and my inner reflection for a post today. I think I am just writing what my heart is saying and letting time speak for itself. We’ll see. Remember this blog, future me. Also remember that you love kites ridiculously and snow. And water in general. Okay, time to go! 😊