I honestly forget sometimes that I’m blind and the world wasn’t made for me. I spend my time with people and in places where I can move comfortably and be myself. In the last few years I’ve accepted that my blindness is simply a part of who I am and I deal with that. If my blindness causes someone else an inconvenience I politely apologize, maybe blush a little, but move on with my day without a lot of drama. I’ll admit that up to this point I haven’t done a lot of independent travel outside of airports where there are assistants in place to help me. Today I got a reminder that my life isn’t really this easy. I took my little girl to the dentist. This shouldn’t be a complicated process. Right? Except it really is. When you are blind you rely totally on what you can hear. When you are blind, and in a public place you use sound to tell where you are, where you need to get to, what’s between you and your goal. When you are blind, and in a public place, and responsible for a child, you have to listen to all of that and also focus on where that child is and what she’s doing. Today at the dentist let me tell you all the things I heard while trying to walk, watch my kid, and talk with people. Two Tv’s playing two different shows, two radios playing two different stations, multiple dental tools, receptionists making phone calls, and of course the dentist talking to me about her treatment. I realize this is not a huge event. But for me, surviving that, and coming out of it with a kid who has her tooth fixed, is a freaking accomplishment. The headache be damned!
I’m not a sparkly, glittery girly girl. I don’t wear jewelry aside from my piercings. I don’t put a whole lot of effort into my hair. I don’t wear makeup. I own exactly 2 dresses. I don’t wear heels, even though I’m short. Blind girls have no balance. I’m wondering today how much of this is my personality, or how much of this is my blindness. Or are the two so connected that the distinction no longer matters? I heard a commercial for nail polishes today and I had the thought that I wish I could paint my own nails. I can of course get my nails done, but that’s a 25 dollar experience and getting someone to drive me there and pick me up, instead of being able to pull out a bottle of whatever color I want and spending 10 minutes painting my nails. I know girls who don’t leave the house without their makeup done. I don’t like wearing makeup even if someone else does it for me, because I worry it will get messed up and I won’t know. I like dark colors more because for reasons I can’t really explain, darker colors are easier to try to understand. I think being blind, not being able to hide behind pretty painted colors and costumes forces me to accept myself in ways that other girls my age don’t have to. Today I’m going with that’s a good thing instead of bad.