“Will you stand by my side when I need you the most, or will you let your fears prevail, and disappear like a ghost?” One thing for sure is that my blindness not only has changed my life, but the dynamics of my relationships as well. I lost my eyesight two months before my 19th birthday, at a monumental time in life, when a person is starting to learn more about themselves and form their own identity. Little did I know that one aspect of my identity would impact my whole life. Particularly, college was hard for me socially because I was left out of peer groups, due to what I perceive to be stereotypes.
Although I had accepted my blindness, I was made to feel unease about who I was by my peers. At times, the reactions of my peers left me feeling frustrated, sad, and uncomfortable in my own skin. It was my family, close friends, and beliefs that helped give me the confidence to soar above the negative judgments, to which were trying to pull me down. As my college years progressed, that developed confidence turned into relentless ambition. Feeling the need to decry the stereotype about the capabilities of blind/visually impaired individuals was important to me. I wanted to prove to those very people who left me out of groups, that I along with any other student, have the ability and can accomplish the same task they set out to achieve. I’m boasting when I say that my hard work paid off because one of my professors had the class to clap and give me a standing ovation after a debate. So, a word of advice, if I can do it, you can too!
Thinking back on my college and even graduate educational years, I wonder if a person can truly accept themselves if they are not comfortable with who they are? I believe the answer is no because we all have various aspects of our identity that ultimately shapes us into the person who we are today, and will be in the future. Not being comfortable with one part of your identity, is denying yourself the opportunity to grow into the person that you are destined to be. At this point in my life, I can honestly say that I am comfortable with the person I am because I accept all aspects of my identity and feel at ease. If you agree or disagree with this post, please let us know. Beautifully Blind, Inc. wants to know your thoughts!