Follow by Email

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Annoyances

We all have annoyances. The ones I have been reminded of this week include:

People doing things they say they won't or not doing things they say they will. If they say they are going to go to the party...then they should go to the party.

Constant changing of mind or plans. This is similar to the first. If you are going to go see your friend for three days rhen go the days tiy committed to go. Don't change your mind seven times because someone may be basing their plans on your availability when you get there.

Talking to hear yourself talk or repeating phrase when saying thank you , you don't have to say it three times.

Doing something just because you know it bothers someone or not doing such thing for the same reason. Example? My sister gets really close to my face an/or kisses my face knowing it bothers me and why.


Ok. I'll stop now before I get out of control.

Friday, December 21, 2012

A Book?

Several years ago my mom recommended that I write a book. I thought she was crazy. But as I journal more and blog more...I have found a love for writing. I write to share my convictions. I write to share the things I learn. To share the things I love and desire has become a joy. If I learn all these things and experience all the wonders of living life as a social worker, disciple, friend, daughter, sister and coworker but do not share them, I have given nothing. I long to share my love and the love of my journey.
So a book. I knew it couldn't be fiction. Writing fiction is like trying to make up a story for a child who wants a spontaneous bedtime store...I can't do it. They are all the same. The girl marries a prince, they all live happily ever after, the mom and dad raise their child and protect them... I don't long for these stories.

So I thought about what it would mean to share my story, to share my journey in a book. Who would read it? Why would I do it? What would it look like? Where would it go or what difference would it make? Though I would love to sit down and share my story, I can't answer all of these questions. With out answering them I am not confident I can begin such a task. I know that if it was written it would be more about the things I have to share and teach than about me. It would be more about the principles that are at the core of my life and the love of my God than the what I have accomplished.

And as I ponder these questions I know two principles and ideas that have been central to who I am as a person came out in fortunes from lunch with some friends this week:

"Hold fast to dreams for if dreams die, life is like a broken-winged bird that cannot fly."

"If you want the rainbow, you have to tolerate the rain."

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Things that do and don't matter

Now that I have been walking to and from work for a week and a half I have random thoughts that do and don't matter. Things that make a difference and things that only feel like they make a difference.

Don't honk at me. Nine out of ten times I won't recognize your car so I will just ignore you...you are just creeping me out.

Don't park ON the sidewalk...and definitely don't drive towards me on the side walk. Beside the high school in my neighborhood both happen. And it isn't just cars...a SCHOOL BUS did it on more than one occasion.

Just because I am a Christian doesn't mean I celebrate Christmas....but you don't have to get all awkward and not know what to say. And don't assume that I celebrate Christmas either.

It has officially been one month since I started using my cane....ok a few days more than a month. And hasn't it been quite the journey. As I walk to and from work, around the office and doing the tasks that are amidst my daily life, I realize all the things I need to learn. I also realize all the things other people need to learn. And I could sit here and get angry or frustrated...but what good would that do? I guess its time to learn how to kindly tell the person what they need to do better.
When I started this journey I knew it would be a series of changes and choices that would affect my life, primarily the way I travel. But there are things from time to time that happen that I didn't realize I would be changing. These are both wonderful and challenging. In my office we are all about accommodating and using proper techniques. Now that I use my cane multiple coworkers will greet me saying: "Hi Lindsay its ______." This is not a necessary thing for me, but there are times I am not confident of who the person is until I am closer or hear their voice. Its a simple thing that isn't necessary but in the professional world aides me as I make these changes.  I have also recognized all the ways I am still doing damage to my body because of ways I sit, stand, work...etc. I don't want to make the font on my computer any bigger for multiple reasons. First of all I don't want everyone walking by to be able to read it from across the hallway, but I also can't make it too big because it will go outside my field. So instead I roll my chair all the way forward and lean into my screen so I am just a few inches from it. BAD idea. But necessary. Sometimes I wonder if I should have explored or should explore screen readers or other resistive programs.


Alright....this rambling nonsense has come to a close

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

On hold

So 70%...or so... of my day today has been spent and will be spent on the phone. That is better than the previous position I held where 100% of my job was on the phone.  But after spending 1 1/2 hours on the phone with a government agency I have learned to hate this phrase:

"All representatives are busy assisting other customers. Please remain on the line, your call is important to us."

First of all, I am not a customer...nor is the individual I am working with. Call us individuals or callers...but not customers. I am not purchasing anything from you.
Secondly, you don't really care about my call and it isn't important to you. Every person I talk to when I do get a live person is rude and short. They never have the answers nor can they point me in the right direction. Also, if I don't call, or the individuals I serve don't call, we won't get your money or services so you are saving money.
Third, half the time when I call I get a message that says "All circuits are busy, please try your call again later." This should not happen. You should at least be able to put on hold ever person who calls. Expect your call volume, adjust your technology and staff to the best of your ability to better serve the individuals you work with.

The recording of every representative is busy...well its different every time. Some times there is background noise and other times there isn't. Sometimes the background noise is distinct, other times it is not. Sometimes its male voices in the background, other times its female voices. So...what about training the person that spent hours of their time recording that message to answer the phone. Maybe then a few more people will get served.

I know there are way more thoughts where this came frome...but that is enough of a rant for one afternoon.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Pain is not meaningless

Pain is no evil, unless it conquers us.


- Charles Kingsley



In the past few months and at various times in my life I have experienced extreme pain that feels meaningless. It paralyzes me physically to a point at which I cannot live out my life as Christ's Disciple. It paralyzes me emotionally. I am now at a place of discouragement and fear, a place where I see no end or relief to the pain. I see no solution...and many times I become bitter, angry, frustrated and depressed.   But I never lose sight for more than a moment of what I learn through pain. Secondly, what others learn through pain. I have learned what it means to depend on God. I have learned what it means for this body, this life, this Sukkah to be temporary. I have learned that mourning, grieving and handing the emotional turmoil of this life is far more painful than the physical pain will inflict on us. I have seen brothers and sisters join together to love, support and serve the ones they love. I have seen these same individuals overcome fears, discomforts and unforseen circumstances. I have seen them grow in their boldness and creativity in loving others and carrying out their daily activities. I have been blessed by the opportunities I have had to stand beside men and women I wouldn't generally be able to encourage or to be encouraged by. I have been humbled by the times I find myself unable to complete a daily task with out the support of others. I have learned to bear the pain of others and to allow others to carry and feel my pain.   I can't always "make sense" of the pain or rationalize it. But I can choose gratitude for the ways I am change because of its presence in my life. And at a time like this when the pain seems to have no purpose or course I can only take refuge and hope in the God who has carried me through each course of pain. I can hope and have faith in the things I will gain because of this pain. That will carry me through.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Moving

I have learned a few things from this most recent move.
First and foremost I have a lot of crap. It makes one consider what is important. What could be worth holding on to for the future? And what is worth passing on or throwing out? "It's time" is the phrase we used to part with things we once found useful.
What is important in a home? Is it the size of the kitchen or the amount of storage? Is it the type of floors or the amount of windows? Is it what floor the apartment is on or the location of the apartment in your community? In the past week I have decided that location means a great deal. But also the type of community that surrounds it. Most importantly it's who we are with and what we are committed too. I am grateful to have all of this.

I have learned that I don't feel at home until pictures are on the walls and there is food in my fridge. There are always little things that won't find their home until a few months from now... But I there is security in knowing where things belong.
I have learned just how blessed we are as roommates, friends and sisters for all of the wonderful people who made this move happen and the struggles that were avoided and overcome because of the hard work, love, support and consideration.

I have learned the beauty of creativity and teamwork to organize tiny spaces. And I will continue to be grateful for all of this.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Other Duties As Assigned

One of the most common job description additions is "other duties as assigned". Here is a brief list of some of my "favorite" other duties:
~pack boss's office: this includes cleaning out desk drawers and having entertainment of hte wonderful treasures inside
~Kill spiders
~get water for construction/contract workers
~make signs so people don't get lost in new building/move
~move an office or two
~Buy boss lunch to get out of doing extra paperwork.



This list seems shorter than it has been in the past. It simply makes me laugh sometimes. We find ourselves doing the smallest, silliest and stupidest of things and come to the conclusion that it is "other duties as assigned!"

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Random things that pop in my head bring me back to lists like this....I thought it would be cheesy...but it actually was kind of funny.



All I Need to Know About Life I Learned From My Bible




Miracles happen

Somebody loves me

I am not alone

The majority isn't always right

Wonderful things happen in dungeons

Death is only skin deep

Poverty is temporary and so is wealth

He who dies with the most toys loses the most toys

You can always go home again

Things will look better in three days

I always have at least one friend that is closer than a brother

Family is everywhere

There is always something good to look forward to

Monday, November 26, 2012

setback

Today I do not want to use my cane. I don't want to be identified with it, I don't want to be burdened by it. I walk around and try to carry my lunch, my phone, the key to my office...and its just one more thing. I want to be free. I want to curl up in a ball and scream and cry. I want to walk around with my hands empty and spin and dance as I prance through my office....


This would be a dip...now let's get through it. 

I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish humble tasks as though they were great and noble. The world is moved along, not only by the mighty shoves of its heroes, but also by the aggregate of the tiny pushes of each honest worker.


Helen Keller     This is my statement for today, the statement that will keep me pushing through.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Onward in this journey

Today is day 4 of using my cane or sighted guide full time. So how is it going you ask?

Well I am incredibly uncomfortable both physically and emotionally. It is difficult to make these changes and my back is very tight and sore. My boss told me today that if I need to lay on the floor...just do it. However, I am retraining my brain to believe that the things I do "can't" be done with out assistance of a sighted guide or cane. It is an interesting concept.

I am so grateful for the support of my coworkers. Our doctor is thankful for the impact the use of my cane is having on our office in being more conscious of things happening. A coworker, who does rehab teaching and not O&M, oriented me to my office....I haven't gotten lost yet though we have had a few close calls.

Emotionally, this is a journey. My boss told me I would have days when it would go well and days when I would want to cry and scream and throw things...well they aren't days...they are moments. Yesterday I wanted to cry because I was glued to my chair in fear of not knowing my environment. Today I am mobile through the whole building....with only minimal fear and hesitation.

Talking about this is difficult. Easier with some but not with all. Let the journey continue. It will be interesting to see how NYC goes.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Give Me Your Eyes So I Can See

As I sit down to write this difficult post, these lyrics run through my head:
Give me your eyes for just one second
Give me your eyes so I can see
Everything that I keep missing

Why do you think?

By now my spiritual family, the majority of my friends/coworkers and my biological family has heard of the changes I am making in my life. Here is a brief recap before I get into the journey of how it is going (If you have already read the letter I sent out to one of these groups...jump to farther down in this post):


Most of you know that I have had a long battle with health difficulties. The battle for my health began long before I knew the past few years...it began during my mom's pregnancy. My parents fought to bring me into this world. And my parents raised me to be independent. This, in and of itself is not bad...or so I thought. But as the last few months have played out I have learned the significant damage my independence has had on my body, my mind and my spirit. Most people, because of my independence, do not realize the reality of the "disabilities" I face. You know about the seizures, the headaches, the stomach problems...but even that is "fuzzy". Few people understand the degree that I face these problems day by day.
A "normal" person sees 160 degrees of vision (left to right) and has 20/20 vision. What I see is 5 degrees of vision and at 20 feet what the average person sees at 60-100 depending on the day (It is worse when I am tired, have a headache or when it is really bright or dim, when i've been on the computer...etc.). For me it’s not black and white. It is not that I do or don't see something. I see some things, I infer many others and the rest I miss.
I find myself caught between the two cultures of sighted and not sighted...I have been a partially sighted trying to fit into the sighted world...and in many ways I don't fit in to either. I have spent a lot of my life hiding from my disability, pretending it isn't there and then only in the last few years mixing the reality that I am not fully sighted with figuring out who I am. I don't want to be "Lindsay the Blind girl"...but I can't be "Lindsay the normally sighted girl."  
I have fought to not use my cane or sighted guides for years. I have gotten to a point of accepting assistance of others in crowds or dark places and using my cane when I take the bus. However the reality is that due to my eye sight I need to look down when I walk without assistance. This has put significant pressure on my neck and back...causing headaches, back aches and other ailments that lead to other significant health concerns arising. I have also had a few falls, bumps and stumbles recently. At this point I have no significant damage done to the disks in my spine nor bone spurs formed, but with out change these things could form. As my health conditions continue to tear me away from my work and the battlefield and my vision gets worse (though I don't know why) I have been forced to consider the reality of using my cane and sighted guide more regularly. Perhaps even as a full time thing.  I wish words could express how difficult this transition will be for me.
I wish that I could tell you that this would be a temporary adjustment but the reality is that just like the changes in my diet, this will be a permanent change. Actually probably more like a drawn out series of permanent changes as I strive to find what is best. It is a humbling and scary journey and requires a lot of difficult conversations with coworkers and potentially with the individuals I serve in my job not to mention friends and my family of origin. I am speaking with an orientation and mobility specialist for support and instruction as well. One thing I do know now is that I will need your physical support, your eyes, more than I have in the past.  And more than anything I will need your prayers.
Something in a friend's sharing last Sunday about independence really started me realizing that this needed to be addressed and not dismissed on a daily basis. Without accepting the support of others and getting this new journey rolling....I am not living out true acceptance or dependence on God.
As for my job? I work with individuals who, without their cane, dog or another individual, are putting themselves in harm's way each time they travel. I am no different. My prayer is that as I accept this new appendage that the individuals I serve will be empowered to accept their canes, disabilities and the help available to them. My prayer is that in talking with my coworkers I can share the convictions God has laid upon my heart through out this journey.
There are many things I can't do. Something I can do is count the blessings that I have as a member of an incredible spiritual family who I know will not just tolerate this change but support me and help me to bring this journey full circle to where it will bring about fruit.




Alright...so this journey went fully underway Tuesday in talking with a coworker and then beginning yesterday by using a friend to navigate the grocery store, farm, concert and other areas. So...what has the journey been like.

Honestly...I am emotionally drained, frustrated and at a loss for words. 

Grocery Store: 
~Cane: impossible. Especially right now. There are too many people not looking where they are going. Too many rolling carts and flying turkeys.

Concert or crowded situations:
~Sighted guide is the only way to go if traveling with others. Too many people, trying to stay with others and not leave them behind or be left behind.

I have also learned that my concept of "eye level" is very different from others.  This concept is an awful one. Eye level for a 6 foot person is different than someone at 5 feet 5 inches which is very different from a 5 foot person....plus all those kids under 4 feet tall...their eye level is my knee.  But anyway...for someone standing around my height, my eye level is 6 inches to a foot lower than it should be due to the fact that I look down. 

What do I do? How do I navigate my own home? Or the homes of my friends? Do I become an appendage to other? or take up the appendage of my cane?

Sunlight: wow...this will take a lot of training to continue to look straight as opposed to constantly looking down.

This journey is turning out to be very similar to county the cost of discipleship. You go in surrendering your life to Christ counting a few costs...but more importantly counting the costs and surrendering the things we never knew we were going to need to lay down. Today I have a clear picture of what it looks like to take on this new journey...but six months from now there will be new costs to count, new things to consider and new ways of getting through this journey. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Self Talk

How often do we talk ourselves down? We sit and belittle ourselves. Our actions, thoughts and words tear down what we have done, who we are and who we can be to something smaller. So in my thoughts and wanderings I found this question:

If you had a friend who spoke to you in the same way that you sometimes speak to yourself, how long would you allow this person to be your friend?


Honestly...I am not sure the answer to this question for myself. My inward and outward speech are so drastically different. I think I would be terrified if my friend talked to me the way my head does. This is definitely a way to redirect thoughts. I don't want to be friends with the person in my head currently...but I do want to train the person in my head to get to a place where I would want to be friends with her.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

2 Corinthians 12:9

"And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me."  


I have struggled for several years now with the workings of my digestive system, the pain from headaches and seizures and the difficulties of all the other organs of my body that decide to revolt every so often. I have taken great time and energy to change how I view my body and what I feed it.  But sometimes it takes an outsider to see the principles that are being fulfilled in ourselves.

After hours and days a nd weeks and months of research, peer support and motivation as well as trial and error sessions I have completely altered the way I eat. This isn't some crazy fad diet but rather a change of lifestyle. As a principle (not a rule because some things are unavoidable) I don't eat any gluten, soy, dairy or processed anything. Prior to this food and my health were my weakness. I was afraid to and unable to leave the house at times. I was unable to work due to the pain and discomfort. Ok, yeah....you know...I've told you before. But a friend of mine helped me to think about this in a different way.
My weakness was transformed through God's transforming power into a strength to share with the world. It took trust in him, the support of my spiritual family and continuous prayer to get through to the other side. Eating in this healthy and new way became a discipline. Discipline is not something learned over night...it takes time, energy and perseverance. You WILL hit a dip, a point at which you don't feel you can get through. For me it was that even eating healthy didn't change how I felt. It was that I got bored eating and figuring out food. I got tired of planning and cooking and preparing and researching. But now, its a discipline. I don't, in general, crave all of these disgusting super "foods" that we fill our bodies with. For me...it became a strength.

Part of the love scroll states this:

"And most of all I will love myself. For when I do I will zealously inspect all things which enter my body,.... Never will I overindulge the requests of my flesh, rather I will cherish my body with cleanliness and moderation."

Let your weakness transform into a strength.




Monday, November 5, 2012

Shaded views

As I sit in my office following my boss's directions I am looking at things through shades. After two failed efforts at assignments I approached her for additional work. She told me to go in my office, put my sunglasses on, close the door and pretend like I wasn't there. I struggle with lack of productivity...I always want to be working to my fullest. But...when the pain is beyond control...you do what you have to. So...I am reminded now of how "shades" change what you see. They alter it so that you are not seeing clearly and not working to your fullest.  It reminded me of the ways in which lies do the same...

Lies. Well I started reading a book with a friend of mine for a book discussion we plan on joining. Grace (Eventually) is a hysterical book of shorter stories by Anne Lamott. An excerpt from yesterday reads:

"Lies cannot nourish or protect you. Only freedom from fear, freedom from lies, can make us beautiful and keep us safe."

This is incredibly true. When we listen to or believe lies our view of ourself is shaded and tainted. We see an impure, broken and destroyed self. We don't see the full picture but rather we see it through a colored filter. Think about those times you put tinted shades on and wonder why everything looks rose colored. You don't have a proper view of what you are seeing. Lies do the same. Lies don't build up good but tear it down to the negative. And those don't nourish or protect us.

So as I sit at my desk with the lights off and door closed and shades on...I am unable to read my phone screen. If my phone rings I don't know if its my boss, the front desk, some random person asking for help or an individual who was supposed to call me back last week. My view is tinted and shaded. It will change the way in which I greet each call.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Life motto

Alright these are two really unrelated thoughts:

As an ice breaker I asked the question "What is your life motto?" I had many thoughts that I liked of my own....

1. I'll try almost anything once, some things I'll do twice...
2. Love God and Love others as yourself (yep...stole that from Jesus)

ok...I have lots of other thoughts of what are good life mottos...but I want to hear what others have to say.

Secondly my brain is a rattling after something someone shared with me. It made me think and wrestle through my choices and attitudes even more. When discussing Vision Loss it was described as a lack of privacy. For a "normally" sighted individual they get up and drive themselves to starbucks, order their favorite latte, fill up the gas tank, stop at the bank and deposit their work check. Then they head to the store. They pick out all the wonderful foods they want for the week and stop to get a pedicure on the way home. Alright. Say that is your typical morning. That would take you....maybe 3-4 hours.
For someone who has limited vision...its different. We all know if I were to do that it would take....all day...and I still wouldn't have gotten it all done. So ask someone for help...then think of this. The person who drives you knows what type of coffee you ordered at starbucks, how you paid for it and probably had to help you order it because you coudln't read the menu.
Then you head to the bank. Now that person knows what bank you use, your pin number if you needed help, and how much money you deposited or took out.
So we are at the grocery store. This person now knows every little thing you bought at the store, why you chose what you chose and how you chose it. They know the order in which you like to shop, the shampoo you use, the deoterant you wear, the tooth paste you brush with...o and if you are a girl they know if your menstrual cycle is coming based on the pads/tampons you bought and how much chocolate and ice cream went into your cart. They also know how you paid for your groceries and had to help you pick out these things, load them in the car.
Oh, and that pedicure? What's the point of getting one if someone is sitting there waiting for you? You constantly feel like you are holding them up and that is not relaxing.

All of these things you could have done with out someone if you had full sight....these things that no one will ever know about you. If I had a car and wanted to drive it to the end of the street and back, no one would have to know. But now....everyone knows when and why I go anywhere. Just made me really think.

Why am I concerned about this? Why do I care if others know these things? What do I have to hide? I guess its an extra set of questions I ask myself. And an extra set of eyes so I am fully conscious of all my actions, more conscious than the average individual. While it is incredibly exhausting and time consuming...maybe in the end it is for the better. Just my thoughts.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Corn...

"Corn, Corn, Corn! Nothing But corn."

As i consider the reality of what is in that package of smarties I just ate, I can't help but think about the movie "Secondhand Lions". One of the uncles is fooled by a traveling salesman to believe that each seed is different when in fact all he buys is corn seeds....lots of them. A whole garden full of corn...

First ingredient in Smarties: Dextrose.


Corn sugar (C6H12O6), commonly called D-glucose or dextrose, is the chemical [alpha]-D-glucopyranose. It occurs as the anhydrous or the monohydrate form and is produced by the complete hydrolysis of corn starch with safe and suitable acids or enzymes, followed by refinement and crystallization from the resulting hydrolysate.


So...back to corn. Corn is in EVERYTHING. Its disgusting. Why is there corn in my smarties. Why is their corn in drink mixes, McDonald's everything, Baby formula, cereals (excluding corn flakes), catsup, salad dressings, candies, vinegar, cookies, baby food, juices, .......ok so now i'm just listing anything I am finding it in on the internet.
But seriously. If it isn't Corn on the cob, has corn in the title or is "candy corn," it shouldn't contain it. If God didn't put it in there...then there is a reason its not in there.


I could say the same thing about any sugar or soy. oo....but don't get me started on soy.

Organic lemonade mix: soy
salad dressings: soy
Goldfish crackers: soy
Granola bars: soy

Thursday, October 18, 2012

double takes...

Sometimes when you are riding the bus there are odd things that make you do a double take...here are some recent ones...

Man standing at the bus stop with a "cane." The "cane" was a shovel that was cut off and a gripper placed on the bottom.
High school student gets on the bus. She is clearly wearing gym clothes...like she just got out of practice...and dress shoes. Yep, you read that right...dress shoes. Ok, so how many times after track practice or whatever practice did you take your sneakers off and put your slip ons back on for your ride home....except she was in public


Another strange note about the bus. My department has two interns. One of them did not grow up in the city. She is terrified of it. In order to break her of her fears it has been suggested that I take her on a bus adventure....and have her stand by liberty pole for a while...this should be fun.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Snob or wholehearted?

So after going to the grocery store on Friday night and thinking today about what I am going to eat for lunch (still haven't decided) I have come to a place of being frustrated and bored by food. How can this be? There are hundreds of different foods! And a math wiz would tell me there were hundreds of thousands of combinations of the foods that could be eaten. So why am I bored?

I have come to a point of not wanting my eating decisions to affect my ability to live and love. If my eating plan keeps me from going out and spending time with someone who needs a friend...then what is the point? Then it has become an encumbrance.

What happened to the excitement about eating and cooking? As I was finishing up cutting vegetables for my soup last night I was remembering growing up. My mom is an amazing cook. She never measures anything and rarely uses a recipe. She can create a meal out of the fewest or strangest items. I had no interest in cooking. Why would I? If mom could cook amazing food then I had no reason to even try. I could just take the easy way out and simply splurge on all the goodness. So now as I learn how to cook and see that practice does make perfect...I go along all the ordinary challenges. Last night as I sliced a nice gash in my thumb, the first thought I had was: "i'm becoming a decent cook, and the cuts are simply evidence."

So....the food journey continues...

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Purge It!

Yesterday's agenda at work was "purging". The whole day was set aside to "purge". Why? Because we are moving into a new office and who wants to move more than they need to. But the idea of purging goes much deeper. Think about it....

In my office. Well I have occupied my office for just about three months...how much would I have to purge? A lot. Every person who has occupied the office before me has left their own treasures. Brosures, business cards, emails, letters, notes, hand written instructions, old files. Each and every one of them has left a legacy that I needed to clean up. Why did they leave it? What is the  use? What does it say about them?

In my own life I have moved several times. Sometime around the end of college I counted 11 houses. Considering the amount I move I have a lot of...crap. Crap. That is what it is. Okay...well maybe not all of it. Piles of books...I love books. I collect books. I hoard books. I....well... I am addicted to books. Clothes...for a girl who never buys herself clothing...I have a lot of clothes. And pictures and cards and letters...who am I saving them for? Am I saving them for myself? Or my children? or my grand children? Well...since I don't know what God has in store for me in terms of children...why am I saving them?

What else is hidden in the box, or the drawer? What is slid under the bookshelf or under the bed? What are you collecting? What does it say about you?

For me as I ponder this reality and consider what will happen as I move, grow up, transition, change...what do I want to hold onto...then I ask the question of Why? Why am I holding onto it.
My mom has countless boxes and bins filling her basement of my stuff. My brother's stuff. My sister's stuff. What is it? Old school projects, mother's day cards, birthday cards, craft projects, pictures, odds and ends, things we cherished.... Sometimes I think mom needs to go through and just have a big bonfire!

But as easy as it is for me to say this, I have just as much difficulty getting rid of things as anybody else. It is hard to let go of the past. It is hard to leave behind something that was part of you, something that has shaped who you are.

So what can I purge today...that box under my bed and that drawer in my night stand.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Italy? or Holland?

In reading some literature for my new role at ABVI I came across this blurb. Not only did it help me in understanding parenting...it also has some spiritual parallels and other implications or life. Thought I would share....

When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip-to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.


After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says. "Welcome to Holland."

"HOLLAND?!? you say. "What do you mean Holland? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I dreamed of going to Italy."

But there's been a change in flight plans. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.

Do you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around....and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills....and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy...and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away...because the loss of that dream is a very, very significant loss.

But....if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things...about Holland.

Friday, September 7, 2012

random friday thoughts....

Day four of whole30...its so much easier this time. I am learning a lot more about what I am doing and why. I am able to be whole hearted about it instead of a state of desperation. I am also so grateful for the opportunity to teach what I have learned to those who are interested.

I am addicted to reading. I find myself listening to books and reading as if I am binging. I am also addicted to buying books. I have about 10 books between my audible account and hard cover...plus coutless kindle books on my list. I have already completed 44 books this year and have about three more in the works...not including a yearly run through of the Bible in some way shape or form.

I love my coworkers and everything about their quirkiness. I am so grateful for their support in teaching me my job and bringing me along side them. I am grateful for the ways in which they simply make me laugh and entertain me with their lives. What is a challenge for me, and my office mate, is the relaxed slow paced way things are done. To me, I cringe at inefficiency and I strive to work hard and long...so being able to just stop and chat about cars breaking, lack of hot water, baby's development and food. Food is a constant no matter where I am.

This week my sister started her senior year of high school. First of all this makes me feel really old. It seems like just yesterday that mom put her on the bus for kindergarten. Or how about the memory of her playing barbie's, or learning to talk and walk. Secondly it makes me think back to my senior year and everything that entails. But most importantly it helps me to remember where I came from and where I am at, and I am grateful for that. I never had a dream of being this far, I was taking it one day at a time. When I finished high school it was just understood that I would go to college...but after that who knew what I would do? I didn't know what I wanted to do with my life. Now I could never imagine not being where I am at. I have an awesome spiritual family, have learned so much and have an incredible job. I am provided for and have done far more than anyone ever thought I would do. I have been given so much.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Take two

Back in April Jenn and I embarked on the Whole30 adventure. It was at that point and probably still is one of the most food related challenges I have ever been on. I had to learn how to eat and cook all over again. Out went the Mac n cheese. Away went the beef ravioli. And goodbye went the ice cream.
When we started I knew what we could Nd couldn't eat. But I was taking it one day at a time and didn't take the time to fully understand the full spectrum of what food was doing to me. Now as we embark on round two with four new participants I am taking the adventure to the next level. This time I am prepared with experience, two books on the impact of food, several articles and loads of websites and recipes. This time I take the challenge farther by using what I have learned to teach and lead others on this journey.
Why do it again?
It worked the first time. But I wasn't prepared for the journey or the story after Whole30 when I began. One Oreo became two. One cookie became Chinese for lunch. And one almond joy became today's large piece of apple pie. The cravings have half returned and I want this to be s life long journey to eat foods that love me back.
Last time I had several foods I wanted to try or like before the end. Here is the update:
Avocado: still nasty.
Tomatoes: love them cooked. Can stomach a few raw.
Tea: LOVE
Fish: like talapia. Dislike salmon

This time around?
Want to learn about and decide about various organic foods including meat.
Want to try at least one more type of fish.
Want to re-evaluate the broccoli family
Want to learn two more dishes in the crockpot.
Want to compile a box of recipes to have on hand.

Alright. The adventure starts Tuesday. I wonder what I will eat before the kick off.........

Friday, August 24, 2012

Bus Dangers

So here is the latest bus update.....

When you move you have to learn a new bus line. This can be good. It can be bad. In all honesty it is draining. So...here is the latest update on how my last few bus rides have gone.

My first day home from work in my new house...well I thought I was going to die. The bus driver had awful road rage. So...think about that awful driver who has road rage....and put them behind the wheel of a bus. NOT GOOD. See...no one on the bus is strapped in a seat belt and there is much more of an expansive space to fly if the driver slams on the breaks. Well..He did this more than once and I almost fell out of my chair each time.

me: sir can you tell me when we are at parsells and greeley...its one stop before culver road
driver: no
me: excuse me?
driver: you asked if I knew where parsells and greeley was?
me: no... I asked if you could let me know when we are at parsells and greeley...its one stop before culver
driver: I guess so

For the record...he almost passed my stop and I had no idea.


Yesterday I took my old bus home to run an errand. Well she was an encouragement. Not only did she ask if I wanted the same stop as usual but when I said no she offered assistance and struck up a pleasant conversation with me.




Alright...i'm sure we will have more...but not now...now i just avoid the bus as much as possible...

Friday, August 17, 2012

Working with myself

So...this will be a short post because I'm finishing up my work day and not working....

This is the end of my first month or so at my new job. And boy has it been a journey. Today was the first time in a while that I have had absolutely nothing to do. I was sitting here realizing that I am currently being paid to do nothing. But it also gave me an opportunity to reflect on the past few weeks and all that has happened.

When I started this job I thought I knew a lot about vision loss. And I thought I knew a lot about myself. Neither of these were true. I have learned many things about myself and how I can better live. This includes different glasses, different devices and tips to do things more efficiently.
I have also learned a lot about the other difficulties that accompany vision loss. In the midst of me thinking my field is decreasing and my vision getting worse...I am seeing all the things I am fortunate not to have to have. I have never had to get eye injections. I have never needed to wear sunglasses inside except after my eye surgeries or pupils being dilated. I haven't needed to mark various equipment. Things I just took for granted.
I have learned many odd things about my friends. I have other friends with vision loss...and boy have I got a kick out of some of the things the books say about their disorders. For instance...one book said that Albinos are "flamboinant". yep...got a kick out of that one.

I have also begun building relationships with my coworkers and learned a lot about them and from them.
First of all Wendy makes corn in the microwave in 5 minuts. If you want to know more...you gotta ask.
Lauri likes to break out in song at 8am
Shawna and I have been swapping food details as she is trying to go dairy free.
My supervisor...well we took a class together while I was in grad school.

the list goes on. Let the journey continue.

o yeah...and in case you didn't hear...one week after starting my job my job responsibilities/role changed!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Hostage Transfer

So the date of my transition from job to job is July 13th. Technically that will be my last day here at the call center, however I will be on vacation teh week prior. My boss referred to this yesterday as the "hostage transfer". So, I figured it was a good title. There are many things I want to reflect on and talk about now that I am leaving my job. But today is simply a list or two....note these lists are constantly being added to.

Top things callers do that drive me crazy:
1. Going to the bathroom on the phone with a professional
2. Calling and asking for a phone number but not being prepared to write the number down.
3. Dialing the number into your ear instead of writing it down.
4. Callers yelling at me when I give them an answer they don't want to hear or telling me its my fault that there are no resources.
5. Callers expect me to perform miracles
6. Callers having conversations with other individuals while talking to me.
7. Professionals calling to make referrals when they DON'T have all the information (they know what they need).
8. Professionals who call because they are too lazy to do their own job.
9. Callers always assume that I was the person talking with them last time they called.
10. Callers eating or chewing gum while on the phone.

Top things I will miss about my office:
1. My office is bipolar...for instance it is June and 90 degrees outside and I am wrapped in a blanket
2. My coworkers speak Spanglish
3. stress balls are often used as weapons or ways of making a point.
4. "intercom" means yelling across the call center
5. "scented" coffee means it is flavored.
6. Everyone has a phrase they say: That's a Wrap, I'm gonna blow this popsickle stand, O M G, Ridonkulous...
7. Everyone has a nickname: LT/fish, Mervaration, Chip, CC, Hamster, Radar....
8. There is a concept of a "filter" in our office...its off on weekends...sometimes it comes off other times of the week.
9. The Chinese place we order from doesn't need to ask us our address...they just know its us.
10. RCMCT answering the phone "Tony's Pizza".
11. My supervisor walks around with her headset in one ear and her bluetooth in the other...we never know who she is talking to.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Gratitude is an attitude

Choosing gratitude is something that has been very prevalent on my mind and heart. It isn't easy, in fact it is a discipline. I have learned to choose gratitude when I can't stand on my own two feet. I have learned to choose gratitude when I feel lost in the worries of this world. I have learned to choose gratitude when I am losing those I love or those I love have hurt me. I have learned to choose gratitude when everything is falling apart. But there is still a first for everything in our individual lives. So here is the most recent story of where I have had to choose gratitude....

I work in a very stressful job...in fact the high of an adrenaline rush is almost a prerequisite for my position. I am sad to say that I call 911 or some variation of such on a daily basis. So sometimes it is so stressful we need to just do something different, something to relieve the adrenaline rush and bring us back to reality.  Thursday when I was about to leave work I had hit that place. After three straight days of constant crisis and chaos with little break and even less down time to test software I had come to a place of needing some time. Time to think. Time to pray. Time to build my discipline of gratitude. And yes, time to thoroughly enjoy the beautiful sunshine. I left work...on time! and started walking. My original plan was to walk home but I realized that I didn't have the time or the physical strength to do so. So I decided  to instead walk to E Main and Alexander to take the bus from there. But that never happened. I exited work via the back door and began my journey down Alexander St. While crossing the bridge there were three gentleman on the bridge. Two on bikes. I didn't think much about it. Two blocks later they passed me on their bikes in front of Monroe High school. Once again I didn't think anything of it. I lost sight of them. Then somewhere around dunkin donuts they passed me going the same direction. I thought this was weird. Instinct told me to keep my phone in my hand so I could call for help if I needed to. The pulled left into a parking lot and as I entered that area they swung out of the parking lot, still on their bikes, and blocked the way so that I could not continue walking. They asked me where something was I told them I didn't know. When they said it was up on East Ave I pointed toward East Ave and tried to leave. They asked if they could use my phone. I said no. They asked several times and I continued to say no, tell them I had to leave and walked away. Still with my guard up I kept my phone in my hand for easy access to 911. I began walking and next thing I knew they sped past me on their bikes and yanked the phone out of my hand. I screamed and a girl across the street heard me. She was crossing the street to let me use her phone and another car stopped asked what was wrong, swung around and tried to chase the bikes. As for the girl, her name is Robin and she was so generous. She allowed me to call 911, a dear friend and my work.  She stayed with me until the cops got to the scene. Shortly after she left my supervisor arrived to stay with me and comfort me. She made sure I was physically ok. She was able to go into logical crisis mode and walked me through shutting my phone down through Verizon. The whole story had to be told several times through out this time to the officers. Then a roommate showed up to be with me as well. She was able to stay calm, contact my family and help us through the process. At this point the tears had stopped flowing and I was able to do all I needed to do.I was  just grateful they oly touched my hand and didn't physically hurt me. My roommate called my mom to get phone information for 911. 
One of the most difficult things for me was when I was placed in the back of an investigator's car so that a suspect could walk by for me to identify. I wasn't able to say for certain if it was him...
I didn't get home until 6:30 and was doing ok until I tried to go to bed. Alone in my bed, with the lights off and everything quiet all of my fears and anxieties weight upon me. So my roommates made a plan to have me watch a movie and for a roommate to stay with me until I fell asleep. 
For me when I got up this morning I knew I needed to go into the office and work. I needed to be focused. And I choose to find gratitudes in all I did. I can't share them all due to personal boundaries...but I would like to share some.
~I am grateful that I am alive and not physically hurt in any way
~I am grateful for Robin who let me use her cell phone to call for help and stayed with me til the police arrived
~I am grateful for the supervisor who answered the phone, my supervisor who stayed with me and my roommate who responded and helped me in my time of need
~I am grateful for the opportunity for the roommate I love so dearly and has had a profound impact on my life to meet the supervisor who has changed my life in my job.
~I am grateful for the opportunity to spend time with friends so that I was not alone.
~I am grateful for the love and support of three of my roommates when the fears and insecurities, the effects of the situation hit me hard. It was when the lights turned off, the room was quiet and I was alone that I needed them most...and they were there.
~I am grateful for the love and support of all my coworkers who stood beside me and made sure I was ok today. I couldn't have done it without them.


So when you feel like it is coming to an end...remember. Gratitude is an attitude and you have the opportunity to choose it in all you do. 

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Small town to Big city

When I was growing up my brother and I were adamant about one thing: we would never live in a big city. We loved growing up in a small town. Where I grew up I couldn't walk down the street with out running into a family friend. I went to school and knew I always had support because I knew the teachers on a personal level. I enjoyed knowing who was nearby and knowing what was going on. There is a culture in a small town in which you either know the person, know somewone they are related to or are related to them yourself. When I went to college I had all intentions of returning home or to another small town. Today I find myself living in the city. Actually, so is my Brother. And neither of us would change our circumstances. Yes, we miss the small town...but we love living where we are. As I went through the drive thru window at the pharmacy last night and the pharmacist recognized me...I was reminded of my small town. 
I miss having friends on my street, second mothers who would take me in, feed me lunch and let me relax at their home. However now I enjoy living on a diverse street where I want to get to know my neighbors and learn from their experiences.
I miss living in a place where there was one stop light in the school district, the grocery store was 20 minutes away and you could literally walk down the middle of the road with out getting hit. Now I enjoy hearing the banter of the city, spend time riding the bus and observing the people riding with me, I hear the car horns and trains, buses and cars all night long.
As a child I walked across a field and risked stepping in cow pies to visit a friend. NOw I walk through the "ghetto" and risk getting hit on.
I definitely miss the small town I grew up in and all of the close knit craziness...I wish at times I could move out to the country where there are more cows than people and privacy is the norm. Where you wake up to birds and other animals singing...but I guess I just needed to reflect on this.
To the family of community that raised me...thank you. I miss you. I wish I could transport all of you to the city I now live in.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Whole 30 and squirrels

So, Monday was the start of the whole 30 diet. How was I feeling before? AWFUL. How am I feeling now? Not much better. But, I have learned and experienced many things since starting. Here is a quick snapshot.
~Day one: DRINK MORE WATER
~Shopping has gotten very expensive
~If you can make it with cheese you can make it with out cheese
~On Tuesday I made my first pot roast...minus the potatoes...it was yummy and easy. Now I want a crockpot of my own
~The sugar crash takes several days to catch up. while sitting at my desk today I stood up to talk to a supervisor and almost passed out. NOT cool.
~I guess I'm learning to cook. I can't make rice so I had to be more creative with my chicken.
~I crave sugary and salty things. So, how do I fill this? Fruits, veggies and salted almonds.
~Avacado is NASTY. Contrary to what my friends think it is gross in taste and sketchy in texture.
~Stores/manufacturers put sugar in the stupidest of things. So be careful. Its in your ketchup, salsa, nuts, ham, bacon, sausage, juice, salad dressings...ok some of these I knew about...others I was appalled beecause they DON'T NEED sugar added. This is just a short list.
~There is a ton more planning and preparing
~Doing this alongside someone is helpful. Why? Because you can use each other as a resource and to be accountable. You aren't the only one who can't dig into the candy dish or eat the cookie that was just offered to you.
~I am craving everything I can't have. Did I already say that?
~Stressful situations: like the squirrel chewing through the wires in teh call center and crashing the whole building....well that can make you so stressed that it is incredibly tempting to eat.




Completely random and not related. Squirrels. They are AWFUL. Seriously? He chewed through the fiber optic wire between buildings and crashed us. We ran the ENTIRE call center on four phones. Not a HUGE deal in the overnight...but when the downstairs staff also needs to run operations...its special. We had a few good laughs and bonding moments in the board room of the main agency. I am impressed with how smoothly things ran and how we were able to keep things running with two downstairs phones and two upstairs phones, no printers, no helpful databases and little communication with the regular call center staff. But I am grateful to be back at a "normal" station. As a coworker says: this office is schizophrenic.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

A Brief Quote

I found myself thinking about this quote this morning that came to my work email:
"Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.
Life is beauty, admire it.
Life is a dream, realize it.
Life is a challenge, meet it.
Life is a duty, complete it.
Life is a game, play it.
Life is a promise, fulfill it.
Life is sorrow, overcome it.
Life is a song, sing it.
Life is a struggle, accept it.
Life is a tragedy, confront it.
Life is an adventure, dare it.
Life is luck, make it.
Life is too precious, do not destroy it.
Life is life, fight for it."


-- Mother Teresa

Saturday, February 18, 2012

We are one

Somewhere between walking out our front doors and stepping foot on the bus we become one. No matter our age, gender, religious affiliation, ethnicity, language spoken, status in life, physicial limitation or disability, or any other factor...we are one. We all have a destination and a starting point. We are all traveling on someone else's watch. We have given up control. We travel to work, appointments, shopping, friend's houses...maybe we simply take the bus for a joy ride...who knows. If we get on the wrong bus...o well. You can't go back. You must find a new way to get there. We become one. There is no distinction between us. I ride with people who are above me in the professional world. I ride with people who are my clients. I ride with people who are just like me, struggling to find their way in a blurry world. I ride with people who are unemployed, on welfare and struggling to make ends meet. I ride with people who are simply trying to live their own life.
As I sat on the bus last night and the woman next to me realized she had gotten on the wrong bus, this reality hit me. Why? Because I have spent so much time being angry about the bus situation. But sometimes I wonder what I can do to make it better? What can I do to make more buses run and to save the stress. Absolutely nothing. I can't change the fact that we must rely on someone else's wheels. I want to be used in this area of my life. I want my braveness in riding the bus to build the kingdom. I want to speak love to these people, my fellow travelers. I want to pray for their souls, not just their rides. I want to pray for their journey, not just the destination.

I have learned a lot on the bus. I have feared a lot, experienced a lot and shed many tears. While I will still appreciate any ride offered to me and be incredibly grateful for the reprieve from this ordeal...I will try to greet my trips on the bus with joy, with joy that overflows.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Six Beaches in Six Days.

So I spent last week in Florida with dear friend. We didn't go all out in the way others do. No Disney, no late nights, no crazy adventures. We simply kept it low key and simple...however I could feel the aches in my legs as we returned back each day.
The idea was go go on a vacation but to see family in the process and to be an encouragement to each otehr and to our grandparents. For me, it was crazy. My grandparents take every opportunity to do all the things tourists should do while in Sarasota. It was a joy to walk the beaches of Siesta and Lido Keys. The sand was like flour between our toes. We learned how to play Shuffle Board and we enjoyed the luxury of fun meals.
As we transitioned to another home to spend time with I could help but notice HOW different our grandparents were. While my grandparents want to do everything with us and take us on adventures, hers were happy to let us go and do our own thing. Mine prayed before meals while hers just started the meal when the first person took a bite. But as we spent more time with them I was stopped in my tracks to see that in reality, they are so similar. Our grandparents care deeply about us and boast about the pride they have in each and every one of their grandparents. They complain as a way of showing their love and gratitude and what they are passionate about. In an odd way they bicker in the same way. Both our grandfathers don't care to participate in many of the outings...however they refuse to just let their wives go and do their own thing. They will insist on driving and sitting in the car. While they will complain the whole time, they would have it no other way. Our grandparents have worked hard for what they have and treasure every moment. I learned a lot about myself and my family as I spent time in Florida.

I learned two very interesting things about animals.
1. I learned the difference between Asian and African elephans. First, their ears are in the shape of the continent they come from. Secondly the Asian elephans all have tusks while NOT all African elephants do. African Elephants have two "fingers" on teh end of the trunk while Asian elephants have one. It was interesting to me.

2. We also learned the difference between Animal Rights Activists and Animal Welfare Advocates. An Activist would not want to see any human-animal interaction, would not want house pets and would also not like to see places like Zoos, Aniaml reserves, Busch Gardens or any other habitats. An Advocate would want to see healthy human-animal interaction. They care about and advocate for the proper care and training of animals. I personaly am an animal welfare advocate and proud of it!

My conclusion is this. Florida is a nice place to visit. However I will nto move there. Though I loved the warmth I would not want to struggle through the heat of the summer.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

remembering....

A few days ago I was cleaning out my room, discarding of things that I don't need. I came across some old papers from CMP 101 that for some reason I kept. I only read through one of them. And with tears in my eyes I threw it away.

When I left for college in 2004 I had one plan. I had no idea what degree I would get however I knew that I would get a degree in some area of helping people. I would move up to Lake Placid upon Graduation and work at the camp that had changed my life. Over the years that dream has not been met. Honestly, I don't think it will. Why? Because I have realized I have other dreams. So what made me think of this? That paper that I threw out was about a woman who had changed my life. I still think she has changed my life. Actually, I know that she saved it. She taught me about love and trust. She taught me about fear and overcoming it. She taught me about what it meant to love God. She taught me silly things and made me laugh. She gave me hope and encouraged me to never settle for less than I deserve. She cared for me and for my friends. She gave her life to loving and changing the lives of others. I spent time looking through this paper. It wasn't my best work...but it talked about who she was and how I had learned things like....humility...from her. But she hurt me.
She said she would be there...and now she is not. I know she is now married and lives somewhere in the Carolinas...but that is it. And I am ok with that. I recognize what she gave me and am grateful for that. I recognize how she hurt me and I have worked through that and learned from it. I am grateful I don't know where she is becuase I can't go looking for her. I don't even know her last name as she has gotten married since I last spoke with her.
The dream of loving and changing the lives of others is still there. But now it is much different. It is changing lives of others because of Christ and for Christ. It is living my life as a disciple. I counted the cost of letting go of this dream...and I am so grateful that I did. Yes, I still have so much gratitude and storge...but I know that to honor the gift that this woman and the other counselors at the camp gave me would be to live my life as a disciple of Christ, one day at a time carrying my cross and sharing his love.

I am grateful that I am not living in the bubble I set out to live in.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Another Bus Story

I grew up in a small town where you could walk down the road and run into people who knew you from childhood. Everyone looked out for you and you were never afraid of being messed with. I never had to talk about my disability. Why? Because everyone knew. And though they often forgot that I was different (which was a relief) they looked out for me, they were not thrown off by my inability to see things and I didn't have to explain myself. So when I went away to college I had to start over, I needed to learn to tell my story for the first time. Telling my story is still a challenge at times. I was telling a small piece of my story to a dear friend on Monday night and it was heart wrenching. I realized even more that I wish I could write these things down so that I could share more effectively, communicate it without telling and retelling the stories.


I rarely take the bus home from work on Tuesdays, however this Tuesday my plans changed and I found myself standing in the cold waiting for the 11 just outside of work. As I got on the bus I found a seat near an older woman using a walker. She kindly asked me if I was completely blind. I aws grateful for the question. I would rather people ask than assume what I can or cannot see. So, I proceeded to tell her a little bit about what I see. Though it was awkward...it was a wonderful interaction. And then, things turned ugly...

I exited my bus when arriving downtown. After crossing the streets and finding my bus, a good block and a half away, I boarded the bus and quietly found a seat. A man proceeded to point and scream at me. Apparently I had "bumped" him with my cane while crossing the street. Due to the fact that it was dark I can only assume I was close to the curb and mistakenly thought I had hit the curb. But anyway....the problem occurred when he followed me onto the bus, began screaming at me and pointing with some force. H continually told me that I am not "F*ing" blind and that I had no right to "bump" him and needed to apologize. While he continued to yell I calmly stated that I was sorry and didn't realize he had hit me. He continued to yell, curse at me and call me awful names. I tried to block it out as he walked off of the bus. The woman who got on after him looked at me as tears filled my eyes and said "you stand up, curse him out, he has no right to treat you like that." I simply shook my head and let the teras trickle down my face.

As I arrived home the tears continued to fall. I was angry at how I had been treated. How not even the bus driver said anything. While I didn't agree with the statement of the woman who told me to stand up for myself...however I was secretly comforted inside by her support. My other response was anger at the accusations and assumptions he made. He should sit in "sensitivity to blindness" training at my work. He would learn a lot and I think his attitude woudl be transformed.

No, I am not blind. Yes, I can see. No, I do not like using my cane or traveling by bus. But yes, at night it is incredibly necessary for me to use my cane. By day I can listen to music while I ride the bus and walk with or without my cane...at night...that is not an option.

So to Mr. Jeff (a friend named him that), get over yourself, educate yourself and stop making assumptions about what I can and cannot do.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Years go by....

I haven't updated this blog in months...I don't think anyone even reads it. But that is ok...let's see how it goes trying to update it more regularly.

In the past few weeks I have been convicted by simplicity. Yeah, I have learned this before, but I don't mean simplicity of how much junk I keep in my room. I mean simplicity in words and actions. I guess I have learned that I want my actions to follow my words. If I say I am going to send you an email, I better do it. When I love someone and speak of who they are, I want to show them that I love them. When I say I will be there to support you in person and in prayer, I want to do that. I am sick of not following through. Yeah, I am probably better than others at this...but I am still not great. In regards to loving someone...this quote came to mind:
There's something in a simple hugThat always warms the heart,It welcomes us back homeAnd makes it easier to part....~Johnny Ray Ryder, Jr.


I work in "social work". Well, kind of. And, though I have had 5 years of education and mounds of things on top of it, and I have always bought into the idea of empathy. I am just now fully applying it to my life. A simple, "wow, that must be difficult for you" goes a long way. I get angry when I get the cold shoulder...so I am not going to give the cold shoulder to someone else. I will greet this day with love and empathize with those, as they go through good and bad, to offer my support and love them.