“The question isn’t who’s going to let me; it’s who’s going to stop me.” Ayn Rand3
As a blind woman living in an area with little to no public transportation, I need to rely on others to get me from point A to point B. The good and bad of this is that rides are not always available when it is convenient for me. I have learned a great deal of patience and understanding but still get frustrated from time to time. Working around others schedules and waiting for rides has consumed my life but knowing how to deal with it is the key to happiness and more independence.
For example, if I am really in a mood to go for a run, go to the gym or go get a coffee, I cannot grab my car keys and do so. On the other hand, if someone wants to go for a run or go to the gym, I usually will tag along as that might be the only opportunity that I have to exercise even though it might not be at an optimal time for me.
When I was younger I would be embarrassed to ask for help whether it was assistance finding the restroom or having helped determine what color a piece of clothing is. Now, using the restroom is just a part of life and if I need a bit of help figuring out where it is then so be it. In terms of determining clothing colors, I use braille tags that safety pins to the tag of a piece of clothing and therefore I can identify my own clothes after doing a load of laundry.
There are multiple ways in which I can be more independent and take control of things in my life. It was not an easy process learning all of the various ways in which I can help myself but I am definitely a better and more independent person for it. Yes, I will always need assistance with some things in my life but now that I know that and accept it, I am perfectly fine asking for help. What’s the worst that could happen? Someone might say no? You just ask someone else because that is just what you need to do.
Being flexible, understanding, patient and grateful are all skills that I believe I have mastered due to my situation. On the other hand, having a network or support system of family and friends who understand this is crucial. A spouse who will work around my schedule as well as me working around his is extremely important and makes for a healthier relationship.
Sometimes I feel “stuck” or “trapped” when I am unable to come and go as I please but even being able to sit out on the porch with a book or sit in the sunshine is good enough for me. I always try to make the best of a particular situation and think positively about things. Always waiting or working around others schedules is my life but I have been blessed with an amazing support network that it usually works out and I do not feel like a Burdon to others.
I challenge you to think outside of the box and put yourself in someone else’s shoes.
- If you had a life change or lost your independence, what would help you?
- What are the little things that someone could do to make your life easier?
- What would make you happy?
- Do you think you would feel like a Burdon to others?
- Would you be embarrassed to ask for help?
- What would help you make the best of your current situation?