Contrary to how I may appear on here – I am not actually the most confident person on the planet when it comes to face to face conversations. I much prefer either being in my own company or being among a small select group of friends to being in a large group.
We are all different – it is how we get to show our differences that makes all the – well – difference. More to the point – it is if we are given the right opportunity to show our differences in a way that can help others not feel so different.
I consider myself lucky to be able to write about my life and the challenges I face – if you want to scare the living daylights out of me feel free to ask me to tell someone about them face to face. Especially if my reason for telling them is because I would like them to change something as a result.
So – last Friday evening saw me doing something which took me out of my comfort zone. Being interviewed on camera about my personal blog as well as the challenges I face on a day to day basis.
The person who interviewed me is now someone who I would consider a good friend of mine. In fact, in a way, you wouldn’t be reading this if it wasn’t for him giving me the confidence in my abilities as a Blogger (both by telling me repeatedly to my face and by telling other people in my earshot).
If you read Why Every Organisation Needs A John Coster you will get a taster of how he has given me the confidence to think I might be able to change the world bit by bit.
Not only has he been enthusiastic about my Blogging activities – he has also created a safe space where I can attempt to educate people about the challenges I face (as well as learning about the challenges faced by other people who have differing disabilities).
Trust me – after spending so much of my life feeling like I have to hide my sight problem (particularly the exact severity of it) – feeling that I can talk about it without fear of being told to shut up is a dream come true.
There is a twist as well.
I watched one of those documentaries about being “Black And British”. It was the one which had been trailered by that clip with the posh black lady (I can’t remember her name – I think she was Baroness something or other) reeling off a list of what Black people are – I remember it went something like “we are people of vision, people of ability, people of culture”, etc.
As John was interviewing me I suddenly woke up to the fact that Disabled people can also reel off that list. More to the point – I can reel off that list. Because – guess what guys – I have a voice and what I have to say is important. Whether or not you choose to take any notice of what I write or say is beside the point.
A quick trawl through inkyworld will show you that I am interested in all sorts of things, ranging from Politics, to Music, to “Visions on Inequality” (Justice for the marginalised in Society in other words), etc. Yes, my sight does feature in it – but that is because it is an indelible part of me – wherever I go my sight comes with me.
You can ask a Police Officer about their job and what life was like before they joined up (as well as how they would like life to change now) – and they will be able to tell you all about it. They can probably even quote Laws and things at you which you might not have realised actually exist. They have been trained in Police work.
There is no actual training for having a lifelong sight problem. I do not know what it is like to have true 20/20 vision (but it sounds scary). I know two worlds – my “natural” blurry – out of focus – world and the world in which Society finds me more palatable to deal with – when I am wearing my glasses. The contrasts between the two can sometimes be interesting – even for me.
I just hope that I can keep using my experiences to educate people.