Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, Memoir Monday, The Insightful Wanderer

Two Are Better Than One

On this particularly blustery November day I feel closed in. I feel uncomfortable to even step a little distance out of my house, having the wind pummel and push me. Any strong forceful weather like this can be very disorienting.

And so, on this particular Memoir Monday, for the

Redefining Disability Awareness Challenge,

I m indoors and listening to the roar.

When last week I wrote about how

Love Is Blind,

this week I get to write about whatever’s on my mind; so here goes.

***

Okay, so I have been called overly sensitive, on occasion, but here it goes anyway.

Having a disability can cause many of life’s normal, natural events, that we all experience, to take on double meanings. Maybe just to me and so here I will share them with you.

Sometimes I yearn to have these certain experiences, just like other people do, without there having to be something else going on. Here are four of the top ones I can think of, to help me illustrate the point I’m trying, maybe not too successfully, to make.

1.
Holding hands with someone I love.

I think this is one of the best parts of being in a relationship with someone. I love the intimacy and the connection that I feel.

There are three options for walking somewhere with another person: on my own and with a white cane, holding on to someone’s arm (sighted guide), or (if dating) holding hands.

It is important to obtain a certain amount of independence when you are visually impaired, but what if I just want to hold hands with someone I care about?

Normally, a couple holding hands is a sweet gesture, a pretty picture. When I do it there can be reproaches, questioning, for why I am not being independent enough and walking on my own.

2.
Shopping.

There are just certain things that are better done with other people. It is done for necessity’s sake, someone grabbing a few groceries on their own, but in most cases shopping is done with two or more people.

Whether it’s my parents, sister, or a boyfriend and whether it’s food or clothes I want the company. Something like shopping is simply much more enjoyable with more than one person.

Whether because it isn’t possible to just jump in the car and run a few errands, because it helps to have someone else to help decide on what food items to purchase, or because shopping for clothes is more fun with someone to offer their opinion.

Of course I can’t see the clothes I’m buying and I know those customer service people just don’t know what my favourite brand of crackers might be.

3.
Travel.

This is on my mind a lot at the moment, with my plans in the works and my hope of starting a travel website and developing a career as a travel writer in the future.

I went ahead and took the plunge by starting the website, but I have not worked out all the kinks. To be able to write about travel I want to be able to actually travel and herein lies the conundrum.

Sure, the idea of a blind woman traveling alone would make for an inspiring story. People would be amazed that I could do such a thing.

I either need to make this happen or I need to travel with someone. I can’t just want to choose to be one of most people who prefer to travel with a friend or a loved one. For me, the option of traveling alone would make me an inspiration and otherwise I need a babysitter, someone to be my guide and my protector out there in the big bad world.

4.
Fear of growing old alone.

We all fear the prospect of this at one time or another in life. Most people, if they thought about it, would have to admit that they wouldn’t choose to grow old all alone. Of course we’re all going to face the possibility of this from widowhood one day, but this is unavoidable.

I’m talking about the fact that when I fear that my disability could prevent me from ever finding lasting love, I imagine myself being old and alone and then one other thing creeps in.

Of course I want someone, need someone to take care of me because I couldn’t possibly be okay on my own.

Or perhaps I just want the love and companionship that we all look for.

So whether it’s holding hands with the person I love, shopping, travel, or growing old I may be the only one to think like this, but this week’s prompt was to write about whatever was on my mind. Well there you have it.

***

So do you think this is all in my head or do you see what I am saying in this post? You can tell me. My family think I am being hypersensitive so I can take it. Love to hear your perspective on disability and the double meanings of life’s common experiences.

I am pleased and touched to be included in this project, put together by the organizer of the challenge. Check it out here:

The Anthology Edition,

and stay tuned for next week and a return to the posed questions and discussion topics.

Describe a good day in relation to the ways your life is affected by disability.

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21 thoughts on “Two Are Better Than One

  1. I think everyone’s experiences are unique and valid. There’s no such thing as being “overly sensitive” when you’re describing your own perspectives. I personally don’t care about being in a relationship at this point–but I’m divorced, so there’s a whole other dynamic at work. I do agree that having a disability can make a lot of experiences take on layers of meaning that the average person wouldn’t grasp.

  2. A wonderful post. Thank you for sharing your experiences and perspective. I can’t get my head around anyone saying you are “overly sensitive.” Feel deeply and know your feelings are valid and deserve to be heard.

    • Thank you. I do know that and that is what my blog is all about. My family only know I am hard on myself and they only mean for me to give myself a break. That’s really all I meant. They just know me and my blindness is not important. Thank you for reading.

  3. Kerry, I don’t think the things you are worried about are that different than what millions of others worry about. Your blindness is a challenge but it isn’t the reason you feel the way you do about those things. There are people who have the same worries about growing old alone or being able to travel alone who have different challenges either real or perceived.

  4. lenie5860 says:

    Kerry, the things you worry about are for the most part, things we all think about from time to time. The holding hands with someone you love – we all like that so forget about what others think, they aren’t walking in your shoes. Shopping is always more fun for everyone if you have a friend along so just enjoy it. Travel is something I don’t do so can’t help there but that would be an amazing accomplishment for you, showing your courage and determination. And last, we all want to grow old with someone we love, it can happen to you if you want it bad enough.

  5. Kerry, you have managed to bring tears to my eyes. I, too, have many of the same fears as you do. The only difference between the two of us? I can see.

    I’m in my 40s, I’m overweight, and I don’t get out much, yet I want to travel. I don’t want to end up alone. Yes, I’m single. I’m pretty. I’m smart. I also long to hold hands with someone again, to share a bond, to be loved intimately. I don’t like being stared at when I go out in public, for being obese. At least you don’t know if others are staring at you; you can’t see them! Perhaps, in that respect, you are lucky. No, I’m not trying to be mean in any way. You know from our Skype conversation that I’m not like that!

    I think we all have our own insecurites, to some extent. Anyone who says they don’t is lying.

    Talking to you and reading your words makes me see just how talented you are and how beautiful you are, inside and out. My heart aches for you, my friend. But I have faith that you will eventually find what you are seeking, and will be happy in your skin, and in your “darkness.” You are like a ray of light to me.

    Sincerely. And I want you to keep on shining!

    • I’m glad…not for the tears, but thanks for your kind words. It is hard to be different. You are right that it is handy not to be able to see people staring and gawking, so that is good. Most times that doesn’t bother me because yes, it isn’t on my mind, but I think it may be harder for people I am out with because they notice it and I think they just want to tell people to cut it out.

  6. What a touching post. I cannot begin to understand how you feel living in this society with your disability.

    Your feelings are real and it is good to acknowledge them but not live on them (if that makes any sense).

    The experiences you desire are simple yet important. I agree that holding hands is intimate.

    You have an amazing gift which you are happy to share with us.

    I believe you will have your desires one day.

    Thank you.

  7. We all worry about those things. It’s much more fun to share experiences with someone special – a good friend or a significant other. It’s also fine to lean on someone because it shows that person that you value him/her. Close your ears to the people who criticize. We all get that too. Do what YOU want, what makes you happy and ignore those who find fault. Thank you for sharing your concerns!

  8. Hey Kerry; everyone has concerns like these. its because from the time we are born we are conflicted between wanting to be independent and wanting someone to hold us care for us and keep us safe. while lack of vision may make it more difficult to find that special person your fear is no different that those held by sighted people who live with their parents, are working three jobs, don’t have an education, have had addictions, etc. and as far as what you are saying about travel I too have the same issue. as a totally blind business owner whose clients are spread all over the world i feel i could be doing them and myself so much better service if i could figure out the travel issue. of course it is complicated by the fact that both of us understand the value of photos and or videos in a travel blog. i have found a production company that offered me a good deal but it would still involve 750 a week plus their living expenses on top of my own travel and living expenses. I’ve asked fellow bloggers how they manage it but so far no big ideas. but rest assured I’ll tell you if i hear of something. i don’t like putting anything off. I believe in doing what you can about it today and trying to do more or do it better tomorrow. so i think your thoughts are healthy. they show that you know who you are and who you can become. blessings on your journey my friend, max

    • Exactly. Conflicted is exactly what I am, 95% of the time. I did need to start somewhere and I do know what I want to accomplish. I am, I would say fairly self-aware, which isn’t always the best. Thank you for your perspective. I know I’ve always got you in my corner.

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