Hello and welcome back to Life of a Blind girl, I hope you’re all well.
Before we get into today’s blog post I’d just like to thank you for your feedback and your continued support. Thank you to those of you that take time out of your day to email me, tweet me etc to give me feedback on my blog, it means the world!
I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and reflecting on things recently. On Sunday it was two years since I received my a-level results and found out that I had got into my first choice university. I remember that day so clearly, it was a whirl-wind of emotions. Thinking about that more in-depth I’ve realised how I’ve changed as a person and how my life has changed over the last few years. I am proud of the person that I’ve become and what I’ve achieved so far. I am a lot happier now, I’ve learnt to embrace my visual impairment and I am happy with the person that I am today.
I thought I’d write an ‘letter to my younger self’ post, in the hope that it might help younger people, possibly going through similar situations to myself. Growing up is difficult, even more so when you have a visual impairment or another disability.
This post is written as if I were 16 to my 20-year-old self now. I hope that makes sense, if you’re confused at all then please do get in touch.
You need to prepare yourself, you’re going to be starting you’re a-levels and they aren’t going to be easy. The next two years are probably going to be the toughest two years of your life so far, you’re going to be stressed to the maximum. Sixth form isn’t going to be what you expected, in fact you’re going to hate it but you’ve just got to get through it because bigger and better things are going to come along. Trust me when I say this, stick at it, it’ll all be worth it and do not, ever, give up! There will be times when you really want to and quitting seems like the only option but you can do it and you are going to come out stronger on the other side.
You always say ‘I can’t do it’ but that’s because you think you can’t, but in reality you know you can and so do those closest to you. Believe those when they say that you can do it because chances are, they know best. There’s people in your life that know you better than you know yourself so don’t forget that.
Don’t let your lack of confidence hold you back, you need to believe in yourself. I know it’s easier said than done but you need to start to do so. If you start to become more confident then you will be a lot happier and you’ll notice how your life will change for the better. It will make you so much more independent.
You’ve wanted a music career since you were little and planned to study music at university right? Well that’s going to change but don’t let that take you off track because this change will be a lot better for you. You’ve always been passionate about helping others, well that’s exactly what you want to do in the future and your degree will help you reach that goal. University is going to be one of the best decisions that you ever made. You’re going to become much more confident and it’s going to give you so many opportunities so make sure you go and grab those opportunities with both hands.
Your plans for the future are going to change a few times over the next few years, but don’t let that throw you off balance because you’ll be a lot happier with your new career choice. You’re going to go from wanting to be a social worker, to a teacher and all sort of other careers but you will finally make a decision. You are going to want to help other visually impaired people like yourself because you know first hand what life is like living with a disability. Make sure you strive to do this!
Your visual impairment is going to open many doors for you; including work and voluntary opportunities. You’d have never thought that would you? Whenever you’re having a down day, then think to yourself, ‘would I have been in this position otherwise?’ Who knows. But there is some good in having a disability.
You’ve never really mixed with other visually impaired people that much but as you’re getting older, you’re going to make lifelong visually impaired friends. You’re going to wonder what you’d have ever done without these people in your life so hold onto them. You’re also going to make new sighted friends and make sure you hold onto these as well. Not all your friendships will be like the typical experiences you’ve had at school. Put that all behind you and focus on the future.
If something is not right or you’re not getting support then tell people, start to stand up for yourself more. This will improve your confidence and will get you a lot further in life.
You will cope, and you will get through all the rough patches. Times are going to be hard and very stressful but they won’t last forever, and you’ll find your happiness. All the stress will be worth it in the end.
You’re going to struggle but they are going to make you into a much more stronger and independent person. Between the ages of 18-21 you’re going to be the happiest than you’ve ever been, so keep going.
One huge tip: pick up that white cane! It’s not as scary as you first thought. Put the bad past experiences behind you because you’re going to need to be fully independent later on. Who cares what others think about your visual impairment anyway? Embrace your disability. Independence is key.
Everything happens for a reason and everyone has their ups and downs and dark times. You’re a strong person with so much to offer, so keep going, hold on to the people around you and most of all, do not be afraid to be yourself.
I hope you enjoyed this post and that the words of advice to my younger self helped some of you!
Once again thank you for your continued support!