I got asked in an interview recently, “How do you do it?”
"Do what?” I asked.
“Well, you're visually impaired but it doesn’t seem to matter, it’s like you’re superhuman.”
I can guarantee, that after one day walking in my shoes, you’d realise that my ‘normal’ life is paid for in bruises, bumps and the occasional scary moment.
A good example of this was yesterday as I was walking to catch the train. Despite only having 5% sight, I don't carry a stick or rely on a guide dog, mainly because - just like anyone else - I don't want to be judged based on a mere perception. So as I wandered towards the station, I relied as always on a mixture of memory of the route, various techniques that I've developed over the years, and good old-fashioned hope. However, all three were to be overridden by a concrete pole which I, while walking at a brisk pace, walked straight into. The bruises on my knees, marks on my face and dents in my pride are annoying, but they’re are also a small price to pay. Every time I walk into something, put my foot on something that I didn't see, fall off my bike, or get hurt through pushing myself further than common sense would advise, it's a payment. The exchange? I get to live life on my terms, without feeling sorry for myself because that’s the life I want to live.
I don't have any interest in being superhuman, I’d much rather be an example to my children as to what normal people can do when they refuse to accept their perceived limitations and grab life by the throat.
I can’t see but I walk anyway, knowing that I’m going to fail. That feels good, and I hope others follow my example and have the guts to hope a bit more.