I don’t want to be blind when it means being conspicuous. I don’t want attention for what’s different about me. I don’t want passers-by holding their breath as I cross the street. Today, I want to blend in with the crowd, to be one of the guys.
I don’t want to be blind when it means being tended to. If you insist on telling me I don’t look blind or act blind, then stop treating me like I’m helpless. I don’t want Sunday dinner becoming a hot mess of what I can eat gracefully or who will read me the menu. I don’t want the guilt of you taking on my anxiety and then not knowing how to handle it.
I don’t want to be blind when it means being patronized. I don’t want to hear how tough it must be or how intelligent my dog must be. I don’t want you to assume you know the best and only way for a blind person to pass through a doorway. I want to appreciate your offer of assistance, not resent it.
I don’t want to be blind when it means being thought heroic. I don’t want to be congratulated when I tie my shoe or Google Lady Gaga. I want to be given responsibilities like any other person and I don’t want to be graded on the curve.
I don’t want to be blind when it means being pitied. I get plenty from me; I don’t need any from you. If I get doused by the summer shower because I can’t tell which of the six glass panels is the door to the greengrocer, then don’t conclude that I alone walk under a dark cloud, that no one else gets wet when it rains.
I don’t want to be blind when it means that today’s bottom line is who pissed me off and why. I don’t want to blame it all on the other guy. I want to tally my part in each transaction. I don’t want my own shame and anger to rule the day. I want to foster acceptance. I know where serenity lies, in the place of knowing I am powerful, creative, loving, optimistic, inclusive, harmonious and deserving. I am fully human and choose to see myself and all others in this way.
Knowing all this, having said all that, today proved too much for me. Blindness is customary, but today the usual overwhelmed me. So lead me to my bed. I surrender not as victim but survivor. Tomorrow I rise to the challenge, renewed, optimistic and energetic. But for today, I don’t want to be blind.