Welcome to The Invisible Vision Project’s Blog.
I’ve been debating for quite some time, on whether I should share this on the blog or not. In the end, I decided that it’s worth it to write it, at least, if no one’s ever interested in reading it, it’s something I can look back on, as a self record. So, I decided to go ahead and write it.
Now, judging by the title of this blog, you’re probably thinking, the reason why I’m writing this blog is likely because I’ve had a stressful day, or a stressful week; and that I just wanted to find a place to vent it out. Well, that’s not quiet the case.
Currently as I’m writing this, yes, I’ve been facing some challenges. But, I’ve been facing these challenges for quite some time now. And, my life is stressful at times, but not at this very moment, and that’s besides the point as to why I’m writing this blog today.
If you’ve been reading my blogs, or you know me in person, you’ll likely know that I’m not only a blogger, but I’m also a passionate advocate and a public speaker. And in fact, often during my speeches, I mention briefly about the times when I felt that I needed to slow down, both because of my visual impairment, and because of my chronic illnesses. So I guess, today, I’m just putting this topic down “on paper.”
So, there’re about three big moments in my life so far, where I realized that I really needed to slow down.
Moment #1: This happened over a period of some time between 2013/14-2015 (up until before I became a white cane user). This was, actually my first time that I ever felt I needed to slow down. Why? Because, during this time, it was when I was starting to notice actual visible/physical changes to my eye sight. Now, just in case you didn’t know, I was almost never fully sighted, so I don’t know what that’s like. But, even with my limited eye sight, I was able to do everyday tasks fairly alright, without the use of special visual aids or a white cane. But, this started to change in 2013, as much as I hoped that this was just a fluke in my life and it could all be back to “normal” (my normal) again soon, and it didn’t. Then, navigating my surroundings, even to places that was very familiar to me became very challenging. And, that’s when it hit me, that I came to this realization- I needed to slow down. Because If I don’t, I would get hurt, quite literally and physically!
Moment #2: Just as when I felt I could finally pick up my speed, because I’ve started learning to use a white cane, which it made a world of difference for me. This time, I was reminded to slow down, again. Not because I couldn’t see and navigate my surround well, but because, physically, I just couldn’t keep up with the speed I wanted. This was quite a long journey (and it leads to Moment #3 which I’ll discuss later). During this time, which was a very difficult time for me, physically and emotionally because, for one thing, it was a period where I had to make peace with my vision loss, accept it for what it is. And for another, during this time, I was also struggling a great deal, with my physical health. During this period, I constantly find myself the need to slow down, because I felt so unwell at times. There were moments where I could hardly walk when I came out of these “mysterious flares.” But then, when I did have days that I got better, I’d pick up my speed again. And then, it’d just be a cycle- or slowing down and speeding up.
Moment #3: As I wrote above that Moment #2 and Moment #3 are linked, so this is the other part of the story. Going through this cycle of never-ending struggle with my physical health, and it’s the reason why I became chronically ill. Finally, I was slowly but surely starting to get some answers, but then, I realized that an answer doesn’t mean a solution (to the problem) or a cure (to an illness). Still, all of this still had meanings, not only why I felt so ill for such a long time but, they’ve also indicated that when I felt and continue to feel the need to slow down, it is and was because my body was telling me: something is not right!
Looking back now, I feel that I’ve ignored many times where my body sent me the “please slow down” signals, and I totally disregarded them, and what a terrible thing I’ve done! Now, slowing down is not an option, and it definitely isn’t a luxury. To be honest, I don’t enjoy being slowed down. But, I don’t have much of a choice either. In the past, where I often had people tell me to slow down because they couldn’t keep up with me. And now, I have to tell them to slow down, because I couldn’t keep up with them! But, this made me realize something, that it was so much easy for them to tell me to slow down, than the other way around. And, not to mention, when I see someone who’s older than me in age, but does things or walks a lot faster than I am, I couldn’t help to feel a bit embarrassed of myself. But again, I know that this will just be a new normal for me, and instead of dwelling on the past, for the most part, I choose to move forward. And I’ll add, slowing down isn’t necessarily a bad thing, because then, you’ll learn to appreciate and observe what’s around you a lot more.
So, what are your thoughts about needing to slow down in life? Not necessarily just about slowing down in terms of speed (or it could be about that), or just in general?
Thank you for reading to the end!
By: The Invisible Vision Project