My blindness anniversary

Before we begin, here is a link to subscribe to my journalism and here is a link to find out ways to support my writing.

Possibly by the time you are reading this, it will be September 9. Guess what day it is? Well, it’s a day where people do random things, but it’s also my birthday and, my blindness anniversary. There’s a lot of things I’ve learned since losing all my vision a year ago, and quite a bit of things I’ve noticed as well.

One thing I’d like to say is, well, I haven’t stopped, and I think that’s a great lesson all by itself. I had to adapt and move forward at the same time without pause and I can say that it has made my mind stronger. Unless, of course, you wave cookies or chocolate under my nose and everything just vanishes. Chocolate is my weakness, but don’t tell my enemies that! Well I’d need to ponder about that. If my enemies did learn that my weakness is cookies and or chocolate, then they would feed me more of it, but then I wouldn’t be able to think past a single syllable. I’ll need to think about this some more. I’d need to weigh out the pros and the cons of letting my weakness be publicly known.

While I am thinking, here are some things I’ve learned and or noticed about being in the land of the totals.

  1. Everybody has a distinct smell. No, seriously. This is how I know someone is near me. I sniff the air and if someone’s scent is near and they have no cologne on or anything then I can figure out who it is. Obviously, some scents are stronger than others.
  2. I wasted time visually settings up. Whenever I’d get a new computer I would visually customize it like there was no tomorrow. The reason why I say I wasted time is because, well, now, I can just do things, rather than setting things up beforehand.
  3. It becomes a million times easier to listen to people if you don’t have to see their appearance. Even though I was a person who was very intoned to people anyway, I would always be looking at their blurry gestures and wondering what they were, thus, taking things away from the conversation because I wasn’t all there. Now, that’s not a problem. I am locked in like a Vice! I can hear every small tick of the breath or movement, even.
  4. Writing has become a lot more challenging for the better. Back when I could see, I would mentally be taking stock of a scene and how to describe it to readers who cared about the same things I cared about and how to care about the visuals. Now, however, the challenge is one that I haven’t quite mastered yet. How do I describe sounds and scenes without visuals, that would also allow sighted readers to get a picture of what I am even talking about and, how can I keep their interest without making them feel as if they have missed anything or are missing something? This is a constant exercise for me. One, I am happy to say, I am still studying and trying and poking. When will I perfect a new style? I don’t know.
  5. I suddenly have this urge to physically touch people more. Maybe it’s a safety thing but I find myself wanting to either touch or be closer to people more so I can know they are there somehow. This is the reason I craved more hugs and cuddles than sex. Horney guys haven’t shot me yet, so I guess I am tolerable?
  6. Traveling outside is a million times harder and scarier. I’ve had to use all my will power to keep a portion of my mental map going.
  7. Audio description is vital when I am watching a movie. Otherwise, I will choose a podcast or audio book over some moving picture thing called a video, unless it has audio description. I was a huge advocate of audio description before losing my vision but now? It’s vital. I have to have it. Period.
  8. I’ve realized that hugs and cuddles are better when you can’t see. I am the singular voice in this area. I’m right about this. I know I am. They are just more fulfilling, hugs and cuddles.
  9. Browsing the web is a million times faster when I disable images from loading in browsers.
  10. I can use my Apple TV and my Fire TV without using, well, a TV. I can just unhook the HDMI cord and just use them through a Bluetooth device or a Bluetooth headset, or, if I am feeling geeky, I can use my Alexa as a Bluetooth speaker. This also works on the phone too! if I could figure out a way to use my laptop without a screen turned on I would do it in a minute!