Who Am I, And Where’s My Dog?

Who am I?

My name is Meagan. By day, I’m a Communications Specialist; by night, a freelance editor. I love cats, dogs, and other cute, fluffy creatures. I’m a bookworm. I love music. I hate waking up early and I hate bugs. I love playing the piano (I’m not very good at it) and correcting other people’s grammar (which they actually pay me to do). I’m a mercurial introvert with a ton of excellent friends who love me anyway, and a wonderful partner who somehow manages to put up with my quirks. I procrastinate like all good writers should; I struggle with insecurities and jealousy and bouts of irrationality; I really, really love chocolate. In other words, I’m pretty normal. … Oh yeah, and I’ve been blind from birth.

You might be thinking, “Wait, what’s that you said about being pretty normal?”

Unless you hang around with blind people a lot, (and if you do, then good for you, we’re a lot of fun), you probably can’t help thinking that there’s a certain otherness that characterizes people with noticeable disabilities like blindness.  In some ways that’s true. We definitely lead altered lives. We walk around with long white sticks (or maddeningly cute doggies you’re not allowed to pet), and we bump into stuff. We also tend to possess a lot of things that talk.

That said, we’re just like you. We have the same fears, hopes, aspirations, and ambitions that “normal” people do. We go to college, and work, and have kids, and play sports, and keep house, and hang out with friends, and do all that “normal” stuff.

So, you may ask, and with good reason, “If you’re exactly the same as everyone else, why write a blog about blindness?” For too many years, I believed I had to play up the “normal” bits of myself to the point where I was practically in denial when it came to my disability. I believed that a “good blind person” had to behave as though the blindness was practically nonexistent. If it did exist, it was no inconvenience at all. No big deal, I can function just like everybody else, maybe better. I am capable blind gal, hear me roar!

While it is very healthy not to centre your life around blindness, it’s equally healthy to acknowledge that blindness is really damn annoying sometimes. It’s inconvenient. It makes life harder. It’s not some divine gift that makes me a better person or whatever it is we tell ourselves these days. Yes, I deal with it, and no, it’s not a constant stumbling block, but yeah…it’s really, really inconvenient sometimes. I routinely deal with questions like “Where’s your dog? You should have a dog!” and “How many fingers am I holding up?” and my personal favourite, “How can you possibly have a life? How can you be happy?”

Sometimes I run into doorways and walls and cabinet doors with frightening force. If you see me with a black eye, it was an inanimate object, not my boyfriend, promise. Sometimes I drop things and then crawl around for a dog’s age trying to find them. Sometimes I miss spots when I clean my house. Sometimes I accidentally throw whites in with my coloured laundry. These are the minor things.

Sometimes, it’s really tough to get hired because nobody believes I can work. Sometimes, people treat me like I’m invisible or inhuman, because they perceive me to be fundamentally different and, by extension, inferior. Sometimes, people talk about me like I’m not there. Sometimes, people complain because I’m “a drain on the system”. Sometimes, I feel desperately lonely and misunderstood. Sometimes, I really, really hate being blind. This ain’t a picnic in the sun…sometimes.

Mostly, though, I’m pretty normal, like I said. I’m writing this blog because if I can make one person understand what my life is like, then I’ve succeeded. If I can make one person realize that we’re not so different, inferior, invisible, then my time hasn’t been wasted. I don’t speak for all blind people, but I do know how they often feel, whether they’ll admit it or not.

If you’re still with me, stick around. Who knows? You might learn something; and if you don’t learn anything, I might at least make you laugh.

But wait–where’s my dog?

I don’t have one, … and that’s okay.

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12 thoughts on “Who Am I, And Where’s My Dog?

  1. This is a good starter article for this, your shiny new blog. What I think about my blindness depends on the day, the mood, and the situation. I’ve lived with this all my life though and I don’t think I’d have it any other way. Just a middle-aged nerdy blind guy wanting to live my life, make people smile, and otherwise stay fairly quiet, and I’m an introvert so I think about a lot of things, question a lot of things others swallow whole, etc.

  2. Your blog is wonderful. I have one of my own in where I describe every day things as a blind person but try and do it from my cane’s point of view. It’s supposed to be a more of a humorous blog but it’s also meant to educate. I want to show people that blind people are capable of doing and living a very healthy life but that the Blenis is still there. In other words, the same thing you’re trying to accomplish but in a slightly different style. If you want to check it out it is called Annie’sAdventures. My name is Kelly but I named the cane Annie. Annie is short for inanimate object. Good job with your blog.

    • Thank you so much for the compliment. I hope to keep you as a reader. I am intrigued by your blog’s premise. I’ll have a look and leave you some feedback.

    • You may indeed be missing it, but if you can’t figure it out, I will personally email you each time I publish something new. Let me know how it goes.

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  4. hi there megan, I’ve just subscribed to your blog as many of your posts I can relate to and identify with. what I really feel like doing is reblogging some of the posts I do identify with but I’ve just found the blog and think it would be nice to leave comments. it’s about personal preference as to cane or guide dog I myself prefer to use the cane as I’ve had people ask me about a guide dog and it might souond easy but it’s far from a walk in the park pardon the pun. I’ve also had people asking if I would consider getting the bionic eye but I wouldn’t have it any other way. with blindness I know no different and why miss something I don’t have?

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  6. Hi Meagan. My name is Linn and please disregard my previous comment since it got terribly messy. Anyway, I wanted to say that I really love Your blog. I started one of my own for the very same reason you started Yours. It’s refreshing to read someone who share so many of my viewpoints. Not that I mind People being different of course, but it’s good to know I’m not the only one having to defend why I use a cane and not a dog etc. And it’s also refreshing to know I’m not the only one who hate being blind at times though I too try to stay positive most of the time. Keep it up. I’ll definitely be subscribing. Hope this comment is less messy than my other one. Don’t know what happened there. I tried editing it but it didn’t work.

  7. Hey Maegan!
    A friend of mine has shared some of your posts and I’ve really enjoyed reading them–I’m looking forward to following you in your adventures! If you have any interest in connecting more directly, I blog at craftyblindchick.blogspot.com and am on Facebook both as Nicole Schultz-Kass and Chronicles of a Crafty Blind Chick. Would love to connect and get to know you better!
    All my best,
    Nicole

  8. I just sort of stumbled across your blog, but I couldn’t resist saying this: you’re wonderful. It seems like everything you write is well executed and a pleasure to read. Great composition skills and balanced, well thought-out points… And on top of that, your subject matter is one that is important without being dull.

    I don’t tend to hang around the blogging scene very much (in fact, yours is only the second blog I’ve ever found myself really admiring), but I feel like I’ve found something really special here. I’ll have to find out how to subscribe. I wish you the absolute best going forward, and thank you for putting effort into this.

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