In my last blogpost, I wrote about the challenges of being visually impaired. It's important to be aware of these difficulties, but it's also important to remember that they don't define you. What I found helpful in my therapeutic quest for a silver lining is to shed light on the abilities I do have and that I have developed over the years. My love of writing, for example.
As a child and teenager, I never really enjoyed reading -- books, magazines, newspapers, you name it. (And yes, that was the time when paper was still a thing and there wasn't a digital version for every printed material.) I initially thought my disinterest was due to laziness, but later found that reading was an unpleasant exercise for me because of my retinal degeneration. The condition makes it harder to read a text in fine print on a poorly contrasted page with no possibility to zoom in or increase luminosity. (Since then, Apple, Amazon and others have made it much easier for the visually impaired by offering tablets, smartphones and laptops with retina display screens).
The point is, I believe that it was my dislike of reading that fueled my passion for writing. The process of thinking about things triggered a vivacious love for the creation of words. Somehow, writing allowed me to make sense of the world around me.
Another passion of mine is photography. Because I was never really able to see things in detail, I became used to looking at them as a whole. I developed an ability to recognize patterns, match colors and frame shots in a perfectly centered way. I may have a poor vision, but I'd like to think that I have a good eye for things -- ironic, isn't it!?
Here is an example of things I enjoy photographing:
So yes, I am visually impaired. But I am also a writer, a photographer, a philanthropist, a feminist, an Italian, a Swiss, an entrepreneur, a daughter, a granddaughter, a sister, a friend, a lover.
I am a woman with one disability and many abilities.
What are your abilities?