The Sky Is The Limit: Spotlight on Allie Parrish

Originally, I wrote this post for The Lighthouse, and it was never published there. It’s a bit different from my usual posts on this blog, because it is a profile. But this lady is awe-inspiring, and a role model for anyone, blind or sighted. I’d like to introduce you to Allie Parrish.
Continue reading “The Sky Is The Limit: Spotlight on Allie Parrish”

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Race Day!

Every now and then, one moment in time changes your life. I had this experience when I completed my first half marathon in 2009. I was awed, humbled, and inspired by the accomplishment, and I can truly say without fear of cliché, that I will never be the same. It changed my perception of who I am as a blind person, and as a person in general. It strengthened my self-confidence. It radically rearranged my priorities and perspective.
Here is how it all happened.
Continue reading “Race Day!”

From Couch Potato to Half Marathon Finisher In Less Than a Year

It’s my belief that every person in this world can make a difference. That’s EVERYONE, not just celebrities, or the physically fit among us, or the wealthy, or the brilliant. We all have something to contribute from our own unique blend of talents, interests, and personal qualities, that will make this world a better place. If you can do just one thing well, there is someone who needs you. The secret is to find the place where you can do the greatest good for the most people. In my life as a person who is totally blind, my greatest challenge has never been getting the help I need, but rather, finding a way to give the help that is needed. I could see things that needed doing, and yet I couldn’t do them. Then there came a day when I decided I did not want to hear another word from myself about what I could not do. I chose to find the things I could do and seek out ways to help from there. It was simply a matter of focusing on the countless blessings in my life, rather than the one or two obstacles. My journey to a half marathon began by saying, “I can’t fix all the worlds’ problems, but I can make a difference for one person, or maybe several.” It was amazing to discover that all it takes to change the world is giving what you have to give, with a joyous spirit and an open heart. Continue reading “From Couch Potato to Half Marathon Finisher In Less Than a Year”

No Shame In My Game: On Guilt and Blindness

We may have been at a museum, or maybe it was a park.
I don’t remember the location, but I will never forget the realization. I was with my parents, and younger brother. My Dad was describing something to me, and as my nine-year-old-girl mind contrasted that with the shouts and laughter from the other families, I suddenly realized a terrible thing!
My family, the best family in the world, couldn’t have fun like everyone else. They couldn’t have fun, because they had to stop and describe things to me. I was slowing them down.
I was keeping them from enjoying things.
It made my stomach hurt.
It made me want to cry. Continue reading “No Shame In My Game: On Guilt and Blindness”

Blog Feature Explained: Heartletters

I don’t have to know you to care about you, and I don’t have to have met you in person to speak a kind word to you when you need it.

After reading between the lines of one cryptic social network post too many, I reached some conclusions.
We live in a society that is connected on a global level, but it seems that humans have never been more separated from each other than they are today. We read news from across the world instantly, yet we are often the last to know when the person next door, in the next cubicle over, or in the bed next to us, is hurting. Many people are suffering in quiet desperation, hiding in plain sight, pretending it’s Ok when it’s not, and going through the motions in order to spare others the pain they are feeling!
We have all experienced situations where we know friends or strangers are in pain. We are helpless to do anything about it, either because they won’t say what’s wrong, or we just don’t know them well enough to bring it up in conversation. I imagine at one time or another, we have all felt completely alone with feelings of anxiety, sadness, or fear. I love people, and I want to help, so I developed the idea of heartletters. (Sorry for the hokey name, but I couldn’t think of anything better to serve as a unique way of categorizing them.)

Each letter addresses a feeling or situation common to the human experience, and it will be written to “you.” I may not know you, but I care, and the post will be there if or when you need it. “You”could be anyone, and you could be feeling afraid, overwhelmed, bullied, successful and miserable, or any number of ways.

These letters are intended as words of solace during the alone times, for when friends and family are absent, or when there just isn’t a sufficient support system. They are meant to console, encourage, and soothe a wounded heart. However, they are not a replacement for medical advice or therapy, and if you, or someone you love, is in need of more than a friendly word, PLEASE PLEASE seek help from a professional!
I am not a teacher, or a doctor, or an expert of any kind. I am just a human with a heart, and I have read silent pleas for help one time too many. I cannot do a lot of things because I am not a professional, but the one thing I can do, in abundance, is perhaps the most important thing any one human can do for another. I can care!

While the words in these posts may seem obvious or cliché to some readers, I am a firm believer that human beings can never speak enough kindness to one another. If my words make one person feel less alone in the world, or show another person that there is a brighter future ahead, then I have done well with the gifts I have been given.

Feel free to share them with someone who needs them.
I don’t know how often I will write these letters, because I have so many things in mind for this blog, but you will find them under the category of “heartletters.”
Each post will be titled something like, “Heartletter: Abandoned”, so it will be easy for you to see that this is the letter you should read if you are feeling, or have ever felt, abandoned.
I hope this explains the feature, and I really do hope these letters will help someone.