About Beauty Beyond Fear
Beauty Beyond Fear started after my trip to Krakow, Poland and London in the summer of 2016. The trip was only a week and a half long and yet it stood out to me since the summer of 2015 when I first learned that I was going blind as one of the few things that I was looking forward to. Krakow was holding World Youth Day that year and despite the warning that the crowds at WYD being immense (I hate crowds), I was determined to go if only to see a beautiful city far from me and what my present life had become.
While in Krakow, I was able to meet wonderful people and see beautiful sights. Since this was my first trip outside of the United States, I was in awe of a city that was so old and still standing, interweaved with trams and tiny cars whizzing in and out of curved traffic. While there, I noticed two things.
First that beauty wasn’t found just in the sights and sounds, but also in the taste, smells, and touch of things. Never before had I noticed how much I paid attention to my other senses. My eyes and ears were always busy absorbing everything around me, but my nose was taking in the dustiness of the city, the saltiness of the pines of the trees interspersed in the town and city. My sense of taste was appalled when it tasted mineral water instead of tap and surprised by the different flavors of the soup from a small restaurant beyond the city square. My sense of touch was memorizing the feel of my shoulders lugging around two liters of water daily to not become dehydrated and the even flat stones of the city square under my feet.
And second, how little I and everyone around me was prepared to accommodate my night blindness or how tired I would be after an hour of keeping track of people in the crowd with significantly fewer degrees of vision than everyone around me. It was a huge learning curve as from the first airplane takeoff to the different sounds made for pedestrians crossing in the streets of Krakow, I noticed that exhausted from the amount of work I had been so used to doing all these years, my own eyes were opened, searching for help and assistance from the world around me.
To learn more about this trip and how it impacted this blog: CLICK HERE.
After reviewing my blog at the beginning of this year, I have reorganized to contain three main categories: my personal experiences, practical advice, and assistive technology.
My Personal Experiences are where you will find my experiences of living with Ushers. This section is the most subjective section of the site.
To view the index of My Personal Experiences blog posts, CLICK HERE.
Practical Advice section is my own advice to others going through similar experiences. Sometimes this advice will be geared to either vision, hearing, or both. No matter what the focus, the advice will be practical and something that you can, hopefully, apply to your life. For example, how to tell your friends and family that you have Ushers.
Please Note: This is advice is simply from what I have learned so far as someone with Usher Syndrome. Although the advice given is practical advice, it should never interfere or replace any advice given by a medical profession.
To view the index list of Practical Advice blog posts, CLICK HERE.
The Assistive Technology section is where you will find various assistive technology that can help you if you have a hearing impairment or low vision.
To view the index list of Assistive Technology blog posts, CLICK HERE.
A little more about me:
When I first learned that I was going blind, it was a true shock. I felt like my best sidekick, my eyes, were being taken away from me. Growing up with a hearing impairment, I have always relied on my eyes to fill in on where a sound was coming from or to subconsciously try to fill in a missing words by reading lips. (This doesn’t always work).While I still have my down days, they are moments or days, not months anymore.
If you were to meet me in person, my Ushers would not be the first thing you would notice. Rather, it would be that I am quiet at first and then I never stop talking, turning into a funny, but logical Vulcan. I watch too many movies (mostly science fiction and, cough cough, some hallmark movies) and I always manage to buy books to add to my ever growing collection at home.
In college, I majored in English and minored in Information Technology and have always been fascinated with how people communicate ideas and how they understand their own thoughts about the world.
Having parents who met in the Air Force, I have grown up in different parts of the country, which probably helped cultivate my interest to understand how people communicate.
More Q & A:
Why are the blog’s colors inverted?
You might be wondering why the blog’s background color is darker and the lettering is white. This contrast helps to not strain people’s eyes. A full white background with black letter will strain and tire out eyes after a while. I am currently trying to find out how to make it so that someone can switch back and forth between a white and a darker background. If you know how, please comment below!
How to contact me:
If you have a question or comment about one of the blog posts, please leave them in the comments below. Please note that all comments and questions have to be approved by me before they are posted live to the site.
You can also contact me through TWITTER