November 29, 2013: The Internet

I’m pretty sure most people in my generation are grateful for the internet. The internet is such a cool thing.

When I felt alone in 8th grade and was having a lot of health issues and bullied, I came home and got on the internet. I talked to a lot of online friends, even though I’m sure I wasn’t supposed to at that point, researched a lot of things, and learned about the world. I also became really good at typing and knowing how to operate a computer – which has really helped me with college and my job, and just operating as a person with a visual impairment. I depend on my computer a lot for equal access to the world.

It allows me to have this blog – a way to spread awareness about Retinitis Pigmentosa, blindness, and guide dogs, but also to be an outlet for me as a self-care method. It is very therapeutic getting on here and writing and corresponding with others.

It allows me to run a Guide Dog Handlers Network on Facebook of approximately 500 handlers from all over the world who love their guide dogs and want to talk to others about guide dog handling, etc. This is a lot of fun and a joy to collaborate with these people. I wouldn’t be able to do this without the internet.

College was so much easier due to the internet. I didn’t have to go to the library often because I could find electronic versions of many things online through the library website.

I can learn about medical conditions that my friends have through the internet, I can help my family get things they need with the internet, I can keep in contact with lifelong friends through the internet. The internet is just so amazing.

November 28, 2013: Coffee

Coffee. Caffeine. I love.

Starbucks is definitely one of those money suckers. I don’t go that often, but that’s mostly because I don’t have somebody to take me that much and really, justifying over $4 a drink is kind of hard. However, with all that being said, there are some pretty amazing drinks out there with coffee in them and when I have had nights of insomnia or long days of class and work, coffee comes in super handy. Today was one of those days. I Heart Coffee. 🙂

November 27, 2013: Financial stability

I am grateful for financial stability. I am still in school but do not pay much for college due to different programs assisting me for being a good student or having a disability. I am able to save up money so that when I am out of school, regardless of my employment situation, I will be okay for awhile. I do not have to work while I’m in college, but choose to so that I can be better off down the road, as well as be able to do fun things now. I enjoy going out to eat and drinks often and I am able to financially do this without stressing.

I am grateful for financial stability.

November 25, 2013: Heartbreaks

Heartbreaks suck – naturally, right? The word itself implies sadness and pain.

However, through heartbreak we learn a lot about ourselves, our strengths and weakness, and our support systems. The biggest heartbreak I will probably ever experience or have ever experienced is the death of my Daddy. However, I’ve had my fair share of sucky break-ups, friends passing, leaving friends behind when I left Tulsa, friendships ending, etc. But through each of these experiences, I grew and/or learned something about myself and the world around me and became a stronger person.

Therefore, I am grateful for heartbreaks.

November 24, 2013: My Mistakes

I am thankful/grateful for my mistakes.

I’m not perfect, even though for some weird reason some people tell me that I am or think of me that way.

I make mistakes. I do stupid stuff. I have a lot of opportunities to master the “live and learn” technique. 🙂

However, I don’t want to be perfect. I have made a lot of mistakes over the past several years with different things and each has allowed me to grow, to get to know myself and those around me, and help provide better direction with what I need to be doing in the moment or in the grand scheme of things. Making mistakes has allowed me to figure a lot of things out with my life and I’m so much better for it.

So, yes. I am thankful for my mistakes.

November 19, 2013: Steven

I’m very grateful for having Steven by my side. He is my rock. He has been there for me through so much, and he knows me so incredibly well. We just “fit” together. He has been with me as I’ve lost my vision and constantly adapts along with me. He is such a sweet guy, gives the best hugs, and is just the love of my life. I’m SO incredibly thankful that I have been with Steven for so long and look forward to many more years with him. I’m very excited about spending our first Christmas together this year. ❤

November 18, 2013: Disability Legislation

I usually am not much for legislation or politics. However, I am very grateful for legislation that helps individuals with disabilities obtain equal access and gives them the supports to help them live independently and gain/maintain employment, as well as be protected against discrimination. (That doesn’t mean it doesn’t still happen but they are protected and legal action can be taken). As a guide dog user, I have found myself even more happy about this legislation than ever before. I am very thankful that we, as American citizens, have these protections because I am learning how many countries do not have these programs and laws to serve individuals with disabilities.