Expectations versus Reality
The two words used in this title are very strong and very well known too. Expectation refers to what we are waiting for others to accomplish or do. Reality is what we are, what we do, what we decide without the pressure of others.
As a woman living with blindness, after a long journey and walking through life with my expectations and others' expectations. I’ve come to understand that sometimes the lack of something, in this case, sight, makes us think that we have to stand and make it up to the different demands around us in order to fit in. For example, be the best student in school, be super brave, never give up, never show yourself as tired or weak and so many other demands that if we take a look at them closely, are almost impossible to accomplish at a 100%.
When it comes to the expectations that society has built around it, we can find two ways. The lack of expectation or believing that a person living with blindness should be able to have superpower-like abilities. Such as perfect hearing senses, recognizing people within 2 seconds of being in front of them without saying a word, having perfect memory and so many others. On the other hand, the lack of expectation is built around the idea that living with a disability makes you not capable of anything. Unfortunately, we hear comments such as, you are not able to appreciate art because you are blind, you can’t run because you can’t see, you can’t have a formal job because you happen to have a disability.
As you read this, I bet you think these are strong and very negative comments, but sometimes, this is reality when living with a disability. People assume these types of ideas.
I’m very glad and proud in some way to say that this is wrong, assuming a person can’t do something because of a lack of vision, hearing or any other, is not right. Instead, the best thing to do is ask. When we ask, we learn, we allow ourselves to break these myths around others. When we ask, we also give the person the possibility of sharing all these amazing abilities that are sometimes unseen because of what we’ve considered a disability all along.
People living with any kind of disability are people, just like you, just like me. We are human beings with desires, dreams, our own expectations, different realities, challenging scenarios, difficulties and are very good at some activities.
To share a little more about me with you. I’m very good at music, art, listening to people, learning new skills, even if these are mainly thought to be learned with sight. For example, painting or cooking. I was always a remarkable student, I chose Clinical Psychology because I was and am very passionate about helping others and mental health in general. I do have a job and a very interesting life.
I have my difficulties as well. I’m not very talented with complex mathematics, I do face challenges when it comes to society. For example, I was denied access to a lot of places many times because of my guide dog, and before that, I didn’t know the horrible feeling of being excluded from an activity or a place because of my living situation. Let me tell you, it is a feeling I don’t wish for anybody, and even with all this lived and now said, I don’t regret my path, living with blindness. I’ve come to learn so much because of it, it doesn’t define me, it is just one more characteristic of who I am.
With all this said and shared, let's always try to remember that we all lack something, we are all different and that is totally all right. We all achieve and accomplish goals or even expectations in our very singular way, never like the others. Let's respect each other's singularity and embrace our own.