There are a lot of fucked up things happening in the world right now but as I’ve said here before, I’m not looking at social media unless people tag me in things or tell me to look up something specific. But that being said, I do want to acknowledge that I never thought I’d live in a world that’s so broken, from the United States President, to the Republican party and its supporters. But we do live in such a world unfortunately…and the only way I’ve found to best take care of myself, is through writing about other things, through thinking about other things. But I’m acknowledging this now, as I don’t want to give the idea to anyone that I’m unaware of the collective heartbreaks that are currently happening, or that I don’t care about the horrible things we’re currently facing worldwide. I do care about these things deeply…and I hope that somehow, some way, the world as a whole does see a productive way to end this fiasco sooner rather than later.
But interestingly, my caretaker recently asked me why I thought people have been protesting/destroying businesses lately. And I told him that I think these things are being done because taking these specific actions are likely the only way that people feel they’ll be listened to by the world at large. I made it clear to him that I don’t think that the ways in which they’re getting their message across are necessarily healthy for anyone. Look, I’m all for people protesting/doing what they feel is needed, to hopefully solve a problem that’s gotten out of hand. Hell, I myself have even protested in public, several times in my life. But the reason I’m against these sorts of actions as things stand in the world right now, is because Covid19 is still very much with us. And so, even though what’s been in the news as of late, is strictly about the protests/murders of African-Americans, that does not mean that Covid19 has disappeared. No one knows when we as a world will be recovered from Covid19, or if we even will recover from it. But I personally choose to take the high road and have hope that all of the world’s current insanity will only be a distant and unpleasant memory for us, at some point.
Something else that I haven’t written about lately, is the ever-changing positions that the college I attend, has gone through in terms of whether anyone will be allowed on campus in the near future. And I get it, things change rapidly because more hiccups happen in the world, possibly more things give people with power reasons to slow down that they might not have predicted at first. But for me, no matter what the college I attend ultimately decides to do in the near future, I’m going to follow the advice of my medical team. And for me, that course of action is non-negotiable: because in my past, I’ve tried to live as someone who could make myself not give into my serious health issues putting me in a hospital at any given time. I’m ashamed to say that I drank the harmful societal Kool aid: this belief that said serious health conditions would only get in the way of me living my life if I let them do so. It didn’t help that I had toxic people in my life who mirrored that same way of thinking. But thankfully, I’ve realized, mostly through my own experiences, that that simply isn’t the way things work. Or put another way, my serious health conditions I have, will be with me for the rest of my life…whether I like that or not. And the only thing about that truth that I can control, is regularly keeping up with my medical appointments and then keeping my medical team aware of everything I’m going through. And even though it somewhat pains me to have been given such tough circumstances in life, I’m no longer willing to lie to myself and act like that is not actually true for me. I don’t have to like all of my truth, to accept that ugly things are as much a part of my truth as good things are a part of it.
Speaking of things that I haven’t written about here in awhile, the idea I’ve had about having a custom-made walking cane for myself has had some new developments happen. Mainly, the person I’d originally asked to create this cane for me, has had to put their woodwork creations on hold for an unknown amount of time. So upon finding this bit of news out, I went through the entire message thread between this person and I; that way, I could save all of the information I’d need about this custom walking cane creation that I envision for myself. And once I’d saved that info to my phone, I sent a message to the friend of mine who’d helped me pick out the Britney Spears outfit that I’d purchased late last year. In the message I’d sent this friend, I asked them if they’d be interested in helping me search for a company or individual that could make this dream of mine come true. My friend said that they’d be happy to help me and then gave me the website and name of a company to contact. This friend of mine also spent some time looking for a design that would allow me to scream my LGBTQ love to the entire world; but this friend told me that finding a rainbow design to fit this purpose/walking cane was actually proving to be much harder than they’d thought it would be. So I emailed this business that my friend had given me the contact information for, told this business that I’m blind and asked if they’d be OK with me sharing my idea for the walking cane and potentially asking them other visually-related things. They responded saying that would be fine but TBH, I’m pretty nervous about what their answer might be, given what my friend had said about not being able to find LGBT-pride designs that were made for other people’s walking canes.
The phrase “different abilities” disgusts me!!! I’m disabled, not “differently abled” or any other fluffy jargon that many sighted people often use to make themselves feel better about the existence of people with disabilities. I know I’ve blogged about this hatred of mine pretty recently, and I know that it was when I was reading the book entitled When God Rescripts Your Life. But I think this sort of thing cannot be said too much; because the majority of the world still treats us as disabled folks like aliens. The majority of the world still desexualizes me as a disabled person. There are even folks in the world who are so ashamed to call me disabled, that they’ll use phrases like “you have special powers” because that phrase likely makes them feel better about their interactions with me. And so to me, such phrases totally erase my identity, similarly to the way someone might tell a person of color “I don’t see your color,” erasing their entire identity…just like that. So if you’re someone who wants to do better, please do. If you aren’t sure what you could do to become better, ask me; I’ll happily have as in-depth a discussion about it as you would like us to.
I had a recent dream that I was back at the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TSBVI). In this dream, TSBVI was exactly how I remembered it, when I was a student there. But also, in this dream, I had eyesight…and that part of this dream will be meaningful a bit later on. So at first, I was in the cafeteria hanging out with some friends; but then I rolled myself to the big gym, where the occupational therapy/physical therapy department was located. But as I was on my way to the big gym, I heard a familiar voice. But when I said hi to the person as they walked right by me, it was as if they didn’t even know that I was there. But then when I’d finally gotten to the big gym, I could tell right away that there was a piece of paper covering the little window in the door of the OT/PT department; and I wanted to know what it was. But I woke up before I could get the answer to that question. Weird dream, I know.
I had another weird dream recently that I woke up from feeling dazed. But also, even though I was awake after the dream had happened, I was still like, unable to register that I’d just had a weird dream that was scary…but that even so, this dream wasn’t reality. But anyway, what I remember of the dream, was that I was at an unknown place with at least two strangers. And these strangers both knew that I was an atheist. And each of them felt like it was their duty to convince me why I should believe in God. I also remember the three of us having a conversation about the fact that all I wanted to do was to go to my grandma’s house…and these women both saying that they wouldn’t allow me to go back to my grandma’s house, unless I told them I believed in God. And it was as if they’d paralyzed me; but then I awoke from the dream…and that was the end of that weirdness.
I recently wrote a short status on Facebook that I’m going to expand on here. What I wrote reads:
A powerful insight of a sentence that sums me up perfectly is: Death informs how I live my life!! And what I mean by this, is that thinking daily about the deaths of people I deeply care about, has a huge affect on how I live my life/how I move through the world. But also, the fact that I think of my own eventual death on a daily basis, informs how I live my life/how I move through the world. Because thinking about these things intentionally and consciously, helps me be mindful of how I treat people; because ultimately, what I want to leave behind for the world when I die, is that I was someone who stood up for things I thought were right. I want to leave behind that I was someone who frequently reflected on her life and strived to be the best version of myself that I could be. I want people to be inspired by the fact I didn’t take any shit from anyone, no matter who it was that we’d be talking about.
One of my Facebook friends recently wrote something that resonated with me; more specifically, this person’s writing was about the harmfulness of the American flag and of white people from the south demonizing people of color or other folks who are in minority groups. The response I wrote to this writing of theirs, with some expansion, reads:
As a Texas born-and-raised girl myself, I very much identify with everything you’ve said here. What your writing made me think of in my own life, was how much internalized homophobia I had for 30 of my 32 years of life. I was put through conversion therapy, physically and verbally abused by multiple people, you name it. I even remember being encouraged by elderly women at church in Texas to go to specific people within this church, to have those people tell me how I could stop talking shit about the woman who gave birth to me. It was awful. But honestly, what you’ve written is powerful. It absolutely needed to be said. I’m proud that you’ve taken a stand for what you believe in and I’m proud to call you someone I love dearly. I really do hope that your words encourage white people to examine everything that they’ve ever been taught about the American flag and about equal rights for minority groups of any sort. Because being that I myself lived in the south for most of my life just as you did, I can say that it was hard as fuck for me to decide to question what I’d always been told by my family of origin. But then there honestly came a point in my life where it became physically and emotionally painful for me not to tell my truth…and so, I figured out what was important to me and then changed my life accordingly. I’ve loved my life ever since, even in the moments that have been traumatic/otherwise tough.
Within the last week or so, I’ve discovered that iHeartRadio has custom-made stations for different decades. Two of my favorite decades to listen to on this streaming service are the 90s and the 2000s. I listen to both of these stations using my Amazon Echo Dot AKA Alexa. And it seems like each of these stations is constantly adding more music and during this worldwide stuck-at-home time we’re in right now, I truly look forward to listening to the music that these stations each have to offer. It truly is the little things that matter most!!
My caretaker recently told me about a show on Netflix called The Order; he knows that I usually love things that are about magic/other fantasy-oriented shows. But The Order is not a show I’m into; not even a little bit. What it’s about though, is a school called Bellgrave that’s magic; and there’s like, a secret society within this college that’s trying to get to the bottom of why students at said college keep randomly dying. And that storyline seems like it would make for a great show…but the show is disturbingly weird. There’s this monster made out of clay that some of the show’s characters figure out has probably been tasked with killing certain people attending this particular college. But I couldn’t even make it through the second episode of The Order, as it was just too weird and horribly disturbing to me.
I’ve finally gotten my caretaker interested in watching Once Upon a Time; I’ve also been watching said show for the second time around, as my recent blog entries have shown. But interestingly, there have been times when either me or my caretaker gets ahead of the other one in the show; but both of us really want to talk about the show as things happen in it. However I’ve stopped watching Once Upon a Time right now, as my caretaker wants to try to catch up to where I’ve stopped in the show. He’s still on season three of Once Upon a Time and I’m a few episodes away from the end of season four, if my memory serves correctly.
I recently finished watching season five of She-Ra and the Princesses of Power. This season of the show was the final one which is bittersweet, as far as I’m concerned. But what this series is about, is a town that’s taken over by a bad villain. And the princesses who live in said town have to work together to figure out how to get rid of the villain for good. One of the princesses who lives in this town though, only discovers that she’s a warrior by accident: she’s trying to figure out how to use the sword that she has, as well as how to just be the kid that she is. But her using that sword is ultimately what leads her to discover that she has everything within her, to become this warrier princess that literally saves the entire town from this evil character known as Horde Prime. As a kid, she’s known as Adora; but when she transforms into a warrier princess, she’s known as She-Ra. And there are times throughout this series that Adora feels like she’s lost She-Ra completely…but yet other times in the show where she seems to feel empowered and ready to act however she needs to, to save her town from the evil that’s present throughout the entire show. And honestly, this show is one of my favorite shows that’s on Netflix because truthfully, She-Ra/Adora, both remind me a lot of myself. Adora is someone I can relate to because she’s trying to find herself which is hard enough to do as it is. But then, when you combine that with fighting an evil villain, that compounds the situation that much more. She-Ra reminds me of myself during the times in my life where I’m ready to fight whomever or whatever, tries to get in the way of the things I want to do to make my life fulfilling and happy. And believe me, there are plenty of people who want to attempt to steal someone’s shine, especially when the shine-stealers feel like other people’s shines are brighter than their own. But also, She-Ra the warrior princess reminds me of myself in terms of the fact that when I feel I’m right about something, I don’t back down…no matter how much push-back I may receive from others about my self-expression.
In a recent episode of Hidden Brain, the host of the show walks us as the listeners through a story about an African-American man being fatally shot by a police officer; but the situation with this man started with him unexpectedly getting out of the car that he was driving. And once he’d gotten out of the vehicle, it was discovered that someone had called the cops on him. But not only did one police car arrive to this scene; there were multiple police cars on the scene as time went by. The first police officer who’d showed up on the scene though, was the one who’d fatally shot this African-American man. And later on, it turned out that this man was not carrying any weapons on his person nor in his vehicle, even though the police seemed to think he’d likely shoot them. And so, as this Hidden Brain episode goes on, we learn that this episode’s focus is on racism/how black people are thought of within American culture as a whole.
The next thing in this episode of Hidden Brain that stood out to me, was that a college student had really been paying attention to the fact that African-American folks were treated awfully by police officers. And this guy was in college back in the 90s when this sort of thing didn’t happen in the world with the frequency that it happens in our world now. But anyway, this college student decided to create a video game where players of said game were given specific instructions to shoot people within the game that they felt were threatening to them. So like, as players would play the game, people would pop up on the game screen holding different objects. Sometimes a black man would be holding a gun, other times a white man would be holding a cell phone; and yet other times, a black man would be holding a water bottle. The game was created this way because this college kid wanted to test whether people unknowingly thought of black folks as being threatening. And more often than not, players of the game viewed black people as threats…and so they shot black folks a lot faster than they shot white ones. But in addition to this game having been created, there were visual studies that were done, with the intention of measuring biases that people were most likely not even aware they had. And interestingly, what was found with many of these studies, was that people not even being aware they had racial bias, didn’t necessarily mean that those people would allow such biases to cloud their judgment in their actual lives.