Bouquet of Words

]FLOWERS

When people get to know me sometimes they are impressed at all that I’ve been through. In reality, they should be impressed with the incredible support that I am lucky enough to have behind me. Today I am thinking about my Mom, and how much she has held me together in times that I was trying so hard to fall apart.

There’s a reason why people are amazed by the unconditional love of mothers. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said or done things that would make most people drop me forever, but despite that Mom always sticks around. I’m not particularly incredible or special, but the person behind me is. Having an impairment in public school makes things infinitely more complicated. Trying to get an equal education with a disability is a constant battle and I was so so fortunate to always have my Mom in my corner. My graduation was as much an accomplishment for here as it was for me.

Able-bodied people and their mothers will never understand how much having a disability creates a plethora of challenges. My Mom never gave up on me no matter how hard things got or how much work I was. I will never ever be able to repay her for that. All I can do is honor her in the best way I know how; with a bouquet of words. Happy Mother’s Day mom. ❤

Picture Perfect

I’ve been through a lot of changes since the last time I posted. Because of recent events, I’ve been made to realizing that we are constantly changing even when we don’t realize it. Sometimes when you’re young a romantic relationship can feel like the biggest, most important thing in your atmosphere. I’ll be the first to admit that I have a long track record of being devastated after a break-up.

To be honest, isn’t that the way we’re trained to be? Media and today’s world of instantaneous updates and highlights of the happiest, most photo-ready moments leaves many people feeling like they are constantly striving to achieve a sort of superficial happiness that they can paste on social media to make everyone think that they’ve got it all. The truth is,no one does. We all have parts of our life that are painful and challenging and messed up because we’re all human. In addition to being beautiful and wonderful life is also inherently messy and crazy and sometimes just plain ugly. With this being true, why is it that young people grow up in a culture that teaches us to fall apart when we lose a romantic partner?

Certainly there’s a very delicate line between accepting a break up and hardening your heart against letting anyone in ever again, and I have found myself dancing that line more often then not in the past month. That being said, it’s amazing wen you change your perspective. When you accept what has happened but move on knowing you have a future ahead of you with or without that person.

There are some of you I’m sure who have never found yourself revolving your life around your partner, and I deeply admire. If this is true then just take this as a small reminder to never forget who you are. Always stay passionate about what you love, don’t pause your life for anyone else. Always work on improving yourself but know that the right person will accept that you are only human and will continue to love you as long as you are trying

. Never let anyone look down on you as if they’ve never made mistakes because I hate to be general, but that just can’t be true. Love yourself and be confident but always remember to stay humble because we are all only blindly struggling through this thing called life without a map or a manual or instructions. God knows we have enough challenges without pushing one another down along the way.

Four Eyes.

imageWhoa, it’s been a a while since I’ve posted. This is probably for two reasons; one, my training schedule has gotten busier exponentially and secondly, I hate writing just for sake of creating a post. I always want what I write to have meaning. I could blather on into a monologue about the sanctity of the written word, but I’ll spare you. My point is that I am writing because something has caught my interest.
This past week, I started wearing my glasses again. This relatively simple choice is unremarkable except for the fact that I didn’t do it sooner and that I was seeing the world in HD again. The interesting part was how it affected other people.
The behavior of strangers around me has changed completely and this past week since I’ve been wearing my glasses. I still carry my cane and wear the same clothing. I’ve hardly changed anything at all, yet my interactions have been so different. The same strangers that I’ve passed walking back-and-forth to the training center each day now say hello or good morning more often than not. People don’t try to help me by explaining where things are anymore, people don’t scramble out of the way if they notice me and people haven’t opened doors. It’s incredible to me that such a little change can cause such a drastic difference. Nothing about my ability level for my disability had changed; simply the judge,net that others were making.
The “moral to the story” so to speak is this; life does not work in clean lines or straight edges. Disabilities are no exception to this rule. Blindness is not work in absolutes. Just because glasses help an individual does not mean that their disability is not significant. If someone is using a cane, it is safe to assume that there is a good reason. Please remember that blindness is a spectrum disability with thousands of different scenarios. It often blurs the lines of what we know and what we fear; the possibility of being blind.

Invasion 

To all of my fellow species, I commend each and every one of you. We have achieved something I believed would never be possible. We have invaded the human-occupied planet known as “Earth”. Many species have tried before us and many will try afterward but I doubt any will reach the level of success we have achieved. We have not only invaded but we have ingrained ourselves into their society. 

By masquerading as members of their own species plagued with “physical impairments” and “medical conditions” we have fooled humans into accepting us into their society and at this time I would like you to metaphorically pat yourself on the back. Hiding in plain sight is finally going to pay off when we take over this planet. We will name this planet Cure after the human term for eradicating illness where, sadly, some of our own will be staying to be closely watched as they contracted human illnesses such as Rudeness, ignorance, and Judgmentalitis.

I would like to thank my mom and dad for sending me, their alien child, on this alien mission. 

Gestures of Affection,

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My Superpower.

I have a superpower.

No I’m not Daredevil and I don’t have supersenses because I can’t see.

My superpower is having an invisible illness.

I was born with glaucoma, but my parents didn’t find out until two years later. By that time a lot of damage had already been done and as a result, I became legally blind. For years I made every effort to hide my condition.

I’m not the only one. There are thousands out there with illnesses that don’t have obvious symptoms. A lot of people have heard the phrase “seeing is not believing”, but it turns out not many take it to heart. Many people think to be impaired you must have a wheelchair, or crutches, or look different, and if you don’t, you must be lying. On the flipside of that, when you identify yourself as ill or disabled you are treated vastly differently. My 14 year old sister has told me multiple times she’s blown away by the sheer number of grown-ass adults who openly stare at me and talk about me within hearing range when I’m using my cane.

My point is that ignorance is rampant when it comes to invisible illness and invisible disabilities. My friend Holly, who has pancreatitis, started a thread wherein those of us dealing with illness or impairment post our meds to try to get through people about the validity of what we deal with every day. Here are my meds you would never know I take. Please share this or post your own story. ❤️

Bragging rights

It’s been forever since I’ve posted. Okay not literally forever but a good while. I could give you a laundry list of excuses but I’ll just use a time-tested favorite; I’ve been busy.Side note: why is the phrase laundry list? Who makes a laundry list? What goes on a laundry list? These are important life questions.

I moved back to Seattle for the training center, my roommate lost her chill and decided she didn’t like me so I had to move out of our apartment, and shortly after the program decided to move all of us to a new complex closer to the school. Last weekend while they were moving, we had to leave so I went to stay with friends in Poulsbo where I graduated. 

It was a wonderful getaway. I ended up going to a Mary Kay event and actually becoming a consultant. I’m so excited for this new job. It offers me flexibility and independence to provide income for myself. It’s a job that allows me to easily accommodate for myself. Even though I haven’t even made a sale yet, I love the possibility that this opportunity presents. When I was at the facial event, one of the points that the Mary Kay consultant made was that Mary Kay was a cruelty-free cosmetic company. 

That made me really glad but it also made me think-since when did it become socially acceptable for the phrase ‘cruelty-free’ to become a bragging right or a selling point?

Even if you’re not an avid animal rights activist think about it- the practice of testing products on animals is, frankly, barbaric. They don’t have a choice and it’s and the reasoning behind putting animals through this trauma and possibly bodily harm is extremely frivolous. Eyeshadow is never going to save a life. It’s 2016. Cruelty-free should be a requirement cosmetic companies, not a bonus or a plus factor.

On that note if you need some new cosmetics or skin care products that you can feel good about, visit my consultant site and see if anything strikes your fancy. You’ll get a quality product and be supporting my independence, so it’s a win-win situation.

My site:

http://www.marykay.com/Courtrcole/en-US/Pages/default.aspx?lcov=1

XOXO, 

Court

  

Impressions

My sister called me today and told me I had mail. I told her to open it, and inside she found this. The postcard included said “Your words made an impression on us, so we made an impression of them. A Seattle U you are one of one, and nothing could be greater.”

I realized that while I was glad to be appreciated by the good people of Seattle University Admissions, they were actually incorrect. My words being immortalized on a nice laminated poster is nice, but there is something better.

I read these words and I realized that I actually genuinely believed them. For the first time in my life I’m in a place where I believe that I have a great worth and that I will do incredible things.

I actually have a point here, I’m not just bragging I promise. Everyone has days or moments or periods where they don’t feel good about themselves. But when you only think negatively of yourself that soon becomes your truth. Being consumed with putting yourself down will hurt you and prevent you from making the impact that you have the power to make.

Loving and accepting other begins with accepting yourself. Take in all your flaws, quirks, talents and traits. Every part of you together has the potential to create something beautiful; it just depends upon how you choose to put the pieces together.

Love,

Court

Shedding Some Light

I’m feeling incredibly down today. It’s probably one of the roughest days I’ve had in quite a few weeks.

That being said, I wanted to write about something positive. A man named Kevin came to present at our Orientation Training Center. He works for the Lighthouse for the Blind here in Seattle. He talked to us about their program and although it’s not currently applicable to my life, what they do is truly incredible.

The company makes parts for Boeing aircraft, military equipment, and other items that they machine on really high-tech gear. The part that makes them incredible is that they actively seek out blind and visually impaired employees.

You read that right.

Kevin’s job is literally to travel the country and find skilled people who need work but happen to lack sight. It’s not government paid, and it’s not SSI dollars. It’s the way out of SSI. It’s an opportunity to provide for yourself and/or family. I think it’s also a chance for a bigger change; a chance to change the view that the “sighted world” has of those of us who are blind or visually impaired.

I wasn’t as inspiring as Kevin, not even close. But if you’re blind or VI and you’re looking for opportunity this is definitely something that could change your life in a big way. Even if you’re just thinking about it a little bit, look at their website and see for yourself.

Seattle Lighthouse

Be(you)tiful

Facebook at times has the tendency to suck us away from our lives and have very negative effects, but I try to keep my feed full of positivity, information, and close friends. Tonight as I was scrolling through I noticed an article about a YouTuber who does mainly. Her name is Jordan, and as I read her story, I realized that she and I have a lot in common.

I’ll be the first to admit I’m a make-p addict. The bag that I keep my lipstick in is bursting at the seams, I have three different kinds of mascara for different occasions, and enough eyeshadow to create a recreation of Starry Night. I feel naked if I go outwithout anything on at all. I do makeup for a few reasons.

  1. It’s fun
  2.  It makes me feel good about how I look
  3. It makes me feel accomplished and independent

It turns out that Jordan is tetroplegic. She can’t move her hands at all, and is confined to a wheelchair because of an accident. She makes her make-up tutorials anyway, and achieves stunning looks even with her hands that many might call useless. Like Jordan,, make-up was a huge frustration for me at first. I have no usable vision in my left eye, and the vision that I do have in my right eye is limited by any standard. Over time and with practice, I began to get better at doing it and I started to love the routine. It was something so simple and yet for me it was a challenge. Despite that fact, my make-up most days was pretty “on-point”, as the kids say these days. My point in this is not that you should start doing your make-up. My point is, don’t let anything stop you from making yourself feel beautiful and fulfilled. I remember my Mom saying something to me once; it went like “You can always regret quitting, but you’ll never regret trying.” At the time I was young, and thick-headed and didn’t listen to her advice as well as I should have. However, now I am older and wiser and I’m telling you this is a golden nugget of Mom advice. When they told you you could be anything you want, they lied. They SHOULD have said you can be anything you work hard enough at.

Everyone has some beautiful and some ugly inside of them. Which shines through depends on what you choose to nurture. As for myself, I try to be the most beautiful me that I can.

What about you?

Watch Jordan’s video below:

Chrysalis.

I’m leaving home tomorrow.

Even though a few months ago I left for the first time, this feels more real and substantial for some reason. Maybe it’s the fact that I’m going alone. Not that I’m flying alone, but that I’m going to really be “on my own” when I get back to my training program in Seattle. This time, no one is coming with me to help, but it’s not a bad thing. Neither I nor my parents have any doubts that I can handle all of this.

To a lot of people, this kind of thing happens naturally and isn’t a big deal. But despite the fact that I’ve always been intelligent, things were just more difficult to learn because I had much less vision than normal in a sight-dependent world.

After graduation, I decided to take a gap year. Even though people do this, I wasn’t excited about it at all. I didn’t want to be any more different than other people than I already am. It turns out, the problem was really my perspective. Living and working with other blind/VI individuals at this program has really opened my eyes. (pun intended.) It hasn’t been easy. Going to this program feels like your disability is being shoved in your face every day, and that’s hard, especially knowing that I am going to lose more vision as I get older. Everyone there has a lot of emotions about their situation, each person has a story, none of us are perfect, and we don’t always get along. The thing about blindness is that it doesn’t discriminate. Rich, poor, tall, short, thick, thin, all kinds are affected by this impairment. To put it simply, the OTC(Orientation Training Center) is a lot of imperfect people trying to make the best life they can for themselves despite the challenges they face. That’s not a mantra or anything, just my personal assessment.

So at first, I was a little disappointed looking at everyone’s college pics, thinking “that should be me”. I got over it though. This year was my chrysalis. I have two acceptance letters + scholarships to great colleges and a ton of possibilities. I love myself and have more confidence than I ever have before. To be honest, it’s a wonderful feeling.

Although I’m surprised and proud when it comes to my metamorphosis, I didn’t write this solely for that reason. School was really hard.I was a caterpillar at one time. From sixth grade to eleventh felt like I was crawling on my belly, trying not to get eaten. In twelfth, amazed that I survived to that point, I started to make my chrysalis. I know I’m not the only person who felt like school was more about survival than having a good time. You don’t know me, and I don’t know you, but if you’re thinking about giving up on yourself don’t do it. Not for me or your S.O. or even your mom but do it because if you give up you will never get to know all the wonderful things you can be.

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