I Miss the Days
If you didn't know this already, I am a deep and divergent thinker. Because I am facing blindness, I organically and frequently reflect upon myself while enduring vast change in my physical vision. That said, I have no other
choice but to take self-inventory upon myself because I don't have any other visual distractions.
I see from the heart which enables me to naturally live in the present moment. Please note, I am not living in the past by sharing what I miss. But rather, I am taking stock of where I came from and how I can evolve and better myself. I would encourage you to read my list and let me know what resonates with you. Feel free to contact me with your questions or comments. Thank you!
1. I miss the days when you could hug people spontaneously.
2. I miss the days when the fun time of being a kid consisted of playing outside during the summer months until 8 or 9 p.m. and your mom had to yell out your name as she tried to sort out where you were or which neighbors' house you were at.
3. I miss the days when I could drive: hopping in the car and driving without a care in the world was second nature.
4. I miss the days when I could read without any difficulty.
5. I miss the days when I could recognize faces better.
6. I miss the days where people made me feel heard, understood and fully accepted.
7. I miss the days where there was no texting and more sincere communication.
8. I miss the days when there was no internet and pure joy meant diving into reading a good book.
9. I miss the days when I felt alive going out to see my favorite movie at the theatre as a kid. My favorites were The Goonies and Back to the Future.
10. I miss the days when I spoke my truth without having to worry about the consequences.
11. I miss the days where telling the truth was more exemplified and honored, and considered a virtue.
12. I miss the days where I could cross the street and not have to look side-to-side even while using my cane, Sophia. And for that matter, I miss the days where I didn't need my cane at all, simply because I had better vision.
13. I miss the days of chivalry when a man would call you and actually ask you out on a date.
14. I miss the days of hand-holding with somebody I deeply care about.
15. I miss the days when there were more trees out in nature, rather than having them all cut down to build a consumer’s paradise of malls and stores.
16. I miss the days when we mailed handwritten letters to each other and our loved ones.
17. I miss the days of being surprised about who was calling you when you answered the phone.
18. I miss the days where being nice stemmed from the heart and not from any other ulterior motives.
19. I miss the days when I felt appreciated by people based on their actions not their words.
20. But the one thing I will never miss or forget is the person I am today: a woman of integrity, grace and self-respect.
By, Amla Mehta
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Maintaining Self-Worth During Challenging Times
Throughout the most difficult times, we, as individuals, may undergo extreme growth and change and, as a result, we might gain a higher understanding of ourselves. Presently, I’m undergoing some major highs and lows myself. With that, my physical vision is the worst I've ever experienced in my entire life. The majority of you most likely know that I was diagnosed with an eye disease called Gyrate Atrophy when I was sixteen years old and, now that I am in my forties, everything I see in color is washed out, blurry and grainy. It's as if someone has used a fog machine within my everyday surroundings and I see nothing but swirls of mist all day long. In addition to that, I have tunnel vision, meaning my field of vision is the width of a kaleidoscope.
Because I currently see through "fog," simply going from one room into another affects my physical functionality constantly. I frequently must take breaks and close my eyes because, now, it literally hurts to see. More so, I find it harder and harder to do simple tasks, like read the time, gauge the switch of traffic lights turning from green to yellow to red or even find my reading glasses. Essentially, I need glasses to find my own glasses. In any exterior light, I experience strain and drain, so I cannot go outside without feeling uncomfortable and unsafe, because I do not physically navigate as well as I once did before.
As of today, I still struggle to adjust and cope with the gradual loss of my eyesight. That said, with a heavy heart, I feel even more helpless, scattered and less understood as a result.
Please note, I am not expressing myself in order for people to feel sorry for me. I am only sharing the way I currently see and feel, in order to highlight the fact that life truly is a gift. One must consciously appreciate your authentic self to maintain your own value within the face of change.
It's super easy, if one is in relatively stable condition physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually, to believe that life is smooth and comfortable. Because when life is good, one most probably does not have to proactively think about how their individual circumstances can possibly be improved. It’s only when one is at a standstill or down in the dumps, that one starts to self-evaluate and investigate their own life from the inside out, rather than the outside in.
Often, the more privileges one has, the greater the need and desire for more. For example, imagine living in a 1,500-square-foot house and then moving into a 5,000-square-foot house. More or less, it's easier for a person to physically move from a smaller space into a bigger space. On the flip side, it's probably tougher for an individual moving from a mansion into a small trailer house because they are most likely used to the luxury of more space. Hence, if you are downsizing, it takes more determination and willpower to enhance and upgrade your life for your highest good. Hardships are the same way; the lighter days may be easier, but the most challenging times force you to dig deeper within yourself to help you decide what better serves you and what does not bring you joy.
That said, I’m always forced to adjust to change because my vision fluctuates from one moment to the next, literally. Simple experiences, like going for a ten-minute ride outside of my town, become a rare treat, almost like a vacation, due to the fact that I don't drive. However, because of my ongoing change of physical vision, God has also given me the strength and courage to experience uplifting and positive change within my life.
My point is to acknowledge and be wide awake to the gifts God has given you, right here, right now. Even physically reading this blog is a true gift in and of itself for many, because blind people or the mentally challenged do not have that golden advantage of doing so.
For me, choosing to go within and experiencing vision loss can feel quite lonesome. While I am losing my eyesight, I am razor sharp focused on increasing my pure insight. Your situation may differ from mine, however, you can use my sense of wisdom as a blueprint. By concentrating on your inner gifts, you can persevere through anything and everything. If you are diligent, consistent and full of faith in yourself, I believe that you, too, can fly through any hardship and land on the other side with great resilience.
By, Amla Mehta
If you’d like to read more about my personal challenges along the path of vision loss, please read my book, "Eye With a View," which you can buy here.