Sunday, July 15, 2007

Lessons I've Learned Since I've Been Working

It’s very difficult for me to not use some space on my blog to discuss some of my experiences at work. Some of the pivotal experiences in my entire life have occurred in the last 45 days on my job. But I will respect and adhere to my intuition that my public blog is not the appropriate place to discuss much of anything that has to do with work.

However, I will quickly point out some very critical lessons that I have learned since I’ve been working at this particular place of employment.

1. I’ve learned that I need to be more thankful. Being blind is certainly one of the worst things that can happen to someone. But trust me, there are certainly more worse things that a person may be forced to deal with in their life. I’ve gotten a chance to witness some of those terrible things since I’ve been working.
Yeah, I can’t see. But I am pretty functional. I’m able to move independently, to think, to laugh, to make others laugh, to create, to engage, to be in control of my faculties, to be in charge of my destiny. Some people really don’t have that luxury. I’m so thankful that I do.

2. I own my disability. It is mine. So, that means that no one has the right to take it from me and use it against me. Someone tried to do that to me on my job, and they almost were successful. But I snapped out of it and realized that I am in charge of this thing called my blindness. So, I snatched that power out of her hand before she was able to beat me down with it, and used it right back against her.
I might not like my blindness. I might not have asked for it. I might not even want it. But whatever the case, it is mine. Therefore, I choose how and when it will be used.
If I want to use it to get in the front of a long line at a Broadway show, then I can.
If I want to use it to get out of doing something that I don’t want to do, then I can.
If I want to use it to get something I want, then I can.
If I want to use it to make a point, then I can.
At the end of the day, this thing is mine. So, I call the shots as it relates to how it will be used. I think that’s only fair.

3. Assistive technology doesn’t completely level the playing field, but it certainly makes a life a lot better for those of us who need some work place accommodations. The truth is that without technology, I, the very smart, brilliant, captivating Angela, would not be able to do this job. I thank God for technology. And I hope as the days, weeks, and months roll by, more and more technology is created to help people with physical challenges compete in this cut throat world we live in. It’s survival of the fittest. And the fact is technology helps me be fit to survive in this thing called life.

4. Pain and pleasure have something in common. The longer you experience it, the less the pain and pleasure remain as potent. Let me explain… Have you ever entered a stinky room, and after you sat in there for a while, the smell began to fade? Well, that’s because your brain helps you adjust to the environment.
It’s the same way with something that is good. I love cheesecake. But I can only eat so much before I start feeling flushed. And somehow at the very end of the cheesecake, the pleasure that I experienced on the tip of my tongue is just not as pleasurable as it was when the cheesecake first hit my taste buds. The pleasure of eating cheesecake is off the chain. But I can’t overwhelm myself with it. If I eat too much, what was good to me, starts tasting bland and starts to make my skin feel weird. (Strange, but true...)
And pain is the same way. After you hurt so long, the pain begins to numb and feel less intense.
That’s why I’m glad that I didn’t let my pain trick me into quitting my job. As I continued to go to work each day, the pain that I thought was so terrible began to fade. Whether or not I was healed from what was causing me so much pain or I just adjusted to it, is really not important to me. I’m just glad that I didn’t let my pain dictate to me how I should respond to it.

Of course, I’ve learned much more, but I’ll stop right here. Now you know, when my stint is over at my place of employment, I’m going to let it rip. LOL But until then, I have to keep quiet.

Until we meet again, be blessed and overwhelmed with God’s love, kindness, and strength. BTW: You should try talking to Him. He’s listening, and He’s concerned.

Love and hugs,

Angela L. Braden

No comments: