Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Lessons of 2008

This year was a strange year for me. Although I am absolutely sure that turbulence met me more than a few times this year, it is somewhat difficult for me to document what exactly I learned from it or how it really impacted me, without just sitting down and having a significant moment of introspection. Interestingly, all of the things that I went through seem to be smashed/compacted/pressed/boxed together in a way that’s awfully confounding to me. All of my experiences, even though they are unrelated, seem to be all rolled up into one dense, bulky object in my mind. But nevertheless, I will try to make sense of it all.

Let me say this, before I start documenting on this blog what I’ve learned this year. In the past, there were some years that I went through some things that left me baffled, searching for clues, wondering if everything I believed in was true. But this year, although I went through a lot, I don’t feel as exhausted or effected by some of the adversity that came my way. Yes, I had definite moments that I felt annoyed or stressed. But overall, I think that I handled the problems of this year with maturity and wisdom. It’s either that, or I’m becoming numb. But I don’t think it is the ladder. At least, I hope not. **smile**

What did I learn this year?

1. I learned to put Angie B. on the top of the list of priorities. It’s been hard and a major step for me to say that I finally been motivated enough to actually put me at the top of the list of things and people that I classify as important or worthy of my emotional, physical, spiritual, and financial resources. But I have finally decided that putting me on the top of the list is not selfish. It doesn’t mean that I love my family and friends any less. It just means that in order for me to continue loving them, in order for me to continue doing anything of significance, I have got to take care of Angie. I have got to let Angie experience some things that provide Angie pleasure. I have got to first consider what’s best for Angie, before considering what’s best for others. It just makes sense to live life that way. It’s best for me and any and everybody that’s around me.

2. I learned that my blindness is maybe not something to be “proud” of, but I don’t have to apologize, be ashamed of, and/or make an excuse for being blind. It is what it is. Yes, it is hard for me to fully grasp that idea. But I’m getting there one day at a time.
Ten years ago, I went to a conference for the blind. At this particular conference, the participants of the conference were declaring, “I am blind. And it is okay.”
I didn’t understand that declaration one bit. Yes, you’re blind. But okay? That was crazy to me. A paradox…
But now I get it. I understand why one must see themselves as both, blind and okay. Well, if you plan to stay sane, you better learn that you must decide that a situation that may indeed be permanent for you, is “okay.” If you plan on not being totally miserable in your skin, you better learn to adjust your thinking, so that you can see the situation you’re in as being “okay.” Not perfect, but okay… Not fun, but tolerable… Especially if you can’t do a dang thing to change it, you might as well learn to embrace what you have no other choice to live with.

3. I learned to own my blindness. I wrote about this in the summer already.
My blindness is mine. I may not want it. I may not like it. But it is mine. That means I get to use it like I want. And guess what… You don’t get to use it at all. It’s not yours to make that decision. So, get over yourself, and find someone else to try to control. Because me giving you the room to use what you deem as being a limitation as a weapon and/or tool to control me is over!
And because I have learned to take ownership of my blindness, and I now realize what that means, today, January 1, 2008, I declare that my blindness is no longer a limitation/impairment/disability. From this day forth, my blindness will be what extends me, what propels me, what catapults me, what expands me, what empowers me to walk in the destiny that I know that God has created for me.
**Y’all, I feel like shouting!**

Well, I’m going to stop right here. Perhaps in the next few days, I will add to this list of lessons that God taught me this year. In fact, I’m pretty sure that once I read through my blog entries for 2007, I will better recall more life lessons that impacted me this year. So, stay tuned for more “Lessons of 2007.”.

Also stay tuned for my new year resolutions. When I write them and publish them on this blog, it will be a contract between God, myself, and the universe to commit to accomplishing what has been placed in my heart by God to deliver in the year of 2008. So, check me out in a few days. I’ll post it by Friday.

Much love and happiness for the new year and the years to come,

Angela Braden
Triumphant Survivor of 2007

2 comments:

The Thinking Black Man said...

Hey ANGIE B.

Happy New Year! Sounds like you learned the stuff about yourself and your life is 2007 that some folks never learn in a lifetime!

My best to you and keep being the special person that God and the Universe made you to be.

Angie said...

Hey TTBM!!! I'm so honored that you dropped by to holla atcha girl. It's always a pleasure to get a comment from you.

Yes, I've learned a lot. But when I tell you, I have so much to learn. In fact, every single day, I realize how much I don't know, and how much I really need God to teach me about life.

I wish you the best. And as soon as I get computer access at my crib, I'll come over and check you out. No doubt, I've been missing the words and insight of The Thinking Black Man.

A