Tuesday, January 22, 2008

I'm Here

I know that I haven't been posting, but I've just been so busy at work and at home. Plus, not having any computer access at home is a bummer. I will make sure to post something this week. Even though I don't feel like blogging, I do realize that I have a few that look to read some of my writings. So, please forgive me as I'm pushing through this dry spell.

Well, until we meet again, I hope all is well. And if you are going through like I am, just hold on. If you keep the faith and refuse to let trouble swallow you up, this storm will surely pass.

Much love,


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

My 2008 Accomplishments

Here are a few of my accomplishments in 2008 that I think are worthy enough to be mentioned on my blog.
**these accomplishments are not listed in chronological order, nor are they ranked in importance. I’m just listing them as I think of them.**

 I completed the graduate program in Speech Communications at Texas Southern University. I don’t really think it is a big deal. But when I sit down and think about how I, a totally blind woman, have earned a masters degree, I realize that, maybe not for me and my standards, but for others, it really is a big deal, an accomplishment, if you will.
 I graduated from the masters program with a 3.96 GPA. (Yeah, I know I’m bad!) Would’ve had a 4.0 if it wasn’t for one of my professors giving me an A minus rather than a straight up A. But whatever… When you look at my transcript it has nothing but A’s on it.
 I convinced my manager to offer me a job as a counselor, even when I wasn’t convinced that I could do the job myself. During my interview, I was even shocked at how good I was at answering her questions. I handled myself in that interview with class, finesse, and straight up brilliance. That was nothing but God. (Thank you Lord for hooking me up with some favor and influence in that interview.)
 I convinced myself that I had the skills, expertise, and the insight that is required to be a good counselor. After working as a counselor for a few months, even though my manager and my mentor expressed full confidence in me, I wasn’t sure if I could “really” do the job. After working hard to do my very best, and noticing that my best was pretty good, I became convinced that I was indeed capable of providing excellent counseling services to disabled citizens in Texas.
 I didn’t quit my job when what felt like boiling water was splashed on me by a fellow employee. Instead of cutting and running, I stood my ground. Yes, my legs may have been wobbling while I was standing. But I stood and let the whole world know, including myself, that I am strong enough, bold enough, wise enough, and blessed enough to rise above any adversity that comes my way.
 I didn’t quit my job all those times that I felt like the commute was too much. I have to travel 47 miles to get to work. Even though I felt like turning in my resignations so many times after I got through filling our car up with George Bush’s expensive gas, I didn’t quit. I kept going to work and kept filling the car’s tank up with the over priced fuel. Maybe I am more committed to my job than I thought…
 In the spring of 2007, I celebrated my 100th blog entry, as well as Nuvision’s anniversary. To actually stay on task with this blog to post 100 entries and to actually do it for a year was major for me. (this year, I will celebrate 2-years as the author of Nuvision for a Nuday. But that will go on my list of accomplishments a year from now.)
 I engaged in some of the most exciting, challenging, and insightful exchanges in some of the blogs out here in the blogosphere. Boy, I tell you that some of the discussions that I found myself giving my input on were full of controversy and intrigue. But I managed to hang in there and hold down what I believed, without being bullied off the board. On one particular blog, I blogged using an avatar rather than my real name. But most of the time, I blogged under “Angie”, which is basically me, the real me. Anybody that is familiar with the blogs that I post to, should know how to find my blog. Plus, most of the times, there is a link to my blog when I post comments in certain places. But I digress… (Was that really an accomplishment? Well, it feels like an accomplishment after you get through winning a major battle of words on some of these blogs.)
 A friend of mine called me and asked me to commit to a major project that required me to sit my behind down and create a product with the written word. I am so proud that I actually started writing and kept writing until I was finished. On New Year’s Eve, I fedexed the manuscript to him for his review and approval. (Hopefully, in a few weeks, I’ll be making a grand announcement regarding this project.)
 I traveled to Los Angeles twice and had a fabuloso time! My friend, Miko, as usual provided me with a much needed good time when I was in LA to visit her. And yes, I consider relaxation and fun an accomplishment for me. If you only knew what I’ve been through in the last few years, you would understand why I consider my trips to LA an accomplishment.

Hopefully next year, I’ll be able to report even more accomplishments.

I’m sure you accomplished some things this year too. Share with me please. What are some of the things you accomplished this year?

Well, keep on accomplishing whatever it is you set out to achieve this year. I pray the best for you as you journey through this maze we call life.