Wednesday, July 25, 2007

I Brake for Blind People.

This is yet another random thing about me that I've mentioned before. I brake for blind people. Wherever I am if I see a blind person struggling a bit, I offer to help. I've helped enough that I know the rules (1) Always offer first 2) Let them take your elbow and push you at their pace 3) Use descriptive words and like "left one step" not vagueness like "a little further, you're okay")

So two blind people entered my world yesterday. The first just an older man that was trying to navigate around the open cellar doors on 20th Street - easy.

The second one, I didn't help... I just stared. It was a young man. Maybe 25years old. VERY handsome.

It caught me a little off guard. I wanted to go up to him and offer to help, but not for the right reasons. I wanted to say "Gosh, you're handsome" but I felt like there would be an unspoken phrase at the end that I didn't intend.

He didn't really need help. He was navigating just fine on his own, but it threw me off. There was something extremely intriguing to me about the idea of dating someone that was very attractive, but that couldn't see me... couldn't see all my flaws.

I'm not actually going to pursue the stranger on the street. But still, it was an interesting moment for me to think about how I view myself. I'm certainly committed to helping people that need help - it makes me feel good. I will continue to help all blind people, not just the young, handsome ones, but more importantly... why was it so interesting to me to think about the possibility of not being seen? Is my body image so self-deprecating? Am I really that obsessed with my perceived flaws?

I have spent alot of my life feeling like I just wasn't "enough" for the people around me: not thin enough, not patient enough, not generous enough - unworthy in some way. It's also interesting to me to see that it doesn't work to just want to change how you feel about yourself - it's more insidious than that. You have to actively work out a different way to think or the old insecurities come creeping back in.

1 comment:

Kathryn said...

Case in point about why I may be a bit insane about my body image.

Student: Hey Kathryn, where do you get your clothes, the security guard and I were talking about you the other day. For a big girl, you really dress nicely.

Me: Uh... I get them all over. I love to shop

Me in my mind: Oh my gosh, I'm so fat... I need to exercise tonight even though I really need to do laundry. What does that mean "for a big girl" is that a compliment? God, I hate that. No one has any clue.

Me in my mind a minute later: Um, that student is not so small herself... she was giving you a compliment. Take it as a compliment!

But see... see why a blind man might seem like a nice option.