My goals for 2017

Hello everyone,

First of all happy New Year!

Now that we’ve entered a new year, I thought I’d do a post on my goals for 2017, then I can possibly look back on them at the end of the year and tell you whether I achieved them or not. I probably should have posted this yesterday but I didn’t have time so today will have to do! I’ve set myself some realistic goals, personally I think there’s no point setting yourself things that you know you won’t be able to achieve. I’m all about chasing your dreams but I think it’s important to know what’s realistic and what isn’t. So here are my goals for 2017!

Graduate from university with a first or a 2:1.

Yes I’m aiming high here, but it’s something that I want to achieve. With the right amount of effort, support and motivation I think I could achieve this. My best friend is always saying to me that I’m constantly working too hard and never stop so let’s hope the hard work pays off! We graduate in a beautiful location so I really would like to have the opportunity to experience that.

Continue my career

I want to continue working with blind and visually impaired people and this is something I would like to maintain in 2017 when I graduate. There’s a lot of articles and statistics around about disabled people not being in employment, also the gap between disabled and non-disabled people is very high and employers not always seeing disabled people to their full potential and honestly this does scare me. I’m not one to sit around and do nothing, so I’m hoping this pays off.

Keep blogging

This is one of my biggest passions and I don’t have any intention of giving up soon, but I don’t want it to slip. Balancing university work, work, other commitments, blogging and a social life can be hard and I can only imagine this would be harder as I enter the world of full time work but I love blogging so my goal is to continue doing so.

Raise more awareness of visual impairment/disability and educate others

I try and use blogging as a platform to do this but I think there needs to be a lot more awareness out there. There are many misconceptions around disability and I think people should be educated on such topics. I want to educate others on the real light of having a disability in the hope that it tackles the stigma and perceptions surrounding disability.

Be healthy

In the last couple of years I’ve suffered from overactive thyroid, anaemia and most recently chronic inflammation of the iris; whilst these aren’t major health problems and I know that things could be 10 times worse, I think staying healthy is important.

Be a good friend/family member

Quality over quantity, all the way! I like to think I’m a good friend/family member, please do correct me if I’m wrong. I think spending time with the ones closest to you is so important. I want to be there for my friends and family when they need me as they’re always there for me.

So those are my goals for 2017. That concludes today’s post, I hope you enjoyed getting to know a little insight into my goals for 2017! What are yours? Let me know in the comments.

Holly x

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My Favourite Memories of 2016

Hello!

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas! I just wanted to start off by saying a huge thank you for all your support in 2016, it has truly been incredible and I cannot tell you how much I really do appreciate it. It’s hard to believe that I’ll have been blogging for two years in January. I really upped by blogging game in 2016 and really put my mind to it, trying my best to get my blog out there and noticed. I know I’m not one of the most popular bloggers and I doubt I ever will be but I’m really pleased with the progress I’ve made with my blog this year, it’s reached milestones that I never thought I’d achieve.

In this post, I wanted to write about some of my favourite memories of 2016, it’s been a pretty rubbish year with everything that’s gone on in the world and for me personally, but there have also been some good times for me too so I wanted to share them with you all. I’ve tried to do it in chronological order, I hope you enjoy!

 

Putting my blog out there

It was only at the start of 2016 that I created a Facebook page for my blog and it’s really helped get my blog out there and I’ve received some lovely messages from my readers.

I also started doing guest posts at the start of 2016 and received requests from sight loss charities and organisations asking me to write a post for them. I felt truly humbled and this was a huge achievement for me. You can check out all the guest posts I’ve written so far in my portfolio.

 

Volunteering on an Action for Blind Family Weekend

This was such a big step for me. When I graduate from university I am hoping to work in the sight loss sector so volunteering on this weekend really did give me some great experience. One of the things that I did was help run a talk on education for blind and visually impaired young people which allowed me to explain my own tips, give my own account and experiences and answer any questions that the families had. This was something that I thoroughly loved doing. It was something completely new but I felt that I gained many skills and valuable experience from doing so.

 

Passing my second year of university

Second year of university is such a huge jump from the first, anyone that’s been to university will know exactly what I mean! Back in 2015, during the first semester of second year, I wasn’t sure if I was even doing the right degree, I’d gone from wanting to be a primary school teacher to not having the first clue of what I wanted to do. But I figured it out, now I’m working towards getting that degree and working with other blind and visually impaired people when I graduate. I finished second year of university with a 2:1 which I worked so hard to get, it set me up nicely for my third and final year.

 

Celebrating passing second year of university with my friends

Everyone was together, we were all extremely proud of each other and it was just a great time.

 

Getting my first job

I’ve wanted a job since I was around the age of 16 and tried ever since to find a VI person friendly job if you get my drift! I started as a volunteer for LOOK UK in the summer and was employed as a Project Worker a couple of months down the line. It’s such a huge achievement for me as not only am I gaining experience in the field that I want to work in when I graduate university but I also can work hard and earn money just like my sighted friends. It’s given me so many skills and I am really enjoying it so far.

 

Attending Sight Village

I’ve never been to an exhibition like this before, it was an opportunity for me to see the latest technology and services that are available for blind and visually impaired people. I got passenger assistance for the first time when I was travelling down to Birmingham for the event and it didn’t go as planned, I have discussed this in a previous post. That experience really opened my eyes and possibly made me even more determined to not let my visual impairment be a barrier, even when things go wrong.

 

Being featured in RNIB connect Magazine.

This was a real shock for me as I read the Connect Magazine, so to be asked to be featured in it was wonderful.

 

Getting my OrCam.

The OrCam is a marvellous piece of equipment and it has had a huge impact on my life.

 

My family holiday

This was such a lovely holiday, I had time to relax and spend quality time with my mum and dad. It’s important to have family time with those that mean the most to you.

 

Meeting my best friend

Some of you will know her as Elin from the blog My Blurred World. This was by far one of my favourite memories of 2016, it was genuinely such a lovely day. We’d been speaking for over a year and finally got to meet in person. We got to know each other through blogging so that day was so special for the both of us. She lives over 150 miles away so you really do have to treasure moments like that. We’ve helped each other through a lot in 2016, the good and the bad and constantly stuck by each other whilst we’ve both had people we cared about walk away, helped each other through the rough times, given each other the kick up the bum when we’ve needed it and I think that’s true friendship. I’m so excited for more memories with her in 2017.

 

Becoming more confident using a cane

I wouldn’t say that this happened at a specific point but I feel that I have become more confident and comfortable when using my cane over the last couple of years, even more so in 2016.

 

My 21st birthday

I spent the weekend before my birthday with a close friend and my actual birthday with my family which was special to me. Family really are so important.

 

Reaching 10,000 views on my blog

This happened a few weeks ago, and it’s crazy to think that I have had over 10,000 views on my little corner of the internet!

Those are a few of my memories of 2016, I hope you’ve enjoyed this post. I would just like to thank you again for your continued support in 2016, it really does mean the world to me! I really hope you’ll stick with me as I continue my blogging journey in 2017.

I would like to wish you all a happy New Year and wish you all the best for 2017!

Once again, thank you.

Holly x

Fall Favourites Tag

Hello everyone,

I hope you’re all well. Today’s post isn’t disability related but I was tagged to do the ‘fall favourites tag’ by the amazing My Blurred World so thought I’d complete it.

I will hopefully be back with a visual impairment/disability related post for you later in the week (time permitting) but in the meantime here’s a little post for you all!

  1. Favourite candle?

It has to be a Yankee candle!

2. Favourite lip product?

I quite like lipsticks, I don’t really have a specific favourite at the moment though.

3. Favourite nail polish?

I don’t really get expensive nail polishes so it’d have to be something good but cheap like No7.

4. Favourite trendy clothing item?

At the moment it’s my long cardigan.

5. Favourite comfy item?

I’d have to say a fluffy jumper, they can keep you nice and warm but look really stylish too.

6. Favourite shoes?

Definitely my Ugg boots!

7. Favourite accessory?

My Tiffany bracelet.

8. Halloween or Thanksgiving?

We don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in the UK and I’m not that fussed about Halloween now that I’m older so neither.

9. Favourite drink?

Hot chocolate.

10. What’s the happiest part about fall for you?

The cosy nights in with a lovely hot chocolate or a walk with my family on a chilly day.

11. Who do you tag?

Lucy – Yesterdays Wishes Rach – Beauty With Rach Emily Davison – Fashioneyesta and Megan – Books and Beauty

I hope you enjoyed this post. I will hopefully be back later in the week with another post but if not it’ll definitely be up next week so stay tuned!

Holly x

Letter To My Younger Self

Hello and welcome back to Life of a Blind girl, I hope you’re all well.

Before we get into today’s blog post I’d just like to thank you for your feedback and your continued support. Thank you to those of you that take time out of your day to email me, tweet me etc to give me feedback on my blog, it means the world!

 

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and reflecting on things recently. On Sunday it was two years since I received my a-level results and found out that I had got into my first choice university. I remember that day so clearly, it was a whirl-wind of emotions. Thinking about that more in-depth I’ve realised how I’ve changed as a person and how my life has changed over the last few years. I am proud of the person that I’ve become and what I’ve achieved so far. I am a lot happier now, I’ve learnt to embrace my visual impairment and I am happy with the person that I am today.

I thought I’d write an ‘letter to my younger self’ post, in the hope that it might help younger people, possibly going through similar situations to myself. Growing up is difficult, even more so when you have a visual impairment or another disability.

This post is written as if I were 16 to my 20-year-old self now. I hope that makes sense, if you’re confused at all then please do get in touch.

Enjoy!

 

You need to prepare yourself, you’re going to be starting you’re a-levels and they aren’t going to be easy. The next two years are probably going to be the toughest two years of your life so far, you’re going to be stressed to the maximum. Sixth form isn’t going to be what you expected, in fact you’re going to hate it but you’ve just got to get through it because bigger and better things are going to come along. Trust me when I say this, stick at it, it’ll all be worth it and do not, ever, give up! There will be times when you really want to and quitting seems like the only option but you can do it and you are going to come out stronger on the other side.

You always say ‘I can’t do it’ but that’s because you think you can’t, but in reality you know you can and so do those closest to you. Believe those when they say that you can do it because chances are, they know best. There’s people in your life that know you better than you know yourself so don’t forget that.

Don’t let your lack of confidence hold you back, you need to believe in yourself. I know it’s easier said than done but you need to start to do so. If you start to become more confident then you will be a lot happier and you’ll notice how your life will change for the better. It will make you so much more independent.

You’ve wanted a music career since you were little and planned to study music at university right? Well that’s going to change but don’t let that take you off track because this change will be a lot better for you. You’ve always been passionate about helping others, well that’s exactly what you want to do in the future and your degree will help you reach that goal. University is going to be one of the best decisions that you ever made. You’re going to become much more confident and it’s going to give you so many opportunities so make sure you go and grab those opportunities with both hands.

Your plans for the future are going to change a few times over the next few years, but don’t let that throw you off balance because you’ll be a lot happier with your new career choice. You’re going to go from wanting to be a social worker, to a teacher and all sort of other careers but you will finally make a decision. You are going to want to help other visually impaired people like yourself because you know first hand what life is like living with a disability. Make sure you strive to do this!

Your visual impairment is going to open many doors for you; including work and voluntary opportunities. You’d have never thought that would you? Whenever you’re having a down day, then think to yourself, ‘would I have been in this position otherwise?’ Who knows. But there is some good in having a disability.

You’ve never really mixed with other visually impaired people that much but as you’re getting older, you’re going to make lifelong visually impaired friends. You’re going to wonder what you’d have ever done without these people in your life so hold onto them. You’re also going to make new sighted friends and make sure you hold onto these as well. Not all your friendships will be like the typical experiences you’ve had at school. Put that all behind you and focus on the future.

If something is not right or you’re not getting support then tell people, start to stand up for yourself more. This will improve your confidence and will get you a lot further in life.

You will cope, and you will get through all the rough patches. Times are going to be hard and very stressful but they won’t last forever, and you’ll find your happiness. All the stress will be worth it in the end.

You’re going to struggle but they are going to make you into a much more stronger and independent person. Between the ages of 18-21 you’re going to be the happiest than you’ve ever been, so keep going.

One huge tip: pick up that white cane! It’s not as scary as you first thought. Put the bad past experiences behind you because you’re going to need to be fully independent later on. Who cares what others think about your visual impairment anyway? Embrace your disability. Independence is key.

Everything happens for a reason and everyone has their ups and downs and dark times. You’re a strong person with so much to offer, so keep going, hold on to the people around you and most of all, do not be afraid to be yourself.

 

I hope you enjoyed this post and that the words of advice to my younger self helped some of you!

Once again thank you for your continued support!

Holly x

The TMI tag

Hello,

Today’s post isn’t disability related but I was tagged by the lovely My Blurred World to do ‘the TMI tag’ so I thought i’d fill it in for you all to get to know a little more about me 🙂

 

1: What are you wearing?

I’ve been writing an essay all day so i’m just wearing comfy leggings and a top.

2: Ever been in love?

No.

3: Ever had a terrible breakup?

No.

4: How tall are you?

I am about 5 ft 3 inches…I think.

5: How much do you weigh?

7 stone something.

6: Any tattoos?

Nope.

7: Any piercings?

Ears.

8: OTP?

I can’t decide!

9: Favorite show?

EastEnders lol.

10: Favorite bands?

My favourite band is JLS (don’t judge me). My favourite solo artist  of all time is Jessie J and my current favourites are Ellie Drennan and Lauren Aquilina.

11: Something you miss?

My Nan and Grandad.

12: Favorite song?

Jessie J – Who You Are.

13: How old are you?

20.

14: Zodiac sign?

Scorpio.

15: Quality you look for in a partner?

Someone that is genuine and has a good personality.

16: Favorite Quote?

Does a lyric count? My favourite lyric is ‘just be true to who you are’. But my favourite quote is probably ‘life is a waste of time if you’re anything but who you are’.

17: Favorite actor?

I don’t really have one.

18: Favorite color?

I only have light perception so colours can sometimes be a bit tricky for me to recognise but i’d say pink.

19: Loud music or soft?

Depends on what kind of mood I’m in.

20: Where do you go when you’re sad?

I listen to music in my bedroom.

21: How long does it take you to shower?

I’d say about an average of 15-20 minutes.

22: How long does it take you to get ready in the morning?

It depends really but if it’s a typical day where i’m getting ready to go to uni then about an hour.

23: Ever been in a physical fight?

No.

24: Turn on?

Good sense of humour, kindness.

25: Turn off?

Arrogance.

26: The reason I joined Youtube/blogging?

I started blogging because I wanted to share my experiences of being a blind person in a rather predominantly sighted world to help other blind or visually impaired people, also to educate non-disabled people on sight loss and raise awareness.

27: Fears?.

Losing my light perception. Also losing the people I love.

28: Last thing that made you cry?

I got really stressed out over an essay and just sat and cried about it.

29: Last time you said you loved someone?

Earlier on to My Blurred World because she’s an incredible friend!

30: Meaning behind your YouTube/blog Name?

I’m sharing my life as a blind girl so that’s where ‘Life Of a Blind Girl’ came from.

31: Last book you read?

If I stay by Gayle Forman.

32: The book you’re currently reading?

I am not currently reading anything at the moment.

33: Last show you watched?

The Voice Australia (because Jessie J is a coach).

34: Last person you talked to?

My mum.

35: The relationship between you and the person you last texted?

Best friend.

36: Favorite food?

Pizza.

37: Place you want to visit?

New York, Italy, California, LA, Australia.

38: Last place you were?

In my garden.

39: Do you have a crush?

No.

40: Last time you kissed someone?

Let’s skip this one aha?

41: Last time you were insulted?

No idea actually.

42: Favorite flavor of sweet?

Cola bottles, strawberry or orange.

43: What instruments do you play?

Flute.

44: Favorite piece of jewellery?

My Tiffany & Co bracelet.

45: Last sport you played?

I don’t play sport.

46: Last song you sang?

Dear Life by Delta Goodrem.

47: Favorite chat up line?

I don’t have one.

48: Have you ever used it?

I don’t have one and I doubt i’d use it anyway.

49: Last time you hung out with anyone?

Earlier on today.

50: Who should answer these questions next?

I nominate Thinking Out Loud – Sassy Style Elzthebelz and Beauty With Rach have fun girls!

I hope you enjoyed this post. Feel free to answer the questions or leave any of your answers to the questions in the comments!

 

Holly x

Staying positive

As we’re approaching the end of 2015 I thought I’d do a blog on staying positive and keeping your head held high when things get too hard, this is something that I’ve had to do a lot in the last few months as I’ve gone into my second university. I’m not going to lie, there’s been many times over the last few months, for years even (more than people know), where I’ve wanted to quit university and just give up, where things have gotten too much and assignments are too hard unless you actually sit and think about them. So, how and why am I still carrying on?

Well, it’s pretty simple, I want a good job in the future and I want to make something of myself. I want to say “you know what, yes I’m blind but I’ve got a degree and I’m proud of what I achieved.”

Sometimes I often wonder why am I even doing this; I often think I’m going to fail and that’s honestly one of the things that scares me the most. What if I let myself and others down? But you won’t succeed if you don’t try, if you fail or things don’t work out and you know deep down you tried, that’s all that matters. No one can say that you didn’t try and do your best!

I just keep thinking to myself that I’m going to come out with a good degree at the end of these three years and get somewhere in life.

If there’s one thing that I’ve learned over the last few months that if you’ve got a problem and you’re struggling to sort it yourself, talk about it to someone, and ask for help. It’s not a sign of weakness or that you’re not coping, sometimes we just need some help and support and that’s ok.

I’ve also learnt to surround myself with people that love me for who I am. For years in school, it became even more apparent in sixth form that I wasn’t popular and that didn’t bother me. The thing that bothered me the most was the fact that people wouldn’t look beyond my disability and see me for who I really am, my disability doesn’t define me. Trust me, now that I have people around me that look beyond my disability I’m so much happier and a more positive and confident person. It’s crazy what a difference it makes.

Someone said to me the other day that I always seem happy and always so relaxed about things. It got me thinking so that’s why I decided to write this post. I’m far from that, I have my down days and I stress about every little thing. I do try to hide it sometimes but sometimes I just need to let it all out. Imagine a big ball of stress…yep that’s me on the inside. I’m a worrier, overthinker and get stressed about everything. Sometimes we just need to be selfish and try to help ourselves. We often live in silence and don’t talk about what’s bothering us, we bottle it up. In society if we do talk we’re often seen as attention seeking, but if you need to get something off your chest do it. Everybody has down days, days where they feel like they can’t do it anymore. We all have those days where we just want to stay in bed and switch off from the world. But face your problems, you’re not alone. No one can save you until you save yourself. Out of any moment of darkness can actually be the brightest if you allow yourself to learn from it and grow from it.

 

I don’t even know if this blog makes sense to any of you or even if anyone reads my blog posts anymore but if you do and this helps you even the tiniest bit, that’s all that matters. Remember: it’s going to be okay. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel.