Saturday, July 9, 2011

Brave Enough to Be Different

by Carrie

I remember several moments when growing up that my pale skin and white hair were an attraction for questions.  They came from children in the most truthful form and with hesitation from adults. Both were curious and all questions were an attempt to erase ignorance. 

I was born with albinism and the directly related visual impairment. Though the visual impairment plays a part in how I do things the white hair and pale skin become the symbol of something different.  As a child with a difference it was hard to blend in but as an adult conforming or blending in is not as important. I still get questions but they are not as harsh or challenging as they once felt. 

The other AWE ladies are not so different. At least I see more in common than different. If anything was to be pointed out I suppose it would be the lack of eyesight and the ability to drive. All four of us have a very similar mindset towards life and our passion. The way in which we go about our lives is no more different than that of any other group of individuals. We all are sportswomen. 

My life in sports and in everyday tasks have been molded and reshaped by a creativity in order to adapt and adjust with my disability.  

While growing up many are taught to believe that different is something negative. I did not realize that different could be positive until high school. I am artist and did not realize the scope of my skill until my peers saw my work.  They were very receptive and then they asked more questions that usually started with “HOW?”   

Now, fifteen years later, I have learned many lessons because of my disability and the challenges I face. I try to express by my experience as an artist proves following your dreams or reaching for a goal requires creativity. As an athlete I must continue to dig deep within myself to find something unfamiliar and redefining of my potential. Both art and sports share in this respect for the rules and guidelines but exude that the exceptional soon become the norm.    

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