Successes and Challenges of The Blind Immigrant

Adapted from a speech this is a start to a future memoir. As Forest Gump once said, “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.” With that being said, I never knew that my life would end up being the way that it is. When I was three, I had a laser surgery on both eyes to repair a minor retina disfunction. Of course, everyone including me thought that everything would go as planned, but that wasn’t the case when I woke up completely blind. It felt very unexpected and weird not be able to see, and it took me and my family to adjust to it being a reality. Going from seeing to feeling my world totally through touch and sound was a bit of a learning curve. This was a shocker for me, because I was now plunged in to a world that I thought I would never come in contact with. So from that point on, I have adjusted myself to the ends and outs of this relm.

To further complicate things, at the age of five, another erratic event changed my life forever in an unexpected way. I became an immigrant! I moved from my home country of Bulgaria to the U.S., where I have been living since. Because of this change, I started school as a blind person, learned the techniques needed to succeed, and I have set my life up in the direction that I want it to go.

Of course, a couple of years ago, I found out that I didn’t just need educational tools to help me succeed in the long run, but I also needed the skills and techniques of everyday living to help me survive this crazy world and its realities.

So, to kick off the adulthood chapter of my life, I moved up to Minnesota almost two years ago, and I went to an adjustment to blindness adult program in Minneapolis, where I learned these skills of survival that include cane travel techniques and cooking as examples. This is why you see me here before you today.

With all of these events that have unexpectedly occurred in my past to make me the person that I am, I’m here to inform you that not everybody’s life is going to turn out the same, especially the way we ourselves might want it to go.