This week I published my 100th post. I have a dear friend that says I keep a lot of walls up. Upon first meeting people, that is probably very true. With the anonymity of the web, I think I let most of those walls drop and let people discover what it is like to have seizure so severe it left no option but surgery. Then epilepsy returned. I lost eyesight, but I kept a vision of glory days not only being a thing of the past but a hope for what lies ahead in the future also. And so, walls down and my mind open to anything I feel you can learn from, I started my blog FindingStrengthToStandAgain to help you and me learn a little more about life when we’re too stubborn to let disabilities take over when we have so many abilities to share.
1.) Post #1: The first post, Hello World, was published September 13, 2010.
This blog was started after a lengthy email exchange between a research student and me. He asked a few questions about prosopagnosia. I responded. He asked a few more. My responses grew and grew until it was no longer a simple reply; rather, it grew into a large paper. How Are You? Finding clues to identify the stranger is now close to 20,000 words and takes up 66 pages. I am grateful for the time he spent making me truly think about prosopagnosia. The writing not only helped me understand how I deal with everyday situations, but also allowed me an outlet to teach other people the impact face blindness has and how it can successfully be dealt with. Instead of keeping this conversation between the two of us, I started blogging some of my answers for everyone to read. Soon my posts took off in different directions of various subjects I wanted to explore.
2.) Most Viewed Post: Lessons from the Willow Tree
I am glad I took the time to record this event in my life. Epilepsy surgery had given me a reprieve from seizures for eight years. This post was written the week following my first tonic-clonic after those eight years. This is one of my favorite posts to look back on and help me keep in mind I always have had, and always will have, the strength and determination to stand again.
3.) Post Most Often Shared: The Partially Blind Librarian
As far as not letting things slow me down, this post was a great example. I have homonymous hemianopia. Half of my world will always be completely black. I cannot identify anyone by looking at their face let alone dozens of staff members and over eight hundred children I worked with at this elementary school. Yet, instead of focusing on reasons why I couldn’t become the librarian, I only focused on the fact too many children were being denied the opportunity to read books. Now, looking back, I truly recognize the difference I was allowed to make for many. I am very grateful for this door that was opened to me. Thank you again Heart of America and Target for providing the gift of books and love of reading that will remain with these children forever.
4.) Most Commented Post: Perspective of an Epileptic Growing Up
My “About Me” page really has a few more comments, but that has been up since I first started this blog. Perspective of an Epileptic Growing Up was published February 15, 2012 and has nearly as many. While writing this post, I had tears streaming down my face. Sometimes, really thinking about what all I have been through is painful. Yet, I was still able to laugh when I prepared the post on WordPress and added the picture. My daughters are silly, and my heart nearly explodes sometimes it is so filled with love.
5.) Where people go from here: The most common link people click on when reading through my blog is the interview I had on NBC’s Today Show.
This segment led to another television interview, interviews for magazines and web postings all around the world. Hundreds of thousands of people learned about prosopagnosia that day and in the weeks that followed. It was another forward step in my goal to educate others.
6.) The author of this blog: In case this is the first time we are meeting, here is a little more About Me.
Please, tell me a little bit about yourself. Everyone has a story to tell, I am eager to have you share yours with me.
I am still learning about what it takes to be a “good blogger”. I only send something out when I think what I wrote will make you walk away having learned something and given you something to continue thinking about. Yet, as I said, I am still learning. I am grateful for the time you take to read these posts. Your time is important to me. What can I do better to help make the most of it?
7.) What am I most grateful for? YOU! Thank you.
Thank you for reading the words I type. Thank you for being concerned about the issues I discuss. I know some of you stopping by are family members and friends I have known for years. I have not had the good fortune to meet most of you. When I saw the number of views of my blog reached twenty that first day, I was so excited I called my family into the room. As the numbers grew, so did my surprise and joy. The numbers continued to grow; I knew I had found a sense of purpose I never could have predicted. Sometimes experiences in our past prepare us for a journey in the future we could never have imagined. When I passed ten thousand hits, my heart swelled; I was so grateful and joyful. In these 100 posts, it is your browsing, clicking, subscribing and sharing that provided me with an immense amount of gratitude. I am only, humbly, able to express this gratitude with these simple words, “Thank You”.