The first question I get after people find out I am legally blind, and that it’s uncorrectable with glasses or contacts is; what can you see?
Such a difficult question.
Technically, I have to be twenty feet away from something a person with 20/20 vision can see from six hundred feet away.
Still doesn’t compute, does it?
I figured, but describing what I see is just as hard as describing the blue in the sky. It’s beautiful… and blue. You’d think as a writer I would be able to describe that better but I can’t.
I can tell you I love the way it feels in a clear day when the wind is just right and the smell of grass is floating on the air…. but the sky is still just blue.
So I thought I would do a picture show and tell.
Is it weird that I like to take lots of pictures, even though I can’t always see? It’s okay. I know it’s weird.
The images on the left are what I can see, (to the best of my ability to doctor the photos). The images on the right are what a person with 20/20 vision sees, no filters no doctoring.
Firstly, I must explain that because of my congenital condition, my eyes are missing a pigment that allows them to adjust to bright light. During the day under a bright sun, I get what I call light blindness. Also, because my vision is so impaired, I don’t recognize color. I am not colorblind per-say, but unless it is an extremely bright color, I won’t be able to see it. For this reason, I have a fondness for yellow and pink. Finally, I am both nearsighted and farsighted. Makes things fun.
This first image was taken on a beach in Mexico. Thanks to my awesome sister I was able to navigate up and down steep steps and not break my neck.
When I’m with people in public, it is very difficult for me to identify them. As a result, I lose people a lot, and often they are right in front of me. One of the women at the bar is my sister.
Also, I can wander through a grocery store for an hour looking for my husband. And, if he’s feeling mischevious, he’ll let me. (Not in a mean way, it’s usually because he wants to read magazines, but I’m on to him).
Sometimes, I have to catch the bus home. And when I do, I have to cross a six-lane highway. Yeah, it can be a little scary.
Some people may have the inclination to pity me. It’s okay really. I love being me, being legally blind and all. Truthfully, it barely slows me down.
I went to see my fave band, Day6 in Atlanta with my BFF. IT WAS SO AWESOME!!!! They played all my favorite songs, and and and and…. I got to shake their hands. Side note, they are adorable.
Honestly, my vision lends a lot to my imagination. There is so much I can’t see, and so much I can imagine. To me, it feels like the world is magic because I can’t see well enough to know otherwise. I kind of like it that way.
Who am I, I’m Tiffany Easterling, legally blind author with an overactive imagination, and a belief that dragons walk among us because I have yet to see otherwise.