It is ok to say you want it….

The last couple of years I have really found my confidence and my voice in so many different situations. I have learned that it is ok to go after the things that I want and it is ok to say what you want. I have always thought that it wasn’t ok to say what I wanted and where I wanted to go. But boy has that changed…….

I have worked too hard to get to where I am today to sit back and hope things happen for me. And why should I? The answer is I shouldn’t and neither should you. When you stand up and say what you want it does not mean you are pushy or entitled. It means that you have dreams, aspirations and goals and you are not afraid to do what it takes to achieve them.

I have been working full time and have made it known where I want to go within the organization and I have been doing everything I can to make that happen. When someone asks me “where do you see yourself in 5 years?” I have the answer ready for them and I tell them with confidence.

I am taking a degree that will get me where I want to go and show that I want it and show that I am willing to work for it. And boy am I having to work…. doing a degree and working full time with three kids was probably a bad idea. But it is a good thing I usually just say “Yes” to almost anything.

Saying “Yes” is my other way to get to where I want to go; when an opportunity knocks on my door I say “yes”. There are times when I have thought why on earth did I say yes to that, but in the end it has gotten me one step closer to my goal.

In most cases things do not just happen to people for no reason, they happen because you worked your butt off for them and had the balls to stand up and say to your boss, “my goal for the next five years is to have your job.” If I had someone working for me and they told me they wanted my job and that was their goal I would give them a high five and say “go get it.”

I know my worth and I know I deserve everything that has happened to me and that does not make me stuck up or a golden child it makes me strong, independent and it says I have goals that I am going to achieve.

When we grow up with a disability sometimes we can think that we are not worth what someone who is “normal” is worth. But your disability gives you skills and knowledge that no one else can offer and makes you stand out, and gives your the drive to do what needs to be done. I think it is a bonus that should be used.

Until Next Time

Ashley

Am I Getting A New Guide ? Living Without A Guide….

My Guide Dog was forced to retire after being hit by a cyclist. I have been without a guide dog since June 28, 2018 and it has been a challenge for me. I was a cane user for a long time I remember getting my first white cane in High School and hating it and thinking about getting a guide dog and then decided not too. When I lost all of my vision there was no way I could be as independent as I wanted with a white cane, it did not suit my life and how I wanted to live.

I made the decision to get a guide dog in 2013 and was matched with my amazing first guide Rick in September 2014. This was a life changing thing for me and I was really able to live the life that I wanted despite doing it totally blind.

The last 4 months have been hard I found myself avoiding places because of anxiety and just not feeling confident enough to go alone. I was too proud to ask for someone to go with me so I would just not go, I have worked hard and gained some of my confidence back and have done things that I never thought I would do with a cane and it has not held me back but it has reminded me that there is a part of me missing.

I am happy (more like over the moon) and excited to let everyone know that I am getting a new guide dog!! I have been so extremely lucky to have been chosen to be a part of the CNIB Guide Dog program. I will be heading into class in the near future. This time has been a very exciting one but it has also been a time of emotions I was not expecting.

When I went to get Rick there was a lot of emotions like fear, anxiousness, happiness, and so many other things. I thought when I went to get my second guide I would not feel those same feelings to the same extent but I have been taken back by all those feelings coming back.

I have been feeling scared and overwhelmed with the thought of trusting a new guide dog with my life. I think after the incident that happened with Rick my first guide dog it has actually made that worse because I am terrified to be in that position again. But I also know that there is a part of me missing and that part is a harness in my hand and a guide dog by my side.

I have also felt guilty for getting a new guide dog, almost like I am cheating on Rick. I feel guilty for moving on and heading into a class without him. I always knew that Rick was going to have to retire at some point, I never thought it would be so early and I was heart broken. I don’t think there are any words to describe the bond that I had with Rick and still to this day do. I find myself with tears in my eyes just thinking about him, knowing he is not with me anymore. The only saving grace for me is that he is loved by his family just as much as I love him. They handed the leash over to me 4 years ago and I have handed it back to them because they are an amazing family and his forever home. He will always hold a special place in my heart and life.

My personal choice is to have a guide dog; that is when I feel like I am the most confident and unstoppable. I love the feeling of flying down the sidewalk with my adorable doggie wagging his tail on a mission to where ever we want to go, no questions asked.

I will be documenting my journey and how it all plays out, stay tuned for an update on my new guide dog and my training process. As well as the name and picture of the amazing guide I will be matched with.

Until Next Time,

Ashley and future guide dog