“My impairment’s just a dropped stitch in life’s rich tapestry.
I’m successful, independent, it’s no barrier to me.”
I’m rather proud of that motto, which I came up with this week. It’s adapted from a quote in my favourite sitcom (Only Fools And Horses). Del Boy and Rodney are trapped in a lift, with Rodney understandably distraught about his wife Cassandra’s miscarriage, and Del Boy tells him “it’s just a dropped stitch in life’s tapestry”. It’s a line that’s stuck with me ever since for some reason, I just think it’s lovely.
I created the quote to go with a guest post this week, which has had a massive reaction, way beyond what I could have expected. So I wanted to do a post to explain it and give it a bit of a plug, especially for those who haven’t seen it yet.
The quote came about thanks to a site called Yoocan. They are a global community site where you’ll find hundreds of stories and advice articles by disabled people, spreading a positive, empowering message to demonstrate that disability isn’t a barrier to a happy, successful life.
People with all sorts of disabilities doing all sorts of activities are featured there, so if you have any kind of impairment there’s a good chance you’ll find stories and advice you can relate to. It’s also a valuable resource for families of disabled people, who can learn more about various disabilities from disabled people themselves, and gain reassurance about the future of their own children or relations.
So when they invited me to do a guest post, I was only too happy to jump on board. And that is my only affiliation with them, incidentally. I’m not being sponsored or paid or anything like that. I just approve of what they do and am proud to be featured in their community.
So I put together a post giving a comprehensive overview of my journey through life to date, which they first published in their Story section in February.
However, as a result of a second guest post that I’ll explain in a moment, my story’s also been republished in their blog this week, with the photo of me holding that handwritten quote:
The reason for this second publication is twofold.
Firstly, the quote photo is part of a new project, where they’re asking people to take a photo of themselves holding up a piece of paper with their favourite empowering quote written on it. I could have picked a quote by someone else, but the ‘tapestry’ quote I adapted quickly came to prominence, and I wanted to see if I could come up with something original. So I gave it some thought and came up with the above.
And secondly, when I did my original guest post, they also added me to the queue for publication on their Instagram account, which would bring my story to their 33,000 followers. So when my turn came around this week, they told me about the quote project and asked if I would do a photo for it, which they could then share alongside my story. So I did, and they published the photo this week, with a lovely little summary about me:
"My name is Glen (@welleyenever). I'm 34 years old and I was born with a visual impairment. Events during my childhood left me severely lacking in self-confidence. Over the past year alone, I've started a significant new chapter in my life. My primary condition is Aniridia, which literally means 'no iris'. I can't tell you what color my eyes are. I'm overly sensitive to glare and brightness. I struggle to adjust in the dark, so I have to stick to areas that are well lit. My other condition, Nystagmus, is a side effect of Aniridia. It makes my eyes shake and wobble involuntarily all the time. When I'm out, I'll use a monocular (a small telescope) to read things like signs. It also means I can't drive. I'm in an exciting new phase of my life that has further strengthened my confidence. By grasping the opportunities being presented to me, many others have resulted, so I'm continuing to build on them as best I can, and enjoying myself as much as I can. These new experiences have confirmed all that I've learnt over the years – that having dodgy eyesight doesn't make me any less of a person." #yoocandoanything #yoocan #sight #vision #sightLoss #visionloss #anirida #visualimpairment #disability #disabilityawareness #journey #love #life #instagood #instamood #nystagmus #blogger #disabledblogger #lifestyle #blog #raredisease #breakingdownbarriers #nothingcanstopme #eyecondition #partialsight #rarediseases #hope #positive
To say that post has performed well is an understatement. Within just 12 hours, it had already topped 1,000 likes, and is now at nearly 1,200 as I write this! It’s had many comments too, all positive and lovely, and I’ve replied to all of them to say thanks.
Now, I don’t care about numbers, genuinely. If my posts are giving just a few people reassurance, information and entertainment, then I’m happy. But even so, to get that many likes in such a short space of time is a record for me, and not something I’m used to. Even Yoocan were taken aback, it seems to have been their best performing quote-related post by a long way. I can only assume that the combination of the quote and my story has somehow grabbed people’s attention and struck a chord. But whatever the reasons, I’m proud of it, so thank you to everybody who’s liked it!
And thank you so much to Yoocan for featuring me! Do go and check them out so you can read stories by the many wonderful people there (including my blogging friend Holly). In a world where a lot of social media can be very negative, it’s wonderful to see a community like that spreading such a positive message and giving people so much hope and support, so I’m honoured to be part of it.