I was sitting, alone, in a glass room in Ohio State’s main library, drinking a frozen hot chocolate on a warm, April night.
Suddenly, someone I had not the pleasure of knowing quietly knocks on the glass and I, not knowing, wave him in.
“I feel like I’ve seen you before, have we met?”
(bear in mind, he’s asking a legally blind person).
“I don’t think we have,” I respond tentatively, “But I’m the girl with the stick around campus, if that helps.”
“Oh yes! I have seen you before!”
My unexpected guest turned out to be a very nice gentleman, who asked me curious yet respectful questions about my blindness, which led to a good conversation. However, this encounter left me realizing that I am more easily remembered than I know.
I’ve had many encounters of different natures, some with strangers and some with people I’d met briefly, over the course of my freshman year.
For example, I joined a sorority last February. On Bid Day (the day you meet a lot of your soon-to-be sisters once you’re asked to join the organization), I was thrilled to begin a new chapter in my life with women who shared similar values with me. However, throughout the next month, I had girls running up to me, squealing, and saying hello. For me, this was not only amusing, but also confusing… Did I actually know these girls? Which, of the many things I’m involved with on campus, organization are they from? Unless they were wearing our chapter’s letters or the sweater we received that day, I was just happy to be receiving free hugs.
A good friend once said, “You’re iconic, with your bright clothes and lipstick and a flower in your hair,” and I’ve come to believe it, but I’m no celebrity. I decided in high school that if people were going to stare, I would surely give them something to stare at, in a positive way. I want my presence to represent blindness, my Christian values, my sorority, and everything I want to stand for.
So, to all of you who say my name to greet me, thank you! If I’ve only met you once, please forgive me for forgetting where I know you from. I haven’t had enough time to know your voice and your lovely personality. But once I know you, you’ll never be forgotten.