Natalie. Auckland, NZ.
My world has ‘no colour’, ‘no shape’, ‘no outline’, ‘no detail’ and ‘no movement’, but I have brilliant light and dark perception, which is incredibly useful – I’m the best person to have around in a power cut because I can navigate you around in the dark!
I was born totally blind or legally blind which means I don’t have a perception of sight, but in my opinion that’s the best way to have it because I don’t know what I’m missing out on, so it’s a lot easier to accept, embrace and enjoy.
The only time I’ve ever wished I could see was when I auditioned for the school production thinking “wow I’d love to play the lead role one day”.
For me, it’s been a case of embracing it through humour. I’m the first to break the ice by cracking blind jokes. Having a disability seems like it should be really hard, sad or negative for other people, but it’s like, nah you just gotta laugh at it.
I am a singer-songwriter and it’s such an important part of my life. It’s so perfect, it’s right up my street, it’s awesome and I love it so much.
Nature, family, friends and my faith make me feel beautiful – because I can’t look in the mirror. I have a mirror, but I can’t look in it. Beauty is a feeling for me. It’s very much from the heart. It’s actually empowering.
When I wear makeup, I don’t feel any different but other people comment and that’s what makes it worth wearing, sometimes.
People say to me “wow you’re so amazing, you’re so inspirational”, but that’s only because I do what makes me happy. I do what makes me feel good and connects with me in the heart. I’m an extrovert but I’m also very inwardly focused in terms of what makes me feel beautiful and what makes me feel good, so for me making friends is very inward.
I don’t care if you’re black, white, brown, polka-dotted, whatever! I don’t care, I can’t see it! There’s a verse in the bible that says “man focuses on the outward appearance but God looks at the heart”, I think that’s one of my favourite verses because I can really relate to that.
I guess because I can’t see what other people think of me that I’m so unapologetically me. I can’t see the way people are looking at me, so I’m just naturally who I am and I’m not afraid of that.