Walking out into darkness and uncertainty Article
So i enrolled for music at an University here in South Africa.
My parents sorted out my room.
I was sharing a flat with two other blind guys who started their studies.
My parents stayed the next day, and then, they left.
Cool, i thaught, now i’m on my own, for the first time.
But soon after i really learnt how it was to be on my own.
The very next day, the orientation and mobility instructor “also blind” showed us the way to the caffeteria etc.
The other two guys caught on well.
Me too, but i was still unsure.
It wasn’t longbe fore they started going out every now and again.
I just made the excuse: “No sorry, i won’t come now. Later.”
I stayed in my room, and went out with the instructor only.
I didn’t want to try the route on my own.
You know, might get lost etc.
Oneday, the two guys were out and about, classes or somewhere, and i needed to go to the caffeteria bad.
I was hungry and there was no food in out apartment.
I was thinking: “Should i go … shouldn’t i?”
Then i got a SMS from y mother.
It just cae on the right time.
Although i can’t remember the SMS at all, it motivated me to go.
I took my cane, and locked the door behind me.
I found the path that will, eventually lead me to the caff.
As i was going, my confidence grew.
Sure, i panicked a bit along the way, like for instance when i was looking for a specific landmark, a curb, a tree, or a poal.
When i arived at the caffeteria, i was glowing with pride.
And from there on, i didn’t have a problem to go out at all!
In the 5 years i studied there, i got lost a whole lot of times.
But there was always, or most times, someone to show me the right way.
If not, i just walked on without knowing where i was going.
Most times, when i walked back the way i came, i saw something familiar which put me back on my route.
So what has this got to do with you?
Are you scared or hesitant to go out for a walk? Or to explore?
If you have a compass, this will make it easier to keep track where you’re going.
Also, Loadstone is a free GPS and landmark creation software you can load on your phone to mark landmarks and points of interest.
Keep track of the sun while you’re walking.
You can also make sharp clicks with your tongue while you are walking to listen out for trees, cars and buildings etc.
The main thing is just to walk, and get rid of that fear of getting lost.
Just keep track of the direction you are walking.
Then you can always come back to more familiar paths.
But getting lost also have some advantages.
You might discover something else you didn’t know or something you never saw before.
Like discovering a shop, or a shortcut, or something.
You can always follow something.
Follow a curb, or grass on your left or right. Follow the line of parked cars in a parking area, following the echo of a building to one side
Just do it! And go wild.