People often focus on the things they'd love to change about their lives. What parts of your life would you choose to keep exactly the same?
From a theoretical standpoint, this question is pretty difficult. I mean, life is always changing so I don't know that I'd want anything to not change. It sounds good on the surface, keeping something I like from changing, but if other things change, that piece of my life would feel extremely stagnant. So to me, the question is more about what things would I want to keep in my life, knowing that they might need to grow with me? What am I satisfied with right now?
First, I'd keep Julio. My bond with Julio is so intense, I never want him to retire. I would want to keep the strength of our bond and our relationship and his skills. That love is like no other and the thought of the relationship becoming one between me and a retired Julio, or not having Julio around at all literally makes my heart ache and a lump rise up in my throat.
Another thing I wouldn't change is my faith. Obviously, faith is a journey, but I've been through the whole being mad at God and not admitting it thing because of my pain and it didn't work. To me, faith is a relationship, in some ways I find that following a Guide Dog is a symbolic representation of the type of relationship I strive for with God. Obviously, there are huge huge differences, and I hope that no one thinks I'm being crass or saying a Guide Dog is God or vice versa, but the following, trust, communication and love are very similar. Also, sometimes I don't understand what Julio's doing and I don't always understand what God's doing either. Guide Dogs aren't perfect like God is, so this analogy only goes so far. But still, if I trust Julio when he avoids a moving car, I am saved. If I trust and follow God, who knows what obstacles I might avoid. So while I want that relationship to keep growing, I wouldn't want to change it.
I also wouldn't want to change my love of creativite expression. My beading and my writing have brought me so much joy, created connections and promoted healing in many areas of my life. They add so much beauty and hope, it's hard to imagine what I'd do without them.
I also wouldn't change the support I receive from friends every day. I have been so blessed to know some amazing people, many of whom will read this. Thank you! You are wonderful. I know my friends care deeply about me and I care deeply about them. As I continue to develop my skills in accepting support, I wouldn't change that area. I don't ever want to go back to the way things were when I thought I had to handle life alone.
Finally, and probably most surprising to some, I wouldn't change my blindness. There are times I get frustrated when something is harder because I can't see, but the real issue there is more that our society has so many barriers which could be changed and removed so blindness wouldn't be challenging. Believe it or not, most of the time, I love being who I am as a woman who's blind. I've met amazing people, learned amazing things, had amazing opportunities. Maybe I still would have had a good life as a sighted person, but since I was born this way and like it, I see no reason to change it.
As I think about this question more, I think maybe the reality for me is that there are things in my life which will change, which I'll keep developing, but I wouldn't actively change them, trade them or get rid of them.