1 Skirt, 3 Looks: Day 3

Advocacy & The White Cane

Two images of me standing with my white cane.When you feel good, you look good has been a personal mantra of mine for as long as I can remember. Confidence tells the world you feel good about yourself and your appearance reflects this feeling. When a person can walk in confidence, regardless of the status of their life—this is beautiful!

After I received the diagnosis I was legally blind, then later needed to learn how to use the white cane, it put a cramp in my confidence. “People will look at me” was my constant fear.

Remembering who I was helped me to not only overcome my fear but also opened the door to a new mission. So who was I? A lifelong advocate. The only difference now was learning to advocate on my behalf.

A larger image of the gray shoes with black heels and a smaller rear view image of me standing.

My message is one of hope and fortitude. Do I have bad days? Most definitely, but I refuse to be kept down and you can too! Through our network of encouraging women and men we lift one another up. So when we are down we can draw strength from our sisters and brothers.

I love this community and am so very blessed to have you in my life.

For today’s look I took the same skirt from the past two days and paired it with a black blouse, chunky statement necklace, wide black belt, black opaque tights, gray/black kitten heels and white cane.

Have a fabulous weekend!! 😃 

Published by Stephanae

👩🏾‍🦯 | INTJ | HSP | Collector of knowledge | Alpaca Fanatic “If I stop to kick every barking dog, I am not going to get where I'm going.” ~Jackie Joyner-Kersee Hi, I'm Steph! I'm a highly sensitive proud introvert and a recovering people-pleaser. These traits or quirks used to bother me because I always felt out of place until I began a recent process of self-acceptance. While I'm still a work in progress, I view my quirks as my superpowers and am grateful that they contribute to who I am today.

29 thoughts on “1 Skirt, 3 Looks: Day 3

  1. Oh my goodness Carla this feels almost like my story. I’m on LinkedIn, fn, twitter and instagram. I love your sense of humor and you have an interesting story to tell. I’m going to be getting ready for bed shortly but I’ll give you a ring tomorrow. I live in the Pittsburgh area, was born and raised here, left for a couple years and came back. We can talk more in depth tomorrow. Have a good night Carla and I look forward to talking with you tomorrow.

  2. Of course! I would so like to connect with you Steph. In fact I think we already have. I live in Milwaukee Wisconsin and am a writer. I’m from New York and have been here for about six years. I’m also a composer and musician, I play clarinet, flute and sax. I write about fashion, bling and consumer stuff for companies like Macy’s, Kohl’s and locally Boston Store which is part of Bon-Ton Stores among others. I am very active on Facebook and LinkedIn, which you certainly can connect with me on both, which I think would be carlaanne.ernst for FaceBook and carlaanneernst for LinkedIn. I know I don’t look blind on either one since I don’t present myself that way, but on my Twitter Feed, which is CarlaErnst1 I am very connected to blind things, and I guess look blind if you can see at all. And if those addresses don’t work, just Google me and we can connect, and if all else fails, call me old fashion but I have a thing called a telephone which is a device where you can actual speak with a person. My number 414 614 6873 and just ask to speak with my people. But I am my people, so you’ll get me. I also like to sail, walk, read books, now of course on tape, and am very happy. I would put a picture on your blog, but I don’t seem to able to get it up. My blind chick story is that in January, after a horrible extended bout with bronchial pneumonia, my life turned upside down. I woke up one morning, opened my eyes and found that I could not see. My gift of sight was stolen from me leaving feelings of isolation, loneliness and fear. At first I felt completely lost. Denial sets in as you at first think that it will simply go away like a common cold. But it doesn’t. Nights are days. Days are nights. You live with it 24 hours a day. Vision loss brings changes to your life with profound challenges along with moments of intense frustration and discouragement. At first I was very sad about my loss, but then I made a decision – after going through some very dark moments (excuse the pun) – to go on with my life. When you’re faced with vision loss, you can either engulf yourself in self-pity and go into a life cocoon, or focus on finding ways to overcome this obstacle and develop different ways to continue to live and reach your goals. I’m inspired by author Richard Bach’s comment, “What a caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly.” I believe that as soon as you acknowledge and accept this and work to accept new gifts, move on with your life and not accept limitations, the better off you are. There’s a tremendous lack of understanding, marginalization and stigma associated with blind people. Sighted people have no idea what blindness is like, no matter what the level of vision loss, and no matter how you try to convey it. A contributing factor may be that most people have little exposure to blind people, possibly causing significant anxiety and fear around blindness. But as overwhelming as blindness is, the most difficult part for me by far is managing sighted people around me – people who range from feeling sorry and pitiful for me due to my new “death sentence” of darkness as they sometimes see it, to those trying to help me – regardless of whether or not I ask for help. The challenge is getting people to move beyond their own preconceived notions and expectations of a what a blind person is. I may have lost my sight, but I am re-discovering my independence, zest and love for life. My goal now is to help other people who are perceived by sighted people to have a disability; help sighted people know that we just have “different” abilities and that we want to be treated with dignity and respect like any other human being. My gift of sight may be gone, but my gift of vision is just beginning. Best, Carla 414 614 6873

  3. Oh my goodness Carla, you nailed it when you talk about people seeing the cane but not the capable person using it. Those of us who do use a cane or guide dog are the lucky ones because we made the choice to move forward with our lives in spite of having lost our eyesight. I’ve talked with so many people who have friends or family who became secluded after sight loss. If you don’t mind my asking,when you say it’s been about six months now do you mean since you’ve lost your remaining sight? Are you on Facebook, twitter, or Instagram? If so I’d like to connect with you.

  4. You look drop-dead gorgeous Steph! But take that with a grain of salt since I am completely blind – now going on about six months. But I can hear your beauty in your confidence and fortitude. I spend a lot of time working to look good with makeup, clothes and bling. I even take a “look” at myself in my mirror before I go out my front door even though I can’t see anything. I now have a white cane which I love, clearly identifying me as a blind person. I cannot imagine traveling without it. My cane is my connection to mobility. I’ve learned that it’s a way-finding tool and not just the symbol of disability I had imagined it to be before I lost my vision. With the cane, people notice you because you’re different. You may give up your anonymity but you gain independence and learn to not worry about what others think. Unfortunately, once people see the cane they often don’t see the capable individual and educated professional behind it – regardless that I’m highly skilled, mobile and happy. And kind of cute!

  5. I’ve never been a fan of pop stocking but you rocked each one, each outfit with just one pencil skirt. You are fabulous and beautiful inside out. Well done!

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