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Episode #17 | Confidence & Self-Respect

Confidence quoted text and image description are in the body of the post.

Abigale’s Insights on Beauty & Blindness

“Like most things in our lives, confidence ebbs and flows. Some days you may feel more confident than others. However, even on the days when you lack confidence, unless you’re saving lives, it’s not fatal.”

For me, confidence is an ongoing battle of accepting my quirks, flaws, and insecurities. During the moments when I don’t feel confident I remind myself of my value and this helps me to refocus. When I feel confident, I feel beautiful.

How does one become confident? Begin with self-respect. When you respect yourself, you are empowered to choose who and what you allow into your life. Your confidence will continue to grow when you have a mutual and healthy respect for yourself and others,

Take some time if you need to, pick yourself up, dust yourself off and then when you feel the moment is right, carry on. Be kind to yourself; be kind to others, and remember confidence requires constant maintenance. ~Abby

Abby’s Reflections Description: 

A white, teal, and gray boldblindbeauty.com template utilizing the ‘Abby’s Corner’ image of Abby sitting cross-legged in her PJs (gray bottoms & white top with a gray collar) with a teal Abby logo laptop on her lap. Sporting her signature explosive hairstyle, she is wearing a headset with microphone and her white cane is propped up next to her.

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When Confidence Wanes, Rest, Rebuild, Recover

Description is in the body of the post.

“Like everything else in our lives, confidence ebbs and flows. Confidence requires constant maintenance. It’s also important to remember even on those days when confidence is lacking it’s not fatal. Take some time, pick yourself up, dust yourself off and when you feel the moment is right, carry on.”

Photo of me sitting on my bar stool with my white cane in hand wearing the outfit described in the post.After being sick for the past few weeks, this week is the first I’ve felt truly rejuvenated in some time. When I can’t work my to-do list my confidence slips, and I fall into the cycle of depression and anxiety.

Living in a time when social media has changed the way we interact with one another is stressful. Being away from it for a day can seem like weeks, any longer can seem like a lifetime. If you are a writer, blogger, entrepreneur or anyone who relies on the internet to connect with your audience you understand the importance of the frequency and consistency of posting content.

So what do you do when life gets in the way of your passion?

  1. Make the most of the present when you’re feeling your best. When inspiration hits use it to create content in advance.
  2. Organize – An excel spreadsheet is a great tool for managing content data.
    • A weekly posting schedule broken out by day, time, type of content, and social media platform will allow you to see at a glance how your content schedule will flow.
    • The content schedule will contain more detailed content information for each day of the month. For example title, status, due date, publish date, time, type of content, author, distribution channels, meta tags, and notes.
  3. Schedule – Social media management tools like Hootsuite, for example, save time since you can post to multiple platforms at the same time.
    • Using the publishing tool to schedule posts in advance means you can set it and forget it.
  4. Let it go. The world will continue to go on even if you cannot so when you’re down, allow yourself to rest, rebuild your strength and recover, you won’t regret it.

I felt so fabulous this week I took the opportunity to show my goofy side and went for it in the photo in today’s post.

What I Wore Description:

Bathroom mirror selfie. My head is tilted to the side as I make a semi-duck lip look. I’m wearing my black faux-shearling & faux-suede knit-trim jacket or sweater. What I like most about this sweater, aside from keeping me warm, are the multi textures. It’s a heavy knit with soft fur and velvety smooth suede panels on the front. I wore a simple black tee under the jacket/sweater and paired them with blue jeans and black suede wedge mules.

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Delight In Your Feminity

Description is on body of post.Pictures are great but they don’t always tell the whole story. For many of us on social media our pictures tell the story we want to convey which can be in stark contrast to our reality.

As an advocate working to change perceptions on blindness and sight loss, my pictures attempt to show confidence from a blind perspective. What they don’t show is my insecurity but that’s okay because I know who I am and I don’t want to come across as someone I am not.

I’m not perfect, far from it. I laugh at my foibles, quirks, and even the changes in my body I cannot control. I love the uplifting feeling that takes place when I throw on some hair, do nakeup, and get dressed to face the world but make no mistake I am the same person before and after. I love being feminine and encourage others who want to feel the same way to do so despite what life throws your way.

Delight in your femininity. Love you. Validate you. Trust you. As you begin each day remind yourself that you are enough. Allow yourself to be vulnerable and reject the notion that you have to fit in. Be courageous, be authentic, know your worth. ~Steph

Image: Tri collage of me posing in front of my counter wearing black leggings, three-quarter dolman sleeve top looks sort of gray, orange pointed toe slingback flats, black obi belt, black leather short necklace with a silver pendant, and silver drop earrings.

Have a great Monday!!

#whitecane #confidence #independence #blindness #blindnessawarenss

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When Confidence Wanes

“I am confident because I can admit who I am, what I’ve done, and love myself for who I’ve become.”

For close to 50 years I’ve lived with chronic depression. Being medicated for many of these years I don’t have a point of reference for what “normal” really feels like yet “normal” is the one thing just beyond my grasp and the one thing in life I’ve desired most.

Many might think that when you live with a chronic illness for so long it would get easier but for me, it’s just different. I’ve only learned within the past few years to identify some of the triggers which send me into a downward spiral.

It typically begins with nothing; like something doesn’t feel quite right but I can’t articulate what’s wrong. The more I try to figure out what’s causing my angst the more apprehensive I become. This immense pressure begins spreading throughout my chest making it almost impossible to do the simplest of daily tasks like getting up, making the bed, taking a shower, getting dressed, heck, even breathing is difficult because I’m hyper-aware yet paralyzed.

I feel overwhelmingly exhausted and I’m experiencing panic attacks. Even though logically I know I have unrealistic expectations for myself the tension inside of me continues to build and I think “not again, I can’t do this, I can’t be feeling this way because I have so much to do”. No amount of telling myself to “calm down it’s only a panic attack” helps, I can feel my heart rate increasing as my anxiety grows.

There are so many thoughts like rapid fire running through my head but it’s the feelings of self-loathing, guilt, helplessness, and hopelessness that threaten to take me over the edge. Oddly enough if it’s a beautiful day it makes me feel worse because something inside of me is telling me I should be energetic, I should soak up the sun and feel alive but I don’t want to but at the same time I do. I know it sounds crazy and I wish I could get out of my head but I’m so tired and so incredibly sad. What’s worse is knowing I’m a fighter but I feel so weak, so depleted.

I try to latch onto those past trials I’ve overcome but it’s just too much and I just want to stop thinking and only sleep. No matter how many times I go through these episodes they scare me because I feel like I’m losing my grip like I’m hanging by a strand and one more thing might cause it to break, cause me to break. It can last one day or five and I really don’t know what breaks the cycle and I think I don’t care I just want it to lift. Coming out of it is almost as scary as being in the midst of it because it’s a tentative thing. I mean, what if I’m not really feeling well, it’s important for me to take it slow and easy so as to not get sucked back into the vacuum that is depression.

Today I feel a little better but I’m still hesitant. Life is so fleeting it sucks that something so empty like depression and its lies can suck all the good out of me but it’s a process. I hold onto the hope that it won’t last forever and I’ll come out on the other end replenished. Life isn’t a fairytale, it isn’t the perfect pictures we post on social media, it’s messy, painful, and hard.

When I was younger I used to think my depression was the result of my childhood experiences but now I’m not so sure. The one thing I do know is it certainly wrecks havoc on the confidence I’ve so carefully honed. Or just maybe accepting depression as part of me makes me confident.

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A Lil’ Inspiration #30

Want To Be Outstanding? Wear Confidence

“It’s not about what size you wear. It’s about how you wear your size.”

Abigail (Abby) is in the background of the text with her white cane and handbag.

You can be a size 2 and be totally uncomfortable in the clothes you wear. Likewise, you can be a size 22 and be completely at ease in your attire.

Being comfortable in your skin is the first step to confidence. Let your confidence be the determining factor in how you present yourself to the world. When you are able to confidently let your true self shine through, appearance becomes secondary.

Have a nice Thursday!!

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Fabulous, Functional & Frugal Fashion Tip #14

“Beauty, to me, is about being comfortable in your own skin. That, or a KICK-ASS red lipstick.” ~Gwyneth Paltrow

kick-ass-lipstickNothing says confidence like a red lip. Red is bold, fiery, strength, power, determination, passion, desire, and love.

For those of us who require mobility devices a question that comes to mind might be “geez I get enough attention by using my white cane why do I need more?” While it could be a valid point there’s world of difference between the curious stares brought about from using the tools we need to live independently and the admiration that comes from the confidence that says “I feel good about myself, I feel beautiful.”

Today’s Tip: For an immediate confidence booster go with a red lip. Don’t wear makeup? No worries, just do you! Always remember, “when we feel good we look good.”

Image: Abigail (Abby) is in the background of the text with her white cane and handbag along with a bright red kiss against a black background.

Have a relaxing Sunday!

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Beauty & Confidence Found Through Insecurity

“Beauty is the opposite of perfection–it’s about confidence, charisma, and character.” ~Unknown

Sitting on my bar stool with my white cane in hand.

Beauty, or rather how we are perceived was the plan. I was going to talk about it from three perspectives:

  • How we see ourselves
  • How others see us
  • How we want to be seen by others

Yet as I sat with fingers poised above the keyboard nothing, absolutely nothing came to me.

The Early Years

I wanted to write about how as a child I didn’t fit in and wanted to be like everyone else.

Standing in front of my counter with my white cane.

I was gonna write about my insecurity of being poor when I was growing up.

I was gonna write about how you value secrets when you come from a dysfunctional background. You learn early on to put on a mask because you can’t let people know about your pathetic home life.

Young Adulthood

I wanted to write about the lines I would not cross. The lines I chose to cross sickened me as it was contrary to my character.

I was gonna write about how having children of my own gave me the strength to fight. To fight for them, to fight for my integrity, to fight for myself. To become me.

I wanted to write about how it’s not my concern when someone prejudges me. It’s theirs, they can have at it.

I was gonna write about how the word ‘label’ is just a word. Ultimately we are the ones who ‘choose’ to give this word power, we can choose differently.

Rear view standing at the counter with my white cane.

For far too long I strived to be perfect, I failed miserably. I was overly concerned with the viewpoint of others and how they perceived me.

Confidence was a hard-won battle of accepting my quirks, flaws, and insecurities. Beauty is not perfection. Beauty, real beauty embraces the whole person; our actions and character are in synch.

What I wore description:

  • Winter white dress pants
  • Light gold lamé long-sleeve tunic top (mid-thigh length) with a light-colored tank underneath. A nice detail is a slit at the wrist of the sleeves.
  • Long (just above the knee) cream-colored loopy tasseled sweater vest. The loops are more like individual tassels covering the entire front of the vest.
  • Navy ankle boots – three-inch chunky heels with a silver zipper on the front of the boot.
  • Jewelry – chain drop earrings with rhinestone ends, pendant fringe necklace with several rhinestones immediately above the fringe, cut-out pavé open bangle.
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Trending Now – Confidence!

A gold medal is a nice thing – but if you’re not enough without it, you’ll never be enough with it. ~From Cool Runnings

Image of a heart drawn with crayon
February is National Heart Healthy Month

So I just got home from a visit to my low vision specialist. I got to try out a couple of new gadgets like a pair of reading glasses with this cool bubble on the one lens. To use them I need to hold reading material very close to my face but it gets the job done. They would allow me to read instructions on medicine or a recipe even.

To get to the doctor’s office I have to walk down a number of long corridors. And of course there’s no hiding the fact that I use a white cane as one can hear the echo of the ball tip rolling to and fro with each step I take.

Even though I’ve been using my cane for about three years now I still can feel a little self-conscious so my remedy is to walk like I own the joint. So it was with head held high, sunglasses, black leggings, black tank top, black boyfriend jacket, black & white zebra/leopard print fringed scarf tied around my neck, I made my way to my destination.

I am always so inspired by out of the ordinary occurrences. When I was waiting for my para-transit ride home a woman sitting in a chair next to me said “we have the same stick.” I laughed, we exchanged pleasantries, got into a discussion on our individual vision impairments and I ended up recruiting her for the Low Vision Committee of the Pennsylvania Council of the Blind.

On the way home the song that I’ve claimed as my mantra, Make it Happen by Mariah Carey, kept swirling around in my head. It shouldn’t have been a surprise because when using the treadmill this morning I heard this song and was reminded that life is tough but we need to persevere even in the face of adversity.

Trials happen and some can challenge our confidence but we must keep pushing forward. I should not be where I am and had I listened to naysayers I would not have progressed to this point.

We have to wear clothes because to go around nude would be, well, unacceptable. However I’ve said it before and I’ll continue to say that confidence is the most important item we can wear.

Trends come and trends go but how you feel about yourself is paramount. So when thinking about trends, you want to go with what flatters your body. For example I cannot wear tunics of any kind due to my body type. I don’t consider this a flaw I just need to find a suitable alternative which leads me into today’s trending topic.

Shape Shifting Style

Since the numbers indicate 46 percent of women are rectangle in shape. Rectangles do not have a defined waistline and the key here is to create curves. Following are clothing tips for you rectangles.

  • Form curves: Look for scooped or sweetheart necklines; tops with collars, ruffles and detail will define your curves. You want to avoid high and square necklines
  • Cinched waistlines: To provide distinction between the size of the waist and the bust, a cinched waistline will add definition. Tops, jackets and coats with a cinched waistline are ideal for this shape. Adding a belt also helps to create the illusion of curves.
  • Looking Lean: Long and lean jackets accentuate the rectangle shape.
  • Layers: Wear clothes that have layers for example wearing a tee-shirt inside your shirt or just a sleeveless tee-shirt on top of another tee-shirt.
  • Pants: Pencil pants emphasize the legs and make you look lean although the rectangular shape can wear just about any pants with the exception of baggy jeans.

Next week I’ll talk about the Pear Shape.

“Only as high as I reach can I grow,
Only as far as I seek can I go,
Only as deep as I look can I see,
Only as much as I dream can I be.” ~Karen Ravn