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I LOVE self-reflection. It’s sometimes painful, sometimes astounding, frequently necessary.
I described 2015 as the year all the bad stuff happened, and 2016 as the year of the marathon (where I pushed myself to my physical and emotional and financial limits) 2017 was the year that gave me room to breathe, to reflect, to learn more about myself. Some amazing people entered my life, some amazing people faded from it, and we welcomed new human and feline loved ones from some unexpected corners. I experienced life more freely – the beautiful and the painful, the exciting and the frustrating. My current (and long-fought-for) employment went from a term contract to a permanent one, my hands have created some pretty beaded things (that people actually wanted to buy!), I got a tattoo, I’ve gone on an amazing road trip, begun plans for another one, read some books that made me think… and wrote. A Lot.

Now that I’ve wrung in the new year with friends new and old, continued our new New Year’s Eve tradition of a bitterly cold backyard fire, and contemplated drinking gallons of coffee on an equally frigit New Year’s Day, here are the posts that have made the rounds from the Life unscripted blog.

 

Top posts from 2017

5. This post from nearly three years ago still seems to resonate. For the record, not everyone can or should work a guide dog.

4. I write a lot about Jenny, my guide dog, but she celebrated a big birthday just after I started that new job referenced above.

3. One of the things I’ve done this year (and hope to write about in 2018) is take some self-defense training. This is why.

2. Another thing I got to do this year was give a speech and have a conversation with some amazing thinkers and professionals. Who knew that someone would ask a question that would make me think?

1. This post from last year – the most popular post from last year – keeps getting views and shares. The more fake service dogs and fraudulent handlers – and legislation to combat them – get before the public eye, the more important this issue becomes.

 

Top Posts WRITTEN in 2017

5. I got pretty personal in this post. I’m also honored that so many terrific women chose to trust me with their own stories of gaslighting.

4. This may be the only semi-political post I’ve written on this blog, except for maybe the one about voting.

3. I still can’t give Jenny cake on her birthday.

2. I had planned to write about my self-defense training, but maybe I should keep the conversation going about the absolute necessity of consent.

1. We’re all scared of things, but as I said in my speech, we can’t project that onto others.

 

Stretching and Growing

By far, I had the most fun writing this post. But if you’re not interested, that’s OK.

This year seems to be the year of attitude adjustments.

 

It also seemed to be the year where I’m trying to figure out how I can best advocate for myself without alienating my loved ones.

I’m pretty proud of this post, where I talk about succeeding and failing on my own merits.

 

So… Next Year?

I’m already super excited for 2018! Many of you have reached out in comment sections, through twitter, by email and through other social media to tell me what this blog means to you. You are all the reason I write.

Those of you who wrote me privately and told me you enjoyed my Epic Road Trip of Awesome series? Fear not! I’ll be blogging my 2018 road trip series as it happens!

The book reviews will be returning on the last day of each month; some readers have asked if I will review more than books about blind people. The answer is… maybe. I read a lot of books, and if I reviewed them all, I’d have no time to write anything else. I’m choosing to write reviews primarily regarding books with blind characters because there’s so much mystery and “other”ness surrounding blindness; I not only want to point out how an author or editor could do better, but also to thank writers for providing food for thought or nuance to their portrayals.

As for anything else… what would you, my readers, like to see? I plan on asking more questions as I continue to grow as a woman, an advocate, and a writer. So if there’s a topic you’d like me to touch on or explore, please let me know!

However 2017 has treated you, I’m glad you’ve chosen to share it with me. I wish you all kinds of great things for 2018!

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