I’m a retired elementary and literacy teacher and never thought I’d something with art design. For forty years, my career has centered around education, and in my personal life, I raised three beautiful children and supported my husband, through his Navy career. So, I guess one might say I’ve had a productive and challenging life.
Well, the challenging part is more than one might realize. I was born with two physical disabilities. I needed braces on my legs and feet and had to learn to walk wearing them. It was quite painful! Eventually, I remember not having to use braces anymore when I entered the second grade. But, I do have a funny walk and I’m always being teased by it.
My second disability required surgery. I was born wall-eyed! Without this needed surgery, I would go blind. It took three operations from one the best doctors in the country to do this delicate surgery. My mother and father had to mortgage their home to pay for the cost. Back then, there wasn’t health insurance.
Despite that my eyes would eventually look normal on my face; I had to live with a visual, perceptual disorder. It was difficult for me to draw on paper and especially when I learned to drive a vehicle. This disorder of mine worsened whenever I had to drive at night. It was very scary!
Living with the disorder prevented me from pursuing a chance to move up in the field of education. A higher position required one to travel to various schools in a timely manner. The use of GPS wouldn’t help someone like me. I struggled getting from place to place, because I couldn’t determine how far my car needed to make turns and not hit the curb or a ditch. There were times when my car would end up in the median, because I couldn’t judge the turn correctly.
I was fortunate in my line of work to get rides from friends and co-workers whenever it was required for professional development to be held at different schools. Now, when it came to getting to and from my workplace or any place of significance, I had the route of travel memorized in my brain. I’d practice getting to and from a location on a Sunday morning with only one route in mind.
As a student, I never struggled in academics. I was an avid reader and I was good in math. But, I wasn’t good in art, especially when it came to taking an art class in college. I can still remember the professor using my work as an example of what not to do! She would hold up my art work and have the class criticize my work. I felt like crawling under my desk. Fortunately, she didn’t state my name. I began to wonder if I’d be able to pass this class.
One day the class was working on abstract art design. I did quite well! The professor used my work as an example of what to do. After class that day, she told me I had found my calling. She was indeed surprised at my ability. Well, neither did I!
Of course, I was only interested in getting my degree and becoming a classroom teacher. After forty years, I decided to create a design for VIDA. The design came from a photograph of our male cat, Goku! I captured his beautiful, green eyes and gray fur. Well, it’s a hit!
I’ve decided to create other designs involving both of our two cats, Goku and Patches, and these designs are selling along with others I’ve done not involving cats.
As someone living with a visual-type of disability, I’m so excited about the designs I’ve created and will continue to create. I guess being retired and living with a disability hasn’t stopped me from pursuing a new career. Now, I understand what is meant by, “Don’t let your disability define you.”
Here is a video link introducing four of the Mee-OW fashions. Check out webpages on this site to see other collections.