Teen Spotlight – Isabella O.
Hi, I’m Isabella, and I’m going to be a sophomore in high school. This is a fragile time for most people with questions related to “Will I fit in?” Do you know what I say to that? No, I’m not going to fit in, and that’s okay. I’m going to stand out not only because I have albinism, but because I know I can have a positive affect on the people around me by being my awesome unicorn self!
I have OCA1, my visual acuity is somewhere between 20/400 and 20/500. Vision has tried to be my downfall for the past 15 years, but it hasn’t won yet. I may have troubles, but I can score 6 aces in a row during a volleyball match, I can swim like there’s no tomorrow, and I can ski my heart away. As long as I keep my head up, low vision will not defeat me.
I value my creative mindset. It has helped me do things from making a temporary guide dog harness, to using makeup to add color to my face where as I hardly have any. I have an eye for abstract art because it opens a door for a new method of thinking. My best pieces of photography were done just by me taking a picture of a flower I wanted to see more detail of.
My best accomplishment so far has been turning my life around for the better. I worked hard to get from a failing student to almost the top of my class. I pushed myself to stop trying to be “normal” and experience the world through my own eyes and prospective. Now, my next challenge is training my guide dog. She’s now a year into her training, and like me, she still has a long way to go.
Now, I know these last few words will sound cliché, but bear with me. Use albinism to your advantage. Use it as an excuse to push yourself harder. Be confident with the fact that you’re different, because do you know what normal is? It’s a setting on a washing machine. Nobody wants to be that. Don’t be ordinary either, that’s just boring. 🙂