I have decided to take the big step and get a personal assistant. If you know me in person you’re either thanking God or the universe, or you’re wondering if I hit my head on something and turned crazy.
This wasn’t an easy decision to make. I previously frowned upon blind people who chose to have a personal assistant and wrote them off as lazy and stupid enough to not be independent. I prided myself in not having to rely on assistance for doing anything. But what was starting to bug me more and more was the fact that although I definitely am very independent, and not just in a blindness sense, I do sometimes need help to do things and relying on friends just became less and less of a good solution. Sure friends help each other out, but how much and how often should you expect a friend to take his or her time to help with bits and pieces you can’t do yourself, such as filling out inaccessible forms, take you places you don’t memorize the routes too because you go there once every blue moon and help clean up after a party? Seeing as everyone has different opinions on how far the call of friendship goes there’s not a standard answer to this.
There’s also another reason I don’t want to rely on neither friends nor family for more than casual help that won’t require them to take too much time out of their schedule. It’s the issue of gratitude. Now, being grateful and thanking someone is not something I have a problem with. But I have ended up in situations where I’ve been perceived as ungrateful, as being too grateful or even thanking people in the wrong way.
With an assistant, those burdens are taken away from me. I employ someone who gets paid by the wonderful well fare state to do stuff with and for me and I don’t have to worry if I thanked them in the right way. And they are there to help me do things when I need them done. Not when it suits my friends.
Before I would have seen this as being less independent, but now I will argue that it increases my independence on many levels, because I wouldn’t have to rely on my loved ones to get things I find hard to do myself. And if that’s not freedom, I don’t know what is. Besides, shouldn’t every pop diva out there have a Personal assistant? 😉