What I Can Do as an Adult ROP Patient and Being Blind in One Eye

Ever since I moved back to the United States, I kept on looking for a support group to join for adult ROP (retinopathy of prematurity) patients and/or for the people who were born blind in one eye to occasionally meet up in Washington D.C. area, but it is such a shame I could not find one till this day due to my lack of resources.

And I came up with the idea that if there is really none, I am going to make one if there are people who are feeling the same way, which is exactly why I am finally writing here today.

For a long time, I have been feeling the desperate sense of urge to be connected with somebody like me. We might not need any special assistance when it comes to daily activities, but for anyone being born blind in one eye, I greatly assume that each of us shares similar struggles that are difficult to be noticed in public compared to those who are legally blind such as being unable to drive a car, facing the fact that the blind eye shrinking each day, resulting in a more obvious lazy eye, literally running into a wall and a pole and fearing for the future outcome as we age with the increasing possibility of a retina detachment of our good eye caused by illness such as glaucoma and diabetes. Are you with me?

At the same time, because we were born with one eye blind, I also assume that each of us has various stories of what we have accomplished so far and aspire to achieve in the future. Being blind in one eye can never stop us, you know. Is this you?

If you are like me and if you are ever feeling lost and isolated because it is hard for people to understand what it feels like to be born and live being blind in one eye, I am here for you and you will find the light because you can be unbelievably strong…much stronger than you can ever even imagine.

It does not matter how old you are whether you are in D.C. or from the U.S. or anywhere in the world. If you feel like sharing your personal experience or stories of anyone you know who are like me, please write as comments. I would love to be connected with all of you.

Advertisements

“You’re doing me good, America”

“You’re doing me good, America, and I think I can do you even better,” she whispered as she placed her cigarette on the ashtray before she burned her right hand.

The red Channel nail polish on her tiny fingers and the red lipstick on her lips made her fair skin glow as her long blond hair reflected the lazy afternoon sunlight that entered from the tiny half-open window of the one-bedroom condo.

“I bet you can,” he said, gently stroking her cheek, and continued, “I really think you can.”

The echoing siren of some police car outside didn’t seem to bother her at all. Neither some random shouting man, standing a block away, meant anything to her. She was honestly too good for that. She was stronger than any of that. As she slowly stood up, grabbing the keys from the glass table, she picked her black purse up from the floor and walked out of the door.

© 2018 Kiara Belle

The Extreme

When I again and again begged you to be
Faire and share our hearts, you handed me
A gun in my right hand and held another in yours.
Sitting on the empty floor, after you gently stroked my
Black hair and touched my cheek, we stared at our gray eyes
And slowly pointed your gun at my heart, my gun at yours.

When the sound of the guns echoed throughout the room
Of the lonely lovers,
In your transparent tears from your eyes,
In your red blood dying your shirt and my face, I thought
I finally saw what I was aching to see.

© 2015 Kiara Belle * To subscribe on your Kindle, please click HERE!!!

(30 Days after I Said) Hello Again, the U.S.A.

After the tearful goodbye to Germany, 30 days have passed, and my genuine gratitude towards Germany still strongly remains. Surprisingly, life is really good so far here in the United States of America, a.k.a., the Land of Freedom. I wonder if we are merely fortunate or we became better at detecting the best in matters. Maybe, both.

The magic of this country is the power that can make one instantly believe that anything is possible. You can dream big and achieve big, and you wouldn’t mind working harder if it is to make impossible possible. Honestly, I wouldn’t mind, either. Yes, people DO compete here but that is the sign of the big dreamers and the hard workers. People here, including my own American husband, tell me, “Hey, this is America, you can do anything you want. What are you talking about?” And, such strong vibes make me capable of responding, “Watch me now. I will show you what I’ve got.”

I am really excited that my new full-time job in Washington DC will start in five days. I will meet new people and experience new things throughout the new chapter of my life. This is the place where I will be the better version of myself. Every encounter is your treasure. Once a door is open, it is much easier just to walk inside. You can worry later. There are so many doors open just for you. You will regret if you step back. Just walk in.

(21 Days until I Say) Goodbye, Germany/Tschüss, Deutschland

The last year in Germany went by really fast. I mean, unbelievably surprisingly crazy fast. Our six years here will end exactly in 21 days. Will I cry? Probably!!! Am I going to miss it? Absolutely!!!

“Are you excited that you are moving to the U.S.?” 

“I should say yes. I am positive and hopeful but there is a moment every day that I feel extremely sad.” 

“Oh, we’re gonna miss you.” 

“I’m gonna miss you, too!!!” 


It is the phase of goodbyes. I have experienced it before more than once like there is nothing new about it, but one thing so sure is that I am NOT a fan of it AT ALL.

Deutschland ist schon meine zweite Heimat. People say where you live eventually becomes your home. After living here for six years, Germany already became my home. Though I am not German and my German is far from great, I tried my very best to be a better person in this country despite the fact that the attempt might not have been always successful. And now, “Please stay!” and “I don’t want you to leave!” mean so much to me more than ever. How many times do you think I have wished that I could be in Japan, the U.S. and Germany at the same time? 

The beautiful Rhein River on the bridge between Kastel and Mainz, the cobblestone road on my way to the station, the latte macchiato and the Glühwein with my friends, the Christmas markets we went throughout Germany, the sound of the church bell near our apartment, the commute to Frankfurt on S-bahn I have done countless times, the gates of departure at Frankfurt Airport where our trips started, and the sound of German language (especially, the dialect of Hessen). The priceless ordinary pieces of my memory are forever remain to be so dear to me.

Like I wrote before, it is not a place that determines your happiness. Wherever you go, it is you who make you happy. And when it happens to be so easy to fall in love with the place, it gets even easier for you to feel your happiness, Vielen vielen Dank, Deutschland. All I have for you is nothing but genuine gratitude, Germany. Thank you so much for the best six years of our life.

Now America is calling. It is the East Coast: the brand new world. It is time to go and I will definitely discover new happiness there.

The Shot of Espresso Macchiato in Italy Tells All About Happiness

I have written an article about how much the power of a cup of good coffee contributes to the feelings of happiness before. I also mentioned that my deepest love for coffee started ever since I had a shot of great espresso when I visited Paris for the first time when I was twenty. The exact feeling still stays the same till this day.

Living in Europe for about 8 years in total, finding a cup of good coffee through traveling various places in Europe completely became my greatest joy of everything. I had the amazing opportunities to travel to Rome, Florence and Paris last and this week on vacation and I entertained myself so much, going to different cafes and trying different coffee every single day in Italy and France.

At La Casa Del Caffe in Rome, I finally found the one. The very best coffee I ever had in my life.

As soon as I entered the cafe filled with tourists and locals, I ordered and paid for a shot of espresso macchiato and received the receipt at the cashier. As I handed the receipt to the barista, he promptly placed a tiny saucer and a spoon on the counter right in front of me and hurried his way back to the prestigious-looking coffee machine where the greatest creation was formed with pride.

Within a minute or two, the cute espresso cup filled with the coffee with the drops of milk on top was on the saucer. The taste was just so heavenly- the creaminess of the milk softly wrapped the rich flavor of the coffee. No sugar or anything else was necessary. Just amazing!!! It was the exact moment I truly thought I was the happiest person on earth. I really don’t think I was the only one who felt this way. 

The very next day, I returned to the cafe and tried the cappuccino this time, which was absolutely fascinating also.

Where did you have your best coffee in your life? Have a happy life with coffee, everyone!!!

The Part of Me as a Language Instructor

I just wondered if it would be interesting to write about my work a little. I have been working as a Japanese language instructor for some private language school for quite a while here in Germany.  I teach both directly at the classroom of the school and at the students’ companies. Majority of my lessons are for complete beginners, but I cover every level, including the native level. Most sign up as they are getting transferred to Japan near the future and some participate due to the urgent need of improvement of the language at their work. And I truly love every minute of my teaching path.

Most of my students are Europeans and it is always entertaining to see their reaction when they face the language for the first time. They always have the particular look of shock on their faces mixed with excitement and nervousness because compared to the major European languages they are familiar with, Japanese is just way more different, sometimes even beyond their imagination. Yes, the key is different, not difficult. And when they start to learn Japanese characters, the class becomes sort of like an art project, practicing drawings. The courses that start with memorizing the greeting words finish with my students holding solid conversations in Japanese in less than six months or so. What is not fantastic about being a part of the process? If you are a teacher, you know exactly what I am talking about.

The sad thing is though, it seems I must quit this lovely job by this summer. Our fate is calling us to move to the U.S.. We have no idea which state, yet, but I am desperately praying and hoping that I still get to teach somewhere. It will be more than delightful if I could teach in person, and I am also considering teaching online as well as creating podcast that contains short Japanese lessons, making my own textbooks or even doing something on YouTube although there are already so many similar things available. The hardest part is always marketing, isn’t it?

If you are a Japanese learner, please feel free to ask me any questions. And if you feel like you need extra help to improve your Japanese, how can I help you? And if you are already a successful self-employed teacher? What is your story? I’m dying to know everything.

Happiness Is Simple

Time flies fast. This year is about to end in four days. How do you summarize this year? Do you think you had many events that could make you feel happy? I truly hope so.

When it comes to how you define happiness, it reflects the perspective of how you see your own life. How do you observe your own life and what could make you happy?

I lost my mother over two years ago after the battle with the terminal stage of cancer. The last year of her life became my ultimate source to redefine happiness in my life. She was the master of finding happiness through the simplest events of her daily life.

She was happy because the sun was shining and the flowers outside bloomed. The pleasant way some neighbor said hello to her made her smile, and the good taste of the caffe latte in the cafeteria of the hospital made her day during her chemotherapy. When she lost all of her hair, she started going to the nail salon and sent me the photos of her nails every month with excitement. Since before and even after the discovery of the cancer, that part of her remained as her charm that could make her radiant until severe dimentia caused by malignant brain tumour killed who she really was. She constantly showed gratitude towards the simplest factors that occurred in her everyday life, and she lived her 58 years of her life to the fullest. Happiness was indeed ubiquitous. 

I am forever grateful for having her as my mother, and after losing her and turning thirty without her, I feel like I finally became a few steps closer to the way she observed her life. It takes time and strength for one to become positive and optimistic like her. I am certain that she also had her own process that made her who she was. At the same time, through witnessing her life and death, I realized life was too short to regret and to feel sad. It is better to cherish your each and every day because you never know when you die.

I loved every cup of my coffee in the morning, am content that I met new amazing people through work, had fun traveling different places, read a few good books, had some good hot wine on Christmas markets, and a few days ago, my student surprised me with a slice of brownie he baked, and my husband is peacefully snoring on the couch as I write this. I guess I am able to conclude that I had a pretty good year this year.

May all of you be blessed even more with lots of happiness in the coming new year.

Inside the Limpid Box of Isolation

The Soul selects her own Society—
Then–shuts the Door–
To her divine Majority—
Present no more—
– Emily Dickinson

Wherever the lady traveled, whenever she stayed,
The box, invisible to everybody else’s eyes,
Surrounded her body from her head to toes.

The men who saw her brown long hair and brown
Eyes led by her casual smile
Told to people, she was the pronoun for beauty.

The women who glanced at her well-grown bosom
Underneath her red dress
Shouted to the world, she was promiscuous.

Inside the limpid box, her passion burned.
She reached her hands to the brush and the pallet
And depicted her bare heart on the canvas, alone in the
Basement. With yellow and white, she painted the full
Moon symbolizing her love that would never to die.
Behind the full moon, she painted the sky

Of black shaped after her hatred towards the man and herself.
She was abandoned into the emptiness, in pained, which
Nobody else would ever to unvail.

After the three decades of seasons, the lady,
With her own hands, ended her life, when the cold
Rain drops colored the January morning and melted the box.

© 2016 Kiara Belle

The Definition of A Poem When I Was Twenty

A poem is…

Something like,
The sounds of rain during June,
The red glow in the morning sky on the New Year Day,
The tears of last night,
The very first heartbreak at the age of fifteen-

Or
When
The moments,
The emotions and even
The senses are
Transformed into words and
Meet the rhythm of a language,

Or
When
Somebody addresses the words
As beauty and elegance.

However,
The truth is I still do not know
What a poem is.

So please, just let it be
So undefined and
So unnamed.

Yes,
Just let it be the riddle
Extended to eternity.

© 2016 Kiara Belle