Hi! My name is Mariella. I am nine years old and I have a six–year-old sister named Alexandra, but I call her Alex. Listening to music, drawing, dancing, writing and reading are some of my favorite pastimes. There are many things that make me unique. For example, my parents are divorced (a legal separation between people who were originally married). Family time for me is split between homes creating good times, but also hardships. Another difference is that I am of Greek heritage, which influences my holidays, extra schooling and special foods. For example, I eat spanakopita (spinach pie) and delicious butter cookies called koulourakia.
But one of the biggest things that sets me apart from other people is that I have an eye condition called Amblyopia, better known as Lazy Eye. My case was a little more severe so its called Severe Amblyopia. This condition basically means that I was born blind in one eye. For me, it is my right eye. This obviously changes the way I see. It also affects routines I have to do. When I was younger, I had to wear an eye patch over my good eye. Some patches felt uncomfortably glued to my eye, while another made me feel like a pirate!
So, even though most of the time I get treated like everyone else, unfortunately sometimes people bully, and treat me differently. For example, one day a boy in my class asked me the time. I hastily turned to the clock and answered him. He replied back, “Why should I have to listen to a blind person?” Even though this did make me sad, I just tried to ignore him. Sometimes reactions make me wish I didn’t have Amblyopia, but I also have great friends who think its cool. They support me, and like me with or without Amblyopia, so I am lucky and grateful to have them.
If I had to choose to keep Amblyopia or to lose it, I would definitely choose to keep it, even though it is sometimes hard living with an eye condition and visiting doctors. Without a lazy eye, I just wouldn’t be me and I may not be so sensitive to others’ special features. A quote I’ve learned to live by says, “We don’t grow when things are easy, we grow when we face challenges.”
So what if I’m different? That’s what makes me unique. That’s why I decided to share my differences and flaunt it!