In this photo, Tony is seen walking with Norris, his guide dog, on a sunny winter day.

Ten Years Later: From Uncertainty to Unveiling My True Self

Ten Years Later: From Uncertainty to Unveiling My True Self
As I pause to reflect on the past decade, the term “rollercoaster of emotions” feels like an understatement. At 17, I was a kid navigating through life’s uncertainties, taking each day as it came. Fast-forward ten years, and I find myself standing at a juncture filled with experiences that span change, loss, victories, death, birth, and a complete shift in my career expectations. Today, as I delve into this remarkable journey, humility washes over me, reminding me of how far I’ve come.
My journey started off in the safe cocoon of my parents’ home. Like many 17-year-olds, I was experimenting with life and, admittedly, was a pot head. The highs and lows weren’t just metaphorical; they were an integral part of my existence. Amid these fluctuations, I gained and lost a guide dog, an emotional journey in itself. The loss that cut the deepest, however, was the death of my father. His passing left an irreplaceable void, but it also imparted lessons of resilience and strength.
The years also brought triumphs that balanced the scales. One monumental win was releasing my first music album. The process was therapeutic, offering an avenue to channel my thoughts, emotions, and experiences into art. Seven albums later, I realize how music has been a constant companion in my ever-changing life. Another cornerstone moment was meeting my best friend, who would later become my life partner. Our marriage symbolizes the perfect harmony in the midst of life’s cacophonies.
Life’s whims also took me on an adventurous journey from coast to coast. Leaving behind the familiar, I moved across the country to live in Alaska, embracing its wilderness and solitude. This move marked my entry into the field of blindness rehabilitation, a career shift that aligns with my personal journey and advocacy for accessibility.
Wandering hasn’t been limited to professional or domestic realms; it extended to my love for travel. I’ve been fortunate to visit 20 different states in the U.S., each offering a unique tapestry of culture, sights, and sounds. My adventures crossed international borders in 2016 when I visited the UK for the first time, making friends from around the world.
However, life also served a grim reminder of its fragile nature when I came dangerously close to losing myself to suicide. The wakeup call led to a transformative 2019, characterized by intensive cognitive-based therapy. This internal voyage helped recalibrate my compass, instilling a newfound appreciation for life.
This decade has been an intricate dance of ups and downs. Each experience, whether joyous or sorrowful, has enriched my life in some form. I’ve built a treasure trove of lessons, many of which have found a voice in my current work—through my YouTube channel, podcast, and the community work I engage in. As I look forward to the next ten years, one thing is clear: the journey is far from over.

Know you are loved. You have purpose. You are always noticed by someone.


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