I was a shy, dreamy young girl. I spent many hours alone writing plays and reading books. I would also often daydream about the guy I would marry.
As a teenager, I was not allowed to have boyfriends. I was also not able to go out to nightclubs. I grew up in a strict Italian family. It wasn't until I was in my 20s that I started dating.
My blindness was another hurdle. Since I was young I was often told by family members that it takes "a special kind of man" to marry a blind woman. I was also told that I would never marry and could never have children. I was also told I would never have a job except in a Braille library.
Show my capabilities
When I graduated from university my mother was very proud of me. I have always tried to demonstrate how much people with a disability are capable of. I have also always wanted to show my family and friends my determination. I still find this a great challenge.
As I grew older, I developed a very fiery spirit. I became a "wild woman". I bought glamorous, elegant and sexy clothing. I dated many different types of men. Some had disabilities, others did not. I dated men from many different cultural backgrounds. I even dated a young man who loved motorbikes. We would go for wild joyrides together.
Many of my friends at the time were unhappy with the way I handled my love life. They were scandalised that I went to nightclubs on my own. I admit that I sometimes put myself into risky situations. But I wanted the freedom to make mistakes and push boundaries. I made many new friends and learned important social skills.
Finding a partner
As I grew older I calmed down. I became bored with dating. I further developed as a person. I continued to work and study and have been able to do what I am truly passionate about. I worked very hard on many different projects. I chose to be single for a long time.
I now have a wonderful partner who happens not to be blind. I met him overseas. We have been together for over seven years now. We are very happy. We particularly enjoy travelling together, kayaking and hiking.
I wanted to share some of my story so that you will be inspired and not worry about the impact of your disability on your love life. Being happy and enjoying life is the thing that matters most. I think that only by working on our strengths will our weaknesses fall away.