My First Blog Post
By Aaron Hale
Posted July 7, 2018

Hello, Friends!

McKayla and I are often discussing just how lucky we have been in life, both personally and professionally. It is agreed that we have been fortunate in either entering into a time in our lives where we can now pursue our dreams and goals, or that we weighed the risks vs. rewards in chasing our dreams and decided to go for it anyways.

However we came to this point in which we are no longer working just because we've got to do something to pay the bills, but we can now look at each day as an opportunity to chase our passions. For me, some of those passions include running, hiking, reading, mountain climbing, kayaking, travel, and cooking...(of course).

One perspective I have on my life as a blind veteran, which I may sometimes only have a tenuous grip on, is that my blindness has offered me a completely new way to experience each day. Some days it’s just a pain in the ass. Let me tell you, each day as a blind man can be an adventure.

Some of the things in my life, things I once took for granted, became much more of a challenge when I stopped watching what I was doing. On the flip side, imagine the sense of accomplishment one could feel in overcoming those obstacles. No matter how insignificant they once were, they become a big deal. Which means finding the solutions become a big deal as well. Just wait ‘til you hear the story of Steve the neighbor and my trash cans!

I firmly believe that life is about perspective. So, welcome to the first installment of my journal. The primary objective is to share my experiences in the kitchen and perhaps a few recipes you can do at home. From time to time I’ll also comment on lessons learned on any number of subjects; chocolate and candy making, family life, personal growth, running a small business with my wife, the gift of being a father, and what it’s like cruzin’ down the highway of life with the headlights out.

I may from time to time ask for your feedback and opinions on some topics. I may just use this forum to elicit solutions to obstacles in my path that I haven’t discovered a way around yet. First question: What should we call this? ...Choco Talk, Coco Cronicles, Blind Guy BS, Blonde Leading the Blind, The After Action Report?

I hope you enjoy reading my entries as I share them. I also hope that my stories are useful to you in some way. Perhaps you are inspired to go for a hike or sign up for a 5k. maybe you decide to treat your family or friends to a new recipe you just learned. At the very least, I’m sure you’ll laugh out loud or cringe at how often I learn a hard lesson with my face. Despite showing the world that I can take a hit in 2011, I continue to inadvertently test my own pain thresholds.

At any rate, this journal is as much for me as it is for you. There’s catharsis in writing down your thoughts, or so I’ve heard. Sharing both the days that went right as well as the ones that I wish could be do-overs brings me closer to the lesson to be learned in both as well as the world around me. Being blind and nearly deaf can create a bottleneck of sorts for the information and the world, in general, to get to me. You won’t hear me complain... much. However, this is why I am constantly listening to podcasts, the radio, and audiobooks. This is also why I cook, run, and do just about anything. To have a connection to the world around me and the people in it.

Stay tuned to learn more about chocolate in particular. Coming soon: How to Taste Chocolate, What the Percentage in Chocolate Really Means, Hosting a Chocolate Tasting Party, Pairing Chocolate with Wine, Pairing Chocolate with Bourbon, and so much more! I may even throw in that anecdote about a flight attendant letting a blind guy wander about loose on the tarmac.

A final thought on this journal. I’m always talking about stretching past our comfort zones, challenging ourselves. If we can go beyond what is easy, we can find even greater success, whatever you define that to be. Writing, moreover sharing that writing, is a comfort challenge for me. If I only have one person reading these posts (Thanks, Sweetheart! I love you!), I will have already accomplished a task I set out to do. Two if you include making the bed (see ADM McCraven’s commencement speech).

Standby! What’s about to come will often be educational, rarely insightful, and always comical.

Challenge Accepted!

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