Oddly enough, the narrative has since shifted. I’m now thinking the same questions. But I’m picturing what my life would be like if I was hearing by looking at the positive outcomes that have resulted due to my hearing loss, instead of the negatives. If I was hearing…
“But I’m picturing what my life would be like if I was hearing by looking at the positive outcomes that have resulted due to my hearing loss, instead of the negatives.”
Taking in my surroundings and using this information to help give me a full picture of each daily scenario has provided a perspective much different from that of my peers. Not always hearing verbal cues or noises has forced me to use my eyes on another level.
Many people consider my organizational skills to be a little over the top. While they probably are, I have a strong feeling this is a result of my being so visual. I’m able to piece things together in a logical, creative and concise way that is different from most.
This goes hand in hand with being visual and organized. My dad often tells me that I see things that nobody else sees. I’m consistently looking for details that give me a better understanding of what may or may not be unfolding in front of me. One specific story he likes to recount is when I was really young and pointed out a mall-goer wearing her shoes backwards. Mind you, it was Christmas time, and the mall was packed with frantic shoppers looking for last minute gifts. Apparently, I couldn’t figure out why nobody had pointed that out to her! Quite simply, it was because most people probably hadn’t noticed or really cared to.
I think because I can’t always hear things, my brain has been trained to remember the most mundane facts and details. If I read or see things once, I can probably recite back what I’ve just read or seen. I can frequently remember the outfits people were wearing the first time I met them. Most of the time they don’t even remember.
Written words and images (moving or still) have always been incredibly fascinating to me. It’s a place where I have the power to run with these details and create my own world. I’m not competing or being compared to the person next to me. I can’t help but think this is a direct result of my inability to always hear the details.
Because I’m someone who likes things thoroughly explained to me and doesn’t want to miss out, that often comes with asking “What?” over and over again. This has taught me a level of patience and understanding unlike my peers.
Similar to patience, I know the struggle of feeling left out or feeling like an annoyance. Therefore, I’m way more in tune with my ability to be genuinely sympathetic and empathetic.
My fear of being perceived as dumb or inadequate has challenged me to work hard at everything I do. I’m determined to be better, to show I’m worth it and more. It’s not in my DNA to do things carelessly.
Having a chance to reflect on these truly unique things about myself allows me to be appreciative of what my hearing loss has likely given me. Now, it took me a minute to really see that these were things that made me different – a good different. This realization was helped by the many conversations with friends, family, and colleagues who continue to share their support and perspective on the good and special in me. I encourage you, regardless of whether you have a hearing loss, to take a moment each day to show yourself some self-love. Reflect and be grateful for the things that make you you!
What would you be like if you were hearing?