Tuesday 12 October 2010

Not too deaf to dream

Today’s blog is coming to you from a teenage boy's bedroom...

Erm, actually, I am on a bus that smells like a teenage boy's bedroom...

There are also enough boys surrounding me that I feel like I am in a teenage boys' boarding school dormitory – something that would be wrong on so many levels!!

From my seat at the back of the bus, I am barely visible above the sea of sports bags, creatively gelled hair and haze of Lynx. It's a truly bizarre experience, and probably a small mercy that I cannot eavesdrop their conversation...

What a difference 10 minutes makes – this is deafinitely the last time I get the 8am bus to work!

Anyway, today I have two things happening that as a deaf person I find difficult. One is a haircut and the other is the pub quiz.

The former is a minefield of mishaps. From not hearing the 'Is the water ok?' question, to trying to move my head to lipread and causing wonky layers – over the years I've had my fair share of haircutting drama. But for the last 4 years, I've solved that by going to the same fab hairdresser. She really is amazing and now she knows I am deaf, the only thing I feel tense about is whether I'll like the finished style.

And the pub quiz? Well, as any hard of hearing person will tell you, these are always tricky to follow, and by the time someone has relayed the question to you, some other smart person had answered it, so you become something of an echo.

GB Man and The Singing Swede are very good at helping me with this though, and so now, very occasionally I actually get to bask in the glory of answering a question, rather than just answering 3 minutes after someone else has answered it.

It’s all about being proactive about your deafness though when it comes to situations like these. And it's also about not giving a toss about what other people think.

I mean, now my Zumba instructor knows I can't hear, I have a space at the front of the class reserved just for me. This is great, I love it!

But as the class is very full, I can feel the icy stares of the other people vying for my vantage point, and wonder if they’re thinking I am some sort of Zumba wannabe. I may well be a Zumba wannabe, but this not the reason I’m hogging the front row.

Another thing that’s important, is remembering that by doing these challenging things over and over again, they do get easier. And not only do they get easier, but they become enjoyable. And it is with this thought, that I am going to resume a couple of dreams that have fallen by the wayside over the years, after being labelled too hard because of my deafness.

So look out over the next few months and you’ll see how I get on!

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