and it’s good to be back in this corner of the internet. There is so much I am excited for with this blog, and it is this right here. When I chose to rebrand the blog in December 2020, this series was not anywhere close to the plan because I did not want to be known as “that deaf girl with a blog” – that was until I learned that it is not my narrative to control. Besides, it was far more important for me to learn, to understand, to write, to share and to see myself reflected in a world that has such a little representation of deafness.
My goal for this series is not to educate others about the deaf experience but rather to cultivate a safe space for those who need it. If I am being totally honest with you, I am writing this for 9-year-old me.
I am honoring all the best parts of myself in this blog, and I would be remiss to not honor what younger me needed too. When we were in elementary school, my best friend wanted me to come over to her house so she could show off her new pool. I went home and I googled, “how to swim with my hearing aids” (spoiler alert: you don’t, Sita) There was so much I wanted to know and so much I wanted to ask. I was overwhelmingly curious about how to show up as hearing as possible, to fake it till I made it – so I turned to the internet.
I am supremely aware of the complexities and nuances of hearing loss because I constantly find myself suspended between two worlds – one of sounds and one of sheer silence. I grew up in a predominantly hearing community where I was the only deaf person I knew, which inevitably led me to thinking my experience was THE deaf experience. It wasn’t until the last few years, I met people, now friends, who identify as deaf, Deaf, and hard-of-hearing. While you will likely not find a blog post on swimming with hearing aids, you will find stories on not only my experiences but theirs too because deafness is not a monolith – it is wide and vast – and we each carry stories that have shaped how we move through the world. With each story, I can’t help but think the impact this would’ve had on younger me so there is no better time than now to carve out a digital space for these stories to be seen and heard – no pun intended
When I first wrote this post, I was on a flight back to North Carolina from Boston and I was going back and forth on the name for this series. What is the point here? What is the message I want to convey here? As my eyes welled up with tears, it all clicked for me on that short flight home in the summer of 2021.
Because what I keep learning through these experiences is despite how lonely it can feel, I am never experiencing it alone. I think of all of the support systems that have held my hand through every season of my life – it is my family, it is my interpreters, it is my friends, it is my colleagues, it is the stranger I locked eyes with in line who helped me get a burrito when I couldn’t hear the server. It is the manager who bought clear masks for the whole team so I could read their lips clearly. It is the best friend with a pool who knew to swim close to me so I could feel the vibration of her voice when we played Marco Polo. I never do it alone. We never do it alone, so I bring you…
The Hearing Together Series.
Over the last two years, I have listened to so many stories that have left me feeling understood – stories I wish I had found on the internet as a 9-year-old. I never knew just how healing it would be to finally have the language to articulate my own deaf experiences. This, alone, shifted my fear of being known as “that deaf girl with a blog” because perhaps I can be known as someone who made another little deaf girl feel less alone in the world, even if it is just me.
And to you, my friend. I am so grateful you are here and I cannot wait to share more with you soon. If you have an experience you want to share with me, please let me know here – I would love to hear from you! If you have a friend or know someone who is looking for somewhere to feel seen,
I hope you will let them know of this place.