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Sunday, May 17, 2009

Fitting in

I constantly amaze myself at my ability to be a chameleon.  Essentially, I blend in amongst the rest of the herd, so to speak.  Well, for the most part.  There are days where I don't realize I have a hearing loss, and fool others into thinking the same.

Today was definitely not one of those days.  I don't play volleyball with my "ears" in -- I would if I could, but since the BTE isn't glued to my head, it doesn't bode well to have it come flying off when I'm 8 feet above the ground slamming the ball down from the outside scoring a kill.

With every new friend I meet, whether hearing or hard of hearing, they often comment on how amazingly "normal" I sound.  For example, yesterday was Morgan's graduation party.  I was hanging out back with a mix of deaf and hearing - one of the hearing guys was still pretty new to understanding things about hearing loss.  So here I am, a categorically profoundly deaf guy, interpreting for the hearing guy and still fully being a part of my deaf friends.  I was like water, flowing from one side of the conversation to the other, talking to the hearing and signing to the deaf.

But what is normal?  Is it the ability to sound just like everyone else?  Do I want to fit in, or is it better to stand out and be recognized?  I'm being recognized for my ability to fit in -- damned if you do (fit in), damned if you don't (fit the stereotype).

This is too much thinking when I've got to use my brain for tomorrow.

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