Hello! Thanks for joining me again for another blog entry. I hope you find these to be interesting. I wanted to share my experience when I first came to Los Angeles.
I remember when I first came to Los Angeles. I went to an acting academy. I was alone for the first time and had never been on my own in an apartment, with roommates at that time. There were no dorms and it was recommended to drive a car. I remember learning about the buses in LA and how even though my apartment was five minutes away, it would take more than an hour to get there if I didn’t drive. So I drove my car to Los Angeles and started a journey of self-discovery. I was 19 and hard-of-hearing. I questioned if people would accept me or not. I was nervous and anxious. In my head, I had convinced myself that as time went by at this acting conservatory, my hearing loss would disappear and I would be normal. There would be no difference.
With my hearing loss, I always felt out of place in society. I grew up with a partial hearing loss that affects my speech, and there was no rulebook as to how to navigate life with differences. What’s interesting is even though this hearing loss has been life-long, I have had moments where I appeared to remember easier times before the hearing loss. This is baffling to me as I have had hearing loss, either ever since birth or shortly after birth. I have considered why I have such memories, and I think it might have to do with a combination of wishful thinking and also perhaps growing up presented different challenges and perspectives that were new to me compared to when I was younger.
It’s quite interesting how the human mind works. The grieving process with any sort of difference is similar as we must mourn not being like other people who don’t share the same struggle, and then we learn to accept. However, as I’ve grown up, I’ve seen how similar we are in sharing life experiences that are not all rosy or black-and-white. Our perspectives shift with these experiences. One thing I will say is that when I have talked to my friends as they share their vulnerabilities, I feel an organic connection. I’m able to relate with my difference. Even though our experiences are different, we can support each other.