My Quiet World - by Emma

My Quiet World - by Emma

Isolating, frustrating and scary are just a few words that you might think of when describing hearing loss and whilst yes, it is true I have felt all of these emotions and more, being hard of hearing is so much more than that. 


It has given me a unique perspective on life, made me appreciate those precious sounds like birds tweeting in the trees or leaves rustling. 


This is the story of my world and journey over the past 30 years or so. 


Now, for those of you that know me, you are probably scratching your heads wondering, isn’t Emma 33? Yes, that is true, but I was born like everyone else with 100% hearing and it wasn’t until I was approximately 18 months of age that I would start to lose my hearing due to countless ear infections that were left unresolved. 


Fast forward a few years, and the pre-school checks would soon confirm that I did, in fact, have an 80% loss that required me to wear two hearing aids. 


But that is only the start of my journey. I would go on to struggle with bullying, learning to read or write, ride a bike, make friends and hit those developmental goals that so many children hit without even having to try. 


But it isn’t all doom and gloom. Thanks to the love and support of my parents, teachers and specialists, I would go on to graduate university with a 2:1 in Business and a Foundation Degree in Hospitality Management. 


Naturally, like most students, I ended up in roles that didn’t require a degree, but for me, that bit of paper was a way of proving to myself that I can achieve anything and also putting my middle finger up at everyone that said, ‘She won’t amount to much.’ It was my way of saying, ‘Fuck you world, I did it – keep on watching because the fun has only just started.’ 


And of course I was right, but it wasn’t as simple as that. Yes, I worked in retail, clinical research, the NHS and even flew for three-and-a-half years whilst working as Cabin Crew, but I also had to deal with rude people. Customers would shout at me when I needed something repeating more than once because, guess what, they were looking in the opposite direction, managers would delegate tasks that I could not do (telephone, I'm looking at you), and I went completely deaf for several weeks thanks to flying with a cold because my absence was too high due to those countless ear infections that decided to make a reappearance yet again. 


And that’s just work. I also had to navigate the world of dating and rejection from guys who didn’t want to sign up to a deaf girl’s world. 


But, you know, I like to think that it gave me an opportunity to filter the dicks from the half-decent guys and, as for the world of work, everything happens for a reason, right? 


You see, if I hadn’t been forced to quit flying, I would never have launched my lifestyle blog, La Blonde Voyage, where I have been presented with some amazing collaborative opportunities, such as attending PR events for Jo Malone, The Body Shop, Lush and Brakeburn, to name just a few. 


And yes, that was incredible, but the rollercoaster didn't stop there, because at the age of 31, the pandemic hit and face masks were made compulsory, so it was adios to lip-reading and hello to feeling isolated, scared and overwhelmed once again. It felt like someone had picked me up and put me right back where I started. 


But I wasn't about to give up that easily, I hadn't come this far to only come this far. So, after wracking my brains I dived right in once again and launched my first business – EC Writes, an Instagram management service. Unfortunately, we were in lockdown so networking in person was off the cards and Zoom was in, another hurdle to jump over, but I decided to feel the fear and do it anyway. There was nothing stopping me from making excuses, I was a master at that after all the years of pretending that I knew what the actual hell was going on.  


Anyway, I showed up, I faced it, and I bloody loved it, thanks to Jade from The Ribbons Network. Yes, there were a few people who, if I’m honest, I couldn’t understand, but thanks to the Zoom chat, I was able to grasp what was going on and slowly connect the dots. 


Naturally, I needed a nap soon after thanks to the countless puzzles that my brain had just solved, but it paid off because I went on to become a networking host. 


But that is a whole different story. So you see, whilst being hard of hearing can be isolating, frustrating and scary, it can make you resilient, strong, determined and in a strange way, empower you to take action. 


Is my battle over? Not by a long shot. But I’ll be dammed if you think that I’m about to quit. So come on world, what have you got for me next? I’m only just getting started. 


A huge thank you Emma for sharing your world with us. Check out Emma's socials here @ LaBlondeVoyage @ecwrites

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1 comment

EMMA, THANK YOU FOR SHARING YOUR STORY WITH US. I AM SO BLESSED TO BE ABLE TO SHARE YOUR JOURNEY. THE WORLD IS BECOMING MORE UNDERSTANDING AND ACCEPTING TO THOSE LIVING WITH DISABILITIES, THIS PROGRESS IS BECAUSE BRAVE REBELS LIKE YOURSELF ARE SHARING THEIR JOURNEYS, EMPOWERING OTHERS TO KNOW THEIR DISABILITY DOES NOT DEFINE THEM. FOREVER GRATEFUL. LUCY X

LUCY

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