I could tell you my story if I wanted to. And don't worry. I will.

But because experiences are relative, some of you will think I’ve had it tough, while others of you will think I’ve had it easy. Both of you would be right though, because like many women and many men, my life has had good bits and bad bits in it. Often simultaneous, overlapping with each other like how waves overlap with sand. Different textures perhaps, but both there, present, co-existing at the same time.

It's called living, I suspect.

There’s a risk however that comes with telling your story, if you tell it to the wrong type of people. A tragedy, whereby others come to define which parts of your existence are bad and which parts are good. A danger if you will, that they will attach labels to you that you may not agree with yourself: “disabled,” for example, or “tragic,” with all their subsequent implications of victimhood and inability.

I'm deaf, for example. And so:

“Poor you,” people might say. “Your life is hard,” they’ll observe, willingly painting me with a brush.

Well yes. I suppose it might be, but only insofar as I face the same challenges as anyone else in my mostly privileged situation of growing up Australian. There’s only one little difference. My deafness.Which requires extra stuff to be dealt with, sure. Just mostly with humour, irony, and a nice serving of drollness. Besides, people forget about the good things. The great people I’ve met, the different types of communication I’ve tried, the new perspectives I’ve learnt. With the right support and education for people with a disability, there’s a wonderfulness in being the “same but different”. I wouldn't have it any other way.

Stories are good. Sharing is wonderful. Collectively coming together even better. There’s nothing like finding commonalities and motivation among others locally and worldwide to reassure ourselves about our paths, beliefs and progress, and to be inspired and help others help themselves. But only in places like WorldPulse, which seek to create empowered, active women - with or without disability. That’s why I am here.

“I am a 28-year old Australian woman, born of a mother and father. Younger sister to my older sister, twin sister to my brother, sister-in-law to my brother-in-law, aunty to my nephew, partner to a loving man. Lover of travel, advocator of free speech, champion of access to communications for people with a disability, marketer, coffee drinker, and vegetarian. I am a deaf woman - fortunate enough to have had wonderful support and encouragement. Hear me roar”.

On WorldPulse that is.

So there’s my story. A celebration. A life that is mine. A gift that I love.

Roar. With me.

Take action! This post was submitted in response to Voices of Our Future Application: Your Journey and Vision.

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Comments

Thanks heaps Ann! :-)

While it's important to have deaf people speak up for themselves, I also believe that everyone is free to talk about issues of importance to them - so good on you for talking about the issue of deaf people too!

Take care!

Hil

I was just going through the members in my search to see who was in worldpulse from Australia, Here I found you :-)

I am happy to see you have answered my fear of sharing my stories. It is hard to find the right audience and the right person to talk to. Worldpulse give us an aopportunity to express without jugdment. As you said we all have differences, something easy to me could be much harder to someone else.

I am in Australia torn in between two countries...not fully belonging to either - lost in identity...

Thank you beautiful Girl (Hil). I enjoyed reading your story.

A friend :-) Amei

No problem hunny! I hope that you manage to find a way to define your identity in a way that makes you happy.You are a strong lady, and coming to terms with your feelings for two countries is a hard but wonderful thing!

Take care. xo

You sing it sister! I think it's fantastic to point out not only the ambiguities of life's privileged and unprivileged moments, but also to underscore that personal strength can turn every situation into a source of inspiration. Keep up the good work! Best, Marissa

:-) Thanks for being so kind! Have you seen the TED speech by Aimee Mullins about the opportunity of adversity? She says what I think - but far better than I!!!

xx