3 Years Ago

I happened to glance at my wall on Saturday morning when I woke for the day.  On my wall hangs the framed certificate I received when I was named a HearStrong Champion.  June 10th was the date three years ago.

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You know there are dates in history that are etched in your memory like a chisel on stone.  I remember certain dates really well and other dates, like whole years of high school, I remember not much of anything.  Natural disasters, terrorist attacks, my wedding, my children’s births, and HearStrong are days that I can recall about every detail.

When I was notified about this award I was going to be given I was shocked, shy, and didn’t think I really deserved this award.  What were others seeing in me that I wasn’t?  I am not one with a high self-esteem so being put on the pedestal and having a few hundred people watching me and hearing me talk wasn’t something I was used to.

Three years ago I traveled to the cities with my daughter and a friend.  We were treated like royalty at Starkey.  I received much more that day then a framed certificate, an engraved medal, new hearing aids and Surflink products.  I was given a purpose.  I was given a boost to my self-esteem.  I was given the feeling that I can do anything.  I am smart, capable and if I want to do something I should try it and I know I could succeed.

I have always been big fan of radio and kinda a nerd when it comes to radio.  I was the high school and college kid that would try and find the furthest station away at night and listen to that.  In high school I would listen to Chicago radio at night, only time it came in.  In college I became addicted to listening to TD Mischke, Art Bell, radio theater and the list goes on and on.  I felt a pull to radio.  Even as my hearing went down I could turn the radio up and enjoy it, if other people weren’t around talking or complaining that the radio is loud.

A couple years ago I took a job 40 minutes away working nights and weekends at a radio station.  I loved learning the business.  How to work a board, record and being on-air.  Bad parts were the hours and days and quit short of a year.  If I could have had different hours I sure would have stayed in radio.

4 months ago my phone rang and there was an opportunity for the radio just 5 blocks from my home and day hours.  I was scared, nervous, and ready to show I could do this.  It took a lot of nerve and chutzpah.  I put myself out there and here 3 years later I am doing something I love.  Something I wish I would have been doing for years before now.  I give a lot of the credit to HearStrong.  They showed me that I am worthy and I am doing great things.  A letter to the editor, sharing about hearing loss… they make a difference.  I am making a difference.

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Now as the program director at the station and the morning show host I can share ideas.  I can hopefully make a difference in someones life who is listening.   I can be myself, I can share that I am hard of hearing without fear or embarrassment.  I can ask for accommodations and have.  I have the self-esteem that my life deserves to be better and I am on the trend upwards.  What a huge complement when I walk into any local business and I hear comments how they love to hear me on the air in the mornings.  I am doing what I love.  Thank you to HearStrong for showing me that I was worth it and I can do it.  img_1949

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