It's Ashley, one of your Phonak heroes.
And for today's vlog, I thought that we could talk
a little bit about what I would have taught my younger self.
I think this is something that everybody thinks about.
There's a country song,
for those of you who maybe country fans,
by Brad Paisley that's called "Letter to me."
And he basically talks about,
if you could write about little himself,
what he would tell himself at 17.
And I, that song has always kind of stuck out as
something that, you know, I've done that before.
Where I'm like what I would, you know,
at a younger age.
I think every, you know, decade as you get older,
you learn lessons that you, you know,
want to tell you younger self.
And I recently started thinking about that as it pertains
to my hearing loss specifically and, you know,
this journey that I've been on to like self-acceptance
and recognizing self-worth and self-love.
And I think that there's basically three things
that I would tell myself.
The first being your hearing loss is your superpower.
Don't be afraid to embrace it.
And, you know,
don't hide behind that.
You know feel free to wear your hair up.
Show off your phone like hearing aids.
And, you know, let people in.
Let them explore your experience and understand from you
what, what you're going through.
And that, yes, people will be mean,
but you still have something that people want to know about
and want to understand.
And you have something to share with the world.
So go for it.
And I think spinning off of that,
the second thing I would tell myself is to not be afraid
to ask for help.
I have so many people in my corner, always have.
And I wish I would have
allowed them to
give me the support that I needed.
You know life is not meant to be done alone.
And this is a long journey ahead of you and the battle,
they're going to continue.
And so, you know, allowing your family and your friends
to help you when you need it, your teachers,
your employer, anybody.
Let them, let them be that assistance for you.
And the third thing would be
the third thing would be,
make an effort to find others like you.
People who have hearing loss or wear hearing aids or,
you know, understand some of your daily struggles.
And I think what I personally struggled with
when I was younger with not necessarily knowing
where to find those people.
And I think that's one of the great things
about social media today is it gives people
a little bit more of a platform to connect with others,
where it's because I went to a mainstream school.
I didn't know anybody else that wears hearing aids.
The only other people I knew that wear hearing aids
were old people.
And so I didn't know anyone else who
was born with the hearing loss and had been dealing with it
their whole life until really
until I joined the Women's National Deaf Soccer Team.
And so, I think it's incredible that so many people now
have more access to other people like them,
and that's why I'm so grateful for communities
And I, you know, would definitely encourage my younger self
to continue to find those resources
and talk to my audiologist or, you know, ask my parents or,
you know, my guidance counselor if there was some way
to connect with others.
And, you know, be able to have someone else to,
you know, connect with who understands
the ins and outs of, you know, being a hearing aid wearer
or, you know, dealing with hearing loss on a daily basis.
But I think it's
really cool that, you know,
we can think about the things that we tell our younger self,
but I think that also, you know, shapes how we got
to where we are today.
So, I don't necessarily
all of these things were
things I could go back to.
But I would definitely encourage people in the future to,
you know, consider some of these ideas,
and, you know, everybody's journey different.
Everybody's path is different.
And that's part of what makes this community so special.
So, thanks for listening and let me know what you think.