Posted by jennifer gibson on Wednesday, April 5, 2017 Under: April 2017
After the sudden death of my mother, the world I knew shifted overnight. While reeling from her loss and scrambling to deal with the mountain of paperwork and funeral arrangements, it hit me in terms of just how much of a loss it was. There was now a huge void in my life. Even though we lived independent lives and ran our own home based businesses, we found a way to balance everything by helping each other. She was able to do things that I couldn't and I was there to pitch in whenever she needed me.
Mom was the only one in the family that used sign language with me on a daily basis even though she had arthritis. This made it easier for me and filled in the gaps that I often missed during a normal conversation. My hearing aids could only pick up so much information which was an average of 50%, the rest was following body language and social cues as well as a lot of guessing. She always knew whenever I was struggling and was there to offer support in any way she could. Even something as simple as making a phone call on my behalf made a world of difference.
She left enormous shoes for me to fill. My mother was a very social person, she loved being involved with the community and meeting new people. Despite Mom's physical disability and severe pain, she enjoyed helping others whether it be for fundraising purposes or providing support as a friend. If there wasn't a local group that shared the same interest as her, she would go ahead and create one! She did this so that she could share the same passion with others in our small town.
What made her truly unique was her ability to overcome her physical limitations and follow her heart. Despite the immense pain that she was in, she was determined to go after her dreams and find a way to spend time with people she loved. Somehow, she found the strength within her to keep moving forward and find a goal to achieve, whether it be tackling the tall stack of books to read or doing some sketches and watercolour painting.
Her love for helping others, created an incredible link in our neighbourhood. She shone like a star which also had an impact at home. She provided support for me in so many ways and created a tangible link to other people that she knew could help me.
Having a profound hearing loss, which means I'm deaf without hearing aids, can be an isolating experience, particularly in a small, rural town. Now that she is no longer here with me, I can feel that impact even more on my own. The ability to survive and thrive is proving to be more insurmountable. As a single person, living alone, I have to find a new way to move forward, discover a new career and acquire a new home which is both exciting and terrifying.
This is not necessarily a sudden step for me, I have been considering making new changes in my life for some time now. I've been feeling the need to evolve and grow lately and this seems to be the time to do it. I know it feels right, it's a necessary leap that I need to take. Although I've been trying to figure out where I fit in. My skills have expanded over the years that grew from being a photographer and graphic designer, to doing multimedia work, being a public speaker and published author. I often tackled large projects on my own with remarkable success and gained valuable experience in the process. It felt nice to be able to do this where I could be proud of the work I did. Ironically, my skill set expanded so much that I was frequently told that I was "overqualified" by prospective employers. Now, as I tackle "job searching", I'm discovering that I really do stand out like a square peg in a round hole. I knew that I was different but this made me realize that I don't really fit into a single category.
I'm going to borrow an experience from one of my favourite shows, Supergirl. When she lost her powers, she immediately felt helpless, lost without her sense of identity or purpose. She made a remark that it was a part of who she was, and it defined her true personality. It meant a lot to her to be help others and be a part of this world. That resonated with me since it reminded me of what I'm going through right now and she's right. What I do, is essentially who I am. Growing up with a hearing loss defined me like a shining diamond, it added numerous facets to my personality. Supergirl wanted to be able to contribute to the society and that is exactly how I feel too. That's where I am right now, trying to find my place in the world.
So, if you are looking for someone to hire that has oodles of experience with graphic design, photography, desktop publishing, book cover design, writing and public speaking, I'm the one you want! My online portfolio and book-cover page offers a quick glimpse of my skills, go though them and see if it's the right fit for you. I'm also an advocate for people with disabilities, namely hearing loss and find that this is an area that I'm passionate about. You'll find that I am willing to move anywhere as long as my fur-babies come with me, after all, they are my fur-family. If you are willing to include me in your life, I'll happily join you and your team, just like Supergirl.
In : April 2017
Tags: mom "cheryl gibson" "new life" "moving on" "job search"