Interviews

Moving forward

April 9, 2018
As I move forward to new beginnings in my life, I've become more aware of how my daily experiences, particularly with a hearing loss, have become valuable lessons for me. 

Every single one of us goes through this every day, it's how we grow and evolve as human beings. It's how we discover our strengths and weaknesses, through the situations we face on a regular basis. Whether it's during our commute, at work, during sports or at home, there is always something for us to learn. 

It can be the smallest things from going outside to feed the birds, hanging out with our pets, giving a dollar or two to the homeless person on the sidewalk, or buying a cup of coffee for the next person in line at Tim Horton's. It may not seem like much, but to them, it can make a world of a difference. We may never how much of a difference we made, even for that day, but a small gesture can go a long ways. 

My mother had always been a kind and compassionate person, especially towards animals. She taught me that they deserved to be loved too, just like us. Life wasn't easy for her. She endured an incredible amount of turmoil and adversity as well as numerous physical ailments that made it challenging for her to enjoy life like everyone else. But, somehow, she found a way to shine through it all. She saw it as an opportunity to become a better person and be willing to try something new. When she realized that traditional medicine wasn't working, she considered alternative methods such as acupuncture or osteotherapy. Even though it may have been short term solutions, it provided the comfort that she needed to function so that she could be a part of the community that she loved.

She taught me that it was okay to have an open mind and not be afraid to speak up. Throughout her struggles, she showed me that it was okay to walk away from a toxic situation or relationship in order to protect ourselves. She had the ability to observe her surroundings from a distance since she was a skilled psychologist. This enabled her to be remain neutral and become a good listener. Most of all, I learned how to be a kind, gracious and humble person from her. She taught me to view every obstacle I faced as an important lesson to learn from. 

Even though Mom and I had disabilities, we both worked hard to overcome our limitations. As a result of our experiences, especially my own, our lives were very different. I became shy and distrustful whereas she enjoyed meeting new people and being socially active. 

While Mom is no longer with me, I'm still learning from her. Whenever I'm faced with a difficult situation, I often ask myself "what would she do in this case?" She likely would've told me to find a way to adapt to it that suits my needs. She would have wanted me to learn and grow from it. 

The other day, when I was in the kitchen and looking out the window, watching the birds and squirrels outside, it dawned on me that she is truly gone. A year later and it's still moments like those that hit me really hard. It's difficult to grasp the concept that I can no longer turn around and ask her for advice. Once in awhile, I'll expect to see her in the living room, sitting in her favourite chair, knitting a sock or watching Downton Abbey on TV. Then I'll stop and remember that it's now a memory. I have to keep moving forward in order to find a life for myself, it's what she would've wanted me to do. 

I recently told my students at the dojo that even though I'm an instructor, I'm still learning and trying to figure out what works best for all of us. I had to explain to them that even though I'm trained in several styles of martial arts and have years of experiences, I will still make mistakes. In many ways, I'm still a student and there is nothing wrong with that at all. I'm literally learning on the fly, modifying drills to fit the class. I may struggle with it but I still consider it to be a great learning experience for me. That is what makes me a better person. 

That's what it's all about: we are here to learn, our world is a big classroom for us to discover who we are as a human being. Every day offers us a lesson that could change our lives. I have no idea where my journey will take me but at least I'm willing to try.

 

Making a difference

February 22, 2018


As I finalize the details of my upcoming trip, I’m going over every aspect of it to ensure that I receive the necessary assistance for a (mostly) smooth trip. Invariably, there will always be a hiccup along the way, such as delays or that someone forgot I had a disability. Yes, I do have a disability, I don’t sugarcoat it by saying things like “I’m more able than disabled”.  Even though my profound hearing loss is invisible, it’s very real and a huge obstacle for me to overcome on...

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Thank you Nyle

February 19, 2018



After a day of rain, the snow is finally melting. It’s a nice change to watch the fog rise in the air, and I can see the ground again, a sign that spring is on it’s way. I’ve grown tired of the huge mounds of snow on my driveway that were as tall as my small car. The amount of ice and snow we had this year was beyond ridiculous.

During a break this morning, I took a look at my social media feed and came across a trending, hot topic. Deaf model and dancer, Nyle DiMarco, tweeted about h...


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Symbol of Hope

February 11, 2018




As the snow continues to fall outside during another winter storm, I’ve been spending time on Pinterest looking for new Supergirl wallpapers to use on my tablet. Yes, I’ll admit that I love that show, for so many personal reasons. I think it’s because I can relate to her. As someone with a hearing loss, I’m always searching for inspiration, someone to look up to and I find  that she is a great choice. 

Even though Supergirl is incredibly strong, fearless and determined to help others, ...

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Matters of the heart

January 22, 2018


This past weekend has been unusually warm with temperatures hovering above 5C along with beautiful sunshine. It was a welcome reprieve to the bone chilling temperatures at minus 25C and a ridiculous amount of snow. Because of the warm weather, much of the deep snow has melted, I can now view the grass peeking through in the front field and actually see my driveway. Although that might not last very long, since there is another storm headed this way with freezing rain. To me, that's a fun phot...
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Renewed Hope

January 3, 2018




So far I'm not impressed with the beginning of 2018. It has already been a frustrating week and it's only the second day of January.  Mind you, it has nothing to do with going back to my regular routine after a week-long holiday break. My body was screaming at me to take time off, wanting to heal some old injuries that came back with a vengeance. I took that opportunity to have some quiet time, do some reading and photography which I enjoy. This was a necessity so that I didn’t lose my mind...

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New dawn

December 14, 2017

As I sit in the yellow chair, sipping on candy cane flavoured coffee, my eyes fall on to the large beam of sunlight on the lilac wall. It's projecting a shadow of a nearby tree. The branches shake and shimmer in the wind, dancing to a tune of it's own. It's moments like this that I cherish these days. Time seems to slow down momentarily, giving me a chance to catch my breath and watch the shadows stretch across the snowy landscape as the sun begins to set early in the afternoon. 

Luna, my late...
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Stronger

November 16, 2017


After seeing the latest Jake Gyllenhaal movie, Stronger, I walked away with a profound sense of recognition. I immediately connected with him, particularly at the point when he realizes the impact that he is having on others, simply by being determined to stay strong. Like many of us in the theatre, I left with tears in my eyes and struggled to maintain my composure in such a public place.

Mind you, there were numerous moments throughout the movie where I disagreed with the...


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Passengers

October 5, 2017

The last few months have proven to be an incredible challenge for me on many levels, particularly after the death of my mother. I've been doing a lot of soul searching, trying to figure out where I fit in and how to utilize my skills. I'm continuing to evolve and change as I go through this new journey. 

While my hearing loss has defined me and given me opportunities to adapt and grow as a person. It has also forced me to come out of my comfort zone, especially since I'm quite shy, and to come...
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Alumni interview!

September 12, 2017



I was recently contacted by Sheridan College, the first college I attended right after high school. Much to my surprise, they wanted to interview me about my life. They came across one of my posts about the release of my fourth novel and wanted to know more. Needless to say, I was blown away by their genuine interest in my work. It's times like this that I wish my mother could've seen the article. I hope that I made her proud.

I have had people ask me why it's stories like this one that mean ...
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