28 June 2010

Day 93: Kyle B. (guest blogger)

I’ll Scream Later by Marlee Matlin. ISBN: 9781439102855.

Being half-deaf, coming to terms with deaf/Deaf people in media has always been kind of a mixed bag for me. On one hand, I understand a little bit of what they have to go through from day to day; on the other, I have no idea what it’s like to be totally deaf. Any hearing person can cover his ears and see how much of a difference that makes and, even with muted sound, that is not what being deaf is really like anyway.

Matlin was not born deaf, but actually lost her hearing. In itself, that is a staggering blow. Everyone struggles with things they’re born with, but she has that plus a handicap that has actually happened to her. In that way, she is a bit of heroine to me.

The thing I love about her is not that she managed to do some crazy things despite the fact that she’s deaf. It’s more about what she decided she’s unable to do. Want to know what the only occupation a profoundly deaf young girl decided was too dangerous? Being a beat police officer.

Reading her story was kind of a constant reminder of “Why the heck haven’t I done that?” While the theatrical, outspoken deaf woman decided (on a whim, to impress her kids,) that she was going to be on a TV show about professional dancing, I still sometimes struggle to come up with a good reason to keep doing things I actually love doing.

I’ve heard that most great creators complete their work by the age of 30, and creativity dies off quickly after the 20s. I fight against this idea every day, but I am constantly thinking about it. I know it’s stereotypical, but I want to leave behind something that I can be proud of in some respect, and not just a lvl 100 Charizard.

I’ve been coming around to a slightly different kind of thinking. It had been on my mind pretty heavily a while ago when a good friend of mine through high school suddenly passed away. He was a writer, and to my knowledge never ended up publishing anything at all. He traveled around and tried to find a place, worked a job, built a life, and his death came right at a time that I was struggling with the idea of what I’m doing with my life.

At the funeral, though, I started to see how he had accomplished something by affecting the people he came in contact with every day. I think I've started to realize that doing great work doesn't have to be about a great work. I've always felt that people and actions are more important than much everything else, but that's a tough viewpoint to hold in a project-based, accomplishment world.

I’m pretty sure, even though Matlin is not really the best moral role model, (seriously, the girl got into some trouble, even for being deaf), that she gets this. I’m hoping eventually, I might get it too.

Kyle B. is some guy you've never heard of, but he's okay with that. He's a writer and journalist (also both a lover and fighter) that graduated from Kent State University a few years ago, with some slight gainful employment since. He loves to read but pretty much puts a new book back on the shelf if a couple of the first words on the jacket are "murder mystery" or "romance."

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