Sunday, January 17, 2010

London Calling

This is it...all those years of planning and dreaming of living in another country have finally paid off! I am about to spend a semester filled with Brit speak, rides on the subway or as they called it: the tube, traveling, snapping pictures, embarrassing myself in front of suave Europeans, and so on. I look forward to experiencing a new and strange lifestyle.

According to research, less than 1% of the college student population actually go study abroad. I am proud of be part of this small percentage. How often do you get the chance to say you have lived in another country for months?? Granted, I am intimidated with the big change coming my way. I do no know anybody who will be attending the university with me, I do not really know anyone in London. But hey, it gives me a chance to reinvent myself and go on a gazillion adventures. My goal is to learn and adapt to the ideas and lifestyles of Londoners as well as Europeans. I believe it is the best way to grow as a humanitarian and as a young adult. Experiences and choices help define who we are and who we want to be. Obviously, my choice to study abroad is a step towards worldly adventures.

I have 2 suitcases to pack, one plane to board, and four months of the European lifestyle to live! Life is good! :)

In the words of Joey Tribbiani- "London Baby!!!"

My foot tastes like sour patch kids...

A few months ago, I received my second cochlear implant on the right ear. I must admit, I never thought I'd have such a difficult struggle with it. The sounds itself made my world so foreign, I could not understand my own speech therapist with just the new implant isolated. I really believed it would not get any better at all. I lost faith and belief in myself and the new implant. I began to conveniently "forget" to wear it on a daily basis. I told myself that the potential of bionic hearing was no longer attainable because this thing was making my friends and family sound like they had an addiction to helium.

Over time, I slowly wore the Nucleus 5 (the new implant, aka N5) for short periods of time. Sometimes it was just to please certain people and make them think I was wearing it all the time. One day, I was out visiting with good friends of mine and the batteries on the 3G (old implant) died right as I got to their house, of course, I didn't have an extra pack with me. Whoo hoo! That meant I had to deal with the N5 alone. It was difficult, but over time (I was there for quite a few hours) it became easier and I noticed that I was not as frustrated as I was at the beginning of the visit. On the way home, I decided to listen to music. A familiar song came up and I could almost follow along with it. It did not sound like a country song, I could not hear the guitar or the bass. Instead, it all sounded like triangles and cymbals chiming consistently. I was glad I could follow along, while at the same time I was freaked out about the pitches of the music.

A few weeks later, some teammates from the National team came to visit me over the holidays and we went downtown to explore Denver and eat at the Hard Rock Cafe. At one point, all of us split up to look at our favorite shops. When I walked towards the shop to check on Laura, she called my name from the benches and I responded quickly. I didn't realize until a few days later that I did not have to search around for her, I knew exactly where she was calling from. This epiphany revealed how miraculous this N5 device is and how important it is for me to continue wearing it.

With that being said, I certainly have put my ginormous foot in my mouth and it tastes like sour patch kids; sour at first, but sweet right after. The N5 is not easily likable, it takes time, just like sour patch kids.