As I spend the first quarter of 2017 finishing up my education, my goal is to be at least partially fluent in American Sign Language by the end of the year. Growing up, my grandmother was a large influence for me. I associate ASL with her directly. She was the one who actually started a wing for the deaf at our family church that I grew up with. It has bothered me greatly for the last few years knowing that my knowledge of sign language and how to speak it is severely limited. I can tell you that I love you, I can tell you the letter “A”, and I can tell you fuck you, of course.
I still kick myself to this day that I didn’t ask her more to teach me. I vaguely recall briefly asking her which she kindly obliged. But I was little, and became bored and distracted easily. I feel that had I taken it more seriously growing up it could have brought us closer together than we already were. Learning it now as an adult, I understand will be more difficult than it would be had I became more dedicated when I was a child, but I also think that it will make me feel more connected to her spirit.
2017 is going to be a lot of things for me. Of all the things, it is definitely going to be the year of reevaluating when to say no. This is the year where I right down my list of things I want to do and check them off as I go.
2016 was the year of healing the wound. 2017 is the year of new beginnings.