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Great Expectations

Donna Greenidge smiles into the camera.

By Donna Greenidge

Welcoming a new January is both exciting and frightening. 

This past year was smothered in COVID-19, lockdowns, social distancing and everyone outside of your home in a mask. Except in my apartment building, where less than 10 percent of the tenants even bother to put on a mask. It was soul-numbing. The goals we had planned for 2021 were not realized as the pandemic created unforeseen circumstances and a flood of sadness and malaise. It was also the year of television, streaming services and TV marathons. We all watched a lot of the programming on a cornucopia of channels, including AMI. But, with trepidation, we all wondered, what will 2022 offer?

Well, it's here! Once more, Ontario has started the new year in a kind of lockdown as the Omicron virus attacks thousands. Unfortunately, this restricted way of living, including students learning remotely, is not a helpful motivator for many to foresee success. 

Last year, I took a remote, intense, post-graduate certificate at Humber College. The course is called Professional Writing and Communications. This one-year program ends with an internship and that is where AMI will significantly impact my life. As a writing intern, I will be working for Accessible Media Inc. in their Marketing and Communications department. There is no way to truly become a professional writer without actually writing. My dream is to have a career in a field I love, including creating ideas and passionately smashing them out on my keyboard. So many of us have different career goals and the only way to see if it is the right choice for you is to actually do it!

That is the gift I have started this month at AMI. The vision statement of this company embodies so many of the values that are important to me. On their website, it states their vision, “Establish and support a voice for Canadians with disabilities, representing their interests, concerns and values through accessible media, reflection and portrayal.” As a person with a vision disability that can often hamper success at other companies, working for AMI, where those with any disability are hired and respected, is a real gift. 

Now I am not a spring chicken, more like a tough old duck when it comes to my age, but everyone of any age has dreams and hopes. Working as a writer at AMI is one of mine. I will write articles, edit, answer professional emails, work on social media posts, and much more. These projects will enhance my experience and help make me a viable candidate for a job in the professional writing industry. 

COVID-19 has also brought a new way of schooling and career into our world, doing it all remotely. Not only students but interns and professionals now spend their workdays in front of their own computer or a laptop supplied by their business. It has saved many of us from having to stand in awful weather waiting for a bus or driving down the streets, dreaming we were in a snowplough. That is good news, but the negative impact is the loss of human contact. 

I genuinely miss the pat on the back congratulating me on a great job or the reassuring touch on my arm with the knowledge that someone cares when I am sad. Meeting room conferences and exchanging ideas in person are now done via Zoom or Teams. It has demanded a new resilience from all of us, including me, to make an effort to have these meetings count as our business social interactions. It has made it imperative to call friends, text them and join virtual meet-up groups for our social gatherings. As humans, we need to be social, share, learn, and grow. Now we have to do it remotely, but we must continue this way, so we do more than survive. We have to fight to thrive. 

2022 has begun and my expectations for this year are great. My hopes for a positive year, despite COVID, are high. May we all have a positive journey this year, despite Covid and anything that held us back in 2021. Now back to my keyboard!