“Much of the beauty of light owes it’s existence to the dark.”
–Brene Brown, Daring Greatly
If you have ever read this blog before, I am sure you have noticed an immense amount of grammatical errors, there are sure to be some in this very post. I am not a speller, you will find (sp?) behind a plethora of words in this blog because I just don’t know how to spell. Also, I have also made it clear that I am not really a reader. This has ALWAYS been the case.
I was diagnosed as borderline dyslexic, ADD, ADHD and with a rarer learning disability called math dyscalclia(sp?) when I was in the 3rd grade. This was both a blessing and a curse. It helped me understand why I felt “dumb” all the time. Negatively, the diagnosis confirmed that something was wrong with me. Positively, it confirmed that this was a thing that not only I struggled with. This led to tutor after tutor and test after test to help me function at school.
Tonight I watched the documentary The Big Picture: Rething Dyslexia and I found myself smiling throughout most of the movie and even crying tears of joy at the end; feeling an intense sense of relief and being reminded that I was not the only one who faced this disability. As the documentary’s website says, “…dyslexia is a neurological issue and not a character flaw, The Big Picture beautifully illustrates that while the condition is an obstacle, it also carries some unique advantages, and ultimately can be overcome.”
Watching reminded me of faking sick so I wouldn’t have to be in class and getting my SAT scores and calling my sister, who was at Vanderbilt at the time, and saying through tears, “Mama and Daddy are going to have to go to parties and ‘oh yes, we have one daughter at Vandy and one at HCC.'” What I see now is, these and many other “failures” were portals of discovery.
Most importantly, the film reminded me of how much light has come from the darkness these learning disabilities have created. Light like, going to college and being successful because 1 test at the end of the semester meant I had the whole semester to catch up and understand. light like, building relationships with amazing educators, who believed in me. Light life, connecting with my students who were embarrassed like I was by my learning difference. And light like, coming to graduate school and proving everyone who never thought I could, wrong.
Richard Branson speaks in the film about how dyslexic people simplify everything and this creates and amazing ability to connect on a simple level with others, which builds trust. This is the trust I will need with my clients and will make me successful in life.
Here is my advice to anyone with a learning disability or an academic difference:
1)Find people who believe in you and will help you learn the way you need to. i.e. I have a friend who once drew out the way a dice looks like with the number of dots written out next to it so that I could participate in the game we were playing. Find people to help you push through the tough moments, because they will come.
2) Don’t be embarrassed. You are so smart. Book smarts and street smarts are completely different, don’t let a grade get you down. Use your resources and seek knowledge because you want it, not because some else wants you to have it.
3)Get Face time. How does someone prove on paper they are a problem solver, leader and thinker if test scores or misspelled words are the only thing they see? I still don’t know, but a solution is showing someone how wonderful you are in person. If you want a job, network and interview. People will always recognize your greatness once you speak to them face to face.
4) You have gotten this far. You are s solution based thinker-use that to perservere. You are hardwired to be creative, embrace that innovation and go create greatness.
5) Watch this movie. It is incredible.
Thank you to those of you who have continued to push me to read, accepted my phonetically spelled words and who let me mooch off you in school. You make me better and help me see my light. **This especially goes for you family. ily.