If you would have told me a few years ago I’d become a writer… I wouldn’t have believed this. I would have been thinking back. Back to my elementary school days when I was called upon to read out loud and I could feel the terror in my body. The humiliation was about to start as I stumbled to pronounce the words and as my classmates stared at me and giggled. I had a learning disability and reading and writing did not come easy to me.
I do remember my mother meeting with my first grade teacher as I waited in the hallway. Later in my life, I’d have these moments again, just differently. Waiting in a hallway, not sure what was going on in that room. I seem to wait and wait and I could hear a discussion but not the words. Was I sensing the vibration? I now think so. My mother wouldn’t tell me and back then I’m not sure children were tested for learning disabilities.
So… I continued on in school and yes, I struggle. I tried public speaking in high school and was certain I’d faint. I had difficulty speaking from a script and even though I tried to memorize it, I seemed to forget and then ad lib it. This (my creativity and often spontaneous humor) did not make my teachers happy but, for me often making people laugh at my humanness, did.
I made it through high school. I wrote what I had to write. I read what I had to read. I found it exhausting. Reading for pleasure, I wouldn’t find until later in my life.
Once I reached college, the struggle magnified. The ante was certainly raised. I spent hours longer on my assignments than my peers but maybe that kept me out of trouble. By now, I was so sick of seeing red pen marks over too many of my words. Teachers couldn’t see past my spelling… to the quality of the message. I’d be thinking I wrote a B+ paper and would often see, D’s. I was told to, get a dictionary but a dictionary didn’t help when my spelling was so off that I couldn’t even look up the word to spell it correctly. My mother did buy me pocket-size bad spellers dictionary and that did seem to help a bit. Thanks mom.
Computers were becoming popular in my college years and thank God for spell check by my junior year. I’m certain I wouldn’t have graduated without it. I thought spell check was the greatest invention ever. Like a hearing aid for the deaf. I can still remember the first time I ran it on a document. Despite the fact that I had lots of words underlined in red, I had hope. It gave me a starting point to fix them.
I remember in order to graduate college, I had to complete a 30 page typed thesis. I spent weeks on it. I was on page 28 and in tears. It was the best I could do. I wasn’t lazy, I’d done my research. I just didn’t think any more words were needed. I handed it in and it was given back to me to complete. Somehow, I had to dig ever deeper and come up with two more pages. Can I tell you though, I hate forced writing?
Now, I chuckle. I have hundreds and hundreds of typed pages. I love reading and writing. I’ve learned so much from books. I often carry one with me since you never know when you might get a few quiet minutes. A book is a great companion and can turn any boring or frustrating moment into a new adventure.
So I did feel it was important to place this on my blog. Trust me, I do try to get my words right. At times, I see typos. I don’t see the misspellings or grammar no-no’s. I just write from my heart. I put a comma where I feel one is needed. I start sentences with, And and But and for some reason I type women when I mean, woman. I believe the message is more important. So if you are an editor or school teacher, my writing might be a perfect playground for you, lol.
The good news is, my LD… whatever it might be, is in no way is tied into my self-worth. It doesn’t impair me. Limit me. It isn’t, me. Maybe it takes me longer to read or write but who cares! I don’t let it stop me from doing what I love. I write this today because I believe everyone has a story to tell. Let nothing stop you from telling it! Try and try again. It may take time, practice and patience AND it’s worth it. Find your thoughts, your voice and a way to express yourself. And, thank you for reading!