Saturday, November 9, 2013

My Dysfunctional Brian

Let me take you back a few decades to when I was young. I looked like every normal kid. I had the eighties hair style and the handmade shorts with bright neon colors made to look like triangles and paint splatters were at war. Oh, and don't forget the jelly shoes that I wore to bed because I loved them far too much to take off. I had brothers, one sister and parents that loved me. I worked and played hard, like I was taught to do. But . . .

There was one thing different.

My brain didn't work right.

I never understood what was wrong with me--still don't for that matter. I don't remember being tested for any specific learning disorder, but I did spend my entire elementary and middle school years sitting with Mrs. Alexander in the resource center.

I grew  up knowing I was stupid. Being told that my whole life, how could I not believe that? I didn't understand why or how things couldn't make sense. I would look at one sentence or even one word for several minutes without understanding what I was looking at. I'd take a test and spend five entire minutes rereading one paragraph, not comprehending the words. It was almost as if they would mix up once inside my head. If I could explain it, I would say it's like the letters and words went into my brain then changed along the way, making it look like dark foreign marks. Reading had always been my least favorite thing to do. Of course I feel differently now, but I remember my tears dripping onto many book pages, wishing I could have been doing anything other than reading at that moment.

By the time I advanced into middle school I had given up on trying. I knew no matter what I did I would barely pass any test. The only subject I loved was art. I did enjoy learning history, but remembering dates, places and names was a nightmare. When I entered college I thought taking a class on Art history could be rewarding and being two of the subject I was most interested in, I could pass . . . right? . . . Wrong. I soon learned memorizing long Greek words was a recipe for failure.

Words are my worst enemy. Not too long ago I was writing one of my stories and I wrote the word 'across'. To my astonishment the wiggly red line showed up below it, claiming it as misspelled. I kid you not, I looked at that word for nearly ten minutes, not understanding what was wrong with it. In my eyes there was nothing wrong and I began wondering if my software had malfunctioned.
It hadn't. It was my brain. I had to walk away from it then when I came back I realized I had switched the r and the c.

I know, I know, you're sick of hearing that tiny violin that's playing My Heart Bleeds For You. I'll stop.

Despite this sob story about my dysfunctional brain, all the self-esteem issues and bad grades over the years, I still write.

It wasn't until I became an adult that I learned I loved stories. Reading was still difficult. It takes me longer and at times I mess up the words, but I found a love for it regardless. Three years ago I began what was to be a short story for my daughter that I would illustrate for her for a Christmas present. It ended up being a 80,000 word novel that I quickly condemned and set aside.
But I started another story, then another until it snowballed into almost ten novels written with many more ideas on the back burner.
I write because I'm driven. I love it. I do it because I truly want to show my children that no matter your setbacks or difficulty, I you can win.
I will be a published author some day. I know that because my Father in Heaven has set a path for me. He's opened doors that I couldn't open on my own. He's guided me to those who have helped me along the way and given me the knowledge that I need to proceed.

There are days when I struggle with writing. Words don't come to me as easily as they do to most writers. There are times when I am given tasks to do and callings to preform and I automatically think I can't do it. I believe that I'm not smart enough or quick witted to pull something so important off.

But I've learned something over the last couple years. I've learned that the only way I can overcome this way of thinking is to try. I might not be the best or the smartest for the job, but I'm going to try.
I'm going to push myself out of my comfort zone and become the woman my Father in Heaven intended me to be. I know I can be a leader. I don't know how I can accomplish something so far beyond anything I thought possible for myself, but I know I am meant to be a writer and a leader.

There are many of you who believe in me and my stories, and to them I say with tear filled eyes, thank you. Forever and ever, thank you.
I will push forward and write on!

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