“I Am More Than Just Okay”
I grew up different — with learning disabilities and challenges that might deflate and defeat other children. But I also grew up lucky — with parents who never doubted my ability to never give up. They knew I was more than alright, and so I did, too.
For more than 30 years, I have lived with learning disabilities. It’s who I am. I accept it, even if it means I have work twice as hard.
For example, I pick up information fairly quickly, but retaining that information it is a whole other matter. In school, I recorded the teachers’ lectures and listened to them when I returned home. I had to have tests read to me so I could comprehend the material.
My junior high geography teacher made us memorize the names of all 50 states and then periodically quizzed us. God bless this man! Whenever a quiz date was approaching, he met with me and gave me hints for remembering. (One that stuck with me: Louisiana is shaped like a boot.)
Also, I can’t tie my shoes. My fine motor skills are so weak that I wear slip-on shoes or ones with Velcro or zippers.
I can type 60+ words per minute, but I use just the first couple of fingers with the rest lying on the keyboard.
All of this extra work and all of these extra workarounds could have bred resentment or a sense of defeat in me. But whenever I’ve felt like giving up, my Mom and Dad have shown nothing but pure faith and confidence in me: “You can do it. Don’t give up.”
Sometimes, knowing that other people believe in you is all it takes to keep you pushing forward when you feel like falling down. So, to anyone out there who needs this right now: You are more than okay; you are the most amazing You there is, and I know you will do great things.
Updated on September 9, 2019