By Appointment

“Adversity has the effect of eliciting talents which in prosperous circumstances would have remained dormant” – Horas

As a child I was dyslexic. Early in primary school, both my teacher and I would become frustrated with each other…I because she kept telling me to write, when I couldn’t, and that It was in front of everyone where I became embarrassed…and her, because I couldn’t do what she wanted me to do – write! I remember the feeling of being so ostracized and pointed out, which I truly believe was one of the greatest blessings of my life. I became determined at that point, to overcome my dyslexia, practicing with my mum at home until one day, I could finally write properly.

Mum was in the bank withdrawing her pension when I wrote my name without the L being upside down and back to front and everything else correct. I remember running up to her with the slip of paper in my hand, over the moon at my achievement! I felt that learning how to write, I could now do anything I wanted! It was a feeling I remember clearly! From that day on, I used paper as my friend, my confidant and therapy. I have been writing journals ever since! Today, writing is my strength, not my weakness. I have used this challenge to propel me forward, to develop myself and inspire me to learn. Every day now is an opportunity for me to educate myself, which I feel deep down is a gift from my childhood learning struggles! What a blessing in disguise.

My point is, we must use our hardships, our challenges and difficulties to flip things around and learn from…as inspiration and fuel to strengthen ourselves. Life gives us challenges for a reason, to test us and see how much we really want something! I believe the hurdles that are placed before us through our journey, are artfully aligned, exactly as they are supposed to be. Our unique struggles and hardships are specifically cut out to teach us exactly what we need to learn. My childhood learning “disability” taught me simply not to give up! Dyslexia also taught me to appreciate the power of writing, and what a privilege it is to be able to share myself through words!

Growing up in the welfare system with my parents grappling with substance addiction, writing has been my way of processing and digesting my experiences, and also of reflecting upon them, extracting meaning and purpose from my journey. I feel as if my triumph of overcoming my learning (reading and writing) challenges, has taught me not only to appreciate the value of such a tool, but to utilise it well, as a gift…to treasure it. Once dyslexic, now, since learning to read and write, I do it every day!

I feel that words open up the mind to realms beyond contemplation, to broaden our mind’s horizons and develop our mental capacities! Knowing that the mind is the driving force behind our lives, why would we not value such enormous possibilities to learn and share? I am grateful beyond measure that we live in an age where education is free! At the tip of our fingers, we can learn anything we want to. What a gift!

As someone who has overcome childhood adversity, experiencing dyslexia, with family separation and welfare interventions, self education has become my savior! If there was nothing else for me growing up…there was learning and education…and that was the very thing that knew could never be taken from me…a wealth that was internal, and therefor eternal! What are your hurdles teaching you, that you need to know? If we are the writers of our lives, holding the pencil of our mind, what painful sharpening have you been through, that can be turned to your advantage?

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