October 3, 2018
Something that I don’t do often is show my weaknesses because it opens up my true life struggles. No one enjoys talking about their struggles, I am one of those people. In order though for me to tell you my “WHY,” I have to let you in on the thing I hated most about myself; the thing I was often disappointed in and tried over and over again to fix. I even prayed that God would remove this piece of me that he created and loved.
As a child growing up, I was always active, the “go get it” type of personality. I was also someone who tried to prove how tough I could be. I was the person who wanted to win no mater what. This grew into my teenage years and on through college, and even now. Though I have become a better version of these personalities, they are still a BIG part of who I am today. You might be wondering what was my struggle or what I wanted to change about myself…
Diagnosed at the age of 12
I used to hate that I had a learning difference growing up. I gave 100% of myself for my studies and almost every time I was let down. Through grade school every subject was all so hard for me, especially reading and spelling. I would learn best when having someone read to me rather than me reading myself. I just loved being able to go outside on breaks, doing something other than my studies and tap into photography.
At the age of 14, I saved up enough money and bought my first camera! I am from a large family and would photograph my siblings for fun! I LOVED being able create, and used this outlet to get my mind off of my learning difference. Yet, school the thing that was the hardest for me, was always there to return to. I had such a hard time with anything to do with textbooks. I learned most by observing real life situations rather then trying to figure out a large algebra equation. It was such a relief graduating high school (even if I was a year behind).
Dyslexia runs in my family, it’s proven to be genetic. My grandma and aunt have it and are true creatives, this helped me not feel as alone. I am thankful for my parents taking me to a specialist after being diagnosed with dyslexia. This specialist, along with the help of my parents, taught me how to learn in a new way and was able to excel. Overall, I was always grateful for the love and support of my family, but I still had troubles. Even though I was never looked down upon, I still had the feeling as if I didn’t fit in or I was simply “dumb.”
When college rolled around, these struggles came back. I could study my heart out then be let down with bad grades. I refused to have a reader or tell anyone I was dyslexic due to the fear of being “different.” I tried so hard, but still felt the feeling of not measuring up to everyone hung over my head. Sitting in that cold classroom, one student after the next submitted their test to the professor, and walked out. Each time this happened, the anxiety built up more and more. To no surprise, I was always the last student in the classroom. This learning difference really messed with my head for the longest time and still creeps in from time to time. This doubt in myself lead me to not pursuing a college degree. Instead, I focused on what I knew I was good at, photography.
The crazy thing is, I LOVE learning! I commit hours every weak to learn and study. This is either deeper learning into my practice or simply learning from anybody who knows something I don’t. A the years pass, I continue to crave more knowledge. This is something I pray for, because I want to understand and absorb what I can. Through prayer, the Bible, classes with other creatives, people, podcasts, videos and audio books this is where I tap into this hunger of mine.
Even though I have no college degree, learning is one of my favorite things. I am so inspired by those who have dyslexia and excelled in life as individuals. That is why I have added their names all through this blog post. I also am inspired by those that didn’t attain a college degree, but yet made a name for themselves! Then I realized, college isn’t for everyone…
4 years ago, I decided to do what Im passionate about and focus on my strengths rather than my struggles. Photography was my golden ticket. It was the thing I enjoyed most the people around me loved that I produced. I was able to use this God gifted talent for others by capturing their memories.
These Presidents were believed to be dyslexic.
My desire was to be the girl who could win in life, to prove I was tough. Dyslexia was the thing I couldn’t win at, and held me back in school, even as hard as I pushed through. I remember so many conversations with my mom. She would say over and over again, I have the gift of dyslexia and being creative. Never knowing how to take that, I couldn’t understand, because I was looking at it the wrong way.
Over the last four ears, things have become very clear to me. I use the opposite side of my brain, which is for creativity and the arts. It’s no wonder why I always loved any type of artsy work when it came to grade school. Now years later, it’s no surprise that I work in a creative industry as a professional wedding photographer. I believe this is God’s master plan for what I am supposed to do and how he has designed me. I will never be done learning and seeing new light on Christ’s plan for my life.
I have learned so much about myself through dyslexia… the thing I at one point hated the most about myself, I now appreciate the most. There are many positive outcomes and one of my favorite side effects of being a dyslexic, is the power of creativity. Being a photographer, allows me to be a true creative. Those times I’ve prayed asking God to remove what he gave me, I am now am thanking him for how he has wired me. Who knows, if this wouldn’t have been my story, if He wouldn’t have blessed me with a learning difference.. I might not have had the mindset to become an artist and tell stories through images. In other words, I might have never become a photographer.
For those of you who might be down from having learning difference, STOP believing lies. Trust me, I know it’s hard. Put your mind to something and you can achieve it. You might fail, a lot but stay positive and look to Christ for strength and fulfillment! It’s something that was my greatest struggle and at times still gives me anxiety. I know God doesn’t mess up on my story and he won’t mess up on yours. He has created everything about you for a purpose. YOU aren’t who you are by mistake or without cause, because Christ our maker doesn’t make mistakes. IF you let him into your life, God will use you plus your struggles to be a light for someone else, going through a battle. The many times I prayed asking God why He made me with a learning difference and why I couldn’t learn like everyone else I now see in a new way. You might see your struggles as a negative, but once you turn it into a positive… you will find your voice.
To finish out this post, here is a social experiment Kate Griggs did on dyslexia. What the world sees as a “disability” is in fact quite the opposite. Whether you’re dyslexic or not, watch this experiment. It’s quite eye opening in reference this large topic.
I would love to connect with you! Feel free to leave a comment below on your struggles, maybe you have the same struggle as myself… I’d enjoy to hear about it!
My hope is that with this post, I am able to allow you a look into my life. This is the first time of being public with my struggle of dyslexia and honestly it’s the best feeling. I want to overcome the fear of being different or not being accepted, because Christ made me to fulfill his purpose. I no longer what to keep who I am hidden, I want be real and to use my struggle to spread awareness and encouragement for others.