I have a secret: dyslexia. I know now, that I owe my amazing, challenging and satisfying life and career to it. I want others in my boat to share in making lemonade out of lemons too!
Most folk’s associate dyslexia with writing letters and numbers backwards, but it is so much more than that. While I use to be ashamed, embarrassed and plain frustrated with it, I now own it and am liberated. This all happen after I watched the HBO documentary “The Big Picture” that was like watching my life unfold.
Living a life of avoiding writing anything for another to read is a feeling I never want again. I really didn’t know how horrible of a speller (only one of the many issues of dyslexia) I was until I went to work and had to write phone message notes to the boss. Whew…it didn’t take long before he came to me and offered to red pen my notes to help me learn. I was so embarrassed, but today, I am ever so grateful. That simple gesture alerted me that what you put on paper or computer will result in what folks may think of you as a person—this may not be right, but it’s true. He didn’t want others to think poorly of me because I couldn’t spell.
While it was a difficult and a large pill to swallow as I watched “The Big Picture” on HBO, it took several times to take it all in— it liberated me. I now know what to blame for my continued success in areas that “normal” folks marvel in that I do. Perhaps my greatest gift is speaking in front of groups. I understand now it’s thanks to my dyslexia that it is so easy for me, while writing a handwritten note makes me shudder.
“The Big Picture” is a documentary revealing much, including the discovery that dyslexics are missing a necessary part in the brain. It’s not that we don’t apply ourselves or we are just plain stubborn, only a couple of the labels applied to me as I struggled to make it out of school—where I truly felt like I was a prisoner.
What are some of the strongest areas for dyslexics? Incredible problem solvers, entrepreneurship, and excellent public speakers-we speak from the heart instead of notes. It was so empowering for me to see some of my qualities and hindrances and how I can take the lemons and make lemonade!
To learn more about dyslexia and the documentary click here.
Lisa Mason Ziegler is a commercial cut-flower farmer in Newport News, Virginia; she lectures and writes about organic and sustainable gardening. You can email Lisa at [email protected] , call her at 757-877-7159 or visit her website www.shoptgw.com .
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