As a child, it was unclear why I had difficulty in school. Reading, writing, spelling…anything that required “decoding” just didn’t make sense to me. Why could other kids do it, but I couldn’t? I felt stupid — less than my peers — and ended up hiding in the farthest corners of my classrooms, shrinking away. Teachers stopped calling on me, stopped expecting anything from me, but I never stopped caring.
Back then, less was known about Dyslexia* and even today, the debate continues.
As I got older, art became my solace. Art made sense to me. Colors and designs swirled in my mind, dancing off the paper and out of the clay. Did you know that people with Dyslexia can have increased color receptors and often see things in 3D? I thought everyone saw the world the same way.
My realizations about this so called learning disability I’d lived with my whole childhood started to shift when I was searching for answers for my son. This search led me to a book called “The Gift of Dyslexia” by Ronald Davis, and it changed my life. One of the first pages shows a list of very famous people who also happen to be dyslexic. How is it possible that could I be amongst one of these amazing people? Did they have the same struggles? Did they see the world through my same eyes?
The tide began to change. The day I realized not everyone sees the world the way I do, was the day I realized that dyslexia was more than a label for me…it was my super power and I needed to embrace it!
My parents encouraged and applauded my every accomplishment–lifting me up at every turn. I embraced this new world wholeheartedly. I dove, head first into the art world. All things art – sculpture, painting, jewelry, metalsmithing and design. I went to college at Maine College of Art and received a degree in jewelry and metalsmithing. My confidence was growing. The possibilities were unfolding.
Fast forward through three decades of experience with the loving support of family, friends and an amazing circle of professional women (thank you Lauren!), I no longer sit in the corner. I stand right in the front row and raise my hand high!
I am a successful business woman with my own gallery. I’ve received multiple awards from art organizations, have seen my jewelry featured at high-end galleries across the United States and even run an apprentice program for aspiring jewelers.
I own my dyslexia and have made it work for me instead of against me. If you ever want to talk about how I turned my struggle into a super power, drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org!
*Dyslexia is a learning disorder that involves difficulty reading due to problems identifying speech sounds and learning how they relate to letters and words (decoding). Also called reading disability, dyslexia affects areas of the brain that process language.