In certain social environments, like my own, books are the quintessential symbol of intelligence, education, knowledge and status. Not reading is often viewed as shallow and unintelligent.
From an early age it was clear that, unlike my sister who was straight ‘A’ student and read every book on the shelf, I had difficulties with reading, writing and math. The problem is that our education system treats reading as if it’s the ultimate way of learning and development. Yet it’s not my way.
My mom knew the importance of reading aloud to children. Besides the fact that it supports the relationship between child and parent, it develops the passion for books and it promotes emerging literacy and language development. Except for the fact that she failed fostering a lifelong love of book reading, I am grateful that she continued reading me books till the age of 13! Along with that she tutored me, with all of my schoolwork, throughout my entire school career.
It took me quite some time to admit but I do not read books nor do I follow the news. I find no comfort in sitting still and gazing at a book or watching the news. You might think it’s unwillingness, it is not. I can not lose myself into the reading or absorbing information like the news. I am not able to focus, my brain is not willing to detach from reality around me. I tune out and drift away unless it has my full interest.
For a long time I felt dumb and at times I still do. At the moment I am in the middle of a process of accepting the fact that my limitations are due to a learning disability. Career wise I would like to take it to the next level but more than ever I realize that there is a big discrepancy between my cognitive skills and my intellect.
On account of my creativity, determination, intelligence and the help and faith of my mom I overcame many struggles by finding my own tools. It’s my call to deal with and overcome my limitations and to focus on my strength. -Bregje