I was in the hairdresser today getting a new look; a load of layers that are designed to tame my shaggy hair. So far it is working. But while I was there I started chatting to the receptionist and I found out that the owner and hairdresser is also a dyslexic…
That got me thinking. Do dyslexics make their own fate?
My hairdresser is a determined lady and has her own shop, despite being young. I’m making my own life too, by writing and drawing. I know why I do it, and from talking today I think it is the same as other dyslexics. Basically, I can’t hold down a job, a normal job.
I have no muscle memory. You know how you can teach yourself to do something and in the end it becomes automatic? Well, I don’t have that. It takes years, and I mean years, to be able to build muscle memory. I have been writing since 2011 and I am almost there with the keyboard. But whilst at uni I tried to get a job in the local cheese factory.
Easy job – put the cheese in a box. Except I couldn’t remember how to put the cheese in a box. Each box was like the first. There was no automatic movement. It was so tiring and in the end it was the manager who took me to one side and said I wasn’t fast enough. I lost the job.
I suppose the problem could be more dyspraxia rather than dyslexia but it really doesn’t matter what label I give it the result is the same. So I stepped out of ‘ordinary’ working life and made my own.
I’d always thought to myself as optimistic. I mean, I get up everyday and I work at the writing despite the fact that I don’t know if it will work. Then I mentioned to my mum that I thought I was optimistic.
“No, you aren’t,” she said.
And then she explained why. I expect to fail. I have moved through my life and everything I have tried that could be considered a career has failed. So now I expect it.
I don’t want to. Not anymore.
I want to succeed. I want to be a writer and artist, and I want to feel optimistic about the possibilities that are opening up for me. But I have a voice in the back of my head saying that it won’t work. I think this is my muscle memory. I have learnt that I won’t succeed so I believe it.
So now I have made up my mind. I will succeed and I will start to believe it. I refuse to allow my past to rule my future.