When I was in first grade the teacher pulled me aside during one of our reading groups and started to have me tested. It wasn't until I had graduated from college and was towards the end of my second degree that one of my professors recognized that I was dyslexic. The irony was that I was getting a teaching degree in reading and speech. When I look back I see that even though I was pulled out of class I didn't believe that I had a reading problem. You see, I loved to read and I read many novels for sheer pleasure. In class I was the one who always answered the questions and scored high in comprehension. I finished my work early so I could catch up on my latest book. I wrote short stories and poetry even with the spelling problems.
Looking back I laugh now as I never accepted that I had this handicap until that one day that it was pointed out by my professor as she showed me how it all worked. Since I was getting a teaching certificate in reading, learning about dyslexia was part of it. I had the privilege of being tested with flying colors of not one but many different types of dyslexia. This was at the time when the educational system was doing massive research on it and was starting to really implement programs in public schools. Heartbroken I went home to my husband thinking that something was wrong with me. I started to see flashbacks of times in class that made me work even harder to keep up with everyone else.
It wasn't until I started to study energy patterns later on in life that I found myself one day at the book store staring at the dreaded word search books. I remembered how word searches which were given to us as a fun activity in class and how they used to befuddled me. In that moment it dawned on me that I should be really good at them as all they really were, were patterns going in many different directions. I also had discovered later in life that I had a knack for patterns. I bought a word search book that would fit into my purse and decide that day it was time to try to crack the code.
I must say that the first few attempts brought back memories of frustration making me feel on the edge of failure. It wasn't until I was about to give up that I realized that I was trying to do the word search the way I was taught and the way most people look for words. One day I sat down and this time I took a step back where I could see the whole page. I then randomly picked out a word from the selection choosing only a few letters in the word that looked like a pattern. Looking down onto the whole puzzle that single combination of letters popped out of the page. Excited to see it I then looked for the rest of the word and circled it. I did the same for the next word and the next. It was fun as letter combinations jumped out at me wanting to be found. I had done it!
"What did I learn form this?," echoed in my mind as I heard my husband's words when I have been frustrated or discovered something. What I learned was that, "Sometimes the things in our life that we believe hold us back only have power if we believe it."
Side Note: I still love reading and just finished editing my first book.
Photographs by Ana Noyce