“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”
― Ernest Hemingway
I am often uncomfortable and unsure. Gathering the confidence to tell people that I blog is difficult for me. I am afraid of criticism. I knew I wanted to write, and I knew I wanted to share my feelings with the world. I wished for an outlet for my thoughts so that like-minded individuals could share their thoughts with me. What better way to do that than to blog? However, I apparently did not always feel that way. This has been a longer journey than even I realized. A journey that leads me to have a love for writing and reading. A journey that I had forgotten until recently.
I was at my parent’s house a few weeks ago, and from the closet, myself and my mother dragged out a musty old box. I don’t even remember what we were originally searching for at the time. The box was filled with old school things of mine, things my mother had kept all these years. Sweet cards I crafted as a child, poems, drawings. Schoolwork my mother was obviously too proud to throw away and forget. (Thanks, Mom)
While looking through these items after so many years of them being shut away I began to remember my oldest self. I remembered my old thoughts and feelings, likes and dislikes, my young sense of humor, my hopes and dreams, my fears and sadness. I began to remember myself as a child. It was both strange and wonderful.
Then we found my report cards. Kindergarten, grade one, two, three, and so on. I looked at my grades and the comments from teachers long forgotten. An abandoned pattern emerged. All of my teachers had similar suggestions and comments. “Stephanie is a sweet and positive young child, creative and loves art. But she struggles with language, my suggestion is for her to read as much as possible and to increase her writing and reading skills.”Or something along those lines.
I then began to remember. In grade three I struggled the most. The thought was that perhaps I was dyslexic. The result was that I was not. However, I continued to struggle. I remembered hours spent going over spelling words, writing, reading, over and over. Days spent inside studying while my friends played outside. Trying to understand words that made little sense to me naturally. Don’t get me wrong, my grades were good, I, of course, could read and write, it just took me a lot longer than it seemed to take others and it frustrated me.
So there I sat with my grade three report card in hand looking at the comments from my teacher and all those memories came back to me. All the memories of hours spent learning forgotten. It struck me as strange. Writing is my favorite thing to do, I do it every day all day long. I read, reread and read again everything I write. I look over my emails, blogs, and letters 4-5 times before publishing. I read books every day. Reading and writing is my favorite pastime. It is funny how things work out, isn’t it?
What was a huge struggle for me as a child is a thing I love doing the most as an adult? Strange indeed. I think it was a huge eye opener for me. Am I a great writer? Maybe not. Can I read as quickly as others? Maybe not. And admittedly I use the aid of spellcheck perhaps more than the average person. I did not achieve a fancy masters degree in literary studies, I did not become an author (yet). But I did overcome my childhood difficulties. I did create a passion from a place of struggle. And I didn’t even know that I did it.
So if you are struggling with something or you know a child that is struggling with something let this be a tiny example to you or them. Stick with them, like my Mother and teachers did for me. Push them, motivate them, guide them. Perhaps you will be lucky enough to see struggle turn into a passion.