Confessions of a Dyslexic Pretty Girl

Here are my honest confessions of the emotions of being the dyslexic "pretty" girl and not the "smart one":

As humans we all want what we don’t have and then oftentimes are not grateful for the gifts and talents that we do have. It doesn’t take long for anyone reading my posts to find a grammatical error or a misspelled word. I have learning disabilities and miss many things that need to be corrected. Having this kind of disability doesn’t bother me, but all of the emotional side effects do.

As my friends are in their first weeks of college I’m not joining them. I didn’t even apply for college because I didn’t meet the requirements to be accepted into any school that I was even slightly interested in  (I’m not talking about private colleges, I’m referring to state schools). I am living with my parents trying to find work. Besides doing babysitting and house sitting I haven’t found anything. Society says that I just didn’t work hard enough in high school in order to be accepted into school, but that was not the case for me. Believe me, I worked hard but my effort hardly matched my results. I never turned in an assignment late, I spent many sleepless nights preparing and stressing over tests, and I spent my entire school career being stressed over simply “passing” just to end up barely graduating.

As a way to handle my stress, I would make myself feel beautiful. My motto was, if I can’t feel smart, I can at least feel pretty. I spent more hours doing my hair and make-up after school than before. I did it for me. It became my way to relax. I guess that I knew that I could never be the smart one but I could accomplish being the pretty one. I mean I might be considered ‘dumb’ for not understanding a theory in math class but at least I could look cute while doing so. Honestly, more than anything else I would love to be book smart. If I had the chance to give up going to the salon for the rest of my life just to be smart, I would do it. I’m not insecure about my physical appearance, but I am so insecure about my intellectual appearance.

For me my learning disabilities don’t go away when I’m not at school. It plays into so many parts of my life – understanding directions, being able to comprehend a conversation, or the instant anxiety that comes when I’m asked to read something out loud. But with difficulty, comes strength. I have essentially been forced into having to be creative when figuring out how to live with these disabilities. For instance, cooking can be extremely hard for me. Reading the directions on a recipe along with numbers can be a nightmare. What do I do? I don’t mess with a recipe. I’ll look at the picture that’s in the cookbook, look at the ingredients and do the best that I can to make the dish look the same as the picture. I have to use all of my senses to understand what’s going on.

What does come naturally to me is art, fashion, and most importantly, creativity. This summer I’ve randomly done my friends and family’s makeup and every single time I’ve noticed that they “perk up” a little bit when I’m finished; they walk taller, and smile bigger. One of the first times I did someone else’s makeup she kept telling me with a big smile, “I just feel so beautiful!” It amazes me how spending twenty minutes on someone can change how they view themselves for at least that day.

More than anything, I want to be book smart but God didn’t create me to be that way. I want to be valued for my intellectual self, not just my outward appearance. I would love to become a medical doctor, lawyer, or something that is socially valued to be able to help others with my intellectual abilities but I don’t have those capabilities. What I do have though is a blending sponge, some lipstick to share, and some mascara. That is all I need to make someone’s day special. My value has not decreased, it may just be a little different than yours.

This post was originally published on LamaLeah.com, it has been reused with permission by the writer: Lama Leah!

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4 comments on “Confessions of a Dyslexic Pretty Girl”

  1. I really love your story. I also have dyslexia and I'm not ashamed of it until it comes to reading out loud in front of a class or talking to someone and stuttering every other word. Like I know how to talk but sometimes the words just don't come out or I will remember how to say them later. And I know practice makes perfect but for me I feel like no matter what I do I will always have a fear and hard time reading out loud and I'm upset about that. But thank you for sharing your story and letting me know I'm not the only one. But if anyone can give me some advice I would love that!

  2. See, I have always been labeled as "the smart one", and I actually struggle with that too. So often, people just pick a label to post onto you and then refuse to look any deeper. Because of this, I have to work super hard to convince others to care enough to look past my intelligence into my soul. Not to mention the pressure it puts on me to live up to everyone's expectations academically.

  3. I really admire your story and actually can relate none of my preferred colleges excepted me so i just went to a community college. But since your so good at make up and hair Im sure you would be great in a beauty school. A lot of people would feel helped in that way, i know i would. I hope you reach your goals and dreams girl. 😀

  4. I really admire your story and actually can relate none of my preferred colleges excepted me so i just went to a community college. But since your so good at make up and hair Im sure you would be great in a beauty school. A lot of people would feel helped in that way, i know i would. I hope you reach your goals and dreams girl. 😀

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