As we approach Easter it has finally begun to feel more like spring in my area. The flowers are starting to bloom, the sun is out and the days are getting longer. Hopefully we are finally done with the snow and look to warmer days ahead. This year the winter has gone on forever, and the harsh weather went well into spring. So many of us have wondered if spring weather would ever come. Much like the never ending winter, having a Learning Disability has made me often wonder, if success would ever happen.
I can remember feeling doubtful of my abilities as a young child. Most children have confidence and think that anything is possible. I could feel the freezing cold winter that wouldn’t leave, while others where having their season of spring. I can recall always being frustrated when we had motivational speakers that said we could do whatever we could put our minds to. I would start every year thinking this would be the year that I would be able to get straight A’s and become popular. I would get disappointed when I would put in the effort and wouldn’t be successful. Having dreams and goals is important. What has changed is how I have expanded my view on success and failure.
I was well aware of things that there were certain things that were difficult for me such as math, tying my shoes, and writing my name. I thought that it would always be hard and I was doomed to fail. The winter almost froze my heart and my motivation to try. Thankfully I had a support system who didn’t give up on me. My parents told me I was smart, and that I learned differently. The school worked to provide accommodations and specialty instruction.
Slowly winter began to fade, and I saw signs of spring. My grades improved and I began to find areas that I was good at. The progress may have been slower than I wanted, but it happened. I learned to tie my shoes and write my name. Even though I can write, you may not be able to read my handwriting, and my shoes always seemed to be untied.
Despite it being a new season a slight chill may always be in the air, even if I’m the only one who feels it. Some things I simply can’t do such as math, or driving, reminds me that I have limitations. A common myth is that people with Learning Disabilities out grow them once school is over. My disability didn’t leave when I graduated high school, went to college and got my Bachelor’s Degree. It wasn’t over when I fell in love, got married and a bought a house. My disability didn’t disappear when I got a job, or had articles published.
Even with all of these challenges, I have had success in my life. Much like the weather, I can’t control or change my disability. The only thing I can change is are my actions, and how I handle the situation. I will always have one, but I can chose how I view it. It’s more empowering for me to focus on what I can do rather than what I can’t
Now when I am faced with a challenge, I try to think of a different way to solve the problem. I may have to try and fail, then try again a different way. Sometimes it seems like the winter will never end and the situation will never improve. However slowly the winter turns to spring on it’s own time. A slight touch of winter may always remain, but I know how to handle it. The harsh winter will end and spring will finally come!