adventuresofarestlessmind

Posts Tagged ‘personal journeys

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Sometimes I wish humans had a screen like this.  Because I have dyspraxia, and it’s time that people understood it.

There are varied degrees of it. My issues are spatial memory and coordination.  Sometimes that’s left-right confusion, or processing/remembering directions, or taking longer to do household tasks.  Sometimes it’s knowing how to do a task, then forgetting as soon as you’re supposed to actually do it.

In other words, it’s a few “loose screws” in my head.  Or a bad telephone connection between the brain and the body.  Or when your adolescent physically-awkward stage never really ends.

So, what exactly is it?

It’s most like a learning disability, but I feel its presence much more outside the classroom setting.

It’s not an “excuse” at all.  It’s just a reason to work harder.

It’s being a “visual learner” with words, but struggling to memorize maps, and wondering what kind of learner you even are.

It’s a 50% chance of putting your shoes on the wrong feet, and probably an 80% chance that you’ll get it wrong.

It’s people assuming I’m drunk because I can’t keep my balance on a fast-moving train.  That’s actually a common experience among us.  (Read this post too. http://blog.scope.org.uk/2015/09/29/i-have-dyspraxia-but-rude-people-tell-me-im-drunk-endtheawkward/)

It’s knowing this (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wZv62ShoStY) is your favorite dance because it gives specific directions.

It’s failing driver’s tests, even AFTER visualizing the entire exam and every curveball the road could possibly throw at me.  (If you’re wondering, I did eventually pass.)

It’s hearing a million iterations of “Be more careful.” “Try harder.”  “Be less clumsy.”  “Pay attention.”  “Just listen.”  Believe me, if I’m given the responsibility of doing something, I AM listening to your instructions and focusing on it with 200% of my attention.  I have no other choice.

It’s finding hardly any dyspraxic support pages online, and wondering if I’m just supposed to deal with it on my own.

Just suck it up.  There are a lot more disabilities, hidden or visible, that are harder to live with.  No. Do not allow negative self-talk.  Even if your condition is invisible, your voice and your story are not.

It’s endlessly debating whether to check the box on job applications.  Yes, that box where you disclose a disability, or not.  If I don’t need accommodations at work, do they have to know about it?  Or should they be forewarned that any occasional disorganization or forgetfulness does NOT mean I’m sloppy?

It’s realizing that “unskilled” manual labor might not be possible for some of us.

It’s finding creative ways to compensate for any limitations. For me it’s repeating directions in my head several times to remember them.  It’s looking for jobs only in cities where I can rely on public transportation and won’t have to drive.  It’s finding ways for technology to fill in the gaps – using my GPS for walking directions, taking screenshots of vital information to remember, and I could go on and on.

It’s being successful because said compensation strategies are working, and immediately wondering if this really is all in my head.  Maybe I am just lazy and stupid.

It’s a lonely journey sometimes, but there is always humor to be found along the way.

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“Prayer cannot bring water to parched fields, or mend a broken bridge, or rebuild a ruined city; but prayer can water an arid soul, mend a broken heart and rebuild a weakened will.”

For some reason, this quote from the Reform prayer book has stuck with me. It keeps coming back into my thoughts. And when your wandering mind keeps circling back to an idea, that idea matters.

I pray every night, sometimes silently and sometimes out loud, in that safe space of solitude just before falling asleep. It’s a very different feeling than praying amongst a community – I can’t say if it’s easier or harder to concentrate, but for me it feels more intensive.

Sometimes it’s a powerful experience. I’m pouring out my soul, asking for whatever I want to happen. Sometimes it’s something as simple as wishing to have a good, productive day, free from anxiety and self-doubt.

Then sometimes it feels like I’m just talking into thin air. Talking to nothing, letting out words that no one will ever hear. The cynic in me, like the wicked child at the Passover seder, just asks “Why? Why bother?”

Maybe it’s because of the disheartening news of all that’s going on in the world lately. Too much evil, too much suffering and fear, too much destruction. Ferguson. Hamas. ISIS. If simply praying for peace was enough to stop or prevent suffering, then none of this would have ever happened. (I’m not about to come up with some divine explanation why very bad things happen, because honestly that makes me uncomfortable and it’s a topic for another post.)

So which is it? What can praying actually do? Can it accomplish anything?

Maybe that question is the wrong way to approach it. I believe prayer is a mode of introspection, and it is in those moments of uninterrupted introspection that we lay out a spiritual road map and decide what we want our lives to be. It is then that we begin to build a self.

Maybe it’s the act done with intention that matters more than the outcome.

Maybe it’s the process of watering an arid soul, mending a broken heart, and rebuilding a weakened will that allows us to learn, grow, and reach out to improve the world around us.

Prayer alone isn’t enough. But it’s a good place to start.