I came to a realization a while ago:
God made me dyslexic because if everything in my brain wasn’t backwards, mixed-up and made-up, then I would be the fucking worst person ever.
I’m a giant pain in the ass as I am. I think I’m smarter than everyone else. I have no shame about mouthing off my opinion to any poor sod who crosses my path. I throw total shit-fits when I don’t get my way. I am belligerent and combative when I’m even remotely challenged. And everyone else’s faults are huge moral failings, while my own are harmless personality quirks.
(And I wonder why I’m still single.)
So, to keep me from becoming the tin-pot dictator of an island no one ever heard of, God made sure that I would embarrass myself on a daily, and sometimes hourly, basis. Misspelled words written on my board that my students catch, sentences all jumbled up and looks of confusion on my co-workers faces, road signs of my own pure invention that bring amusement to my family, these and all kinds of other moments that I have to accept and move on from. I can’t get caught up in any idea of my own perfections, because my brain will make a mess of it even if I tried to have the thought. I have a humility meter actually built into my genetics.
And it’s good for me that way. I used to look at all the shit I’d been through and wonder why God was punishing me. Was I really so undeserving that I couldn’t get a break from grieving, heartbreak, depression, and isolation? I thought it was just a horrible irony that I was dyslexic and love to read, that I wanted to write for a living, that I was only attracted to doing something that was horribly difficult for me. I assumed that it was proof that I would never be happy or successful, that I would always want more than what was meant to be mine. But I don’t see it so much that way anymore. I’m a little afraid of just how horrid I would have become if everything had been handed to me, if I’d never been hurt, if I’d never had to suffer, if I’d never had to forgive. How could I appreciate the love and generosity of my friends and family if I didn’t have large and small trials to chip away my ego, my selfishness, and my disregard for others?
Yup, more and more, I’ve come to appreciate my dyslexia not as burden that prevents me fulfilling my destiny, but rather a buffer that keeps me from becoming a Batman villain.
It’s not a hugs and life-lessons though. I get really impatient with people who assume they aren’t making a mistake. I always assume I’m making a mistake, because I usually am. (You see, my ideas and thoughts are correct, the expression is muddled and ridiculous. This is how I can be always right and always wrong at the same time!) This morning I got put out with my co-worker. She has it in her head that she is the only person in the world who knows how to use commas. Yes, the comma can be tricky. Some people are completely ignorant of where and when a comma does or doesn’t belong. But, there is an instance when you put a comma after the word “dear” and that is when you’re writing a greeting to a letter or note, as in “My dear,” which my mom writes to me all the time. The co-worker was having none of this. Under no circumstances can you use a comma after the word “dear.”
I left her alone in her wrongness, and as she proceeded to have a crappy morning and I had a fairly smooth one, I admit that I felt a bit justified.
“She was wrong after all, and wouldn’t even entertain the possibility of being so, and therefore she didn’t deserve to have a good morning.”
Okay, I only had those thoughts for a few seconds and then realized that I was being a bitch, and decided that I would be nicer and for the most part I was. Sometimes I can be a tiny bit of an adult and realize that I am being completely absurd and change me behavior accordingly.
Still, I am left with the problem of my original impatience. You see, my impatience isn’t that I wish I would have fewer lessons, it’s that I wish others would have more. I don’t demand recompense for having had to learn so much in such difficult ways, but I do desire an explanation as to why other people seem to have had to learn so little. If I let it get out of control, if I forget that I didn’t live their life, don’t know anything but what I see, than I can turn jealous and bitter, nursing imaginary wounds inflicted upon me by their divine privilege. But before that it starts with impatience, impatience that the strain of their efforts does not show as plainly on their face as mine does on my own.
Maybe I should just try to be less obvious about how many times I have made God repeat himself.
(I year, 6 Months, and 27 Days Sober)