re·luc·tantrəˈləktənt/adjectiveadjective: reluctant unwilling and hesitant; disinclined.
Reluctant is a word that describes me well. I think the only time I have ever really jumped the gun may have been my premature birth and look what that got me. As a kid I don’t think I was ever first in my neighborhood to do anything except maybe read. I talked late. I couldn’t sit up unsupported until at least eight years without a whole lot oo conscious effort. After third grade when we moved back to Tennessee from North Carolina I became reluctant to go to school because I felt out of place there in a way I never had at Fort Bragg. I had a wonderful teacher who made moving bearable and it wasn’t until fifth-grade that things got awful but that’s another post.I’m a reluctant public speaker although that one you probably wouldn’t guess if you saw me at it. As a kid and teenager I have t stood in front of many a United Way funding committee and persuaded them to continue funding my theraputic riding program another year until the next year when I did it all over again. I have never written a speech or even used notes unless it was for a graded assignment that required them. I am very good at public speaking and even better at writing.
In spite of all that I still term myself a reluctant speaker and writer. My reluctance does not stem from a lack of talent. I think it comes from feeling like I am boxed in by circumstances I had no choice over. Many things I had a drive to be growing up were just impossible. For instance I once told a firefighter giving a demonstration to my second grade class that I wanted to grow up and save people. I think he cried while leaving. With the mercurial nature of elementary school career choices at some point I decided that I wanted to be a soldier. Mom did cry when she told me that that wasn’t a possibility.
When I began to show skill at crafting picture book stories for class projects (my first one was a murder mystery at the circus in which the murder weapon was a poison dart from a blow gun, we were supposed to draw the pictures ourselves but I told my teacher that if I drew the pictures they would end up looking like awful stick figures and I wasn’t writing a story just to have it ruined with stick figures, she agreed that my mom could draw for me as long as I came up with the story. As a result I had the best illustrated book in the class) mom said I should write. When I started doing the public speaking everybody who heard encouraged me just as much. Sometimes things are too easy though.Writing and public speaking fall into that category for me.
I am not sure I would call either writing or public speaking a passion, I don’t think I found mine yet. I write regularly now to keep myself in the habit and to make the inside of my head a more ordered place to live. I have a manuscript that I’m writing that I enjoy but I don’t eat, sleep, and breathe it which totally flabbergasts people I know.
They can’t see why I am so dismissive of my writing. My talent will always be there it’s not going anywhere it’s a part of me and short of something like Alzheimer’s it will be there for a good long time. I am not so much dismissive of my writing as annoyed by the fact that other people view my writing well as though it should make up for all the things I can’t do. The same goes with public speaking even though I have had less opportunity to do that in recent years. I can’t drive.You write so well. I an embarrassed when I have to sign for anything because I wasn’t able to master cursive and my printing is worse than a preschoolers most of the time. It doesn’t matter what your handwriting looks like your words are well-crafted.I wish I could play the piano.I wish I had half your talent writing stories.
I appreciate all the encouragement but just because I write or speak well does not mean I can easily put aside all the things I’d like to be able to do in addition to writing well and speaking eloquently that I can’t do at all because of my disability. The truth is that I’m not always 100% comfortable with the fact that I’m disabled. I want to scream and yell at the unfairness of my life more times than I wish to admit to most people. Over this past year I have been consciously trying to make peace with myself, to love myself more. That is my New Year’s resolution, to continue on this path of self love, to not focuson the standard version of perfect and try to find my own which incorporates all my flaws and idiosyncrasies I’ll let you know how it goes