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June: I’m Dyslexic as Duck

Month 7 has been an overall success for LynDarlings, especially from the outside point of view.

  • I finally got my business license

  • Participated at a live painting event at Hotel Bennett

  • Had my first live-wedding painting at a wedding in Greenville

  • LynDarlings is now at Night Market in Charleston’s City Market

  • And.. sold my first original painting

I’m so thankful for all that I achieved, but I also struggled with multiple inward battles throughout the month. I came to realize, there is more of a business aspect than anything, with what I am currently doing. With being able to get my business license, I’ve had to do a good bit of research to fully understand what I was getting myself into. I did a really good job at keeping my little secret about being dyslexic, all throughout my school years. I thought I had finally escaped it by leaving college, but now I feel like it's more apparent than ever. This previous month, I went to Spain. I cannot begin to tell you the anxiety I had because of the language barrier. There were a few days where I was exploring on my own in Madrid and although I managed through it, I became so frustrated. I always have to anticipate that I am going to get lost for a few hours when I'm traveling. I love being independent. Being independent has always been something I absolutely take pride over. So in situations where I have to rely on others, I have a hard time.

It was second grade when I realized I didn't know how to spell. I was a wizard at math though, so that made up for it from an outsider’s perspective. No one ever noticed. I got by passing English Class because I always chose the “Get-Creative-With-it” assignments on the bottom of the rubrics. The alternative-creative options were my way out from having to write the essays. I created video projects, or wrote poems, made panoramas, and drew. They always came out really good, some even award-winning.

In middle school, I learned I didn’t know how to read. One thing that made it really obvious was when my classmates started to get phones, and memes became a trend. I can remember scrolling through memes on Instagram with my friends and I thought they would be scrolling so fast.

… Then I realized, everyone scrolled that fast and it was just me that was behind.

Here is how dyslexia has affected my art career.

My biggest fear is messaging people. Since the day I got an iPhone, I’ve been told my text messages “are not English”. I go back and look at my text messages and am like holy moly that makes no sense. At 19, I learned I spelt “tomorrow” wrong my whole life. I felt stupid, I spelt it with one “r” so many times that all my apple devices recognize “tomorow” as a real word. It’s funny but also, that sucks! What looks correct to me does not translate to anyone else. When it comes to answering commissions or emails it takes me a long time. I am always afraid that I am going to get a response that says “ I do not understand what you are trying to say.”

Because honestly I have gotten that email multiple times before.

Communication is something I struggle so hard with, so I am just so terrified that communication will also be my downfall.

Writing has also been a big struggle. The past few months I'd been working on a wedding map. I had to create so many drafts, just due to grammar errors. An embarrassing amount. A few times I’ve even gone to the post office and have been told that the address I wrote does not exist, after triple checking. It's frustrating.

So I’ve realized that with my dyslexia, I can choose to read relatively normally or I can decode. But I can not do both at the same time. For example I can read a paragraph out loud, but If you were to ask me what the paragraph I read was about, I would have absolutely no clue. Or If I chose to decode and actually understand what I am reading, it will take me a significant amount of time to get through a passage. To be in the Night Market, I was required to get a business license. I typically give up whenever I see words. In highschool when I would have tests, midway through I would just bubble in random bubbles, say a prayer, and ask for extra credit the following day. But getting a business license was not something I could just give up halfway through. I had to finish those applications because I had goals I needed to achieve.

This month I realized how great my support system is. I’ve never had people believe in me the way my family and friends do now. I know I have gained more confidence and love for myself over the past months but there is no greater feeling than having my surroundings encouraging my dreams in months like this one where I’ve felt discouraged. My family and friends are awesome. They always offer to help before I ask. At times I feel like they want my goals just as bad as I do.

Working up to the live painting events, I had tons of anxiety. I happen to be a talker. I absolutely love entertaining people but sometimes I do not understand when I am drawing the line. I still have yet to learn the work life/socialization ratio. I had a huge fear that I was not going to be able to multitask during these events and just embarrass myself with a half finished canvas at the end of the event.

While I was able to overcome many of my battles this month and accomplish major milestones, I most likely will continue to be insecure about my learning disabilities. At the end of the day, my mind will blank when you ask me the name of my favorite song or ask the name of the new girl that came out with us yesterday.

But… I know it’s also something that I need to continue practicing embracing. One thing I love about how my mind works is that I visualize everything. If someone were to explain their day, I see it as a story book in my head. Words feed in one ear and come out as pictures through my hands. My imagination is wild. I build stuff in my head all day long. I’m currently constructing an imaginary line of dresses right now. I also have an extreme eye for detail. Although I have a memory of a goldfish when it comes to words, my memory for pictures and detail is insane. This is definitely something that sets me apart as an artist. I can not change who I am or how I think, but it is awesome that I’m building a life for myself that really explores parts of my learning differences. This month I finished my second ever book! “Greenlight” by Matthew Conaughey. It took me many months to complete, probably because I read over some pages several times, so I could fully comprehend. Everyone has struggles that are not seen at the surface and this struggle really weighed on me this past month. However, I’ve realized that at the end of the day, every person has their own battles. I think it's up to us to choose how we let our battles affect us. Do they become burdens or do they become our stepping stones?

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