Throwback Thursday- Learning to Think for Myself

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From the Heart

It’s weird to look back at old pictures and remember who you were during that time of your life. This was a time in my life when I began to realize who I really was . It’s also a time I had no idea who I was. When the saying says, “Youth is wasted on the young” there is just no measure of how true that really is. This was when I was in beauty school. I went to a school in Santa Ana. There were over 100 kids in the school and these four people in the picture were the only white kids in the whole place.

My life during beauty school sucked for so many reasons. I had struggled academically during my childhood years, so while I was in beauty school, my mom took me to a doctor who diagnosed me with dyslexia (ADD of the 80’s). On one hand, I was relieved to know I wasn’t just the “lazy person who didn’t apply herself” in school. On the other hand, I felt like I was told I would never be able to be “smart enough.” I was medicated, so much I had to put sticky notes on my bathroom mirror just to remember what to take and when. I was so sick all the time, and I lost so much weight. I remember at one point I was 5’8″ and 105lbs. I started to feel trapped in the process. I felt terrible and confused all the time. I had horrific nightmares, and was sleep deprived, but I was afraid to stop taking the medications because I felt like I was failing everyone who was hoping I’d finally be smart or squared away.

During my time in beauty school I started to figure out how I learned. I started to realize I was able to retain crazy amounts of information, and my memory was really good. I started studying like I never had before, and I started getting 100% on all my written tests. I went off all the medications I was on, and in something that felt like rebellion, I told myself I was smart, and if my people didn’t love me for who I was then I didn’t care. This was followed by a lot of other rebellious actions, but that would make up another blog post. In the end, I graduated beauty school with straight A’s. This was a big deal for a girl who graduated high school with a 1.65 grade point average. (Thank you 80’s for your low standards)

Over the years, my brain has been packed with radio codes, call signs, penal codes, NCIC numbers, case numbers, report details, names, and phonetic alphabets. I’ve memorized, f-stops, apertures, temperatures, names of artists and the date in which they created certain pieces, and the names of their works. I’ve carried a 4.0 GPA in every school I’ve attended since high school. I’ve kept a family of five’s schedule in my head and gotten everyone where they needed to be. I can’r work without multi-tasking, and I’ve been accused of being overly organized and having OCD. Dyslexia? Nope. ADD? Maybe. OCD? Probably. The bottom line is who cares. What they call the way our brains function isn’t the issue. Everyone has strengths and everyone has weaknesses. The point is in finding where we excel and engulfing ourselves in those activities and practices. Our brains are organic and no two of them are the same. Having expectations they will be, is pointless.

Some day we’ll have to talk about how all of this fits into raising children, but that’s my soapbox so I’ll save it for another day.

This picture always reminds me of who I was told I was as a child and when I began to tell myself a new truth about who I really was. I may not have had the total picture at this point but it was where it started to come into focus.

 

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Just a girl, on a journey. Thankful for love, thankful for friends and family, and thankful for forgiveness. Full of passion, conviction and hope.

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