“I am not less than you. As long I give nothing less than my best effort, that will be enough.”
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve had to remind myself of that from time to time, because as you get older, there comes an awareness bordering on obsession that you’re not quite keeping up with the rest of your peers. It can make you feel like you’re missing out on something that everyone else knows and understands, and it will really eat at you if you let it. It’s kind of ironic because that feeling of being less than gives you a chip on your shoulder that pushes you so that people are amazed at the person you are. You’re so kind, so hardworking and so attentive it makes people wonder how you can do it. It’s that feeling – less than. Growing up with NLD, I spent a lot of time feeling like I was less than: because I needed more time to take my tests, because I was having my assignments shortened to make it easier for me, because I couldn’t take notes fast enough with the rest of the class. I remember being really stubborn and prideful telling my mom and my teachers that I didn’t need all the help and the supervision they were giving me because I could do it all on my own. I might not have understood what made me different, but I understood that we were always waiting on ME and it was in those moments that I’d rather be invisible instead of having one more reason to stand out. One thing that didn’t make me feel less than? I didn’t have any friends for TWO YEARS in middle school. In retrospect, that probably should have bothered me more than it did because I was fine just sitting next to the teacher at recess. Things got better as they inevitably do, although as I’ve gotten older it’s become glaringly obvious that I’m not like everyone else and that has its own issues that still carry that same feeling: because I still can’t tell sometimes when you’re being sarcastic with me, because it took me a combined 5 years at two separate colleges to get an associate degree (which I’m proud of), because I still haven’t had a girlfriend. The longer it takes to find the one for me, the more I doubt and second guess myself and then my anxiety builds a little more. I know rejection is part of the game, but each one is a reminder of that feeling and it makes it hard to put myself out there. I need to remember to just be myself because I’m told that I’m pretty awesome. Note to self: I am not less than you. As long I give nothing less than my best effort, that will be enough. Say it again and keep going. Try hard and just keep trying. You won’t get anything less than that from me.
I finally got over my writer’s block. Hopefully you enjoy this one as much as the others. It’s crazy how fast this year has gone.