I remember studying about patterns in Kindergarten. We were told by Miss Smith (named changed, of course) anything that repeats is a pattern and given colorful shapes to make patterns with. Ok, that sounded like a fun exercise, so I started making a pattern that made sense to me- a long string of alternating colors and shapes. I remember really enjoying myself – and wondering why my classmates patterns were so small. Maybe the teacher would be impressed by my efforts!

I hadn’t yet gotten around to creating the “repeat” when my teacher came around to check on us. Miss Smith looked over my work and scolded me for not doing my assignment. Although I tried to explain to her that it was just a really LONG pattern, she didn’t agree (she might have told me it wasn’t a pattern at all) and told me to do something simpler (i.e. a “real” pattern.)

After that I dejectedly pushed around the blocks (making shorter, more easily recognizable patterns, though I didn’t know if they would be short enough for her.) Luckily, I never had to explain my toned down efforts to Miss Smith as she never came back around to us.

When I hear that “dyslexics think outside the box”- I’m always perplexed by it. Do I? Do I think outside the box? I honestly don’t know. I know sometimes, when given a set of instructions I can be completely literal about them and often am paralyzed by my desire to answer within parameters (read: inside the box) for fear of getting penalized for not answering “correctly”. I know that other times I can be given an assignment or instructions and be WAY off on another planet with my ideas (which can be met by a wide spectrum of reactions, let me tell you.)

I have, all my life, tried to find the “box”. I know there have been times when I tried to constantly stay “inside”… but that drives a Right-Brainer like me crazy pretty quickly.

So I’ve learned to compromise.

I live outside the box, loving my own world and the way I see things, blurring the difference between what might be normal and what might be dyslexic. When the occasion calls for it- I find out how to answer as normally as possible and do my best to adhere to that standard. No need for the majority of people to know how deep my eccentricity runs.

But I’ll enjoy it. And those close to me can at least tollerate it (and sometimes are greatly amused by it!)

And I think that’s a good way to live.