My (Dis)ability

To graduate from my private high school, I was required to have three passing years of one foreign language OR two years of two different foreign languages. Piece of cake, right? Well, for me, it was a lot of things but not even close to being a piece of cake. Maybe a piece of fruitcake. It was so incredibly hard for me. I had tutors, lots of after school sessions, countless misunderstandings with my parents (most had nothing to do with foreign language), tears, endless frustration and even with all this, my grades were still, at best, lousy.

Too make a long story short, I wasn’t successful at my third year of Español. And by not successful, I mean, I didn’t even complete my first trimester.

 And then, I tried French. Which lasted even less time. Four days to be exact. Four days.

Oppsie doopsie. 

I can’t remember who made the brilliant observation that maybe I was struggling with a learning disability. Smarty pants. I went through lots of comprehensive tests and tutoring and it was found, that, sure enough, I was struggling with learning disabilities. Trust me, every high school student wants to hear that they are an even bigger freak than they already believe themselves to be. But then, I heard the good news.

I was exempt from taking any further foreign language. What?!

Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you!

The shitty part about this “diagnosis” is that I straight up took it and ran with it. I most definitely used it as a crutch, for years!

So, why am I bringing this up, ten plus years after successfully graduating from high school, despite my lack of necessary foreign language credits? 

Sanskrit. 

Yep, fast forward to April 2016, when I started my journey into a yoga teacher training program. I had forgotten or possibly just trauma blocked the fact that, at one point in my life, many moons ago, someone told me I had learning disabilities. And then I was reminded. 

It’s funny because all these years later, I remembered, like I was sitting in that high school Spanish class just yesterday, all of those frustrating feelings I had experienced way back then came rushing back like flood waters. 

Fortunately, and some of you may argue this point, but in my older age and maybe just with more life experience, I understand better than ever, how I learn best. And considerably better than my seventeen year old self. I would also like to note that I enjoy learning more than ever. That may be due to the fact that I am finally able to learn and focus on the things that I want to know more about, and it’s worth noting, Spanish still hasn’t made the cut except if it means ordering tacos and margaritas. That’s pretty close to Spanish, right? 

Maybe one day. In Mexico. 

So, without even thinking about it, at thirty years old, I revisited some old wounds, while pursuing a newer passion, yoga. As I approach the end of my yoga training, I find myself reflecting, a lot. I wonder to myself if I would have even embarked on this journey had I known the things from my past that would bubble up? And believe me, scarier things than language barriers certainly came up, way scarier things. And, to be honest, I probably wouldn’t have. 

I’ve learned so much during the last five months but my biggest take away is that I should get out of my own way. As I sit here on my couch, Pippin cuddled up to my right, the Olympics playing in the background and I can’t help but think about how far I’ve come and what if everyone dared to push themselves past their comfort zones? I can guaran-damn-tee you that no Olympic medals have ever been won by people who didn’t push their limits just the same as I can guarantee you that you are capable beyond your own wildest dreams. Give yourself a chance and get the hell out of your way. 

Ps- because I know you were all wondering… Sanskrit is still proving to be challenging but flashcards are amazing and so is willpower.