when i was growing up, there werent many people in my life that influenced me with tings* like grammar and spelling or reading and writing or anything word related really... (*that word was a typo just then, but i thought it so fitting i had to leave it! Haha) So really, to gather the english language, i was only left with the questionable dialogue from my elders and peers, and my teachers standing by, handing out handouts, hoping for the best.
for example, in grade 4, when my teacher told me i spelled “soup” wrong, i stood up with slight, kid-like vengeance and stated: no miss, soup is spelled: s-u-p-e. “no its not tammy honey, its s-o-u-p” ... “but miss it is! I opened a ice cream tub that had s-u-p-e wrote on it and it was full of soup! So it is!”
im not quite sure what the teachers response to that was, and i certainly dont recall what my following thoughts might have been. looking back at how i really felt inside about discovering i was so wrong about something i thought i was so right about, i think it built up a fear of being wrong all the time. “what will people think if im wrong?” “im always wrong!” “if i was wrong about that, then im wrong about everything!” im pretty sure it paved the way for a lot of fear and self doubt, as i discovered more things i didnt know or things that i was wrong about it only reinforced my wrongness and how very wrong i was about everything!
i really did live in that strong fear for much too long.
i mean, im sure there are lots of kids who get thrown into language at the young primary school age with no professional training from their parents and family or private tutors. i just think, for me, not having people around me with good reading and writing and grammar skills and confidence with all that, i wasnt really seeing it or being influenced by it or being persuaded to care much about it.
that problem persisted inside me for 2 decades. that problem being: a lack of confidence and fear of study in the world of words and everything they include (which is a LOT! :)
i had begun a quest at the age of 20: prove somehow that i can “do school” ... so... i did interior decorating...hmm.. yes, not really working towards a masters in education or anything, but it was the next step up from finishing high school—or should i say, stopping high school. I didnt actually finishing it.. per se... i didnt have all the credits, i just. stopped. going. i was DONE with it! Let-me-out-of-here-before-i-shoot-myself kinda feeling.
interior design did include a lot of study and hard work, planning and words… tho, i was disappointed with that too, half way through, so i stopped going. didnt see the point in finishing something i didnt want to do. it wasnt stimulating enough anymore.
so (after about a year or so, and working a manger position at a book store for a bit, which helped me begin reading a load of books for my newly sparked quest!) i randomly decided that, if i were going to prove myself to myself after all these years, it would have to be mun, memorial university of newfoundland. i would have to figure out how i was going to get accepted to mun. with no high school and a student loan that was somehow in arrears.
long story, a bit shorter, it took me 8 months to get it all straightened out and i got my acceptance letter. I was friggin smilin like crazy that day ;) !! the first days were tantalizing! walking around the university as if i belonged- i never felt that empowered in a school before!
i had to prove to myself that i was not as dumb as ive been telling myself i was. and as difficult as that first semester was, with a full course load and a 3 year old, it was a success for me! i met a ton of amazing people, did a lot of amazing things, and learned so much about how much i can learn!
it changed me. changed my entire perception of myself and of the world and left me thirsty for wanting to know more and meet more people and to get active in certain processes of the world.
being at mun, and becoming involved in all the things i became involved in, helped me lose a significant amount of fear of looking stupid for not knowing something. i began asking proffs and friends and family and strangers to defines words they used that i didnt know. if i dont know a word someone uses, i wanted to know the definition!
so, with all that, i have since dedicated myself to always improving and learning a little bit more. even if the next time i forget how to spell a crazy word ive read or a bit of info i read or someone shares with me -- i'll enjoy it and then perhaps enjoy learning about it again! but i am done with beating myself up with the word: stupid... because no one is stupid unless they believe themselves to be!
im trying. i try everyday. just trying to improve and evolve and to be the next best i can be and influence someone else to believe in themselves. sometimes i falter. sometimes i completely screw up. sometimes i have no clue what the heck im doing. but during all those moments, i trust i am being the best i can be and will forgive myself my temporary losses of consciousness. im not living in fear of being stupid any more... wait. i think i may have lied there. i still have moments of pure self doubt! but its good that it's not my driving perception any longer.
ps: i made decision in my second semester, to not care to much about the strict rules of grammar and the nazi regime of capitol letters (i dont enjoy capital letters at all, i dont think any word deserves more recognition than any other, if you need to use the word, its jsut as important as any person, place or thing! (but sadly, i still feel the need to make it known that i do it on purpose, that im not stupid and that i do know which letters are suppose to be capitalized. thats that fear holding on, see?)