I bug you and it’s OK for you to feel this way. How could you possibly understand something that comes so easy to you? I use the wrong there. My posts have obvious mistakes in them. This one is probably no exception. I’m sorry. Sometimes I write my when I mean by. I get of and off confused, no matter how many times Tony tries to help me. I hold my pen funny despite years and years of the teachers trying to help me.
I can’t write down voicemail messages. If you spell a name to me chances are I can’t write it down. I will need you to repeatedly tell me the letters or numbers slowly again and again. I struggle to pronounce words and names. Even if you tell me it’s most likely I won’t be able to remember it for quite some time. I’ll avoid using your name in fear you’ll think I’m stupid or worse you’ll think I don’t care enough about you to remember your name. The truth is the things that bug you about my writing aren’t intentional. My mistakes may be obvious to you, but despite my efforts, it doesn’t come naturally to me. In fact, I’m challenged every single day by things like this.
When you said grammar is important and no PR company will want to work with me that hurt. Thankfully you’re wrong because PR companies and brands are working with me. It’s made clear in my about me page that I struggle with literacy. There is nothing hidden from those that choose to collaborate with me. I’ve never been more grateful to the companies that choose to work with me despite my struggles. I’ve never been more grateful to anyone who reads my posts or watches my videos when I struggle to articulate myself.
I read over and over again my posts checking for mistakes. I use Grammarly to reduce the number of errors. I still miss things. It seems when I read the comments on blogger support groups I spend (and I’m not even exaggerating) four to eight times longer writing a blog post compared to other bloggers. It’s the very reason I don’t post as regularly as many bloggers. The same reason I don’t do as much guest posting on other sites.
I use to believe I was thick. I was riddled with insecurity about being stupid. It’s one of the reasons I was so shy, always worrying I’d say the wrong thing. Not fully understanding things and feeling too embarrassed to say. Sometimes the way people phrase a question I won’t understand, people laugh. You end up feeling silly. I would study really hard in School. I came out with very average grades, yet I spent a long time doing coursework and revising. I use to be consumed with jealousy about the high flyers that got good grades without trying. I don’t feel that way anymore. We all have different skills. It’s not just reading and writing that doesn’t come easy. It’s coordination and organisation too. Driving is so difficult that I’ve only driven a handful of times in the last couple of years. I hate it with a passion. I get so confused about which way to turn the steering wheel when parking, I get in a muddle. Working out which lane I should be in and reading the road signs is difficult. Now I have so much anxiety about it I just don’t drive. My struggles affect me every single day, but for the most part, they never stop me.
I continue to write, knowing my posts will be pulled apart over the grammar. People think if I was a serious blogger I’d have someone check everything I post. In an ideal world, I would. If I make it big, I’ll get an editor but right now I can’t justify the cost and know I’m not willing to ask people to check over my work for free. I respect people’s time, even if they don’t mind. I mind.
When you joked about unfollowing people on Twitter over grammar that hit a nerve. Unfollow me because you don’t like me, but unfollow me for something I can’t help hurts. When you share those images on Facebook and the mug you want explaining how to use the correct grammar, it’s not funny to me. It makes me feel stupid. The memes hurt. The post explaining the basics of grammar doesn’t help me, it just highlights that I am different to you. I’ve seen that post hundreds of times and it’s never helped me learn. You get it, I don’t. Woah you! High five for doing something you find easy. You judge me and I’m no better. I judge you for standing on the moral high ground mocking people like me. Light heartened banter has never felt so heavy or belittling.
I became an aerobics instructor when I had no coordination. It was one of the hardest things I ever did, but I did it. I started writing blog posts when spelling and grammar are difficult for me. You see nothing will stop me from doing what I want to do. I’m not thick or stupid like I once thought. I’m just one of many people who find grammar a challenge. I’m not calling myself a writer or a journalist. I’m a blogger and I’ll blog for as long as it feels good. I have every right to be here. I’m not a lesser blogger for it, just at a slight disadvantage. I embrace that. It only fuels my passion that you can do anything if you put your mind to it. Obstacles will only stop you if you allow them to. As Marie Forleo said, “everything is figureoutable”.
If you don’t like my blog, don’t read it. There will be no hard feelings about it. Just don’t be a prick about it. Next time you decide you want to crack a joke about someone’s grammar or talk about them behind their back think. Ask yourself if you knew that would hurt someone would you still do it? If you would then I can’t relate to that and I can’t convince you otherwise. Nor shall I waste my energy trying to. If you wouldn’t intentionally try and upset someone (and I’d sincerely hope you wouldn’t) then don’t make grammar digs at people. Think before you act. If you want to help there is a loving way to do it. Publically embarrassing them isn’t loving. Secretly mocking them is cruel. Everyone has an insecurity about something and what you give out will come back to you. Choose your actions carefully because one day it could be you that’s mocked for your weaknesses. To quote Jesse Jackson “Never look down on anybody unless you’re helping them up”.
It Did Do Harm – An open Letter to Grandparents & Those With Adult Children
(Blog post on generational trauma)