Saturday, July 11, 2020

Challenges of Learning


As someone who has lived with a learning disability for years, an after effect from an acquired brain injury, I’ve come to accept certain challenges along the pathway to learning. Pacing myself and being patient are key contributors to any of my successes; however, in many ways, I know that there is still more for me to realize and gain.

The other day when I rolled out of bed, I threw on a t-shirt I have without much thought about it until I went to the bathroom and looked at myself in the mirror. A brain injury awareness shirt that states “Making invisible visible”. Staring at those words it hit me as to how much that saying can mean, how many things it can apply to.

The world around me is in a state of unease, a lot going on to wrap my head around; for me, and I think maybe for anyone. Not only is there this devastating global pandemic, but the disturbing anger and gun violence that we continue to see, the horrors of anti-black racism, the increasing mental health issues from being semi-isolated, and worrying over sickness and death.

It is all invisible until it is visible in the after math, and I think we all hope to find a way to move forward to something better. These things of unease, unfortunately and sadly, are not entirely new. It makes me question, can we learn? Can we relearn? Can I? If so, what can I do?

I’m the calm and quiet guy type; the guy who tries to see the positive light at the end of the dark tunnel; a guy who thinks of himself as open minded and accepting to others and the changes that come. But to continue being that guy I have to be honest with my mistakes; I have to admit to what I don’t know or forget or cannot see; I have to learn how to re-learn the things I thought I already knew;… and these things may be the most challenging part of the entire learning process.

I love the world that I live in, despite the problems that raise concern and cause stress. Maybe I’m na├»ve.  I don’t know if the anxious moments that hit the pit of my stomach can ever truly be erased, but I have to believe improvement and best quality can be achieved. A better tomorrow is waiting to be discovered, I know it is there. Hard work, communication, listening, education, (the list can be endless really) is the way to find it. This is the path and it is continuous.

It is not just one thing, it is everything. We cannot just train ourselves out of an issue, we need to engage in meaningful dialogue and make sure that good communication is happening in everything we do. Being that calm and quiet guy type can make it difficult for me at times, but I need to try; I don’t really see another choice.