Have you ever been asked “What era do you wish you had lived in”? Sometimes I like to play this game where I imagine what it would have been like if I had grown up in another day and age. My mind jumps to Roman times thanks to my 6 years of studying Latin and my love for the awesome albeit unrealistic movie, The Gladiator. I’m then thrown into thinking that the Renaissance would be a better choice. Reality quickly sets in and I laugh.
I grew up with terrible speech impediments. I couldn’t say R’s, S’, Th, L (lion= wion), ending g’s (going=goin), hard c’s (corn = torn), on and on. My mom likes to use the following phonetic sentence as an example of how bad things were:
When I finish dwinkin dish frite den I will go to da gawden and dig up wooms wit a phoon.
That’s supposed to come out like this:
When I finish drinking this sprite then I will go to the garden and dig up worms with a spoon.
Needless to say, “girl’s restroom” was my nightmare (think: gurlsh westwoom). Thanks to years of speech therapy and my own competitive nature, you wouldn’t know my speech used to be such a pain point. On top of that, I ran flat footed and had to go to what could be considered “running therapy” to fix that. Running therapy consisted of me running, being critiqued, me trying to run, being critiqued.. rinse, wash, repeat.
Then in around 3rd grade my vision started fading. I would fight to sit in the front row so that I could maybe see the notes my teacher wrote on the board. By 4th grade, my vision was around 20/450 and I was making myself cry every morning trying to stuff contact lenses into my eyes.
- Speech problems
- Running problems
- Vision problems
I laugh when I think about what other eras I could live in because, no matter what, I would have been a village idiot not able to run around properly, not making any sense, and probably crashing into things/misidentifying most things. Add onto that, I’m female! I don’t think I could have lived in any other era other than the one I am in today where women have more respect and speech, running, and vision problems are both addressed and remedied.
All of this is to say, this is what I’m thankful for this Thanksgiving. I’m thankful I was so incredibly lucky to grow up where I did, when I did, and with a family who had the capacity/resources to help me get where I am today. It takes a village.