After reading Learning Curve by Michelle Cabral, it is taking everything in me, not to break down crying. For me, this piece easily summed up what I have never been able to explain to anyone: how I felt about my own life. From the very first sentence the piece hit home with me. There was instant connection because I know what that feels like; I deal with it on a regular basis. I could easily relate to the where the author was coming from.
“I did not think I was pretty.” Perfectly sums up my whole self-image. Growing up as a kid, I was always viewed as the one with the radiant amazing sister; the one that nobody remembered me for me, but for my sister. I remember my freshman year of high school a guy in my Spanish class asking, “If she is your sister, why you not tall, attractive and athletic?” While she may have only been my stepsister, it hurt to know that even then no one could remember me, that they cared more about my superstar athlete of a stepsister, who most of them had never even met, then a girl who had on more than one occasion saved their rear ends by helping them with school.
“I had to go to a special class in reading.” Just like the author I felt like I was stupid. I struggled to read even the simplest of books, and I felt like I wasn’t normal. While I had physical learning development issues because I was born with cerebral palsy, I hated myself for it also being a mental issue too. I remember for the two hours I had to sit with a reading tutor, struggling over “Run. Run Spot run.” I had tears streaming down my face, so frustrated that I couldn’t comprehend what everyone else in my class could easily figure out.
“I respond better when I am told how terrible everything is.” I grew up getting yelled and cussed at, and put down more than I was ever put up. I learned that was wrong to be put up, that you needed know your faults and weaknesses not your strengths. Even my senior year, when I found out that I was in the top 20% of my class, I was told that I didn’t try my best because “the kids at your school are lazy and stupid.”
“There is a weird feeling entering the world of nonfiction writing.” I completely agree. I may be a “writer” but I stick to what I know. For me, hiding behind made up worlds and situations is what I do best. I hate having my readers “know” me, because I feel like people won’t know what to say or how to react, so they think and react the way they think you want them to react. Whereas, with fiction and poetry there is no wrong or right way to response.