This was originally inspired by a comment “you’re gifted” on one of my painting posts, and how those words have evolved over the years, and being gifted is something i treasure now vs feeling like a freak when i was younger. Tho I was never in special needs classes, I was pushed forward.. given college math to solve at the age of 11.. spent time after school with teachers that saw the potential within me, and nurtured it to excel. I knew I was different, being only 1 of 3 kids in the school to be offered this opportunity. I remember being selected to learn violin, based on a test administered for the best candidates.. there were many signs growing up that I wasn’t your average bear. Unfortunately, all i wanted to be was “your average bear” so that i’d feel accepted, and normal.
Pictured is Tessa at her 9th birthday party. I remember shopping for her birthday.. I wanted to send her on a shopping spree to the Disney Store, an ice cream stop, and Toys R Us. I wanted to then do a photo shoot of her, dressed as her favorite princess… I wanted her to feel like the Princess that she is. At the birthday party I witnessed Tessa being the princess that she is. Her authentic self shined bright at all times. If she wanted to dance, she danced! If she was upset, she was upset. If she wanted to sit next to her best friend when she was “supposed” to be doing something else.. she sat next to her friend. Tessa taught me a huge lesson about being authentic that day… Thank you! <3
After years of trying to be normal, fighting the natural, beautifully flawed person that I have been blessed to be in this lifetime.. Extraordinary is a word that fits … and it’s okay that sometimes that means I will have a freak out moment… sometimes I won’t be able to handle any noise.. or if i can.. it can’t have words, just music. It’s okay to let my friends see me when I am out there.. and to ask them to give me some time to let my brain run wild, which means i won’t be able to focus on a conversation in that moment. It’s okay.. because it is in those moments that my mind reaches a place where it clicks.. and something beautiful is produced… today it is this poem… enjoy… and as always.. feel free to share if it resonates.
She sorts her toys by color…
And eats her food in groups
Seems socially awkward…
Maybe even mute.
Perceived as rather quiet
Rarely makes a sound
But inside her mind and soul
Everything is so loud
“She’s retarded” they used to call her
“She’s mental” they would say
“She’s special… ”
“Yea, special needs…” They’d tell each other
“She’s gifted, in her own way”
Surrounded by authorities
Trying to fit her in their box
Seeking treatment to make her normal…
Gifted didn’t shine a lot.
focused just long enough to get dressed
Take her meds
And eat some food…
Taking time away
from all she had to say
When back in her own world
Constantly trying to keep up
Sticky notes posted in the furthest universes’ of her mind
Isolation became her greatest friend
The key to play freely and let her gifts shine.
Free to be herself,
Just as she is,
Her gifts multiplied and became fine tuned.
Expression expressed in magnitude.
“She’s gifted” they began to say
This time with a new air,
For no one was around to see the “mental”
State of mind
She needed to be within
To allow herself to be there …
Where she could be gifted.