A while back I wrote a post about being dyslexic. I mostly wrote it so that the kind readers of my blog would have a little patience with my very poor spelling. Most of the time I’m able to get Aidan to spell check my posts pretty quickly – but sometimes things still slip through the cracks. However, I had a rather large (for me) response to that post and I noticed that I kept getting a lot of hits on it long after I posted it. Then one day I got an e-mail from Eli and her mum saying that they really liked my post, and that it was nice to read about some of the positive aspects of being dyslexic – because Eli is dyslexic too. They asked if I might come round and take some pictures of the family. So I did – and I also asked if Eli might like to participate in my Hasselblad portraits project. 

I had a lot of fun taking Eli’s picture and chatting about the way our brains are wired. It reminded me of when I was her age and after years of struggling I had finally just learned how to read. I remember feeling upset a lot of the time because so many people around me seemed to think that I wasn’t smart, which was a really horrible feeling, and to this day I occasionally still get the panicked feeling like I’ve got to prove my intelligence.

Hanging out with Eli was really great because she is clearly an extremely bright, creative, and gifted kid. She is a giant bundle of energy and ideas, and I’m so excited to see what she decides to do with all of her many talents. She’s great to photograph too – I mean look at this girl work it! I asked Eli & her mum if it would be alright if I told you guys about our dyslexic connection because every time I meet another person with dyslexia it’s always really exciting for me. It usually turns out that our minds play similar tricks on us. At the same time, many of my fellow dyslexics are some of the smartest, most creative, most driven people that I know which, after years of worrying about whether or not I was as smart as everyone else, is an incredibly affirming discovery. So I think that Eli’s willingness to share this information about herself, at her age, in the hopes of raising awareness about the positive sides of being dyslexic is extremely commendable. Thank you Eli!