Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Spread Your Wings: Inspired by Kenny Johnson

As a former high school drama nerd and current community theater actress, I'm fairly familiar with how much reading is involved in acting. I was more or less born a reader, able to understand books written on a middle-school level when I was in 2nd grade, even using a guidebook to help plan our Disney World vacation. But what if that weren't the case and reading was literally one of the hardest things in the world for me to do? Would I still be able to do something I truly love?

Kenny Johnson is an incredibly talented actor, perhaps best known as Lem on The Shield and Kozik on Sons of Anarchy. He has also struggled with severe dyslexia. While I was on Twitter, I stumbled across a recent interview where he opened up about how he's been able to work around it and build his acting career.

I applaud Kenny Johnson, as I do anyone else who doesn't let anything hold them back from chasing their dreams. It takes a huge amount of courage to be so honest about your struggles. Pretending you don't have a problem is so much easier than dealing with it head-on.

I've personally struggled with anxiety and depression periodically since high school; it's gotten the best of me more often than I'd like to admit. I refused to let it ruin my life. I always made sure I got good grades; I exposed myself to new social situations, even when I was scared to death. 10 years later, I'm a mostly well-adjusted twentysomething and halfway to becoming a registered nurse.

To anyone out there reading this:

If you have challenges that are negatively affecting your health and/or happiness, whether it's dyslexia or social anxiety or anything in between, don't be embarrassed about reaching out for help. You won't change overnight and that's okay; nobody does. Overcoming your obstacles will suck at times and you'll want to quit. Don't do it. You'll never know how high you can fly if you spend your life walking around with broken wings. You got this.

No comments:

Post a Comment