When I was younger, I went to Sunday School for six weeks. I started going because my mother thought it would be a good extra-curricular activity to do, along with gymnastics and bird watching. I stopped going because the Sunday School teacher would never let me finish my drawings from the week before and I would be faced with a blank sheet of paper again.
The Sunday School teacher wasn’t being cruel as every other child had finished their drawing. My drawings weren’t finished because I moved at a snail’s pace when I was growing up. I was creative. A daydreamer and a perfectionist. I wasn’t academically slow, just physically, and as a result was late for everything. I danced to a different beat.
This was the source of frustration to my parents but even more so to my teachers who misconstrued daydreaming for laziness. It was much easier to label a child lazy than creative and I can understand that being late for school every day and handing essays in after deadlines with excuse after excuse would rile the most patient of teachers.
Occasionally though, I got away with it. My history teacher was a lovely cuddly lady called Mrs Yeo. I remember little of what I was taught, but I do remember that I once handed in half an essay – two sides of A4 lined paper in blue ink – on the subject of the Crimean War. The next day I was summonsed to her office to find paperwork scattered all over the floor with a frantic Mrs Yeo in the middle, desperately searching for the second half of an essay that had yet to be written. She had no doubt that there was a second half because the first half had stopped mid-sentence.
The older I became, the less I daydreamed as I started to believe it would hinder me. On a practical level, no-one wants to employ a slow coach, and in early interviews for my first temping jobs, I was judged on how quickly I could type, not on how pretty I could make the text look.
However, earlier this year, I started to paint again and had a little daydream of being an artist. Later today, I have a meeting with my boss and am going to tell him that I rather like my daydream, and would rather like it to come true.