Struggling with My L and R

Author: mirai  //  Category: All Posts, Life in general, Rants and Raves

This is not what you may think.  I have no problems pronouncing my L’s and R’s (most of the time at least); I’m not that Japanese.  But there is a problem that I had always had since childhood and recently came to terms with, and that is telling my left from my right.

It’s quite embarrassing to admit and I’ve never admitted until recently.  It never really affect me academically (at least not that I know of) but it’s sometimes an annoyance.  I’ve noticed that this condition worsen after I move to Japan 15 years ago, because everything is pretty much done the opposite of how it’s done in the States.  For example, most cars are right hand drive, and drive on the left side of the road.  It took me awhile to re-learn how to drive when I moved here and now I don’t have to think about it anymore.  However, when someone is giving me directions (e.g. turn left or turn right), I get confused sometimes.  I often have to pause for a second or two to orientate myself to figure out which direction is which.

Until I was in my 20’s, I use to wear a wrist watch on my right wrist to remind me what hand I am suppose to write with.  Nowadays, I don’t where a wrist watch because I find them to be uncomfortable.  I’ve eventually learned to train myself to remember what side is right by imagining or remembering which wrist I use to wear my watch on.  So when a task requires me to recall my right and left sides, that little one second pause is me recalling which wrist I use to wear my wrist watch on.

I recently look this up and realized that I have very mild form of dyslexia.  I was always under the impression that dyslexia was a much more severe disorder, which involved not being able to distinguish letters and symbols, etc.   Since it really doesn’t affect my reading or writing ability, I never really felt the need to investigate this or  have the need for treatment.  But having done some searches around the internet, I found that a lot of people are affected with this, ranging from being very severe and debilitating while other cases such as mine are mild to the point where its just an annoyance.

It’s nice to know that there is a condition behind this, as opposed to it being just me never learning to tell between left and right.