Dumb and Dumber

“Adelle, I have seen Dumb and Dumber, but you…are the dumbest of all.”

I was 14, struggling with being a teenager, not knowing what hormones were and how they worked. One minute I was laughing at the kid who just accidentally snotted on the water fountain from laughing too hard, the next I was crying in my bedroom because the boy I liked started going out with my best friend! (OK I was the kid that snotted on the fountain but it was still hilarious!)

If you read my previous post, the “dumb and dumber” comment came from one of my teachers who blurted it out in the middle of class, in front of all of my peers. I can’t remember what I did that was so dumb – that part to me wasn’t even important – but hearing those words from someone whom I looked up to (and a teacher I considered “cool) was a huge kick in the guts.

How did I react to such a comment? I acted ‘dumb’ and laughed at myself so I didn’t look an idiot. Being the class clown became a defence mechanism I quickly adopted at a young age.

Academic was always huge hole in my life. I never felt smart, ever! I grew up being told I was more of a “hands on” child. I could light up a room with my smile, creativity and crazy personality, but when it came to knowing how to tell the time, forget it!

Self-doubt followed me since that day in 1994. It sits in the back of my throat like a massive lump of “not good enough”. Even now at the age of 30, my mind always goes back to that time when I make a mistake or second guess something even though I know I was right in the first place.

I am a photographer, fashion blogger, writer, and a graphic designer. I didn’t attend university or TAFE. I am 100% self taught and I am being paid to do all of these things! These are things that I CHOOSE to be great at. I didn’t want to become a doctor, an accountant or a scientist. I wanted to do something that I love, using the skills that I was given and have worked hard at perfecting. “Self taught” – not so dumb after all is it, sir?

I recently learnt that everybody has two sides to their brain. The left side, logical and the right, creative. I was pleased to find that by the time children are aged seven, only ten percent are ranked as highly creative. This is because the education system places value on left-brained skills such as mathematics, logic and language. By the time one reaches adulthood, only two percent of the population ranks as being highly creative. That being said, I have always been known to do the opposite of what I am told, to push the boundaries and be a little bit rebellious. So it’s quite obvious that after all of those years of ‘learning the logical side’ I did the complete opposite and found intuition in the creative side of the brain. I am happy to announce I am among the two percent highly creative adults. Are you too?

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Adelle Cousins

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