Hi!!! I am Kati Watson, part of the team behind Dyslexia in Adults, and this week I want to talk about my "boss" (she hates that word), Natalie, the founder, CEO, and all-around baddie of Dyslexia in Adults. But this isn't so much about her as it is about me; stick with me here.
Little back story ( I promise to try and keep it short). I was found dyslexic at a young age and was an absolutely brilliant terror of a child (my parents told me I should be a lawyer, but I argued with them that I was not going to be one). I had the vocabulary of a high schooler but could not read and write. I was lucky enough to get some help and have supportive parents. I went to college, got two useless degrees, and fumbled through life until I found Natalie (not exactly but close enough).
Natalie and I have been working together for well, now it feels like forever, but in reality, it is maybe over 18 months (time flies when you are having fun). I have done a handful of things for her over the years, and I hope I have made her life easier.
As I said, this blog is not about her; it's about me.... kind of. So I wanted to take some time to talk about the 3 major things Natalie has taught me while working with her. None of these are dyslexic specific but more like things I have learned from her due to the way her dyslexia has colored her. Ok, enough trying to explain; let me get to the points.
As a result of my dyslexia, I have created these really ridged systems that I HAVE to follow to feel like I have some semblance of control over my dyslexia (and ADHD). These systems are super-specific to me and are probably overkill (they are overkill; I hate admitting it). These systems make me an excellent detail-oriented employee and fantastic at party planning. They don't allow me to shift my perspective or function well outside of them.
Natalie is not organized; she has radically accepted this about herself and is not afraid to hide from this fact. She gives me the freedom to create what I want, how I want, and when I want. It is daunting but has been a fantastic learning experience for me. I have learned to be more flexible. It has taken some time, but working with her has allowed me to realize when I am stuck in my perspective or when I need to stop using my systems to grow/recharge.
Natalie has taught, no, pushed me, no, demanded that I slow down, take breaks and ask for less. This is a little bit of a "pot calling the kettle black" situation(I'm looking at you, Natalie). I am a typical dyslexic with the need to people-please and who measures self-worth by what I can produce (I'm working on shifting this perspective). Natalie is not shy at telling me when I am doing too much and when I need to do less.
A perfect example is one of my pups passed away a few weeks ago, and I was (still kind of am) completely heartbroken. Natalie and I were gearing up to work on a project, and I asked to move the meeting. She flat out canceled it and told me that if I messaged her about anything work-related, she was not going to respond. She checked on me the next day and tried (unsuccessfully) to stop me from working on stuff for her. For the record, I chose to work because I needed the distraction. Natalie has taught me the importance of relaxing and taking time to evaluate my priorities.
Dreaming is the last one, I promise. Natalie has taught me many other things, like how the word organize in the UK is spelled organise and how to see my strengths. I would argue that she has taught me what success looks like. I have always wanted to be an author, specifically in children's books. I have held on to this dream for so many years but never acted on it (I am allergic to failure). Natalie has slowly been changing that mindset for me. She started an Instagram account and has grown it into a full-time business that helps people. She took her dream and made it a reality. While I am not quite following my dreams yet, her story and watching Dyslexia in Adults go from its humble beginnings to where it is now has been nothing short of inspiring. Natalie hates bragging about herself and has an aversion to compliments like a cat with water. But she is unequivocally one of the most inspirational people I know.
Dyslexia in Adults has given me so much and helped me through so many seasons of my life. I am truly honored to be a part of an amazing community that leads with value and whose mission is to impact all those we work with.