Monday, September 20, 2021

Learning to write with my left hand

The title makes it pretty obvious that I learnt how to write with my left hand, aka my non-dominant hand. Yes, this does bring a couple of questions to mind, such as why? Why? and oh yeah, Why? Well, to answer these questions, I need to rewind this story to about a year ago.

On June 18th, 2020, there was a young girl completely bored out of her mind. Online classes had barely started and she already wanted to bang her head against something. REPEATEDLY. In order to relieve the boredom, she did what every single teenager did during online classes - SWITCH TABS. As she was scrolling through YouTube, she spotted a particular video about a girl learning to write with her non-dominant hand. She clicked on that video and the rest was history. That single click started her year-long journey of learning how to write with her left hand.
Day 1 - June 11, 2020

Just to clarify, the “girl bored out of her mind” is me. So yeah, I actually saw a video about a girl trying to write with her non-dominant hand, which was actually her left hand, same as mine. I basically felt that it looked cool and decided to try it out.

The tediousness of online classes had been really getting to me by that point, although it had only been a couple of weeks since they had started. Remember that this was waayy back in 2020, when everything was uncertain, and lockdowns were being imposed everywhere. Online classes had been implemented for the first time and it was pretty new. Na├»ve, innocent me still hadn’t learnt how to survive in online classes. However, now I’m a pro. Listening to Spotify, texting and scrolling through Pinterest during online classes is the new normal. I mean who can actually pay attention during online classes. It’s honestly better to self-study at this point.

Anyways, I digress. Where were we? Ahh yes, back to the brilliant feat of me learning to write with my left hand (just kidding... I love being dramatic when I write).

I wrote the same paragraph from my history textbook everyday with my left hand. It took me about ten minutes and that was it. I’m going to be honest; the first few days were NOT the best. My handwriting looked like a drunk insect had crawled across the page. Basically it was not pretty. It was suuper frustrating. I couldn’t figure out how to hold the pen or how to position the book. BUT I decided that I would try it for 20 days, just like the girl in the video. Her handwriting had improved quite a bit, so I decided to see if the same happened to me. If at the end of 20 days, not much happened, then I would have probably stopped.
Day 2

Then on Day 5 of my learning to write with my left hand I had a breakthrough. I finally learnt how to hold the pen and control my movements. My writing was actually LEGIBLE.
Day 3

In this way, I made it to 20 days, and my handwriting was honestly not the worst (definitely not the best, or even halfway decent, but not completely horrible either). Then I decided to see if I could make it till a 100 days. I kept that goal in mind and began writing a paragraph every day. I would write enough to cover 9-10 lines of a notebook and leave it at that.
Day 30
At some point I began writing out chapters from my Science textbook, so that I could write all sorts of words and letters (I managed to write out 12 chapters this way). Then, I began adding the sentence ‘The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog’ along with all the numbers from 0-9. This ensured that I wrote every letter in the alphabet, as well as numbers. When I finally reached 100 days, I looked at the first day I had written and was surprised to see a huge improvement. However, I was still not happy, and decided to continue till I reached 200 days. Somehow this turned to 300 days, I knew I had to complete 365 days.
Day 31

Day 32

This brings back to a couple of weeks ago, or more specifically 3rd August 2021, when I FINALLY completed 365 days of learning to write with my left hand.
Day 365. 3rd August, 2021.

So you might be surprised to see the almost one-and-a-half-month gap between my first day (18th June) and the 365th day (3rd August). Well, this is because although I tried, I was unable to write every day. Sometimes, I had to go out, or had exams, or was just plain tired. However, I was pretty diligent for the first 100 days. Mainly because I didn’t want to stop in the middle, especially since my handwriting had changed so much. Sometimes when I skipped a day, I would be surprised to find that the next day I had to focus extra hard or hold the pen rather tightly while writing. I think this was because my brain was still learning how to do it, and the gaps in between made it forget how to do it? (I don’t really know, I’m not an expert... this is just my guess).
Rewriting the same paragraph, one year later

On my 365th day, I wrote my normal quota of 10 lines AND I also rewrote the paragraph from my history textbook that I had written on my very first day. I compared the two and BOY, was I shocked. I finally felt like I’d actually learnt how to write with my left hand.

Not going to lie, it felt good, no scratch that - AMAZING. I also kept it a secret from my parents until I reached around 300 days or so. No specific reason for this. I just wanted to be able to show this when they went into a lecture about how ‘kids these days are wasting their lives and spend all their time on screens, etc, etc, etc' (I can’t be the only kid in the world, who’s heard this speech so many times that they’ve memorized it).

I still try to write with my left hand every day. I don’t want to forget how to do it after spending so much time on it, and it’s kind of relaxing now.

Well, that was my journey. I know it isn’t a great achievement or an incredible skill, but I still think it’s kinda cool.

I would like thank YouTube! And I can’t believe I’m actually saying this but, THANK YOU BORING ONLINE CLASSES! (damn that was weird... but true, since I wouldn’t have ever done this if it hadn’t been for *shudder* online school).

So yeah, this was weirdly fun to write and thanks for reading.

© 2021, Anika Agarwal. All rights reserved.

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