Getting on

There was an expression which followed me around in adolescence: “That boy just won’t get on.” Sometimes those sentiments came with the preamble: “I don’t know what’s wrong with that boy.” Mostly that was just inferred.

Boys, generally, don’t get on unless really pushed, but my not getting on was considered out of the ordinary. It frustrated many a teacher and my parents in equal measure. I was completely disengaged, perpetually distracted, daydreaming.

Of course, now we know that there was something wrong with me. This disorder is not a learning disability — there’s nothing wrong with my intelligence — but it does quite consistently present challenges related to the development of social and language skills.

So the reality is I just required support and medical intervention to help me overcome all of the not getting on. Turned out the lack of muscles had nothing to do with me making a decision not to get on; it was physiological. Still, “He just won’t get on,” had a nice ring to it and served all who uttered it well.

As it happens, I’m not a dunce. I got nine good GCSEs, three decent A-levels, an undergraduate degree and a Master’s. It’s just that I tended to be rather distracted, thinking myself incapable. Too busy daydreaming about building a countryside house on spring-fed lands — which ironically is what we’ve done this past year

But alas, “He just won’t get on,” would soon be deployed for my life in general when it became clear that it didn’t fit my academic reality. Now it would be the explanation for my faith choices, my atypical approach to marriage and my convoluted career path.

But the reality was that I was getting on with the hand I’d been dealt. I had to deal with my reality the best way I could. Each demanded an atypical intervention. I had to walk this path to address the inner discontent I felt so palpably. I had to seek and trust the One to rectify all of my affairs. That’s ultimately how I got on.

Actually the boy did get on. He just got on walking a different path that was a better fit for his soul.

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