Bear With on this one…
When describing my experience of DCD to people, I often end up settling on ‘I am basically Miranda’. I do this partially because I’m lazy, partially because it is one of my favourite self deprecating jokes, and partially because it is pretty much true.
It is hard to deny that Miranda has captured the hearts of a nation, and the fact that she has done this through her endearing clumsiness and a tendency to struggle with everyday communication resonates with me on an almost spiritual level.
A modern day Johnny English, Miranda stumbles rather chaotically through life. At the same time, she is resilient, she accepts herself for who she is, and the nation loves her for the tendencies that make her so lovably unique. As an awkward, clumsy person I initially felt uncomfortable at the fact that her own awkward clumsiness was the main source of humour in the show, but I soon came to realise that the way she has owned this and made a dazzling career out of it is in fact a wonderful feat, showing great humility, strength and confidence on her part.
Although I’m not attempting to diagnose Miranda with anything, a lot of the traits she displays on the show and outside it do correlate with Dyspraxia, and therefore resonate strongly with me personally. Of course, there is the multitude of physics-defying feats of clumsiness, the video below serving as a stellar example:
But, perhaps more subtly, there is her regular misinterpretation of people’s speech, and her inability to formulate sentences and express what she truly means. She also shows flashes of disorganisation, lateness, forgetfulness and generally proves to have an unconventional way of thinking; “Whenever I think of Meals on Wheels, I always think of little Yorkshire puddings on roller skates.”
Her self deprecating television persona is one which I think a lot of people with dyspraxia will recognise. I, myself, gave up all hope of being renowned for my elegance or refinement at a very young age, yet delighted in making people laugh through my dyspraxic exploits and my hilarious tales of misadventure. A particular favourite is the now infamous club photo of me spilling a drink all over my face, which incidentally earned me ‘clubber of the week’ in the prestigious publication ‘The Tab’. If that isn’t a stand out Miranda moment, I don’t know what is.
In the past, my so called ‘useless’ traits, such as my frequent falling over and my general lateness has made me an object of ridicule from ‘friends’ that I have long since got rid of. It has made me feel like no-one will ever take me seriously, and in my awkward gangly teenage years made me feel unattractive and generally pretty down on myself. I learnt soon enough, however, that you just have to own it, and surround yourself with people who love your quirks, and build you up for your strengths, which is exactly what Miranda does. When I begin to get bummed out about how my dyspraxia stops me being taken seriously, I think of how Miranda has made a name for herself and earned the respect and adoration she currently enjoys just by being her wonderful, clumsy, slightly disorientated self. Inconceivably, Miranda has helped immensely with my self esteem by showing that people like me can be funny, successful and loved. This is something I have been trying to remember when my self confidence gets low, and this is why I’m not afraid to claim Miranda as my very own Dyspraxic Icon.