Being left-handed in a right-handed world

Being+left-handed+in+a+right-handed+world

Gazebo Photo by Kate

I’m a leftie in a right-handed world. 

I have been left-handed all my life. Most people when I tell them I’m a southpaw, they are surprised. I remember from when I was younger I was one of the only leftie people in my class. The only other person I knew that was left-handed in my grade was Carson Chambless. 

I brush my teeth left-handed. I also use my left hand to eat, write, brush my hair, and play sports. Basically, I use my left hand for most everything. 

I’m also one of the only southpaw people in my prominent family. My parents and all my siblings all do things with their right hand. The only other person in my family that is left-handed are my cousins, Cory and Kayla, on my dad’s side. 

 In PE, we used to play games like handball and tennis. In tennis, I would always have to be taught a little differently than the others. The first question the coaches would ask would always be “Is anyone here left handed?” I would have to serve and hit the ball differently. With handball, I would always be on the other side of the base and it would throw people off. 

My dad told me that when I played t-ball, I never knew which side to stand on by the base. He told me that whenever I went up to bat, it would always be a different side: left or right. Whichever side I felt using that day was the one I used.  

It’s fun being one of the only lefties in the grade. It means I have something that not everyone else has. Even though it can be more difficult, it sets me apart from everyone else in a right-handed world.  ”

— Ashley Parel

I also used to play golf. With golf, you have to have specified clubs for left-handed players. When I first started playing, I used to do a club camp at Idle Hour and didn’t own any golf clubs. Because the majority of people are right-handed, Idle Hour didn’t have any left-handed clubs. I had to use the same iron the whole week, and I learned how to hit right-handed.

When I told my mom I needed clubs, that was also a problem. We couldn’t find any. We looked at all the popular sports stores like Dicks Sporting Goods but there weren’t any. We had to order them online in order to get clubs. 

Lefties also know the struggle when writing. In school, we are taught to write from left-to-right. As a left-handed person, that means my hand is always laying on my previous writing. After a test, I always have pencil marks on my left-hand because of how I have to bare down on paper. Whenever I use a pen, there is always a chance I will smear it so I have to be careful. 

Unlike some people, I’ve never broken my left-arm which would force me to function with my right hand. So, I honestly don’t understand what it’s like to completely have to function with my right hand.

Being left-handed, though, taught me how to use my right hand more. I learned how to hit golf-balls right-handed, and I was surprisingly not bad at it. I also learned how to catch and throw with my right hand. I would train myself to use my right hand in order to “fit in” with the others. In class, I would practice writing with my right hand for fun.

It also makes me unique. It’s fun being one of the only lefties in the grade. It means I have something that not everyone else has. Even though it can be more difficult, it sets me apart from everyone else in a right-handed world.