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The Thing I learned: It Changed Everything

“All I’ve ever wanted to do was fit in.”

As a kid growing up,

 

I was amazed by how other students were able to get good grades.

 

For the life of me I was a terrible speller and if you’re on my email list you know that I have my fair share of grammatical errors.

Even with Grammarly, I still make a ton of mistakes.

 

But in elementary school, in the 4th grade,

 

I remember there were kids that were so smart.

 

They got all the right answers, had perfect penmanship and seem to have everything going for them.

 

I don’t know what it is about those people, but it’s safe to say that they’re probably at some Ivy League school, finishing a medical degree by now.

 

Well, that’s not true, what I really wanted was to be cool.

 

And now that I’m a grown adult, married with 3 children – I still want to be cool.

 

This feeling will probably never change.

 

It’s a complex topic because although children want to be cool to their friends,

 

they also wanted to be accepted by their parents.

 

I get that not everybody grows up the same, but I remember all I ever wanted to do was make my mom proud.

 

My grades were never good enough.

 

My younger brother always got better grades.

 

And to this day I remember getting so much shit for not being able to spell “special.” (I’m not kidding)

 

I’m reminded by that quote….

People don’t remember what you did or said, but they remember how you made them feel.

-Maya Angelou

And oh boy, did I feel pretty shitty.

 

At some point in your life,

 

I’m sure you can remember a time where you gave something your all and found out later it wasn’t good enough. It hurts.

To really give it your best, but then later find out you’re in last place.

 

So if you’re best work isn’t good enough, why bother trying?

 

I want to say, that’s probably what happened to me.

 

Why try if my best effort wasn’t good enough?

 

And that’s life for you, failure and the fear of it.

 

The fear of not being good enough.

 

This Changed Everything…

I learned this a bit late, but if you fail, you can try again.

 

And if you fail again, you can try again.

 

After that, you’ve learned 2 ways that didn’t work.

 

For the most part, that’s the process of life: making decisions that get bad results.

 

Based on those results, you make adjustments.

 

Rinse, repeat and keep going until you get to where you’re going.

 

Failure is not really failure.  Mistakes are mistakes – but you usually get a chanceto try again.

In the process you will sometimes won’t look so cool – but eventually you will.

 

But if there’s one thing for sure, you won’t be cool to everybody.

 

And that’s the next lesson, not everybody is going to like you the way you want them to.

 

That’s probably the toughest thing I learned growing up,

 

because as a child, you crave acceptance from your elders.

 

When you don’t get it, you question your worth.

 

As negative as that sounds, that contrast of my thoughts at 8 years old to now 34 is fascinating.

 

But I’ll save that thought for another blog post.