You. The one who keeps trying, even when things get hard? This one’s for you.
Totally impressed am I when you keep showing up and persevering. When so many other people are convinced they can’t, you say, “Well, hang on a minute…maybe I can.”
When I was in high school, my grades were not what my mom wanted them to be. One evening after she came home from work, she came into my room with a box and said, “This is what you’re doing this weekend. And you’re taking notes.”
A feeling of dread washed over me as I glanced from her face, tight with determination, to the box that lay on my bed. I couldn’t even begin to imagine what was inside.
“Notes?” I stammered. I couldn’t be bothered with those back then. When I sat in the classroom each day, my mind was filled with daydreams of the New Kids on the Block. Who had time for notes?
I took my headphones off and set my Walkman on the mauve and forest green floral bedspread. Lifting the brown cardboard flaps, I peered cautiously into the box.
When I looked back up, eyes like steel were waiting for my reaction. Stifling my groan, I knew better than to argue. So I sighed and agreed that in the morning I would start watching the entire VHS series of Where There’s a Will There’s an “A”…a seminar on how to take notes and get good grades.
That series wasn’t a miracle in the making. I’m not sure my mom got a good return on her investment. Okay, wait, I need to be nice to myself. I did complete college…eventually.
The one thing I do remember about that punishment is the title on those tapes. That alone ended up being very valuable to me because, even now, while there might not always be an “A” in the outcome of things, I do believe that, as the old saying goes, where there’s a will there will often be a way. A way through that difficult thing. The first step is to try. And the next step is to keep trying. Until it gets done.
That weekend in high school wasn’t my only experience of not being allowed to quit trying my best. I’ve had to pick myself up and keep going many times, even while dealing with parts of my life that were just. plain. hard. Things haven’t always been roses and fairy tales. I wasn’t allowed to give up, so I get a little peeved sometimes when others do.
Of course, there are always exceptions, and I have no idea what it is like to live someone else’s life.
On the flip side, I can’t stand if someone judges me when they haven’t walked in my shoes. Everyone has a different level of tolerance, a different history, and a different set of capabilities. I am not unsympathetic to that. There are still times when I give up, too.
There are those of us who have also had to work really hard to change our beliefs about ourselves, so that we can move forward and persevere to the best of our ability. None of us are perfect, nor will we ever be. Once we realize that, the trying gets easier.
So tonight, before I go to bed and dream of
New Kids on the Block the vacation my husband and I will get to take once the COVID-19 quarantine has been lifted, I just want to say to those of you who see tough things to tackle yet you don’t back down from them…Bravo. 🙂
Seriously. I am so inspired by you. By all of you who might be shakin’ in your boots and want to throw up your hands and say, “Forget. This.”, but you keep going. It might be pain you have to deal with, it might be low confidence, it might be trying to understand or do something you have never done before. Yet….you get it done.
Rest is good. Reviewing our options is great. Reconsidering our negative thoughts is even better.
At the end of the day, if we’ve tried our best and have done all we can, we can go to sleep with a sense of pride and accomplishment which is worth putting one foot in front of the other every single time.