Friday, November 04, 2005

Dis-courage/En-courage

A while back I wrote a post called Goals.

Post Script: Writing this was cathartic, in the way that you realize that you 've been ticked by the people who said these things, and what for? They were wrong. And further, it's what a person hears --does one listen to the people around who encourage, or does the person only hear the discouragement? I know alot of people who do not listen to those who would tell them they deserve and ought to pursue more in their lives ...but still listen to those voices that tell them they can't do it. So when I was finished, I decided that everyone who seeks to push forward in life but feel that uncertainty should make a list like this--to inventory the jerks and the ones who have encouraged...you might feel better or surprised. ok self help minute is over.

Now I am going to talk about the people who have discouraged me. When people discourage you to reach goals, especially people who are educators, parents or bosses I want to say that they should out of hand be ignored. I am not sure how much I will stand by this, but for now I feel that it is true. When the shortest kid in my class comes to me and tells me he is going to be a basketball star, do I discourage him? Heck no. When the girl who struggles the most in math comes to me and tells me she will be a scientist do I discourage her? Heck no. When my daughter tells me that she wants to be a rock and roll drummer, do I discourage her? Heck no, I say, well tell me when you play somewhere so I can go cheer ya on. It's where she tells me that she wants to be an exotic dancer that I start to get fuzzy on this.

  • A. Fisher would not give me a recommendation letter because she felt I wasn't ready to teach.
  • DeCarrico told me I wasn't cut out for linguistics (I graduated with a 3.7 in Linguistics).
  • My boss at a fish restaurant told me that waitressing was too hard for me.
  • M told me not to bother with a masters because I hadn't done anything worthwhile with my bachelors.
  • T. Carnes made it her lifes work to annihilate aspiring teachers, and did her best on me by nitpicking everything I did to death, down to the most minute accent forgotten or a misuse of an article or tense in Spanish. She alone probably improved my Spanish more than anyone else.
  • R. Hart scoffed at my plans to travel the world when I was 22.
  • J. Brooks picked a particularly good time to tell me that spending money on my education was like flushing money down a rathole.

And to show that I am not all about being mad at the world, let's give time to the folks who encouraged me.

  • J.S. Brooks always thought I could do anything, even the things I was scared to do, like ride his huge 750cc motorcycle.
  • B. Rubine had nothing but encouragement for me and got me through college, except the time he told me I wouldn't last a day in prison. He mighta been right though.
  • Jeff has encouraged me more than anyone I have ever met and ceaselessly says the things that are salve to my heart to hear.
  • J Brooks told me he was proud of me once.
  • M told me she thought that I had lived an amazing life so far
  • J Harrington and R Niehues encouraged me
  • J Rainwater Foster encouraged me, to my face and pulled strings for me from behind the scenes too, I wish I could tell her how thankful I am to her.
  • TH Brooks encouraged me with her wisdom, taking my side and helping me to understand these strange people called family.
  • Anna encourages me now, when all the other people are busy, shares my goals and listens and understands and says the exact things I need to hear. Bless her.
  • M McWhorter encouraged me
  • R Hart encouraged me by making sure that nannying wasn't my life's ambition because he knew I was capable of much more
  • J Smith has encouraged me, in her own special crazy way

Phew, isnt it nice to see the second list is longer. Rather cathartic it is to look back and see all those people who said I couldn't do the things I did. Have to admit, it does make me want to give them the finger, but fortunately this isn't a venue for that. And to see how much more encouragement. I think everyone should do this.

2 comments:

suleyman said...

I know how it feels to look a fool dead in the grill and say "I told ya!" Naysayers make succeeding so fun, 'cause when you do finally succeed you get to look at them and say "what? what? *I didn't think so*."

Don't let people hold you back.

And the people who encourage you get to share in that collective 'booyah.' Ah, how I love it.

-Suley

Fitèna said...

No one should be given the power of holding you back. I envy you really. You got people who encouraged you. Normally am the one to encourage and when its my turn, either the "encouragement" is so tepid you find yourself better off without it or its simply not there.
Its harder when its your dear ones (not intentionally) discouraging you because they belive they know what's better for you more than you do.

Fitèna