"Walk By Faith, Not By Sight" 2 Corinthians 5:7
I have been wanting to write this post for awhile now, but for some reason or another, I have been putting it off. Why? I’m not really sure. Maybe I am afraid that I will discover something while recording my thoughts. Maybe I feel as though I’m somewhat of a jerk to list these thank-yous. Who knows? But I think that it is important to share what motivates me so that it might encourage you.
Have you ever been discouraged by what somebody thinks about you or says to you? I’m not necessarily talking about bullying here, because, thankfully I was blessed to have never encountered that. I’m talking about a different form…commonly known as The Doubter. I have come across many doubters in my life, and have often times been so discouraged and dismayed that it has been hard to prove them wrong. But, you know what? I did! And I am here to formally thank every one of my personal doubters.
1. A big thank you to my cross-country coach from my freshman year of high school. Though it may be hard for me to ever picture you as an inspiration, honestly, deep down you led me to be inspired, however, that does not give you rights to be an inspirer. My reason being: You constantly belittled me and my horrible efforts that did not help me ever improve on running a 5k. I mean, let’s be honest here, I sucked. It is understandable that you were disappointed in me. However, that should never entitle you to make a freshman girl cry! And to take away her right to see her brother run in Districts. I do thank you, however. After not pursuing cross country as my niche in high school after my freshman year, I was able to truly find who I am. And, I AM a runner. I gratefully found a spot in a dance company at a wonderful studio, and sought to better myself as an athlete to better my performance in the performing arts. One way in which I did so was running. I ran and ran and ran some more. I ran until my knees couldn’t take it anymore. I have osteoarthritis now for how much I pushed myself. But, I keep running. And when I run, all I can think of is how amazed and proud you would be of me now, coach. Your doubt pushes me beyond my limits.
2. A big shout-out thank you to my typical annoying, but hard-not-to-love older brother for getting me to break out of my shell my freshman year of high school. I refer to homecoming week, in which it was customary for each grade to dress as their theme, music being the overall theme that year. You were a luck duck; only having to wear jeans and a guitar-like or band t-shirt because the Juniors’ theme was rock. However, us freshies got stuck with modern music. Being Middleburg, we all knew that no one would conquer this theme, but would resort to being like the cool upclassmen, while also fitting into the customs of Middleburgian society. Yes, I refer to the country music and how everyone at our school owned a rebel flag shirt, cowboy boots, and camo. But, I didn’t want to be like the rest. I borrowed two huge t-shirts from you, a chain necklace, and sweat pants. I tried out the outfit the night before. We laughed and laughed and laughed. I was the whitest, white girl known to man, repping Nelly, the famous rapper; bandaid and all. You dared me, exclaiming that I would never go to school like that. What a challenge! The next day, I stood next to you in your casual clothes at the bus stop, saggy pants, over large t-shirts, chains, bandaid, bandanna and all. I tentatively got onto our bus where everyone stared. No change of clothes in hand, or anything. All day, I was the only freshman to dress our theme of today’s popular music. And what a blast I had! People saw my goofy self for who I truly am. You taught me to be individualistic. Thank you, Steve! I am forever grateful. I hold that memory dear to my heart, even when your friends laughed just as much as we did the night before with mom. I couldn’t find a picture of my getup…I think its back at my mom’s place right now (Apologies. I’m in the process of moving).
3. One of my biggest thank you’s to one of the most egotistical doubters there is out there, my ex-fiance. Things were great with us, and then it went downhill. I am not here to talk about that, but to thank you. Thank you for saying that I was doing nothing because I didn’t have a job. Newsflash, jerk, but I’m a full-time college student. Yea, you are in the military now and I tip my hat to you, but what were you doing prior to that, hmm? But this isn’t about you. It’s about me. Since your selfish comments that tore me down that dark night when you brought my heart to pieces, I have been determined. Not to prove myself to you, no. I know that you and I are not meant for each other and God has bigger plans for me, and different big plans for you, just like He does for everyone else. But it does feel good to know that you were so wrong! Throughout this entire semester, I have now maintained 16 credit hours, an internship, a leadership position of an organization on campus, and a 20 hours a week job. All while keeping up my grades, and signing a lease. Not going places, huh?
4. Lastly, I would like to say a big thank you to the biggest doubter I know, or will ever know: Myself. As a child, you were a frustrated little girl who believed herself to be dumb. You hated school, and the fact that you could not get good grades no matter how hard you tried. You didn’t understand why you had to have Dyslexia, a leaning disorder, in which you couldn’t read well, or rather at all because you saw the word upside down and backwards, often switching with the other words on the sentences on the line above or below. Why did you have to have this struggle in school when your siblings were Elpers? (Extended Learning Program). It was so unfair. But you pushed and you pushed. You tried to read. You practiced. And it paid off. You won tickets to a Utah Jazz game because you read the most words, and successfully too, I might add, in one week out of your entire elementary school. You made it into E.L.P. in fourth grade and were making amazing grades. Though the move to a new state’s educational system, which brought new challenges, including a clean record that did not indicate your Dyslexia, you pushed on. You didn’t let the fear of failing without a noted reason on your record hinder you. You made it into the honors classes and even dual enrolled in high school. College, something you never even considered, now became your dream. You graduated 13th out of a graduating class in high school of 468. You made it to Florida State University straight from high school. You are now majoring in English; specifically in Editing, Writing, and Media. You are going to graduate in one year. You are in Sigma Tau Delta, the International English Honor’s Society. You are employed. You have million of opportunities ahead of you. You silly doubter. Finals week is two weeks away and you are stressed beyond belief. But why? You doubt yourself too much. You are going places. You overcame your Dyslexia. You can handle these last two weeks. Thank you to myself for pushing myself to the extreme.
Doubtees; take your doubters and channel their doubt to positive action. Allow yourself to exceed, free yourself, find who you really are. Don’t EVER be dismayed by doubt. Be motivated. Be encouraged. Push yourself to the extreme. And, one day, you will be thanking your doubters too. And one thing my boss has told me: “Don’t be afraid to toot your own horn.”