We all face rejection. Though one could argue that the generation beneath us doesn’t and won’t; what they experience seems to be an airy fairy “you’ll get ’em next time.” When in actual fact the kid needs to be told that with harder work and dedication comes success, comes the honour of achieving the goals set by themselves, shapes them for a well-rounded future that will allow them to feel devastation, and the excitement of conquering a challenge. A handout won’t get them there.
This post isn’t about my opinions on a younger crowd though. This one is about what I went through that lit the flame of determination beneath me to do well and prove I was better than what had already been predetermined in the eyes of someone else. When I was younger I faced the devastation of getting cut from a soccer team I so desperately wanted to be on. I later learned that the team I was cut from was bottom of their league. My team was on their way to provincials where we’d win gold. So the lesson learned from that is you can always take something away from failure, which can also lead you onto a path to something better, it hurts at first but the universe may have a different path you didn’t see yourself on and that’s ok too!
When I was in High school I switched from Catholic system to Public system. I approached my Science teacher to thank her for the handwork at maintaining a class full of teenagers and that I’d miss her next year and broke the news that I was switching schools. When she asked “Why?” I responded, telling her that the basketball program was far superior and this was my opportunity to get a scholarship and make something of myself. Without hesitation my favourite teacher who was there to help me through tough science classes blurts out “You’ll never make the team, there’s no point in switching schools, if you were going to get a scholarship you could get one here” That was the first time I’d ever experienced someone shutting down my dreams and being so adamant that I was destined to fail. Her words have stuck with me since that day. Not only did I switch schools and make the team, I also won rookie of the year, with some serious competition in the category of nominations. Hater 0 Me 1
Circumstances lead us to switch schools yet again, and I finished the remainder of my Highschool in Calgary. I fell into a depression leaving my hometown of great life long friends to being the loner at a new school that no one knew. Now you know in high school it really is about status, or so my ego told me. My grades slipped from high 80’s and 90’s to struggling to get passing grades. I hated school now. Nothing my teachers taught was interesting anymore. I fell sick in March of my grade 11 year, which caused me to miss the remainder of my classes and their finals. I failed spanish and barely passed any remaining course I had. Grade 12 hit, I took a ton of summer school classes, seriously, both online classes and in class ones. I packed in 3 or 4 classes in 2 months to pull my grades up. Fast forward to last semester of grade 12. Fast forward to the last day of Social class right before my exams and my Social teacher pulled me aside and asked me if “I had plans for next year” Truth is I was barely staying afloat in his class, it was some of the worst teaching I’d ever had. Excuse after excuse, I never took ownership of my part to play in it all. When he asked me that question it hit a nerve. I replied back with “yes, I do have plans after high school and while university might not be part of that plan right now, you can be damn sure that I won’t end up working a dead-end job or being a dead beat like my grades might indicate.” Truthfully as I walked down the hall after leaving his class I had no clue what I was going to do, but the power within me told me to just believe that I was capable of whatever I wanted, not to let some mini van driving, social studies teacher cast me in the light of the degenerates.
Here I am today. Running my own successful business that I absolutely love. Words cannot express how happy I am with my line of work, the choices I made when I was younger certainly impacted my future, but despite the mistakes I still feel that I have overcome the obstacles my teachers set out for me. We don’t always know how our future will look, but it is up to us to believe in ourselves. As long as the fire of passion, determination, grit and drive burn within you, you can do anything. I will continue to embrace my doubters and supporters as one massive ball of fuel that will keep me going. I’d like to thank my soccer coach, science teacher and social studies teacher who thought I’d amount to nothing as there is nothing sweeter than revenge by proving them wrong.