"Never Let the Fear of Striking Out, Keep You From Playing the Game"

By , Portland, OR
“You will never be good enough,” my grandmother used to tell me as she would sit me down for my weekly manners lesson. I was too much like my dad and she didn't like that. In her eyes, I was going nowhere good in life; she was destined to change that. My brother was an angel to her and didn't need any help being perfect. I was a failure. Every year for Christmas my grandmother would give me a manners book in hopes that maybe I would become the proper young lady I was not.


It wasn't until 8th grade that I realized the way I was being treated by her was wrong. It was then that I began striving to be the best I could. I aimed to prove to her that I was not a disgrace to the family and that I could do well. I received a 4.0 GPA my freshman year and got involved in clubs on campus. I represented my school on the Superintendents Student Advisory Council. Trying to prove her wrong wasn't easy. Weekly manners lessons continued and I was expected to attend monthly Daughters of the American Revolution meetings with her. She told me I would never succeed in life and that I did not have the willpower to achieve my goals.


Babe Ruth once said “never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.” I apply this everyday to my actions and goals. If you never pursue your wildest dreams you will always fail, but if you try and fail at least you tried. Putting all your effort into something you are passionate about is worth the effort in the long run. I learned this first hand when I decided to take extra classes outside of school in order to graduate from high school a year early. All of the times my parents encouraged me to do my work books, or read at night paid off in making me a better student. I believe in setting a goal and doing everything in my power to achieve it. “Don't tell me the sky is the limit when there are footprints on the moon”(Paul Brandt).

I have learned that even when someone says you can't, you should tell yourself that you can. Prove them wrong. Show them you are the bigger person and can achieve the things you want to. Be all you can be and reach for the stars. If Thomas Edison's mom told him he couldn't, would we have the light bulb? If Phil Knight's dad said he couldn't would we have NIKE? The answer to both of these is maybe, but it is because they tried that we have the light bulb and high-end, overpriced sporting apparel.


So here’s to you grandma – proving you wrong. I made it through high school, and half of my freshman year of college and have not ended up getting suspended or put in jail; can't say that for your grandson. I am a unique young woman that is making the best of the opportunities that have been placed in front of me. I wouldn't be here now if it weren't for you making me feel like a failure. Your negative attitude towards my upbringing has convinced me to be all I can be and show you that I can be more than the improper young lady I never was. Thanks for showing me that I can!





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