You can do whatever you want

Me: I have considered being a [doctor, astronaut, archaeologist, surgeon, cadet, novelist, seamstress, house decorator, antique collector, climate change scientist, zoologist]* but my dad would laugh at me.

Despite several attempts, I never achieved telekinesis.

Friend: But your dad’s not here anymore. You are a grown woman. You can do whatever you want.

Why does discouragement linger and entrap a person’s soul so tightly? My sisters, let go of the voices that have turned into chains holding you back. He is not here anymore. You are a grown woman. Do whatever you want.

* I was a curious child, always trying new hobbies or being engrossed in a new cause with a burning passion – certain this was my calling. Funnily enough, now that I am free and able to take on the world, I hear no callings and am rather lost.

You may discover many defeats but you must not be defeated – Maya Angelou

13 thoughts on “You can do whatever you want

  1. I relate to this. I’ve had a lot of subtle or direct words of discouragement from the people in my life who either believed what they said or thought they were being kind and helpful somehow. And even after years, the words come back to haunt me. The linger and stick when I’m already running low on self-confidence.

    I love the movie, “The Pursuit of Happyness”. There’s a line that Will Smith’s character says to his son after telling him he’s not going to be good enough at basketball so better not to dream about such things.

    This is how it goes:

    “Hey. Don’t ever let somebody tell you you can’t do something. Not even me. All right?
    You got a dream. You gotta protect it. People can’t do something themselves, they wanna tell you you can’t do it. If you want something, go get it. Period.”

    I try to remember this all the time.

    Your writing makes me think a lot. I like that 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you
      That’s so true about people not being able to do things do they try and make you feel like you can’t.
      I think, though all these things linger, we need to try and recognise it as discouragement and not as our own thoughts. So then we can ignore it & try and beat it and prove them wrong.

      Liked by 3 people

    • Yes they can be overcome. But for that to happen I think we have to see them for what they are. For many years I thought some of the words were my own inabilities and it took me a while to realise they were the inabilities of others to do themselves or to believe in me. But once I recognised that, I was able to get over it.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. This resonates with me. Despite having a lot of support from many people in my life, I tend to hold myself back for fear of ‘defeat’, and have also felt lost, although on my part this tends to come from over committal. In my experience, spreading oneself too thinly can be difficult too.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I hear you…clearly. I have no interest in music (and it gives me real headaches) because whenever I sang along or listened to music, I was discouraged. Those keys to certain places in your mind…once they are lost, they are impossible to find. We can try to move on and along – and reason with ourselves as grown-ups, but your childhood always stays with you.

    Liked by 2 people

    • That’s very true – how now if anyone discouraged me I could recognise it as that and keep going. But during childhood it was completely different. It’d take it on and internalise it and hold onto – even now in my 20s

      Liked by 2 people

  4. My sister has the same problem as you, being told she couldn’t do stuff by our Dad. I think starting off trying to listen to the smallest of voices inside you, after a while these voices will get stronger, then maybe you’ll hear the big notions once more. Remember that the limits your Dad put on you were really the limits he felt for himself. Not that I’m trying to blame him for anything, he was doing the best with what he knew. x

    Liked by 1 person

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