Monday, July 22, 2013

Taking the Word "NO" for an Answer

When I was a little girl, more often than "Yes", I heard the word "No".
Can I get an Atari??? Please, please, I know it costs a lot, but I study hard, I do well in school, can I please have an Atari?
"No, if you want an Atari, you'll have to pay for it yourself. I work hard to support you and your sister, and I don't have spare money lying around to pay for extras." My mom said.
I really wanted that damn Atari.
Everyone played Pac-man, Caterpillar, Frogger and Asteroids and I was the only one without an Atari.
So, at the age of 13 I started working for that Atari.
I babysat for the neighbors across the street. I saved my birthday money and slowly I reached a total of 80 dollars.
My stepfather took me to the store. While we were there, he asked me if I wanted to buy my stepbrother's used Atari, it was just as good as a new one for half the price, but I said No. I wanted a new Atari. I had worked hard to earn it, and I wanted it to be my own.
I bought the Atari and fell in love with Frogger.
Six months later these really cool sweaters were in style and everyone in my school had one. I babysat every weekend and earned enough money to buy one.
When I was sixteen, my father agreed to buy me a new car if I paid for the insurance every six months. I said, "Thank you so much, ok!"
I got myself a job at a fast food restaurant in the mall, continued babysitting and made those insurance payments every six months.
The only way to protect yourself from a "NO", is to put yourself to work to make it a "YES."
I just started reading a book that talks about how the new generation entering the workforce lived a color-coated existence. Their parents gave them so much positive reinforcement and so many "Good Trys" that they believe themselves to be infallible; when the reality of failure and the word "NO" hits them in their perfect faces and touches their perfect lives, they go into depression. There are egomaniacs running around and they quickly turn into depressed individuals.

I heard "You CAN'T teach English to your son."
I heard "Your son is NOT a candidate for a cochlear implant."
I heard "I give you six months in Italy and then you'll be home."
I heard "You will NEVER survive without my help."
I actually even heard, "You are HELPLESS without me."

Thank you to my Mom, my Dad, my Stepfather, my Grandparents and any other person who told me "NO" as I was growing up.
I learned the value of creating my own strong, "YES".

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