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"You can't"


Guest Spaulding
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Guest Spaulding

Connected to have-not. What have you done before or after someone told you "you can't?" I'm thinking positive things, or else, we could spend much of the time regretting our sins.

 

"You can't write." Said after I had articles published, but the motivating factor to my novel.

 

"You can't cut inside curves on glass." I read it in a how-to book for stained glass about three months after I made a three-tulip stained-glass project. (The tulips are bunched together so no way of doing that without cutting inside curves.)

 

"You can't grow a full-sized pumpkin vine in a container." Someone was feeding the neighborhood squirrels. One dug a spot for a pumpkin seed. It was three feet already when we returned from our spring vacation. Lost one because it grew in the chain-linked fence. (I named it Quasimodo. No way to harvest it, but the neighborhood wildlife liked us when it broke open.) But the homemade -- Martha-Stewart-style -- pumpkin pie was delicious. I let the authors of that book know that it's doable, just not something you'd want to do. 

 

What "you can't" have "you did" that you're glad you did? 😆

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I've been told:

"You can't play drums."   (I was section leader of the drum section in my senior year of High School)

"You can't do electronics with bad match grades."  (Work in electronics for 8 years after high school)

"You can't be a programmer because it requires exceptional math skills."  (30-year career in writing software)
 

There are numerous "you can't" moments after that.  But those were the big 3.

 

I was also told, by teachers in my elementary school, that I'd be nothing but a ditch digger.  And my high school counselors suggested that I train for menial factory work.

 

"You can't," is usually the first indicator that someone usually doesn't know what they are talking about or has very low expectations.

 

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Guest Spaulding

My theory is "you can't" has been of great benefit to me often.

 

First when I find out I can't after I already did. Second as a double-dog-dare.

 

I am hesitant in so much in life. It is so good to hear those words after the fact, or I suspect I wouldn't have tried. Those who said "You can't" were trying to be helpful, so I don't fault them for that, but it's also why I'm more likely to tell why "I can't," and then tell why, in hope that the person can see a possible problem before the fact, without suggesting it's impossible.

 

The second "you can't" works because I am that stubborn.

 

@Jeff Potts I wish I had known you as you are now when my older brother was a kid. He had about 200 pets -- mostly reptiles, but a few amphibians and rabbits. He learned how to take care of them when they were sick and kept them healthy most of the time. (I remember he treated a box turtle with an eye infection and saved an abused turtle.) But he's dyslexic, and had a terrible time with Latin. (Who doesn't? We had Latin together, so we'd practice vocabulary words every week, because we knew he had some kind of learning problem.) So he never went to vet school because of that.

 

He has been completely self-reliant for 50 years. To the point of owning his own home at 17.  I'm proud of who he is, but had I known Latin isn't the hard part, I would have been the voice that told him, "you can."

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Someone once said to me when I was about 40 years ago and wanting to enter college, "You're a bit long in the tooth to enter college, aren't you?"

That question so enraged me that not long after that I went for my bachelor's in Social Psychology and years later went for my master's in business. I struggled but I have always been glad that I made the effort.

Those words, whenever I hear them, I say to myself, "With God's help and love, I will!"

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     Back in 1964, when I was 19, I was required to take a medical examination, to see if I was physically fit to be drafted into the US Military.  The exam showed what I'd expected, that I was much too physically unfit to be drafted.

    This meant that "You can't be killed in battle in Viet Nam."

    That was the only test I've ever taken, that I was glad that I'd flunked.

    Thank the Lord.  In Jesus Name.  Amen.

 

Edited by William D'Andrea
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"You can't babysit." 😆 I know that sounds dumb, but I was eleven at the time and my friend was eight. I kept asking her mother if I could watch my friend's baby brother because I was determined that I would babysit by the time I was eleven, and my friend told me that that I would never be able to babysit him.

 

*smirks* Guess where we're at now? 

(Yes, she has changed now that she's older. 🙂)

 

"You can't be in [insert grade]! You're only [insert age]!"

Actually, yes, I am in [said grade] at [said age]. Just because I'm advanced doesn't mean I skipped a grade. *eyeroll* Have been dealing with this since childhood, although people now are more amazed than insulting about it. (People as in other kids. Or adults even. Adults never were constant about it. They lived with it or were genuinely surprised.)

 

 

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Guest Spaulding

@Ky_GirlatHeart

I did babysit at 11. Mom had to go out, and she already knew I could change my brother's diapers, warm milk, and feed him. (She even knew, I could drop him on his head too. 🥴)

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During my undergraduate studies, a popular but very tough political science teacher let it be known that those who scored mediocre grades at the start of the semester very rarely rebounded to achieve a higher score.  
 

For our first major exam I felt shellacked to see “C-“ marked on my test.   I am not a perfectionist, but I was so stunned that I doubled down to score an A on the next exam.   I kept that “you can’t do it” grin of the prof before me.  I was determined to best his expectations.
 

Something seemed off kilter when at the start of the next class, the professor marked out a new sitting order, seating me in the first chair at the upper right.  To my immediate left was a middle-aged woman, and to her left a young man my age who was renowned to be the smartest in the class.  I kept scoring high grades.

 

Later in the semester, I was surprised when the professor offered me a part-time job in the computer department, considered a coveted job on campus.

The prof’s son, a fellow worker-student at the lab told me, confidentially, that his dad/the prof was so flabbergasted at my rebound in grades that he was determined to prove I was cheating.  Hence the undercover lady sitting near me, to see if I was peaking at the stellar student’s work.   It seemed an unspoken thing that the prof’s kindness toward me later was his way of saying, “Sorry!”.   

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