For some reason, I hate to be told I can’t do something.
It’s childish, really.
But it has worked to my advantage.
My mom used to tell me “not to feel bad” if I tried something & failed. “Don’t feel bad if you don’t get picked for the team”, “Don’t feel bad if you don’t get asked to the dance”, “Don’t feel bad if you don’t win the election”. . . .When I tried & failed, she usually would say “You didn’t want to do that anyway”, or “He’ll never amount to anything anyway”, or “They are all stuck up.”
But when I tried & succeeded, she was always excited . . . . and surprised.
Because Mom thought that fat girls couldn’t do everything thin girls could do. She never said so, and I am sure she would deny it even now. My mom loves me. When I hurt, she hurt. It’s not that she didn’t believe in me, she was just trying to spare me pain & humiliation.
But for some reason, pain & humiliation never bothered me much. I guess I was used to it.
I knew I would never get anywhere by relying on my looks, my brains, or my connections. I’m attractive, but not beautiful; bright, but not brilliant; and I’m not exactly an A-lister.
But I’m funny. And I don’t give up.
One of my favorite quotes is something I found in a sales journal years ago:
Is that what you want to do? Quit?
It takes no talent, it takes no guts.
It is exactly what your adversaries want you to do.
So get your facts straight.
Know what you are talking about.
And keep going.
I don’t know who wrote it, but I have never forgotten it.
My other favorite quote is from Theodore Roosevelt:
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”
So, I don’t quit.
When I was 16, I worked for Osco Drugs. It was supposed to be a great job. I made more than minimum wage, I was inside, didn’t have to mop floors or serve food. But I hated that job. The management was vile. There was one little man who made it his personal mission to belittle & insult the teenages who worked there.
I hated it so much, that I used to wish I’d get hit by a car on my way to work so I wouldn’t have to go in. (psycho, right?). For some reason, I felt I couldn’t quit until I worked there at least six months.
As soon as I hit six months, I quit and went to work at Showbiz Pizza Place. (It was a precursor to Chuck E. Cheese). I worked at Showbiz for about 3 years, making pizzas, mopping floors, dressing up like Billy Bob bear for the birthday parties.
It was WAY better than working at Osco.