Has anyone ever told you that you couldn’t do something?

My 4th grade teacher looked at me across his desk, holding my feeble little stick-person drawing in his hands, looked me square in the eye, and told me flat out, “You have no artistic ability whatsoever.” For years I believed him.

But I hate being handed my limitations by others.  (I have enough struggles with the ones I put on myself, thank you very much.)  That’s why my silly Microsoft Paint drawings mean so much to me.  Every one is a secret thrill, a personal rebellion against one man’s very wrong opinion about me.  I think, “Dozens of people are looking at my artwork now, you jerk.”

Yeah, maybe they are thinking, “Chloe has no artistic ability whatsoever.”  But I’m not letting that stop me.  I don’t want to steal from others and so that means that sometimes I have to make my own pictures to illustrate my point.  And in making them I’m finding that I like making pictures.

I’ve also been learning more about my camera.  My banner came from pictures I took myself.  The first one is one I’ve posted here before. The statue is called “Nymph with a Scorpion” by Bartolini; she sits in the Louvre. The third picture is a bunch of tomatoes I saw in a grocery store in Ste. Germaine.  And the last is the last sunset in Paris on the Seine.

So, how about you?  Has anyone ever told you that you couldn’t do something?  Did you believe them?  So you still?  
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16 thoughts on “Has anyone ever told you that you couldn’t do something?

  1. the lady who sold me the pattern for my red white & blue quilt, a pattern she designed, told me it was too hard for me and I couldn't do it. The whole time she was helping me sort out how to change it from a 4 color quilt to a 3 color quilt, she had this look of "this girl is hopeless and this will never work." I cannot wait to email her pics of it when I'm done.

  2. Did you go to a partial feed? Please reconsider. I know I'm not the only one who dislikes a partial feed and I always end up unsubscribing.

  3. I guess I take suggestions from my readers seriously and if they tell me not to put my blog on partial feed then I really do listen to them. Stupid 4th grade teachers don't hold nearly the clout with me that my readers do!

  4. I was mocked for my lack of singing talent, and it actually became a fairly deep wound for me. It took me years to sing in the presence of others again. Several years later, I was asked to help lead worship at a very public venue; and realized that they mockers were wrong; but it was a painful journey.

  5. Someone told me I couldn't sing when I was a child – took me until I was 42 to sing in public. Up til then it didn't matter how many people said something positive, the negative comment was the one that stuck.

  6. Cheri and Tabitha, wounds as a child cut deep and leave a scar, don't they. I'm glad both of you overcame and became singers. THAT takes more guts than I have.chloe

  7. SeeMomRun, in light of that information, I REALLY appreciate your username now. It is so freeing to let go of other people's definitions of us.Chloe

  8. I was told I didn't like playing team sports. I think this was a way to avoid having to take me to the practices and the games. It's no wonder that most my activities are mainly solo. I always wanted to be a gymnast and I'm convinced that I would have been great at it. I will do a giant spin before this life ends though!

  9. Through 8th grade I always scored in the top of the 90% in everything related to English, Grammar, Writing…Language Arts in general. Then I hit 9th grade English class with a teacher that most feared. I could not please this woman. I tried and tried to write, but she was never happy, always had a million red marks on my papers, and gave me mediocre grades. I knew I was good at English, otherwise I wouldn't have scored so high all those years in the state testing. But I could not please this woman and I finally gave up and got a D in Freshman English. I went away from that class feeling like I was a poor writer. It wasn't until I began to blog (the past 2 years) that I've gotten a lot of positive feedback about my writing ability, and I've begun to think that I can actually do this thing called writing! I never knew how much I enjoyed it, and I've discovered that I LOVE words, love seeing how others use them, love figuring out how I can use them more effectively, and I've discovered that my love language is Words!! As I look back on my experience in High School, I think I was "marked" and "doomed" from the beginning with her. I remember when she asked my name, and I told her, she slowly asked me if I had a sister. When I said "yes", she gave my sister's name and asked if that was the one. When I said "yes" again, she slowly nodded and moved to the next kid. My sister has severe learning disabilities, and did very, very poorly in this teacher's class many years prior. I think she just coupled me in with her experience with my sister, and formed an opinion about me and my ability before I even had a chance.I can't believe how many years have been wasted with me thinking I can't write. But even so, in the couple years I have been writing, I've gained so much enjoyment from it, it really doesn't matter if it's something brand new in my life. I love it and always will!If I ever get published, that teacher is on FB, and I will send her a copy!!

  10. Anon, labeling a kid to keep from having to be burdened yourself really does suck.I really have found that there is no day like today to start working on my own bucket list. Having a mother die, not young, but then not particularly old either, has made me acutely aware that life, the good part where we are healthy enough to do the things we want, is much, much shorter than we imagine.So, please don't wait. Start practicing those giant spins today!Love, chloe

  11. Kristy, a teacher, for good or for evil. holds a great deal of power over the life of a student.That is a horrible thing she did to you, and look at the awful repercussions.But I'm glad I found you. I hardly go to SL anymore but I'm glad you responded that day and we met up. It seems we have a lot in common.Like you, language came easily to me, but not math. I made all sorts of decisions about myself based on being bad at math. Then later, when I was in college, I took a statistics class and discovered that I'm good at math, if I try.Learning to see myself in new ways has freed me up so much! I will always be grateful for blogging for that.love, chloe

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