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There are always going to be those in our lives that tell us that we cannot do something. We will never get it right, we should just give up, and then they will try to impress upon us their will by any means necessary. It is a horrible reality, but some people try to mold us into a shape they want, but it might not be the shape we want. Yes there are going to be some things that we want to do, that we might not succeed, but with failure comes learning and with learning comes growing. They might be right in the end, but it is your road that you need to travel – they can come along if they would like, but they shouldn’t tell you how to drive.

I have written about my family life when I was a child, and how not only did it shape me, but it gave me ideas of what not to do.  Sometimes I feel that I am following in my father’s footsteps, and that quite frankly scares the hell out of me. Don’t get me wrong, he had some redeeming qualities, but I will not speak ill of the dead.

When I was a kid, I was a dreamer – that still has not changed. But not all my dreams were acted upon. I did things that my parents deemed necessary, and when I had dreams of things that I wanted to do, and it did not fit into their parameters, it was discouraged and then dismissed. 

I found out later in life, that those things are still not only dreams, but some of the things that I wanted to do are things I started doing, and I enjoy.

An example of two things in my life that I wanted to do, and I was discouraged, are singing and drawing. Now I am not the best artist in the world, but I can pick up a pencil and sketch something. However, my older brother was the “artist” in the family. I was told that I could not draw because that was his gift not mine. When I was in my 30’s, my wife bought me my first drawing set and I started to learn to draw. I got pretty good at it, and that blossomed into my love of painting watercolor.

The other thing that I really loved was singing. I was told by my parents that I could not hold a note in a bucket if it had handles. Yet I have been in a few choirs starting in the Navy, where I was in a choir during boot camp, and then I have gone on to a few other choirs and even sang Handles Massiah as a baritone.

The point I am making is this: If you are telling someone they can’t do something, then you are crushing their creativity – as long as it is not illegal or harmful – and stifling their growth. If someone is telling you that you can’t do something, you need to put it upon yourself to prove it to them that you can do it. To hell with labels, to hell with the limitations that they are putting on you – once again as long as it is not illegal or harmful. You need to say to them, “I can do this, watch.”

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