Why I wish I never did well in school

I have always kicked butt in school. Without even trying. This was not weird in my world. Everyone I hung out with were School Butt Kickers as well. We were like a biker gang. With pocket protectors.

I kicked butt because on the first day of kindergarten someone told me that if I could do well here, if I could slay this dragon we call “formal education”, my reward would be success and happiness for all the days of my life. Someone told me that doing well in school meant making good grades. “Do what the teacher says, live up to their standards, DON’T COLOR OUTSIDE THE LINES,” They said.

I listened. I made A’s. I pleased the teachers. I followed directions. I stood where they told me to stand and wrote what they told me to write. I played the game with the best of them.

I kicked butt. Just like someone told me to do.

The problem is that someone kind of lied. Because happiness and success don’t come from learning the rules and playing by them. Untold riches of the heart come when you learn to follow your passion, not when you learn to follow directions. What I want from life requires that I be risky and courageous. Success requires spunk.Β  School stole my spunk.

That’s right. I have no spunk, and I’d like to blame it on school.Β  I spend way too much time desperately wanting someone, ANYONE to tell me what to do. And instead of following my gut, that creative, life giving, God breathed part of me, I’d really love to just follow directions.

I’d like my spunk back.

9 thoughts on “Why I wish I never did well in school

  1. lizam2m says:

    1. Careful where you use the word “spunk”. 2. Take it back! Ain’t no one gonna hand it to you! 3. Seriously, watch your use of “spunk”.

    Liza, you’re hilarious. I thought about the “spunk” thing, but totally forgot to edit… oh well πŸ˜€ And you’re so right, no one is giving it back to me!

  2. lizam2m says:

    Oh, and 4. Need a coach?

  3. Katie says:

    I think instead of blaming it on school, I blame it on my paranoia that if I do color outside of the lines, doom will be imminent and the world will end. I follow the rules because I’m too scared to do otherwise. I’m too afraid to be creative, because I’m almost positive I will fail.


    Ok, Katie! I clicked over to your site and you are NOT going to fail. You’re very talented. And at the same time, I’m right there with you. There is something about coloring outside the lines and allowing yourself to be creative that forces you to grow up in some ways. I can’t hide behind the wall of “everyone else is doing it” and I have to take responsibility for my actions. Coloring outside the lines means that you’ll immediately standout, and what if I fail while I’m standing out? It’s way more embarrassing/lonely than failing while doing what everyone else is doing.

    I hear ya, Sister, and thanks for sharing!

  4. pennybot says:

    create your own lines to color within.

    Pennybot, you really are right. I’m seriously just being a whiney baby about everything, but I’m loving the feedback that I’m getting on this because it’s the kick in the butt I need! Thanks πŸ˜€

  5. pennybot says:

    not that I’m telling you what to do, it’s something you could do. πŸ˜‰

  6. Paul Angone says:

    Already made a comment at Brazen, but wanted to say thanks again for this post. You’re asking some really good questions. Love to hear your thoughts on the post I had featured today. http://www.brazencareerist.com/2009/05/18/five-more-things-you-should-hear-in-a-graduation-speech-but-won-t

    Everyone should go check out Paul’s comment on this post at Brazen. Million times better than my post πŸ™‚ And go check out his stuff. It’s good.

  7. […] with my Birks, braids and basement beers but took the philosophy with me. Surprisingly, as I have navigated through my 20′s I’ve learned that adversity is just another part of being a grown-up. It seems that for every […]

  8. […] been marinating on this. Why, God, did it click so quickly and easily for me? Especially when you consider I was freaking amazing at school. If anyone was going to think school is awesome, shouldn’t it be […]

  9. Catherine White says:

    Now it’s ten years later and somehow you are managing to color all outside those lines! Congrats! They didn’t get you after all. Butt kicker.

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