“Shake it off” my dad use to tell me. As a child, that was one phrase that became embedded in my mind, and I knew it would never be too much to hear one more time whether it be during a softball game or when feeling sorry for myself. And though there were innumerable times in my life that I hoped to never hear that phrase again, I now thank my dad daily for always encouraging me to “shake it off” because this I believe is a wonderful lesson.
As a little kid, I’m going to admit I was kind of a “cry baby.” Falling down, scraping my knees, being put in “time out”, and not getting what I wanted always brought the tears. Inevitably, the response to these tragedies was merely, “shake it off”, which I heard constantly from my dad. I always resented him for reminding me to “shake it off” because in my mind all I could hear was “you need to stop crying” or other negative phrases that only seemed to get my head down. But what I didn’t realize was that he was teaching me a whole different lesson, a life lesson of not letting obstacles defeat me. My dad helped me see this attitude would give me strength to get through this world without crumpling over real obstacles I would encounter. Most importantly, God will be there to pick me up and to help me “shake it off.” Learning life’s simple lessons like these may not be quite as fun as playing outside, but like the phrase “shake it off”, these easier lessons help prepare us for the bigger lesson life teaches. As a teenager in high school, I constantly continue that struggle to find the purpose of life. As I approach every day, I try to find the confidence within myself, knowing that even though I will fall more than once a day, I can still get right back up and “shake it off”. I believe that “shaking it off” gives me the courage to live, the courage to take chances, and the courage to hope for something better.
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