Up until the age of 17, there were two things that my father said to me constantly. They’ve been stuck in my head for the past three weeks now. I can’t help but be grateful to him for putting these thoughts in my head.

I’m not going to lie. I’m stressed. For the first time in a very long time. The best part of all is that I that I’m half in awe of the situation and half-amused. I feel like I’m watching myself be stressed out, and I’m analyzing the whole situation. So, yesterday when I was angry, I spent half the day thinking about why I let myself slip into that state. And today, when I ended up in pain, I thought to myself how my physical state was making up for the fact that I was truly enjoying the students in my classroom.

The first thing my father used to say was: “What did the little train say?” And I know I must have been completely annoyed by this as a teenager, and he’d make me say it. “I think I can, I think I can.”

I think that’s where I get my over-confidence (?) as described by some from. I think that I can do almost anything. Well, I think I can do almost anything that I want to do.

The second thing? He would tease constantly, “Don’t be a weenie.”

I have a deep fear of weakness. I really do. And today, I laughed driving home. Really hard. For the simple reason that halfway through my workday, the extent of what I have to do in the next two weeks registered in my poor, unorganized brain. My back tightened up in a way it hasn’t in at least a year. I feared that driving home from work was going to be a complete, painful catastrophe.

And for some reason, as I got into my car, the words that came into my head were: “Don’t be a weenie.” I laughed so hard that I couldn’t help but getting myself home by sheer will.

I’ve been thinking about that in the past week. I say often that I get through things by sheer will. And I have realized that it comes from these two phrases. Failure was not an option, and it was deeply rooted in a positive state of mind.

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