My favorite episode of MTV’s The Hills aired during my freshman year. As I watched Whitney Port take a stumble down a set of stairs on national television, I thought to myself “that must be horribly humiliating.”
Fast forward four years when my remark on the reality star’s slip up would come back to haunt me. After taking a spill of my own, I realized that getting tripped up and falling from your feet is one of the best things that can happen.
To put this in context, I was making my way up to a podium to speak about my experience with the Women and Girls Foundation of Southwest Pennsylvania. I felt so poised in my little black dress ... then my velvet stiletto took on a life of its own, deciding to stay in the floral carpeting instead of walking forward with me. My little stumble was short-lived, but my cheeks, nonetheless, assumed a rosy hue. I took a deep breath and decided to leave that minor moment behind me.
During these most sentimental of times of senior year, I realized that my stumble was much like the obstacles many of us face in high school. When our expectations are interrupted, all we want to do is turn back time and start over fresh. High school, though, is not about using an eraser to portray perfection.
The four years we spend in high school are about accepting and learning from our mistakes. High school is about learning to make the most of our falls and reminding us that little slips are not the end of the world. Everybody falls at some point, but not everybody bounces back. Each bruise, physical or emotional, is an opportunity for us to decide whether we are going to run away and cry or brush off the dirt and move on.
Perhaps we are held back by a particularly difficult unit in economics or are unable to nail the chromatic scale. Whatever our obstacles may be, we are temporarily stopped for a reason. Each roadblock teaches us to accept what we would otherwise avoid; each obstacle teaches us how to solve problems, learn and grow.
My little obstacle taught me to always watch my step and to never underestimate the power of a pair of pumps.
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