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Do you take achievements made by you or others for granted? I have taken something my daughter does for granted. I didn’t dote on her for something that I need to brag about…a little since it is an incredible accomplishment. I think I became so comfortable with her achieving this goal that I don’t praise her for it. She made Honor Roll and I never made a big deal out of it. Now if she slipped in her grades, then I would be deeply disappointed. I said all that to say we have to praise our children for all their accomplishments both great and small. Never give up on them especially when they are doing well. There’s no room for complacency in success.

I took her achievement for granted. I took for granted the fact she worked hard and diligently to continually reach this plateau. I know all too well what it feels like to have a major accomplishment overlooked because it is one you have achieved repeatedly and now it is look at as the new norm. As an adolescent I maintained honor roll off and on in high school. To be honest after a while making honor roll became cumbersome and when no one else notices your accolades then you tend to lower the bar. By the time I graduated high school and attended Centenary College majoring in fashion design, something I was clueless about. I was over the whole academic league and settled for being a mediocre student. I failed classes that should have been a breeze because I stopped applying myself. When I would come home on break no one really inquired about school they just assumed I kept going back to I must be doing well. But that was far from the truth three years in I flunked out of school and my financial aid got cancelled. I came back home relieved I was done with college. No more pressure I could just be a mediocre adult with a mediocre life.

Then, I received the news that would forever change my life. I was pregnant at 20. I had my daughter at 21 and I realized that failure was no longer an option. I had a mouth to feed and an example to set. A few years after having her I reenrolled in college majoring in Communications. I made the Dean’s List and was even inducted into Phi Theta Kappa, a National Honor Society for community college. I had to set a great example for my daughter whose innocent eyes were watching and internalizing my every move. I have always said that “The woman I want her to be, I have to be.”

I am still in college and working on receiving my college Bachelor’s degree in Communications. I have never been comfortable being deemed a college dropout. Education is paramount and this was ingrained in me very early on. It was indelibly etched in my memory bank as soon as I began learning.

I have to recognize my daughter’s achievements both great and small as major accomplishments. With all she faces she still perseveres no matter the obstacle. There is nothing impossible in her eyes. I am often reminded through her achievements that just like I cannot give up on her, which I cannot give up on myself either. Mediocrity makes for an unsatisfying bedfellow.

When average is not good enough, what will you do to strive to be better? Share your thoughts below.