What a 12-year-old taught me

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Last weekend, my 12-year-old sister tried out for her high school musical Mulan. Everyone in my family expected her to get the lead role because she has an incredible voice. A few days after auditions, I texted her and asked if she had heard anything at school. about the auditions

“Yes.”

A one word answer. That has bad news written all over it.

It turned out that my sister did not get a lead role. Instead, she was a dressmaker, and according to my mother, she balled as soon she she got home from school. And she balled for a long time.

When I found out her state of misery, I texted her paragraphs and paragraphs of pep talk. I told her how talented, beautiful, and ambitious she was. But like most pubescent females, she ignored my words of wisdom and continued to beat herself up.

I gave up.

The next day, she sent me a photo of a poem she’d written. I was in awe at her creative word usage, engaging tone, and mature writing style.

I wondered what drove her to write such a beautiful poem and uncover this new talent of hers, and then it came to me: rejection.

My sister did not get a lead role in the musical, and that rejection pushed her to discover a new talent that she had. I don’t think she would have had the motive to write if she’d gotten the lead role.

Rejection and failure are painful things to deal with. However, my little sister taught me that although they are painful, they are also the catalysts that drive us to uncover our talents. Rejection and failure carve us into our true characters. They knock us down, spit on us, and force us to become so miserable that we have no choice but to find the beauty in ourselves.

My sister inspires me to find the beauty in myself.

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