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Throat constricted. Tears welling up. Quivering chin.


The song does it every time to me and its association of achievement, pride, sacrifice and, above all, persistence.


Hats adorned with slogans and quotes, flowers, cameras and cheers. Struggle. "I just can’t do it. Wait a minute, I did it!"


“Nevertheless, she persisted!”


What does that phrase mean to you? For some, it is purely seen as a political statement, but if you look closely at it, there really are no politics in her statement. She says, “nevertheless” which really means “in spite of everything”, she kept continuing on. She trodded, she trudged, she stumbled, and she kept going. Despite those figuratively skinned knees, she maintained the course. She persevered. She overcame whatever life threw her way.


So what do we have to learn from her example? Even though you (or even I) may have the “I just can’t do it” anymore voice in our head. You have to change the narrative. And sometimes you just have to fake it to make it.


Going through your hip struggles or any other physical or emotional struggle, you fake it. You fake it until you have changed that negative voice to a voice that stands proud and says to you, “I can do it. I am strong. I am worthy. I am imperfectly perfect!” That voice may be a little meek at first. It may hide some days and it may let the other voice take over. “I just can’t do it.”

You need to actively tell it to be quiet. You can’t listen to two voices at once – one always gets drowned out. Make sure the voice of reason and positivity is the one that you hear. Be active in this. If the negative voice comes out, tell it to go away. “I’m not listening to you. I’m listening to encouragement and positivity.” Even though you may not believe the positive thoughts right now, continue to fuel your thoughts with encouraging words.


The moving of the tassel from the right to the left was the final act of defiance to the voice that said, “I can’t do it!” She did it! The “pomp and circumstance” of it all celebrates not just a day, but all of the struggles that my daughter has gone through to get to this day. Her struggles, her success, her persistence all remind me that I need to continue moving forward “in spite of everything”.


Keep that mantra in your head, “I can do it in spite of everything. I will persist!”

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