The One Word That Changed the Entire Trajectory of My Life

When I was in middle school, people told me I was dumb

…and I’ve been trying to prove them wrong ever since.

It sucked hearing that over and over again.  Middle school is already hard. You’re learning how to pick out your clothes and wear make up for the first time, and doing both very poorly 😂 But then people start throwing out their opinions like:

“She’s just a pretty face.”

“You’re stupid.”

“Pretty but not smart…”

I’m sure I cried over it more times than necessary…

And then there were moments when honestly it just made me mad because I didn’t believe I was dumb, and it made me mad that someone else thought I was… and it made me even madder when I would start to believe them… 

When I look back at how one little statement impacted my life, I have to laugh. 

One ugly work triggered something in me that changed the trajectory of my entire life.

Dumb: I was called dumb. This was the ugly word that made me study harder, apply for scholarships, strive for excellence and get into college. 

And when one degree wasn’t enough, I finished with 3. 

And when that wasn’t enough, I went back again for another. 

And another.

Honestly, it didn’t matter how many classes I took or how high I scored on my exams, that little word was going to ring in my head until I made it stop. And finally, I have overcome one of the simplest of four-letter words… dumb. 

I find myself beginning my 5th degree program this morning, as I begin the journey of my Doctoral studies at Liberty University in Education, Community Care and Counseling – with a focus in Traumatology.

That’s right, the dumb girl you sat beside in middle school is about to start her Dissertation, and in a year or so, you’ll get to call me “Doctor.” 😉

For the first time ever, I’m beginning a degree program that won’t define my intellect for me. I’m doing this for me. I’m not doing it to prove anything to me. But I’m doing it to get more training in an area that will help me achieve my dream.

I’ve spent the last 2 years paying off college debt from all the degrees I thought I needed to make me smart. What I’ve learned is that classes don’t make you “not dumb”, they make you educated. 

Being smart and being educated are very different. I was always smart. I just didn’t know it.

I was never dumb… the only dumb thing about it was when I believed otherwise. It was dumb for me to conform to an idea that kids made up in middle school because nobody knows anything in middle school. 

The next chapter for this not dumb blonde is beginning, and I am grateful for the growth that a little four letter word has given me. I’m grateful to shed it and leave it behind because my future doesn’t have space for negative thoughts like “I’m dumb.” No, I’ve got bigger things to worry about now. Yes, bigger than trying to impress people and gain their approval.

I have lived my whole life trying to prove to myself that I am not dumb. It has taken me too many years to block out the lies and believe my truth. But I sit here today absolutely humbled at the opportunity to learn. I am surrounded by experts. I am not one yet, but I am in the company of many.

Who knows, maybe it took a mean boy in middle school calling me “dumb” to get me here 🤷🏼‍♀️ 

Well, I’m glad it worked. 

Sidebar: You don’t have to go to school to prove you’re smart. The smartest man I know began working fresh out of high school and built a successful business from the ground up having never stepped foot in a college classroom.

What did they call you in middle school? 

How has that shaped your life? 

Are you living in the belief that they were right? 

Or have you figured out yet just how wrong they were? 

I’m here to tell you, darling, they were wrong. You are whatever you want to be. Dream it. Believe it. Achieve it.

– the Wife 

One thought on “The One Word That Changed the Entire Trajectory of My Life

  1. You are very smart & intelligent for such a young woman. Your transparency is refreshing !
    You should consider facilitating confidential soul care groups specifically for wives of ministry leaders, pastors, high profile women in Toronto.


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