Journal Entry: Robert Thwaites-02/22/2024-Blog

Journal Entry

“You can’t do that”

Everyone’s favorite phrase, right? You want to do something, then someone tells you “You can’t do that.” Plans foiled. But is that always the case?
There’s something about being told “no” that is almost a challenge, but there are different degrees of “No”. “You can’t do that” could actually mean “You aren’t able to do that” or “You aren’t allowed to do that.”

Being told “no” has been a challenge constantly in my life that I have thrived off of. I would do anything in my power to prove other people wrong if it is something that I truly want. Usually, this “no” refers to “you aren’t capable of doing that,” which is doubting me as a person and my personal abilities. I was told “You can’t graduate with Honors, you didn’t start in the Honors college,” yet I found a way to get myself into the honors college and graduate with honors.

“You cant do a triathlon.” Well, I did. And I did an Ironman of 140.6 miles, and I earned the designation of “All-World” that year.

I have used others doubts in me to fuel my fire and push me to succeed. Unfortunately, if I was told “No” to something that I wanted, it was still a challenge to overcome no matter the situation. I was told by a friend that I had a problem with authority. I don’t think its so much a problem with authority but a problem being told no. It wasn’t until a sermon by Ed Young that he explained that people are put in a position of power by God, and therefore the rules and commands of this position of power are to be followed as if they are from God himself (barring an act that is outright wrong.) Unfortunately, I learned this lesson after I had pushed past a law that told me I couldn’t do something.

As much as I don’t like being told what to do, I now know that even if I don’t agree with or like the rule, I need to honor that rule as if I am honoring God.

I’ve also used that “You cant do that” to rebuild my life. “You cant become a firefighter with a criminal history.” Well maybe, but I’m exhausting all options here. I’ve passed my 6 month course in 3 months, and passed an exam with a 97% fail rate on my first attempt, and have become an EMT.

There are a couple fire departments that take those applicants with a criminal background on a case by case basis. So as long as there is a chance, I will do everything in my power to achieve my goal. “A church wont want you now” my pastors have been very accepting that I made a mistake and am correcting my path.

Restrictions are a part of life, and through this process I realize that some times being told “You cant do that” is really something that shouldn’t be done.

Rob Thwaites