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Springboard to Creativity

A quotation that is original with me is, “Frustration is the springboard to creativity.” I used to be a diver on the swim team in high school. I’d go to the end of the board and spring up, giving me energy to preform my dive in the air before I passed the board again to descend into the water. As I got older, I learned to experience frustration as a friend and a form of energy, like a spring board, helping me to get a higher perspective on life’s problems.

My diving experience was in 1969, my first semester of 10th grade. Some of my colleagues had movie cameras back then. Their parents would video them diving, so they could get another perspective of their dives. My perspective came from my coach and how it felt to me. My parents were preparing to open their store in March 1970. It is still in existence today under the operation of my 89-year-old mom. Therefore, my parents were too busy and did not come to my practices or swim meets. No photos are available for this part of my life.

Later on, I went to WVU and graduated in 1976. My degree is in interior design. I came up with this saying, “Frustration is the springboard to creativity,” when I worked with a client on their colors and theme of their home, based on a particular fabric that they loved. Sometimes, when it was time to order the fabric, it was discontinued! I always was able to come up with something better when this door closed, and I kept my clients from unnecessarily freaking out. I’d often say, “The bigger the project, the more potential for mistakes and setbacks.” I encouraged them to “live large,” expanding their likes and preferences. I think my spiritual gift is encouragement.

My diving activity in high school stopped abruptly when I hit my face on the bottom of the pool, breaking my front tooth off. So, in 10th grade, Mom decided I should get all four front teeth capped because I had a silver tooth on the other front tooth from second through10th grade. Braces were not popular, but one of my guy friends, Geary Tray, also had a silver tooth. Back then, dentists waited until later in life to cap a broken tooth with a white cap and we were both waiting for that day to come. I was so thrilled that I could finally get rid of that silver tooth! We started the process of capping all four front teeth because my incisors were abnormally small. In the meantime, I started playing girls’ basketball. I was a guard. I was wearing temporary caps when a girl charged into me, knocking all my temporary caps off and knocking one front tooth out onto the floor. I was rushed to a dentist in the Squirrel Hill section of Pittsburgh. He placed an emergency call to my mom and got permission to do an emergency root canal on the tooth that was knocked out. Then, he shoved it back up into the socket. I went to my high school Snowball Dance with a cast on all four front teeth, holding my temporary caps in place. The cast looked like chewing gum stuck to my teeth.

As a young girl, I learned about pressing on and being grateful, letting frustration be the springboard to creativity. All worked out well in the end, and I smile a lot now.

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