Here’s a family anecdote. When I was growing up my Grandpa referred often to the “Hirsch curse” (my maiden name.) And here it is. The Hirsch’s seem to have a tendency of saying “I’ll never do that!” Whatever that may be! However, sometime or another - whether it be months or decades later - that always seems to come to fruition. And well, we do it.

One example for me is when I was taking Spanish in high school and not doing so well. My mom kindly urged me to study more and try harder. To which I responded, “Mom it’s pointless. I never plan on leaving the U.S. or speaking another language so it really doesn’t matter.” Not even a year later, I found myself living in Latin America wishing I had been more consistent with my language studies. With that… I give you the “curse!”

As silly as it may sound, what I’ve learned is that many times my “I’ll never do that” is not because I don’t want to; but because of fear. Specifically, it’s a fear of failure or not being good enough. When I was in high school, it was because I’m dyslexic and English can be hard enough to comprehend. And for many of my family members I dare to say their “nos” have been equal to their fears as well. Even as I am writing right now, I’m laughing at myself as I navigate the strangeness of technology. I just started creating a website for my small business, (something I told myself I’d never do.)  I said I’d never do it because I don’t feel confident in my technological abilities (fear of failure.) But hey, I finally said yes.


Navigation aside; my point is that I think the “curse” (not a curse, really) has been in our family so long because fear took root and it’s easy to get comfortable living and saying, “no” more than, “I’ll give it a go.”

When I finally said yes to leaving and learning another language it wasn’t easy; just like navigating a new thing like tech isn’t easy, either. But I never want to stop growing or learning. I want to continue to understand more and carry the posture of a learner because if I’m here there’s something to do and live for. And really, it isn’t a curse as much as it should be a blessing (sorry, Grandpa!) What a blessing it is to have an opportunity to do the things we never thought we could do.

As a final thought, I was also inspired by a 93 year old lady for whom I was a caretaker that was taking online classes through the local community college to “keep fresh” on what is happening in marketing (she was an author and wanted to market herself well.) I stood in awe of her pep and wit and asked her why she thought it necessary?

She said, “If you’re livin you need to be learnin! I’ve lived this long because I never want to stop.”

So there you go. In the words of Dolly Parton, we all “better get to livin.”  

Holding you near,


The "Curse"
by Hannah Bouck

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