7 Things I Learned from My 8 Greatest Teachers

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by James Altucher: The
Top 10 Lists of All Time



Yesterday was
my 25th high school reunion. I wanted to go. I had a car key and
I could’ve driven there. I was close to feeling like I was
going to do it. But I was feeling somewhat shy. I didn’t like
high school much.

When you are
rejected so much you build a tough skin. My 8 greatest teachers
in life were perhaps the many girls in high school who said “no”
to me when I was so desperate to go out with them. Who knows what
would’ve happened to me if everything was easy then. Maybe
I would not have been able to handle when things became really hard

I liked
a girl in my drawing class.
Nadine Davis. But when I asked her
out she quickly said, “No” and walked away. It was like
one of those scenes in a movie, where she quickly “disappeared
into the crowd” and everyone around me was sort of whispering
and smirking. If she had asked, I probably would’ve paid her
to go out with me.

I liked
a girl who had thick curly orange hair.
I forget her name now.
Michelle? I played one of those games. I told her I knew someone
who liked her. So for a week we kept up that intrigue and she was
always smiling at me and wanting to know “Who?” And then
when I told her it was me she turned the other way and wouldn’t
look back at me. Finally one of the football players walked over
to her and said, “do you need help?” She said, “I’m
okay”. I walked away then.

There was
another girl I liked who was sort of ditzy
but she was smarter
than she let on. I told a friend of mine that was friends with her
that I liked her. The message was conveyed to the girl I liked and
I got a message back.” Maybe in 100 years I would consider
it.” Somehow I was encouraged by that. It wasn’t a solid
“No!” It’s been almost 30 years now. 70 years to
go but I’m happily married now and I can’t even remember
her name.

There was
a girl I liked who was a year older than me.
We had a fun time
talking and had a good mutual friend. The mutual friend told me
“you have a chance here”. But then the girl I liked started
going out with someone else and I think they’re even married
now. Or dead. Who knows?

There was
a girl I had a massive lust-crush
on who lived around the corner
from me and she was even in my Hebrew school carpool when we were
younger. Her mom was always screaming at her as she rushed out the
door in the morning, usually 5 minutes late so the bus would sit
there and wait while she and her mom finished their yelling. My
friend Robert also liked her and they used to ride bikes together.
But maybe she was a “beard” because it turned out later
that Robert was gay. Maybe he’s dead now. I can’t find
him on facebook or anywhere and we were best friends for 12 years.

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28, 2011

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