One of my high school English teachers would often tell me that I had absolutely no talent for writing whatsoever, and even went so far as to send letters to my parents complaining about how I was simply occupying a much-coveted seat in advanced English class, of which I did not deserve. I remember being steadfast, determined to hold this often coveted seat. Once my school work was done, I spent hours writing things in books filled with handwritten pages. The stories I often tell are of my adventures, mishaps, triumphs, and failures. The handwritten tales of unrequited love, and of sorrows and hardship, which were vogue and juvenile at the time. Today seemingly, unimportant, and unworthy of mention or thought. Teenage angst over my misperception of the world, and how I felt it should be; my dreams, most of which never came to fruition, I dreamed anyway. Subconsciously, I knew that despite having an insatiable stream of dreams, wishes, and aspirations, many were never going to become reality. I too once believed too heavily in fairness, and that if everyone cared, we could, create a fair world.
When I was younger it seemed as if most of my communication and personal expression was in written form. I was, according to some, anti-social and difficult, having only a small social circle and only one close friend. I was wise, intelligent, and observant well above and beyond my years, and was forced to grow up way too fast. In retrospect, I wish I had more time to live my childhood. The experiences of my childhood remind me of scenes from The Breakfast Club, where students were forced to sit through a day-long detention and write an essay, collectively once they were finished. What they wrote on paper was nothing short of brilliant.
Traditional education was a nightmare for me, especially when I was made to stand in front of the entire class and solve math problems or read passages from the text book. My thinking was often abstract, my attention was usually somewhere else. It was obvious to those who paid attention that I was, according to facts and figures hastily written on paper by a team of educational experts, that I was not being challenged enough in the traditional educational system.
A large part of my anger comes from being sent to detention on a regular basis as a child in the public school system. I was sent there by my principal at the time as punishment, not for misbehavior or fighting, but simply because the modern educational institutions were unable to reach me. In many cases I was simply too advanced for the classes, especially in science, and would be bored to tears by the lesson plans. Eventually, one of the staff members who worked in the office realized what was going on and would sign my detention slip early and drive me home in her car as soon as the principal left for the day, and for this reason she will forever be my hero.
For four years of boarding school, and through my years of college, I was living out of suitcases, being sent away to pseudo-prestigious educational institutions, as a way to fulfill the hopes and dreams of my parents. As an adult, my experiences told me that once I left the educational arena and entered the real world, I was still destined to be as ordinary as everyone else.
It is a schism which develops both suddenly and unexpectedly, after the course of many years of dedication and perseverance, when one suddenly becomes noticed or successful, especially after years of disdain, or jealousy of the success of another. My success was delayed by my inability or stubborn unwillingness to decide upon a career path early on. Instead, I pursued several different career paths, a handful of them simultaneously, as I tried to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. Some might believe that I still haven’t decided; even if I did decide, finally, after the course of a lifetime, even then the situation would be forever subject to change. My mind is always changing, and historically speaking, so has been my career path.
Regardless of my path through life, in the end, I was successful, and anything but ordinary. Regardless of the path we choose to walk in life, in the end we walk alone.
The header image was created using a photograph taken from this set, and incorporates the font, Sunday.
Growing Up Introvert | I Used To Write In Riddles And I Used To Write In Rhymes | The Curse Of Brevity | Playful Beginnings: My Writing Career | These Are The Thoughts Of An Independent Thinker | Enigmatic