…is not me. Or at least, I don’t think it’s me.
To be honest, I’m not used to this…intensity. It’s hard for me to believe that I can be a role model or a ‘model’ student when what I’ve been told in the past states otherwise. Maybe I’m trying too hard to be humble, or maybe I just don’t see it. Either way, I’ve never expected myself to be considered a person that my juniors should be looking up to, especially because I have no idea how I managed to do something of the sort in the first place.
But when I look back, I realised that I have become the person I had wanted to be back then. When I was seven, I wanted to be the same girl, but from ten years later. In other words, seventeen year old me. Ten years later, I still want to be the same girl but from ten years later, twenty-seven year old me. I know that sometimes, we just have to keep chasing because at the end of the day, the person who we want to be will never stop growing and we’ll just have to keep going to become that person…if that makes any sense. Let me put it this way: when I was seven, my grades were as abysmal as my position on the school’s social hierarchy, and I was basically told that I’d be a failure in every aspect of life by my teachers. Although I had pretty much lost all confidence in myself then, I still aspired to become a better person — with good grades, good dreams and a better reputation — ten years later. Now it’s ten years later, and I do have better grades, I do have better dreams, and I do have a better reputation. It’s not that I don’t have enough, but I don’t really know what to make of it. It’s such a new concept to me, to be a ‘good person’ in other people’s eyes and to be praised for it.
For instance, I apparently did pretty well for my English mock exams. Word on the street is that I was the top in my grade and whatnot, and that makes me happy because I’ve never done that before. But frankly, I had no idea how I managed to get such a score of 24/25 for a Literature essay. It’s technically not something you can study extensively other than knowing quotes and the social contexts that make the texts relevant and accessible, but the questions are always disclosed during the exam and not beforehand. Thus, sometimes merely knowing the quotes and the themes isn’t enough to do well, because it’s a matter of whether or not your knowledge can answer the question. With this in mind, I struggled choosing the right question, and I got stuck halfway through writing the essay. I didn’t really have time to proofread it afterwards, so I handed in what I got. So how did I do it, everybody asked. I had no idea at all.
Meanwhile, several teachers and juniors have always said that I’m a ‘talented’ public speaker because I’m seemingly able to just grab a microphone and speak to a large audience without trepidation, so they say. They don’t realise that I’m terrified every single time, but that’s besides the point. What does intrigue me is that they pointed it out. I had no idea I had this ‘talent.’ I wasn’t even a public speaker back then; I sat in the audience and when given a microphone then, I would stutter and mumble. It’s just that one day I somehow managed to talk to people because I was comfortable with them…but that’s not something you can teach, is it? Otherwise, I really don’t know how I did something of the sort.
My point is, it’s hard to convince myself that I’m the girl everybody sees not only because of my past, but also because their comments, while positive, somehow set a benchmark for me. It forces me to get to the heart of how I do certain things that I never consciously realised I could do, which is daunting because it’s like soul searching — especially when you’re afraid of the answer. It’s the first time since…really forever…that I have been so…I don’t know, admired by the groups of people who used to disdain me. I had wanted that forever, and now that I have it it’s overwhelming. It’s an intensity that I can’t fathom, and I don’t even know how I could’ve possibly reached it under the circumstances.
Anyway, should I start figuring myself out, or should I continue chasing the person I want to be at the age of twenty seven?