943: The Wilting Flower
Carl Gustav Jung, a Swiss psychotherapist, once said, “Through pride we are ever deceiving ourselves, but deep down below the surface of the average conscience a still, small voice says to us, something is out of tune.”
“Education is a meaning of life.” This is what my parents have always told me. However, I had misunderstood this statement when I have lived in an ideal, deceiving world where pride is the only thing of value. Each day, I build up more motivation for better academic skills. With all these thoughts nagging me every day, the words serve as a constant reminder of the sweet taste of achievement when I go beyond others. I have always tried to seek any chance to exemplify the high quality of my work, which shined me with compliments and admirations.
2014-15 school year has a competitive atmosphere in the pursuit of intelligence. Working prodigiously in school, self-esteem aggregates in my mind throughout the school year.
Being misguided by my pride, I devoted much of my efforts and time on academics in order to impress my peers and my instructors; I failed to fully understand the true meaning behind education.
While winning recognition and honor from school, I failed to recognize the fact that I created a barrier wall from my peers, especially when I was classified as a “nerd”.
Indeed, the self-esteem I had built up from my academic work thrashed me with the contagious word, “nerd”. As time progressed, the word “nerd” could be heard from the hallway.
All this time I had devoted myself to academics, disregarding any other extra-curricular activities, which I regard as inadequate. Likewise, my classmates commented, “I feel like the only thing Charlene is good at is getting good grades.”
“Why don’t you join any sports?”
“You know it would be bad for your transcript in high school or even in university.”
Despite of tremendous pride in my academics, my meaning of life becomes hollow. My inner scar kept on worsening and expanding endlessly as “nerd” was heard continuously. I acted as if I tolerated the teasing but deep beneath the shields of masked emotions, I felt vulnerable.
Over the months of name-calling, I could feel myself dragged into the black hole, while I hear “No, Charlene is not capable of doing this. All she knows is getting good grades.”
After this awakening, I have been trying desperately to fill my hollow heart. When I shut my eyes and look back on the mirror, all I see is a girl wearing thick glasses, carrying heavy books all day, and spending time afterschool in libraries. This is what they feel and see of me, I assume.
I feel heavily appalled after fully comprehending my identity. Ironically, when I tried to seek pride and recognition through academics, people viewed me as a foolish “nerd”. This explained the fact that no one wants me on a team during Physical Education class.
This awakening from academic pride had made me come into a conclusion. Experience from life overcomes a grade on a test. The pursuit of happiness does not come from pride in grades, but rather from engaging in enrichment activities that makes me more alive. This is the key to success.
This world I once lived in, was like a beautiful flower. Weeks I worked hard until the seed sprouted. Concentrating more on the petals, I neglected other parts of the plant: roots, stem, and leaves that support the flowers. By removing the roots, stem, and leaves, one day the flower will die. Indeed, my flower died when students no longer respected me and thought of me as a “nerd”.
Instead of having the thought of restarting the whole year and opening my self socially, I will prove to my classmates in the following year. I will fill up my heart that is lacking respect and happiness. Reflecting the actions performed this year; perfection had cost me my respect, confidence and success. In addition, perfection is unachievable and impossible. Furthermore, ideal perfection is a misconception that guides me to the wrong path of life. My awakening will guide me back to the right path of life, which is to be a social, open-minded, confident, and enthusiastic person.