september 7th, 2023

I’m not a writer, I’ve never claimed to be a writer. Well, that second one may be a lie. I got my degree in it though. When I was growing up, I despised writing. You’d have too pull teeth and nails to get me to sit down and write a paragraph. I took up bad habits of responding to open ended questions by starting with, “Why? because…” which makes no gaddam sense. So why did I go on to educate myself in a field I despised as a child? Why? Because I detested it, because I hated it. But there was something romantic I felt hidden within that hatred. In the few writing courses I took in high school, I realised my aversion to writing was from the imposed topic structures given by my teacher, and was alleviated when that structure went away. Creative pieces drew my attention more than an essay prompt; I preferred to write whatever the hell I wanted to write, and in my opinion, that’s how it should be. 

Reading was constantly a struggle, and even today, my desire to read can feel romanticised and not properly internalised. I have since developed the habit of reading, though I am slow at it. Luckily, you can graduate from a semi-prestigious institute without having read a majority of the books assigned to you. (Not sure if that’s a good thing concerning my education, but it certainly aided my irresponsible priorities as an undergrad.) 

The truth behind me chasing an idealised and self-combative goal of becoming a writer stems from insecurity, and a desire to be properly understood. My father was the only reader/writer in my family. My sister is very studious, but overall my family was not one to sit down and read for hours after dinner in silence; that TV remains on after meals. So in part, I wasn’t environmentally predisposed to be constantly reading. Therefore, in some ways, I felt intellectually belated. I don’t blame my family, if I wanted to read I could’ve, but that’s not what a young frog wanted. Even today, my speech patterns can feel jumbled and I struggle to articulate myself properly. The intellectual insecurity I developed was to avoid being the class clown or resident idiot among my peers. So in turn I became shy and would shut down if I answered a question wrong, or more often, forget what I was gonna say to begin with, I’d hide my head in my arms and silently cry until my teacher moved on with the lesson and forgot about me. Scared boy. I mostly got over that in high school.

I’ve heard a smart person say that the reason why rich people spend exorbitant amounts of money on their spoiled brat kids to send them to get a fucking liberal arts degree, is because the most powerful gift you can bestow upon your child is literacy and the ability to think for themselves. While I might be spoiled, and most definitely haven’t taken full advantage of my life’s circumstances, this piece of wisdom rings true with my circumstance, and I couldn’t be more grateful for it. It’s exactly what I wanted, and what I would have wanted looking back.

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