do you remember that time i didn’t make the deans list? well i do.
it was the result of a semester of off my game and finally taking a break. but who am i kidding? this was 20 years of inevitable just waiting to happen.
i got a B.
and yes, i may see the world differently than you, but that does not mean that i am wrong. it just means that i was raised in a world where B stood for Bad and where i was able to recite the first 100 digits of pi before i could even mutter i love you.
all i have ever known was a world where academia took priority and where impossible standards had seniority over friends and family and laughing and life.
my life has always ever been memorization and recitation and honor roll breakfasts and halfway genuine smiles on my mother’s face as she opened the letters that read
dear proud parent,
we are pleased to inform you that your over stressed son or daughter has met our incredibly subjective requirements of achievement and intelligence. they can now say that they have made a list in which they will place their entire self worth.
alright, that might not have been exactly what they said, but you get the picture. and just in case you don’t, let me paint it once more.
for 20 years, i have looked into the mirror and i have only ever seen a reflection of perfect grades and untouched happiness. and the very thought of cracking that mirror or taking that halfway genuine smile from my mother’s face could kill me. and it did.
i got a B.
and what i thought was my worst fear had come true. i was unraveling, undone. i was broken perfectionism. so much so to where i am crying right now as i put these thoughts to words and these words to a voice.
i got a B. i got a B. i got a B.
it was a break that needed to happen. i can breathe. i got a new mirror. one that reflects a big heart. big passion. big dreams. a bigger appreciation for myself. i can move on.
and i can now smile. a completely genuine smile as i open the letter that reads “there’s so much more to life.”