Well, who do I want to be?
In order to answer this question, I believe I shall have to start from the very beginning. A very good place, as Maria would say, to start.
Let us start with corpulence. Corpulence started from Roy Gardener, a former beau of a certain Anne Shirley. Whilst Anne and Gilbert had grown to be slender middle aged people, Anne’s old flame Roy had fallen into the clutches of the dreaded middle aged spread, rendering the poor fellow quite corpulent, much to the smirking, yet discreet satisfaction of Gilbert, of course. Nothing more satisfying than to know the old flame of the love of your life had become corpulent, now is there?
Seeing that word, in the last pages of another delumptious book by Montgomery (Anne of Ingleside, to be precise – yes I have read it a million times), I vowed to never ever become corpulent. That, folks, is the first thing I did not want to be.
Let us move on to me. I was a rather plump sixteen year old, truth told. I never believed I was of the ‘pretty’ disposition, and frankly I was too involved with the world inside my head to bother with the world outside it, and how I appeared in this strange world. I didn’t own a single piece of makeup until I turned seventeen, and even then it was merely a cheap stick of pencil eyeliner.
Truth told, folks, I didn’t know quite how to go about being a me. I liked to bare my arms, even though they were slightly fat. I was always under the illusion that I would become a doctor someday, and yet I could never muster the gusto to fantasise about the act of being a doctor, although the biologies of such a profession fascinated me.
I read and re-read (and still read and re-read) Matters Grey and White, a book in which the author follows his best friend, a top notch neurologist throughout a year’s worth of practice. Fascinating business, that. I vowed to become a neurologist once I reached my specialising level.
Did this happen? Did I ever become a doctor? At the ripe age of nineteen years, I can safely say that no, it did not happen.
Gosh, why ever so?
Well, long story short, I did excellently well in my Cambridge IGCSE exams. Four A*s and two As, I was well on my way to success. In fact, I couldn’t quite believe those marks myself. I may have been a little too cocky, because I was then put into the worst sixth form college in the city. At no fault of my own, I assure you. Having not lived in this city ever before, my mother and I had no way of knowing that this college was the worst college in the history of colleges. They were keen to accept me, however. At a risk of sounding dreadfully cocky, I am pretty sure they didn’t get many students with top notch grades like that. No, I am serious. Everybody who got into that college either failed their exams, or got really poor grades, ranging from a C to anything below that, and most of them had to retake many GCSEs.
So, I didn’t do too well in my A Levels. Who’s fault? Oh, mine, naturally. Of course. Without a shred of doubt.
So I didn’t get into Medicine, or Biomedical Sciences, but I did get into Human Biology which, if you are a science fanatic like me, was another brilliant option. However by that time I had succumbed to the worst forms of teenage sidetracking, and was a deluded, depressed, obsessed, pathetic mess. My half sane mind told me to go after the money, rather than the passion, so I gave up Human Biology and went after Accounting and Finance instead. Oh the joy. Oh the fantastic joy.
I didn’t end up staying in Accounting and Finance. I got 120 credits for a year’s worth of study and got out of there as fast as I could, feeling horrendously guilty about wasting the fees that was so kindly paid for me. Spoilt brat of a child that I am.
So here I am, about to embark on an Open University degree in English Language and Literature (which frankly I believe is my true calling, given that I am a scholarly person and reading and research is something about which I am passionate, and also given the fact that I am more than satisfied to pursue my hunger for science through the reading of Biology and Chemistry books, so all is not lost), sitting at my laptop, asking the inevitable question:
Who, do I want to be?
Well, firstly, I should be asking myself; what have I learnt?
Well, I believe I have learnt a lot of things. I have learnt that you cannot just ignore something your soul hates, because even if temporary pleasures enable you to ignore the sinking feeling in the pit of the stomach, the soul will retaliate against this over and over again until you can take it no more and you fall into a perpetual state of misery and depression. You start to doubt yourself, and doubt everything around you. You start to cry about silly things, and remember the olden days with strong force. You start to question the very essence of yourself, and you start to hate every fibre of your being.
I have learnt to stand up for myself and my rights, although to actually implement that learning is something I must learn how to do, sometime in the very present future. I have learnt that not standing up for my rights, my opinions and my firm beliefs is to be a coward, a pathetic excuse for a human, and a person with no hold on her future, her life, and her choices. In short, a ragged mess of a girl who has succumbed to fear and manipulation.
I have learnt that hurting the people who are closest to me, to satiate my own selfish desires, is cruel and harsh, and will come back to bite me in the face when I am least expecting it.
I have learnt that making selfish mistakes and not learning from them leads to the worst forms of self hatred and regret ever, and results in severe difficulty to forgive oneself.
I have learnt that forgiving yourself for your own terrible actions is the hardest thing you can ever do, and the day I am able to forgive myself and move on is the day I finally shrug the weight of the world off my shoulders. Until that day I strive.
I strive, because I want to be:
Respectful and respectable.
Strong, and able to stand up for all aspects of myself and my belief, on the grounds that they are within sensible reason.
And above all, completely, utterly, truly and unadulteratedly.. ME.