Today I got a two out of twenty in a cat. Obviously that is not good marks, okay we cannot even use the word good when describing that performance. Below poor marks, I guess that understatement describes it best. Contrary to expected reactions, I was proud of myself. I mean, in an economics cat with no calculator and absolutely no idea what area of study was being tested, I can say applying your mind to factual things that you have never heard of and scoring anything is actually being a very intelligent guesser.
However, I felt bad for not feeling bad about it. I felt as though regardless of the situation surrounding the two out of twenty, a person of my kind is not supposed to get such lowly marks. I started wondering and worrying how people in class would view me. Would this shatter the intelligent person view they have of me? Would they care to understand that had I read the tested topic or attended its class I would obviously perform as expected?
I am intelligent. I know so, my grades say so and even society knows that. So what is so worrying is that I felt as though this is something that I have to keep up to. A performance that has to be maintained. An intelligent person that is who I am. But wait a moment, who am I? When the society says I am intelligent and I concur with them, is that who I am? Do I have a view of myself or is who I am based on what society says I am?
Who am I? What does the society say I am? Are those one and the same things? I believe I am beautiful. Society has told me over and over that I am. Right from my parents, to the church and down to the countless suitors I’ve encountered. And I have never questioned that. But to be sincere, I believe I am not ugly just that my beauty is from within. I have never paid much attention to my physical self.
Society has called me a girl of good character and very principled. Which is due to the fact that I do not drink alcohol, neither do I rave, I dress decently, I do not sleep around and stay peacefully with everyone. All those I do not do because i do not fancy them, they are just not my cup of tea. I mean, why would I find joy in getting tipsy or sleeping with different men? On staying well with my neighbors, I perform very poorly in confrontations so I avoid them as much as possible. But that same society due to the very same behaviors calls me uptight. Which is why in my mind having no idea what I am, I choose whichever description fits the occasion, if we are in church, then you can call me principled, with my friends then the word uptight comes to mind.
I do not think I am shy. Society thinks I am. We have had this argument with it for a very long time and in the end, it always wins. No one thought my dream of being a lawyer was valid. They all said that I was too shy for that. Now that I am doing something else, I am thinking of finding a path of my own to earn a living instead of being employed. They do not think that is very valid too. Making me wonder, if I have believed what society says about me in some aspects, then what is the probability that they could be wrong in others? Are they even right in the ones that I have believed in?
Who do you think I am? Jesus asked his disciples that. He knew who he was but he also knew that society never ceases to have a definition and labels for each of its members. Making me wonder, who do I think I am? Now that I know who you think I am. Who do I say I am? If I asked my friends who I am, how many would get it correct? My page that is supposed to be the marking scheme is almost blank.
It has hit me that who society says I am might actually be the same with who I have always thought I am. I have assumed that there is no other version of me except whom people say I am. I have neglected the fact that inside of me is this complicated maze of a structure (remember prison break?) while people outside only get to see four corners that cover those millions of pipes.
Now if society has taken over two decades to fully describe me then there is no way I will take days to come up with a report that confirms or denies their suspicions. For a conclusive and reliable report I also need time to sit, plan on what is needed for this project, collect all the data required and analyze it extensively. I will also need to know the nuisance factors, things or people that make me change my behavior around them. So that they do not give misleading results.
This is one journey that I have set my eyes on. That I have the time, the passion, the incentive and the will to see me to the finishing line, assuming there is a finishing line to begin with. Who am I?