When I was younger, and was in elementary school, secondary school, I didn't accomplish a lot of things that I would reflect upon and be proud. My grades weren't bad, but regardless it was something I didn't spend a lot of energy and effort into. My life revolved around going to school, going home, playing around with some stuff, watch TV, go tuition and sleep. When I did engage in activities outside of school, like Taekwondo, Chess, Tennis, I didn't bother seeing them through. In some sense, I was a quitter, but in my defense no one has ever taught me not to quit. Everyone condoned it, and said it's fine to stop doing something because my body ached, or because I can't get my serves right, or if I simply could not stop my hands from shaking when a desperate situation calls for good moves. I hit a wall and I stopped.
To some extent, my biggest failure, was actually not trying harder after I failed. I've seen people winning medals in state level competitions, known people that are actually good at doing what they do. And then I looked upon myself and I was like, maybe it wasn't for me. I just can't be an overachiever, but in reality I just didn't have the heart to continue. I turned to my academics and with little effort I scored good grades and it gave my undeserving pride a large boost. And looking back it was hard to deal with a kid like me, especially when I am just slightly better in learning. Classmates were complaining that I didn't have to study, and were saying that it was "unfair". To some extent, I agree with them.
Fast forward and I am in college back in Nilai. I was taking a calculus class and unlike me a term before, I actually paid attention in class and studied, instead of loafing and doing nothing like what I did in secondary school. But when the midterm came I couldn't perform, simple calculations took a lot of time, and I was scared, but I wasn't too worried. I have never done truly awful in my exams.
But on that fateful day, and it was about 5 years back, when the Calculus exam came back. When I saw the grade, it stung really hard as I have never gotten a failing mark in math. I left the classroom with tears running down my cheek and when I entered the men's room I couldn't control myself. It took a while before I got a grip on myself. That time, I saw my own reflection in the mirror and man, did I not look pathetic. Perhaps math was the last thing I could tell myself I am actually good at. Perhaps I just couldn't accept that I am just not good at anything in life, or even worse, I just can't take that I can't be good at something even though I've spent a fair share of my time at it. A friend of mine saw me weep and cry, but he's just making sure I was not going to anything stupid. I never really told him but I appreciated his gestures, and I was grateful for that ever since.
Perhaps I had limited choice. I could either accept the fact that I am a loser and move on with life, or I could try to not be a loser, to prove a point that I have been trying to disprove all my life. Well maybe I just didn't have a lot of choice, coming out of a family of overachievers. My lecturer, who was a really nice guy, gave us a chance to take another exam, and I gave everything I had at it, spent a lot of time, clawed and scratched my way back. Long story short, I squeaked out an A at the end of the term, and had good grades for my my math courses until my time there was done and me flying here to A2.
At the end I learned that the only way for a person to go ahead is only through competition, and through not giving up. But soon things went well for a period of time and the valuable lessons learned through pain and tears were soon forgotten. People grow complacent in false sense of securities. I suppose it's time to find where I am, again. People calling me losers or quitter got it right, but I have seen worse forms of myself, and I'll do what I can to dig myself out of the hole.
This is my story, as everyone has their own story of struggles and survival. But maybe the answer to all doubts within the universe and mankind is indeed, 42.