Opening a point of promotion as preparation to succeed, seeking for more:
Promotion never was in my thoughts until 10 years old. I had a person that I looked up to and wanted to be like, I wanted to achieve more at school.
I wanted to achieve more at school because my parents would constantly tell me, you have to go through school to university, I have to do what is in front of me now. However, I made a decision that I suppressed: a moment while waiting in line to receive my test mark, suddenly having the thought, “Man I’m putting a lot of time into doing this one test, only to repeat this for an innumerable number of weeks.” I jumped to the conclusion, “I need more rest, I won’t place so much time in this.”
I continued to justify my decision with a past memory of fearing being first, when I was even younger and noticed that only a handful of students – the ones with the highest marks – would be regarded as ‘worthy’. I happened to walk by a classroom where there were two teachers speaking about how stupid many of the students were and I heard my name, then the other teacher said, “No, he actually does okay. He’s not bad.” I reacted to how my friends were being separated by a man made standard based on a handful of criteria because I knew that there was more to a person than their performance academically, but I didn’t apply this knowledge.
Shortly after I made some observations that I was frightened to face: there is absolute inequality being imposed between students by marks on tests. And already then I had a kid approach me and ask, “How do you do so well?” Somehow, I blanked out of awareness with enough frequency to get somewhere in the middle, but above it. according to the spelling tests I took.
When I wanted to do well again, I placed myself in a sticky situation. I was consistently getting 80%, but I wanted to get higher. Every time I took tests from this feeling, I charged myself up with adrenaline through the test, and I would be so excited and nervous when we received our tests back. By this time, I accepted the belief that there was no other way to live but to continue school, and that meant passing these tests and preferably, for an easy life, become the best at every test. So in my Mind, I already created a divide out of one hundred, where those that get less than 60% were going to be removed systematically, while the other top 40% would be able to continue their life. I didn’t question myself because I convinced myself that I wanted to “keep my life exactly the way it is”, so when I would get less marks, I would be so afraid of being removed that I would study harder on the next test.
The only point I was conscious of was the absolute requirement to succeed. There would always be a few people who consistently did better than me, and they reflected back to me this fear of being in the ‘lower 60%’. I already accepted that one failure would ruin my entire life:all-or-nothing competition.
At one point I realised that many others were doing this, so I have to go faster. That meant more time, more of each day engrossed in books that I most likely would not use ever again, and I time looped: “I don’t want to put so much time into this, I’ll put less.” By this time I had sacrificed being comfortable with myself here, for a constant pressure to succeed: or you failing means you chose to fail and you will be left to die because you deserve to die. At one point I closed my eyes and allowed my study habits to automatically work, hoping that one day I can stop. Because I felt myself eating myself from the inside out, a tiny piece at a time when I would drive myself to study. I knew there would be a point where I could not continue the same way, but I closed my eyes…