We Are Brilliant

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We are brilliant: differently

Growing up wasn’t fun. When I tell people my childhood wasn’t pleasant, they choose not to believe– some because of my eloquence, some because they consider I appear stable (not traumatized) to have had a rough childhood. I didn’t develop all the qualities they trust I possess over night, I didn’t have it easy; I didn’t. Some events from growing up still play in my mind with relentless repetition, the characters that dominate in them keep flashing through my mind like taunting ghosts.

When I was in primary school. I was a middle sitter with an anxious mind to prove myself, and an innate fear for failure that I found it hard to concentrate in class. Dad had one day asked I read a passage I was taught in school. With my Macmillan English book one; I sang “Kpa kpa nhọrọ kpa ngolọ…” I remember the look of disbelieve he wore that day, listening to his son who couldn’t possibly comprehend the difference between class lessons and songs his naughty classmates chant during play time. Mum went to school with me the next day. I became a front-sitter, no distraction from anyone. Dad was home on work leave, extra coaching came with brunch and supper. I topped the class that third term, after a first term of sixth position and a second of ninth, I topped the class.

My competitive spirit was on, against myself; to make Dad proud, till primary six when I moved to a new school. I was a city wall gecko parading with village lizards. There was no contender, I didn’t need to read so much; I dropped but still topped.

When I got into secondary school I struggled to fit in. My Cousin was three classes ahead with a reputation of topping his class. I was his shadow the school was waiting for to light up “Arinzechi you can see your cousin! You have to study hard, you didn’t pass my test well, you are not doing as good as your cousin, you are…”, and I am… struggling not be a failure or disappoint my father who paid through his nostrils to foot bills. My father, you see is a humble man with a salary that required he works overtime. I was bullied, mentally challenging my mind into working well. Even though I topped the class all through junior school, there was always that deep fear of “of not giving enough”

I was brilliant, but a lot of things confused me. I barely spoke to or with mum. I had a problem of knowing what to do. I was too scared of being a coward, I began going out of way and I soon started retreating to myself after I get punished for being wrong. I wasn’t good enough (I wasn’t good enough. I wasn’t good enough) I convinced myself; retreating to the dark corner of the room. I soon found comfort there. I found writing there too, I found literature and Philosophy. I found a book of Dad’s; an anthology with Wole Shoyinka’s Abiku.

“I am the squirrel teeth, cracked” “the riddle of the palm. Remember” “this, and dig me deeper still into” “the god's swollen foot.”

I memorized those lines. I found solitude. And I lived in it...desolated. Till I failed my tests and exams simultaneously, or I passed, just not well enough to make my any parent proud. My first taste of failure wasn’t a pleasant one. But I had a second chance, and I think a third at both. But I had lost it. My mind. It was a turmoil of a thousand faults, screaming disappointment at my face, but I gained admission into Unical. Guess I failed, but not good enough to be denied admission, even if it was the course I wanted so dearly to study. I became an undergraduate.

I struggled like every fresher would at 100level. Struggled to fit in, struggled to attend classes at different venues, but painstakingly I had to struggle through GSS classes, mastering dates, philosophical foundations of theories and things, and abstract schools of thought. I was chocking to solve logic equations and enjoy my Ethics classes, though the professor was a one kind human being.., I was a four pointer, until sometime when the theories increased, my head was going overboard, and someh

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I hear you. People never believe you if you do not grab a gun and shoot everyone in a school or mall, turn into a drugs addict...read my diaries? Know many do turn out well it's just not interesting enough to study. 🍀👍

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2 years ago