Life is so fragile. Here in an instant and gone in an instant. Appreciating it should be an easy enough thing. Life can be filled with a lot of pain though, and confusion.
How to seek out what makes us happy and how to hold onto it? Maybe it comes easier for some than others. It hasn’t always come easy for me. Perhaps my brain is just too damaged or something. Perhaps I’m destined to always be some kind of victim, despite my best efforts.
As I wrote about last week, old memories have been resurfacing lately—haunting and bothersome—my own failures coming back to smack me in the freakin’ face. Humiliation, feelings of ineptitude, of letting “the system” win, and worse of all, seeing the ripple effect it’s had on all the people around me. This is what shames me the most.
How to unravel it? What happens after it gets unraveled? What do I do with it then? Perhaps it will all sound minor and trivial to some.
In 2005, I completed a BA degree in English. In 2009, I was supposed to have completed an MA degree in English as well. I had the lofty intention of teaching.
Believe it or not, working on the master’s degree wasn’t all that difficult for me, at least not as far as coursework was concerned. It was a subject I loved after all, as opposed to all the extra crap you have to take as an undergrad.
It’s not all about coursework though, unfortunately. It’s also about fitting in. I never fully realized the dire importance of this until it was all over.
Even though there were a couple of professors who were fairly nice to me, many of them seemed to hate me, intensely—like to the point of being near hostile—and I have to say, I found their pretentious attitudes pretty nauseating. For instance, I remember telling one of my professors that I felt like I was a slow, methodical writer when it came to writing essays. I was attempting to explain why I tended to have trouble with timed essays. She mocked me and made me feel as though I were merely slow, sans the methodical part.
What I really hate to admit is how much they were able to intimidate me and I suppose I let it happen in a lot of ways. I accepted that they were better than me. What was I, a first generation college student, even doing to dare enter their world?
By the time I was getting ready to finish my MA degree, I had something like a 3.8 GPA (can’t recall exactly now). I had also passed several exams that were considered moderately difficult, like the Praxis and the GRE, of course. To complete the degree though, I was also required to take two more, a general literature exam and a Set Test Exam.
I passed the general literature exam, but not the Set Test Exam. I didn’t take it just once either, but twice. It’s only offered once per year, so imagine failing two years in a row!
Grading for the final exam was supposed to be anonymous. I’ve had little doubt in my mind though, that it didn’t stay that way. Though it may sound crazy, I’m positive it was purposely sabotaged. The Set Test Exam was no more difficult than any other I’d taken. I knew full well, at that point, how to study and pass an exam of that nature.
Now, I fully realize what I should or could have done at the time—filed some kind of an appeal or a grievance with the University—demanded that my exam be graded, or taken yet again, independently.
Much earlier than that, I could have taken my credits and transferred to another university, where, hopefully, I would have fit in better.
I should’ve done something, but I didn’t.
I just felt defeated, ashamed and exhausted. I pushed it all down and buried it like a cat buries it’s poop in the dirt—so far down it was almost like it never even happened.
Since that time, I’ve lived my life like a high school drop-out. No joke. It’s embrassaing to admit, but it’s the truth. All that hard work for nothing. All my hopes and dreams, gone.
The real question is, now that all of this has come back to me, what do I do with it? I feel like I need to do something, but it’s been well over ten years ago.
Back to the present, it’s been rainy off and on for weeks now, which hasn’t been too good for the mood. There are a lot of other personal problems plaguing me at the moment, aside from all those crappy old memories coming back. Perhaps I should try and find a new therapist—those aren’t easy to come by either though. I’m fully aware that I’m wallowing right now, too.
The photos are from the farmer’s market in Tunapunas, we went crazy buying carrots, coconuts, tomatoes, apples—everything laid out in the photos above. Later in the day, after getting so much healthy stuff, we ordered pizza. Pizza Hut is very popular here. We don’t get it too often though, and always kind of regret it. It’s pretty heavy on the stomach.
Anyway, I hope all of you are doing well! I’ve been so self-involved lately it’s just been disgusting!