I have a snippet of memory as a 5 year old.
The classroom is dark and empty while yelps of joy from outside recess provide a sunny contrast. Slits of light make little glowing lines across the walls, but I am staring at a single vertical illuminated crack because I am standing with my face against the classroom backdoor.
What did I do to deserve it this time? I don’t exactly remember and I have a hunch that back then I wasn’t sure. At this particular private school it could’ve been anything from daydreaming to writing on the wrong piece of paper. All I remember is not feeling guilty or angry, more so just afraid and confused.
Halfway through recess someone enters briefly. It’s another kid, one of the good ones I guess, sent to check on me to make sure I was still standing in the corner. Here I was. The kid quickly leaves to get back to the fun while he still could.
What the hell DID I do?
I don’t remember. I remember wishing that Care Bears would come and rescue me from the classroom. Show up and cuddle me and make me feel better. I was probably wondering if this was bad enough to tell my parents. I don’t know what I did.
I know a year later I was spanked in front of the class because I didn’t answer what my favorite Christmas gift was because I was torn between two things and didn’t want to lie.
I wasn’t a rebellious troublemaker. Ok maybe I was a little spacey and I wasn’t the sharpest kid ever, but I tried to be good. Yet here I was, a 5 year old little girl standing alone in a dark corner during recess.
It still makes me a little angry but I’m glad it happened because it confused me. I didn’t see what was so punishable about such trivial things. While I was being told I was wrong, I saw reasons why I may have been right.
As I got older it got harder to think that way. I saw how nicer it was to just make sure I was fitting in and doing the right things and make people like me.
What will society think? What will family think? What will professors think? How will you make money, find a proper spouse, raise perfect children, be an upstanding citizen, if you can’t pass your math class?
I yearned for someone who would ask me what I thought about me, my life, what I really wanted to do. Someone who wouldn’t judge me, just help me understand how to best be honest to myself in the frame of this life. I was the moody teenage girl with pink hair who spend a lot of time alone in her room. I’d like to think I was trying to figure it out for myself whilst procrastinating on everything else.
Proper education is great, but having a balance of being educated about oneself is even greater. True joy, satisfaction and love does not come from facts and figures. I passionately believe that many many deep-seated problems in society today would be drastically lessened if people were to put as much emphasis on discovering who they really were and how they really work as they do on education and success.
It’s so important to question everything — about self, about life, beliefs about people. So many things were hammered into us throughout youth that we’ve lost the ability to separate that conditioning from our true feelings.
* Why do we really think something is so important?
* Why does it matter what that person thinks?
* Why are we so bothered by things that don’t directly involve us?
* Are we really acting in a loving way towards those we love?
* Why do we let our opinions of our own body cause us so much pain?
* Why are we depending on someone else’s behavior to make us happy?
*Will this even matter a year from now?
* Would we still buy that expensive thing if no one else would ever know we had it?
Some things do bring us true joy, but so many things are fleeting, unnecessary, and end up bringing more stress.
It’s time to undo the part of the education that doesn’t work for us and choose what we want to think for ourselves.
I will no longer stand alone in a dark corner, physically or mentally, if I don’t want to. No one is forcing me. I’m choosing for myself, doing it my way.