The past couple of weeks had been hectic. Recess week didn't feel like one. I had gathered my remaining energy and discipline after 6 grueling weeks of school, and glued myself to work. Studying has been ingrained now, we are almost one entity.
The release of A level results was yesterday and it brought my memory back to 2 years ago when i did well. I was an honor-roll student. Well, i was happy, but it wasn't the happiest day of my life. I wouldn't try to deny that i felt really contented, maybe proud, of my achievements, but i have to credit my exams' luck too. Which brings me to part II of the story.
Either i've run out exams' luck or the As i've attained for all my History exams was a faux. I'd like to think the former but wouldn't like to bench my passion with luck. Maybe Jing is not a historian-matieral afterall. That aside, the main point, there are times in life when certain things meant the world to you, and not achieving your goals kills you, eats you inside. I had that during O levels. It's a combination of said failure, anger, embarrassment, indignant, helplessness, the list goes on, but basically you're trapped in this vicious vortex. Trapped in confusion and frustration, you would want to make an audacious (many would call it dumb in this case) step to retake examinations and hopefully, attain the supposed desirable grades. But i've decided to bring myself back to Earth and realize that i did fairly well.
I moved on.
I moved on, with pain.
The pain stayed for a while. The pain still stays. The pain will stay. The pain is going to stay. It will consume you from time to time. And thinking about it sometimes now, I see myself welling up in tears. I find myself having to deal with tears-soaked pillows on certain nights. Not a perfect bed scene, if i must add. It's not that i haven't gotten over it. I'm no longer crying for the results, but i still feel pain. A different kind of pain from what i first felt when i got my O level results. It's a pain of seeing an innocent break down in front of hundreds. It's a pain of seeing a helpless girl spewing vulgarities to everyone who sent her a text on social media. It's a pain i still remember and feel so vividly because it's the kind of sadness that sticks in your bones of not achieving your goals and knowing you'll never have the chance to. (well, unless you retake O levels, but retaking with experience is another story.) And doing well in A levels had never taken such a pain away. And most importantly, the misery a 16 year old had to go through because this competitive society that we live in weighs the white slip more than everything else. Because this competitive society that we live in believes the white slip is a ticket to the future. Just because this competitive society...
The pain never goes away. But it's an evolving pain. As i write, i still feel the ache in my heart. And that is because i am experiencing the same thing now. 20, I am now, once again, not doing well in school. Yes, the sadness and dejection creeps in -- to the extent of wanting to take a gap semester, so i will not be too consumed by the clutches of the society. But no.
I've learned not to wallow in self pity.
I've learned how to deal with such pain.
I've learned to see "failure" differently.
Let's call it my self defense mechanisms.